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Origin of the Burgundians and Bornholm


The introduction to the article is complete fantasy. There is no evidence for Burgundians in the Vistula basin, let alone in Scandinavia. The article should begin with the first historical references to the early Burgundians in the Oder region of modern eastern Brandenburg and Saxony in Germany and the adjacent regions in modern Poland. This is the region of the Luboczyce culture, which is probably related to the Burgundians.

This bit below is complete nonsense: "The Burgundians (Latin: Burgundiōnes, Burgundī; Old Norse: Burgundar; Old English: Burgendas; Greek: Βούργουνδοι) were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the Baltic island of Bornholm, and from there to the Vistula basin, in middle modern Poland.[1] A part of the Burgundian tribes migrated further westward, where they may have participated in the 406 Crossing of the Rhine, after which they settled in the Rhine Valley and established the Kingdom of the Burgundians. Another part of Burgundians stayed in their previous homeland in Oder-Vistula basin and formed a contingent in Attila's Hunnic army by 451.[2][3]" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolfram2000 (talkcontribs) 13:31, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I deleted the worst parts of the article, including the part above, which is false information.

The article states a completely outdated origin theory for the Burgundians, i.e. the Germanic tribal group. Firstly, as H. Beck shows in Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde under entry "Bornholm", the name of the island is not derived from the Burgundians. Instead, the name derives from an indogermanic root meaning "high, highly risen". Thus, the original name of the island referred simply to the fact that it rose highly from above the sea level. Even if medieval sources that had lost the original meaning connected it to the Burgundian people, this is nothing but a so called "learned misinterpretation". The only link between the Burgundian people and the island of Bornholm is that the first sylabil derives from an indogermanic root meaning "high, tall etc. ".

The recent book by Reinhold Kaiser "Die Burgunder", 2004, pp 23/24 comes to the same conclusion. Kaiser discusses the medieval sources regarding Bornholm, the Burgundian origo gentis and the archaeological evidence and finds that there is no evidence whatsoever that the Burgundians came from Bornholm or from Scandinavia in general.

I think Wikipedia should reflect the theories of such modern mainstream views, especially since it is also the commonly accepted view in the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde.

Agree on the wildly outdated nature of the Bornholm thing. (Equally, it seems likely that this page should be removed from the "Norse history and culture" project!) An updated summary that perhaps noted the old Bornholm concept as outdated and then provided a reasonable summary that referenced the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde and Kaiser would be welcome. Carlsefni (talk) 21:25, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I live on the island Bornholm, and I agree with the text above this. No archaeological findings here show a connection between the island and the burgunders. The first area, where they lived, seems to be around Speyer in the 5th Century. (from apr. 430). Also I think you should be aware that Adam of Bremens story, where he calls the island simply Holm or Hulm (he did that in appr. 1072). Jan (talk) 16:36, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I've made a quick scan of the introductions to the Wikipedia articles on the Burgundians in English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish, and of these only the German doesn't mention the false Bornholm etymology. It is also the only article (rightly) to completely ignore the Jordanes-based "Scandinavia as vagina gentium"-thesis. The German version should be implemented in the rest of the articles as well. I might do it myself, at least with the Norwegian article, but my German is a little rusty.

I am going to sort out this bibliography. At the moment it reads like an unfocused university reading list - which surely isn't what wikipedia entries are about. Any one hoping to use that list as a way in to studying the burgundians would be baffled and confused. Plus some of the titles are old fashioned and out dated - e.g. Dalton's trans of History of the Franks, was superseeded in the 1970's by Thorpe's trans. Anyone object? --Snozzbert12 18:15, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

"Catalaunian Fields" - how certain is the identification of the location?

--- It is some years now that I pointed out that this article, and in particular its section regarding the origin of the Burgundians, is oudated or better completely wrong. If nobody is able to rewirte the article, it should better be deleted. I think no information is better than wrong information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:04, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

--- I deleted the worst parts of the article, refering to Scandinavian origins. This has long been proven to be wrong (See Reinhold Kaiser "Die Burgunder", 2004) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

I doubt, that the word Bornholm means the land of the Burgundians in Old Norse. Maybe that is the reason that there's no source for the claim. It does not become true, because it is in the English wiki. The word Burgundia was used by a pope once, and the myth is still alive. I has been killed by modern literature. Bornholm means an island, that raises high up. 16:32, 18 September 2016‎


The page is a bit of a misnomer. The original tribe really should be referred to as 'Burgundes'. Burgundia was called after these people. The later Burgundians were called after Burgundia. Much like Italy was called after the Italics and the Italians after Italia.

Probably true, but do you know of any historians writing in English who calls these people the Burgundes? I think most English-speakers would call them Burgundians. Throw some references our way, and perhaps we'll decide to change the article title. JHK 09:21 Aug 9, 2002 (PDT)
Burgenda land, es; n. The land of the Burgundians, an island in the west of the Baltic sea; Boringia. Burgenda land is the Icelandic Burgundarhólmr, of which the present Danish and Swedish name Bornholm is a contraction :— Burgenda land the land of the Burgundians, Ors. l, I; Bos. 21, 44.

Burgendan; pl. m. The Burgundians; Burgundiones :— Burgendan habbaþ ðone ylcan s©s earm be westan him the Burgundians have the same arm of the sea to the west of them, Ors. I, I; Bos. 19, 19. v. Burgendas.

Burgendas; gen. a; pl. m: Burgendan; pl. m. The Burgundians; Burgundiones. These, in Alfred's time, dwelt to the north-west of the Osti. We find them at another period on the east bank of the Oder. They have given name to the island of Bornholm in the Baltic :— Osti habbaþ be norban him Winedas and Burgendas the Esthonians have to the north of them the Wends and the Burgundians, Ors. l, l; Bos. 19, 18. Wine Burgenda friend of the Burgundians, Wald. 85; Vald. 2, 14. Weóld Burgendum Gifica Gifica ruled the Burgundians, Scðp Th. 40; WId. 19: 131; WId. 65.

Burgende; gen. a; dat. um; m. The Burgundians, inhabitants of Burgundy, an old province in the east of France; Burgundiones :— Pro-fentse hæfþ be norban hyre ða beorgas, ðe man Alpis h©t, and be súþan hyre is Wendel-s©, and be norban hyre and eastan synd Bnrgende, and Wascan be westan Provence has on the north of it the mountains, which people call the Alps, and on the south of it is the Mediterranean sea, and on the north and east of it are the Burgundians, and on the west the Gasconians, Ors. l, i; Bos. 24, 2.

Burgundia seems to be derived from the Latin words Burgundiones and Burgundii, just like Italy comes from Italia which comes from Italii. But of course in English we don't say Italii or "Italies", but "Italians". I think the name "Burgundians" is appropriate. Rwflammang (talk) 14:09, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

In the middle of updating

I'm adding a bunch of material from my bachelor's thesis on the Burgundians. I'm trying not to totally rewrite or undo anything people have written, but please forgive me (and re-edit) if I've made something incorrect in the process of splicing my stuff in. I'm in the middle of editing the second kingdom time period, and there may be some lines missing at the moment, but I'm trying to ensure everything is accounted for. It's late, and I'm going to bed, but I'll finish the edits tomorrow.

Ryan McDaniel 04:10, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I only a bit curious about other theories. Are there any alternative theories for the origin of the Burgundians? If so state them. I don't think that the article is made NPOV by presenting the main theory as spurious without providing other theories or evidence for them.--Wiglaf 08:36, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Moreover, by presenting the first evidence for them as being east of the Rhine, and making it sound as if east of the Rhine is their likely place of origin is not satisfactory. The region east of the Rhine was long inhabited by Celtic tribes, unless of course, you think they were originally Celtic, or can provide evidence that they founded their tribe (chronicles? legends?) east of the Rhine.--Wiglaf 08:42, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
PS, I disapprove of the "some" game. The Bornholm theory is simply too common to fall into the category "some have argued" weasel expression.--Wiglaf 08:54, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
My sincerest apologies, and perhaps I should cede editing of this section to someone who knows better! When researching the subject, I had only been able to find place-name arguments, which can be pretty easily stretched wherever the author wants them to be (in which case I thought that "some have argued" was appropriate language), and much later traditions that are not always reliable. I am quite prepared to believe archaeological evidence, however; it's just that in about a year of looking, I couldn't find any. Admittedly I am hampered when it comes to the Germanic tribes in my inability to read much of the early literature; my German is bad and I speak no Scandinavian languages. Is the source you cite for the Bornholm evidence (Stjerna) available in translation?Ryan McDaniel 10:49, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
There's no reason to apologize. A Wikipedia article is made for reconciling knowledge about a subject from different sources, and you've done history studies and not archaeology studies, I guess. I could scan the page, e-mail it to you, and then you could ask someone to translate the page.--Wiglaf 10:53, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Much appreciated, if it's not too much trouble. rmcdaniel03[at]alumni[dot]caltech[dot]edu. Thanks!--Ryan McDaniel 11:22, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Done!--Wiglaf 13:47, 20 September 2005 (UTC)


What's this reference to "Stjerna"? --FinnWiki 19:22, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Certainly Knut Stjerna's PhD thesis "Bidrag till Bornholms befolkningshistoria under järnåldern" (1905). Ancient. /Pieter Kuiper 19:46, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Burgundians in the history of the Netherlands

I was reading the Dutch article [1]on this subject and then I went and read this one. In the Dutch one it mentions the history of the Netherlands and the impact the Burgundians had and how in the late Medieval Times the Burgundians reigned over The Netherlands until 1477 when it got divided over France and the Habsburgers because of Karel De Stoute's death.

The Dutch article also mentions the Burgundians as the Southern Dutch and it speaks about their lifestyle, how they loved good food and good wine and how it was adapted by the southern dutch people and Flemish people nowadays because they relocated the Burgundian "palace" to Brussels in the 15th century.

Now I am wondering why the English article doesn't mention any of this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Oceangirl2111 (talkcontribs) 02:00, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

A disambiguation page would probably be in order on the Dutch Wikipedia. There is no real connection between the kingdom of the Burgundians (the Germanic tribe) and the much later duchy of Burgundy, except the territorial name. Here you can find the same information in Burgundy, Duchy of Burgundy, Duke of Burgundy and Burgundian Netherlands. Iblardi (talk) 17:37, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

This article is full of wrong and outdated information

This article does not meet Wikipedia standards. It is filled with wrong, outdated and irrelevant information. Readers should be warned that this article is not a reliable source. I suggest that the entire article be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolfram2000 (talkcontribs) 13:31, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Even better: give suggestions for improvement, or work on it yourself. Complaining is easy. On Wikipedia keep in mind it will be common that no-one reading such a post sees it as their problem. But deletions will tend to be reverted (WP:PRESERVE). Every article on Wikipedia was awful at some point, and most still are, but this does not make poor articles absolutely worthless.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 21:50, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

I don't think that it is true that every article on Wikipedia was awful at some point. Also this article is beyond awful. It is full of wrong information. I tried to improve it by deleting the worst bits, i.e. parts that are both unnecessary and factually wrong. However, I can not even get this change, which is a vast improvement on the original past the censors so why should I bother rewriting it. I'm a historian of late antiquity and I ensure you that the world is better off if this article is deleted entirely. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolfram2000 (talkcontribs) 18:46, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Also, the article "Burgundian" on the German Wikipedia is excellent. If somebody could translate this article and delete the English article a lot would be won. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wolfram2000 (talkcontribs) 18:49, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

OK maybe not every article was awful. Thanks for the lead on German Wikipedia. But if I understand correctly maybe your biggest concern is not missing information, but rather information which should be either removed or named as probably mythical (like the Bornholm story)?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:56, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

The emigration uses of Old Nordic peoples

Hi!: for an unknown reason, someone using the name Lancaster deleted my inclusion in the Burgundian's article of a quote to a comment by Niccolo Machiavelli, the cite was a translation from an edition in a language that wasn't English nor Italian, so it would make no sense adding precissions such as ISBN, year of editon, and page. The book is easy to find, and the comment easy to check, it has a connection to the Burgundians' subject, It's hard to me finding a reason why for the deletion. In the forewords of his: 'Florence History', that focuses in the times around the life of N Machiavelli, he cites the habitude of Nordic peoples to have one third of population emigrating when the population growth posed problems because of the lack of enough resources, one third of them all started travelling, looking for new places, the reference is precise enough, it has a connection to the subject, as Burgundians were Nordic people who emigrated into the South, it seems the Bornholm Island had no new Burgundian tombs after III-IV Century AD, and for sure, the French region: 'Burgundy', were people from Bornholm entered peacefully, has its current name from them; not much later after first arrival of people from Bornholm, Goths invaded violently the Burgundy, and a Bishop was know by his efforts in providing relief for the resulting hunger. Please, show your good will, and the accuracy of your information, by reverting deletion. I've been adding comments in Wikipedia for years, so, if the reason for this deletion is not described more in extense, I guess nothing but that I'm hopeless can be taught to me. If it's a language problem, anyone can feel free to change the wording. Thanks, best regards, + salut--Jgrosay~enwiki (talk) 00:21, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Hello. I am presuming you are new to Wikipedia and misunderstanding the problem. So first, WELCOME! I happen to have a lot of interest in Machiavelli and it's a nice source. We share an interest! I was just doing a very straightforward edit based on Wikipedia core content policies. As an editor on WP I am reasonably "inclusionist" but WP does not include every possible reference, of course. In the case of Burgundians, we could use such sources as:
  • References to the small number of old primary sources and authoritative secondary commentaries about those.
  • References to modern experts such as archaeologists, classicists, etc.
The source you included is not specifically about the Burgundians, is not a modern expert commenting about the Burgundians, is not a primary source discussing the Burgundians, nor even a modern specialized commentary on those. Concerning the argument that it is appropriate to discuss north germanic tribes in general, that does not give us a justification for only inserting a vague and general comment from the 15th century. If you really think I am wrong, because I think this is about basic policy, maybe we should get third party opinions on one of the policy based forums such as WP:RSN.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:11, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
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