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Ya. E. Bespalchikova (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)

Gothic Shamanism as a Scholarly Issue

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Pages: 247-252 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.55086/SL22247252

The main issue of the article is the Gothic shamanism, a specific problem, noticed in the largest generalizing works on the history and culture of the Goths (Wolfram 1992, Scardilli 1973). An appearance of such a kind of comprehension of Gothic practice and linguistic features is analyzed through its conceptual connections with anthropological religion in its various developments (Eliade 1951; Atkinson 1992) and the hypothesis on the homogeneity of the patterns of the circumpolar region (Price 2017). Gothic shamanism mentioned in large generalizing works and reference publications as a revealed fact without a sufficiently large-scale previous discussion. Moreover, even after the publication of the works, a wide controversy on the study of the Ostrogoths also develops in other directions, such as questions of ethnic truth and accepted written sources. It seems important to begin such a kind of discussion with the comprehension of the theoretical basis for understanding shamanism in P. Scardili’s and H. Wolfram’s views. Taking un the consideration the modern anthropology of religion and subsequent research in this field, two questions are proved by productive research: (1) What magical phenomena and practice are found among the Goths, and what sources can we use to investigate? (2) Were these notions and experiences shamanic, why so and within what understanding of shamanism can we comprehend this?

Keywords: shamanism, Goths, Vienna School of History, Toronto School, Eliade

Information about author:


Yana Bespalchikova (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). European University at St. Petersburg. Gagarinskaya St., 6/1A, Saint Petersburg, 191187, Russian Federation
E-mail: [email protected]
ORCID: 0000-0002-1573-4897


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