Indo-European Studies 1: #3

Choose one Indo-European culture and describe briefly the influences that have shaped it and distinguish it from other Indo-European derived cultures. Examples include migration, contact with other cultures, changes in religion, language, and political factors. Is there any sense in which this culture can be said to have stopped being an Indo-European culture? (minimum 300 words)

Scandinavian culture has had several examples of influence from external forces in its cultural and religious development. Kaliff discusses this somewhat while referring to material from Fabech that controversially points out breaks in religious tradition such as votive customs and ritual sites (Kaliff, 59).  These particular results are widely debated and not generally recognized with specific examples, however.  You can continue the concept of Northern culture being influenced with outside forces by looking at the Germanic tribes which migrated to the southern part of Great Britain in the 5th century, creating the Anglo-Saxons.  Granted the cultural appropriation they experienced during this time was due to their own actions and not necessarily outside forces coming in, but them opening themselves up to it.

The Anglo-Saxons created and spoke their own Angl0-Saxon language, and acted as a perfect example of a divergent group of individuals that came together to create their own culture (Anglo-Saxons, Wikipedia).  After the establishment of this new Anglo-Saxon culture, the unification of the first kingdoms started to develop, which eventually developed into what we now know as modern day England (Kingdom of England, Wikipedia).  So already here we have examples of language creation and societal caste creation (or development) with a migration of Germanic tribes to lead into the Angl0-Saxon culture.  Of course a lot of this , at least as far as the development of the first kingdoms goes, happened after the adoption of Christianity.

So after the adoption of Christianity, which is when, if you follow one of Dumezil’s requirements of a polytheistic religion requirement for IE culture, would then determine that the Anglo-Saxon culture then lost it’s classification as an Indo-European culture.  By this point it, being the culture, has migrated significantly past its original cultural, societal, and religious origins and merged significantly with the existing peoples of that land.

(Word Count: 300)

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