Republic of Gothia
| Þiudawaihts þizos Gutþiudos|
Republic of Gothia
Us riqiza, wiþra liuhaþa.
(English: From darkness towards the light.)
(English: The Fatherland of Promise.)
|Official language(s)||Gothic (official), greek, russian.|
|Official religion(s)||Orthodox christianity|
|- President||Friþureiks Swartagaizis|
|Legislature||So Hauhisto Gafaurds|
(English: The Highest Council)
|Established||26 June 2014|
|Area claimed||3,361 km2 (1301 sq mi)|
|Currency||1 skilliggs = 10 assarjus = 100 kintjus|
|Time zone||Moscow Time (UTC+4)|
|Patron saint||John of Gothia|
The Republic of Gothia is a micronation that claims as its territory in the souther part of the Crimean peninsula.
The Principality of Theodoro, also known as Gothia (Greek: Γοτθία), was a small principality in the south-west of Crimea from the early 14th century until its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1475. Its capital was Doros, which was also sometimes called Theodoro and is now known as Mangup. The state was closely allied with the Empire of Trebizond.
Its population was a mixture of Greeks, Crimean Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Kypchaks and other ethnic groups, which confessed Orthodox Christianity. The principality’s official language was Greek. The territory was initially under the control of Trebizond, and possibly part of its Crimean possessions, the Perateia.
The Principality of Gothia is first mentioned in the early 14th century, with the earliest date offered by the post-Byzantine historian Theodore Spandounes, who records the existence of a “Prince of Gothia” in the reign of Andronikos III Palaiologos (1328–1341). Further references occur over the course of the 14th century, with several scholars identifying the “Dmitry”, one of the three Tartar princes in the Battle of Blue Waters (ca. 1362/3), with a Prince of Gothia. The name in this case may possibly be the baptismal name of a Tartar lord of Mangup, named Khuitani. The name “Theodoro” (in the corrupted form Θεοδωραω) appears for the first time in a Greek inscription also dated to ca. 1361/2, and then again as “Theodoro Mangop” in a Genoese document of 1374. It was suggested by A. Mercati that the form is a corruption of the Greek plural “Theodoroi“, “the Theodores”, meaning Saints Theodore Stratelates and Theodore Tiro, but N. Bănescu proposed the alternative explanation that it resulted from the definitive Greek name τὸ Δόρος (to Doros) or τὸ Δόρυ (to Dory), after the early medieval name of the region. Whatever its provenance, the name stuck: by the 1420s the official titelature of the prince read “Prince of the city of Theodoro and the Maritime Region” (αὐθέντης πόλεως Θεοδωροῦς καὶ παραθαλασσίας), while colloquially it was called “Theodoritsi” (Θεοδωρίτσι, “little Theodoro”) by its inhabitants.
The principality had peaceful relations with the Golden Horde to its north, paying an annual tribute as vassals, but was in constant strife with the Genoese colonies to the south over access to the coasts and the trade that went through the Crimean harbours. A narrow strip of the coastal land from Yamboli (Balaklava) in the west to Aluston (Alushta) in the east initially part of the principality soon fell under Genoese control. Local Greeks called this region Parathalassia (Greek: Παραθαλασσια – sea shore), while under Genoese rule it was known as Captainship of Gothia. After they had lost harbours on the southern coast Theodorites built a new port called Avlita at the mouth of the Chernaya River and fortified it with the fortress of Kalamita (modern Inkerman).
On 6 June 1475, the Ottoman commander Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered Caffa and at the end of the year, after six months of besieging Mangup, the city fell to the assailants. While much of the rest of Crimea remained part of the Crimean Khanate, now an Ottoman vassal, the former lands of Theodoro and southern Crimea was administered directly by the Sublime Porte.
The “Archdiocese of the Goths” existed autonomously during the 5th to 9th centuries, but from the 5th century there seems to have been a close relation to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In its disputed 28th Canon, the Council of Chalcedon in 451 recognized an expansion of the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and of its authority over bishops of dioceses “among the barbarians”, which has been variously interpreted as referring either to areas outside the Byzantine Empire or to non-Greeks. John Chrysostomos consecrated Unila (d. 404) as bishop of the Archdiocese of the Goths. John Chrysostomos preached to the Goths with aid of interpreter in the Goths’ church in Constantinople, which had priests, deacons and readers whom were Goths and read, preached and sang in the Gothic language. It was he who appointed the successor of Bishop Unila to the seat of ruling bishop over the Archdiocese of the Goths, and acted as the protector and benefactor of the Archdiocese at this period.
John of Gothia (John of Partenit) was a Metropolitan bishop of Doros. During the period of Byzantine Iconoclasm, John reputedly gathered Orthodox refugees from Constantinople in the Crimea. He overthrew and expelled the Khazars from Gothia 787; the Khazars however managed to retake the city in less than a year, and John was imprisoned in Fullakh (Stary Krym). He later managed to escape, and sought refuge in Amasra in the Byzantine Empire, where he died in 791. His remains were brought home to a church on the Ayu-Dag mountain, where a memorial to him has been built. John’s Vita was composed within a generation or so of his death, in the early 9th century.
The Gothic church was incorporated into the Patriarchate of Constantinople at some point between the late 8th and the late 9th century. It was the first diocese established outside the historical boundaries of the Roman Empire (just before the Metropolitanates of Alania and of Rus’). Its existence is documented in a list of Byzantine dioceses in a Paris manuscript, dated to the 14th century.
The Crimea fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1475 as the vassal-state known as the Crimean Khanate. The Crimean Goths managed to maintain their ethnic identity under Turkic rule during the 16th and 17th centuries, and in marginalized form even until the 18th century. The only surviving report of Gothic Christians in the Crimea is that of Joseph-Juste Scaliger who in 1606 claimed that the Goths of Crimea read both the Old and New Testaments “in the letters of Wulfia’s alphabet”.
The Metropolitanate of Gothia and Kaphas continued to exist in partibus infidelium until 1779, when it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, as the Russian Empire under Empress Catherine the Great conquered Crimea from the Ottoman Empire. From this point, the Crimean Goths were rapidly assimilated to Russian culture, and after the death of bishop Ignatius Hodsen in 1786, no successor was appointed and the diocese de facto ceased to exist.
The Archdiocese of the Goths and the Northlands is an Eastern Orthodox church affiliated with the Russian True Orthodox Church (also known as “catacombists”, a splinter group not to be confused with the Russian Orthodox Church). It was established in 1994 in Moscow by Aleksey Sievers, who was ordained archbishop under the name Amvrosij (Ambrosius). It has been a registered ecclesiastical and religious body in Sweden since 2008. Ambrosius ordained a “Bishop of Gotland” in Sweden, Teodorik Sutter, in December 2011.
It claims apostolic succession through the Russian True Orthodox Church, and territorial jurisdiction deriving from the Metropolitanate of Gothia and Kaphas.
In June 2014 the Republic of Gothia was proclaimed by it’s selfannounced President Friþureiks Swartagaizis. It claimes to be the succesor state of the Principality of Gothia.
Postal service and stamps
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