Exciting news for anyone interested in either the Gothic language or the history of the Crimean Goths: five (brief) examples of Gothic graffiti have been found on the cornice of a basilica and dated to the 9th-10th centuries. The paper is Андрей Юрьевич Виноградов, Максим Игоревич Коробов, «Готские граффити из Мангупской базилики» [Andrei Vinogradov and Maksim Korobov, “Gothic graffiti from the Mangup basilica”], Средние века 76 (2015) № 3-4: 57-75 (the longest graffito is reproduced on p. 64, the others on later pages); since the paper is in Russian, I’ll summarize their conclusions here for those who don’t read it:
1) The existence of the Gothic language in the Crimean mountains in the 9th-10th centuries is confirmed, used side by side with Greek.
2) The Gothic language was written in Crimea and used for both quotation of biblical texts and private invocations and commemorations.
3) It was not used only by clerics.
4) This find represents the first proof of the use of Wulfila’s alphabet outside Italy and Pannonia, as well as of its use for practical purposes after the 6th century.
5) The quotation from the Psalms shows the acquaintance of the Crimean Goths with Wulfila’s Bible.
6) The liturgical texts are evidence of local church services in Gothic.
7) At least in the early Byzantine period, the Crimean Goths were part of the Gothic cultural world, and thus linked with the Goths of the Lower Danube region.
8) There is no apparent distinction between the language of the inscriptions and the previously known examples of Gothic.
9) The writing appears to be that of a learned scribe.
10) The epigraphic culture appears to be close to that of the local Byzantine culture.
11) Local Goths used both Byzantine and Gothic names.
12) There was a developed local viticulture.