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Eruli-Scandinavian Relations

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  • Bertil Haggman
    Another aspect brought up in the RLK-book published in 1994 is the Eruli people and the remigration to Scandinavia widely discussed on this list. RLK point out
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 16, 2002
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      Another aspect brought up in the RLK-book published
      in 1994 is the Eruli people and the remigration to
      Scandinavia widely discussed on this list.

      RLK point out that after the fall of the Huns the Eruli
      were settled near the river Danube, between Eipel
      and March. Thus they controlled one of the main roads
      to the Baltic Sea area and the Amber Coast along the
      rivers March and Vistula.

      In the book is referred to the likelyhood that the immigrants
      due to the cultural influence played an important role in their
      new home and in much turned out to be forerunners. The
      Harii, is pointed out, may linguistically be connected with
      Eruli and also the Vendi (before ca 700AD).

      One interesting aspect is that Procopius, who wrote about
      the remigration, knew much about the Eruli. The reason:
      he was himself secretary of the commander in chief of the
      Byzantian forces. Procopius is thus a good contemporary
      eyewitness to the strong Eruli mercenary force that fought
      on the side of Byzantium against Gothic King Theoderic.

      RLK discussed in 1994 the possibility that the positive
      experience of the Byzantian emperors, when it came to
      Eruli mercenaries, contributed to the custom of Constantinople
      to hire Scandinavians as lifeguard at a later stage.

      Erulically

      Bertil
    • faltin2001
      ... This argument has also been used to link the Heruls with the emergence of the so called Masovia-Germanic culture in the early 6th century. There is an
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 17, 2002
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        --- In gothic-l@y..., "Bertil Haggman" <mvk575b@t...> wrote:
        > Another aspect brought up in the RLK-book published
        > in 1994 is the Eruli people and the remigration to
        > Scandinavia widely discussed on this list.
        >
        > RLK point out that after the fall of the Huns the Eruli
        > were settled near the river Danube, between Eipel
        > and March. Thus they controlled one of the main roads
        > to the Baltic Sea area and the Amber Coast along the
        > rivers March and Vistula.



        This argument has also been used to link the Heruls with the
        emergence of the so called Masovia-Germanic culture in the early 6th
        century. There is an article about this culture in the Reallexikon
        der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Apparently in the early 6th century
        a Germanic culture from the Danube area appeared in the region around
        Allenstein/Olstyn, which Polish archaeologists have tried to link to
        Heruls fleeing the Danube area after their defeat at the hands of the
        Langobards. Does anybody have more information about
        this 'Masovia/Marsur Germanic culture'?







        >
        > In the book is referred to the likelyhood that the immigrants
        > due to the cultural influence played an important role in their
        > new home and in much turned out to be forerunners. The
        > Harii, is pointed out, may linguistically be connected with
        > Eruli and also the Vendi (before ca 700AD).


        Who are the Vendi? Is this the same group as the Veneti, or does this
        name refer to West Slavic Wends?




        > One interesting aspect is that Procopius, who wrote about
        > the remigration, knew much about the Eruli. The reason:
        > he was himself secretary of the commander in chief of the
        > Byzantian forces. Procopius is thus a good contemporary
        > eyewitness to the strong Eruli mercenary force that fought
        > on the side of Byzantium against Gothic King Theoderic.
        >
        > RLK discussed in 1994 the possibility that the positive
        > experience of the Byzantian emperors, when it came to
        > Eruli mercenaries, contributed to the custom of Constantinople
        > to hire Scandinavians as lifeguard at a later stage.


        This looks like a very contrived argument. After the lapse of several
        centuries the Byzantines remembered their positive experieance with
        Heruls (from the Danube area) and thought hence we should employ
        Scandinavian body guards? Roman emperors had Germanic body guards
        already in the first century AD. I suppose employing foreigners as
        body guards had the advantage that they could be more easily
        controlled and kept outside political power struggles.


        Dirk


        > Erulically
        >
        > Bertil
      • andreas.schwarcz@univie.ac.at
        Dear Dirk, of course you are right. Germans were employed in the guards already by the principate (see the old, but still valuable book of Martin Bang, Die
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 17, 2002
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          Dear Dirk,
          of course you are right. Germans were employed in the guards
          already by the principate (see the old, but still valuable book of
          Martin Bang, Die Germanen im römischen Dienst bis zum
          Regierungsantritt Constantins I. Berlin 1906, and a wealth of
          literature since then). Most of the Erul soldiers mentioned by
          Procopius were not "mercenaries", they were professional soldiers
          in the Roman army and citizens of the empire. And they did not
          fight against Theoderic. When Justinians Gothic war broke out, the
          king of the Ostrogoths was Theoderic's nephew Theodahad.
          Theoderic died in 526 AD. But some gothomanes cannot get even
          the dates and the kings into the right order, but dream of gothic
          empires from the Black Sea up to Sweden..
          Kind regards
          Andreas
          Ao.Univ.Prof.Dr.Andreas Schwarcz
          Institut für österreichische Geschichtsforschung
          Universität Wien
          Dr.Karl Lueger-Ring 1
          A-1010 Wien
          Österreich
          Tel.0043/1/42-77/272-16
          Fax 0043/142-77/92-72
        • Tore Gannholm
          ... Dirk, I agree with you. This does not sound convincing. We have much closer sources. After there became a strong Sveapower in the Lake Mälar area in the
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 17, 2002
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            >
            >
            >> One interesting aspect is that Procopius, who wrote about
            >> the remigration, knew much about the Eruli. The reason:
            >> he was himself secretary of the commander in chief of the
            >> Byzantian forces. Procopius is thus a good contemporary
            >> eyewitness to the strong Eruli mercenary force that fought
            >> on the side of Byzantium against Gothic King Theoderic.
            >>
            >> RLK discussed in 1994 the possibility that the positive
            >> experience of the Byzantian emperors, when it came to
            >> Eruli mercenaries, contributed to the custom of Constantinople
            >> to hire Scandinavians as lifeguard at a later stage.
            >
            >
            >This looks like a very contrived argument. After the lapse of several
            >centuries the Byzantines remembered their positive experieance with
            >Heruls (from the Danube area) and thought hence we should employ
            >Scandinavian body guards? Roman emperors had Germanic body guards
            >already in the first century AD. I suppose employing foreigners as
            >body guards had the advantage that they could be more easily
            >controlled and kept outside political power struggles.
            >
            >Dirk
            >

            Dirk,
            I agree with you. This does not sound convincing.

            We have much closer sources.
            After there became a strong Sveapower in the Lake Mälar area in the
            sixth century we find Scandinavian colonies on the east coast of the
            Baltic. Warrior graves with Svear and close by Gotlandic gravefields
            with merchants.

            I en 60-poängsuppsats 1982 kartlägger Rune Elmér under handledning av
            professor Erik Nylén "De nordiska vikingatågens bakgrund och
            färdvägar i Österled". Han skriver bl a "Åtminstone från ca 650
            började svear och gotlänningar att intressera sig för områdena på
            andra sidan Östersjön. Stödjepunkter för handeln anlades utefter
            östra och sydöstra kusten av Östersjön. Fyndmaterialet bestyrker, att
            åtminstone gotlänningar har hållit till i Grobin och Truso (Elbing),
            och åtminstone svear i Grobin och Wiskiauten".

            In 1982 Rune Elmér under the guidance of professor Erik Nylén
            analyzes the Scandinavian settlements east of the Baltic. He writes
            that from ca 650 Svear and Gutnish people start to take interest in
            the areas on the other side of the Baltic. Bases were established
            along the eastern and south eastern shores of the Baltic. The find
            material confirms that at least the Gutnish have been established in
            Grobin and Truso (Elbing), and at least Svear i Grobin and Wiskiauten
            .

            When the new silver mines were discovered in the 8th century they
            just continued further east and established a "highway" down to the
            Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
            Later when the Crusades started this road was used for Scandinavians.

            In the Guta Saga written down about 1220 it says the the road to the
            Holy country went over Gotland and the Russian rivers.

            The word Viking does not seem to have been used in the east only in the west.

            Those who travelled on the Russian rivers were called Varangians
            (they had made a var - secret promise to help each other). From the
            beginning it seems to have been merchants.

            It must have been tempting for some of these to take employment in
            Miklagård (Constantinopel).
            I think that is where we should seek the origin of the Varangian guards .

            Tore


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