Swedish Vikings Essay, Research Paper
The Swedish Vikings
De foro manligen
fj rran efter guld
g vo rnen degree Fahrenheit district attorney
De dogo s derut
I S rkland.
Inscription in a rock outside Gripsholms palace.
While the Vikings from Norway and Denmark went runing for new land in the West and sou’-west, the Vikings from contemporary Sweden normally went east and south-east. There was another facet to their concern abroad. While the Danes and the Norwegians normally conquered and colonized, the Swedes traded ( although they were good armed and surely knew how to contend ) and didn & # 8217 ; t seek to set up lands and settlements. There were Swedes that went on ocean trips with the Danes and Norwegians ( at that clip the differences between the states were much less than they are now ) , but the chief watercourse of Swedish Vikings went eastward. They travelled much farther east than any other European people. The Swedish Vikings even travelled every bit far as Jerusalem ( or Jorsalir as they called it ) , the Caspian sea, and Baghdad ( they called it S rkland ) . Hundreds of Swedes travelled to the eastern Roman metropolis Constantinople ( or Miklag rd ) .
Many of them returned rich from their combined trading/plundering expeditions.
There are more ancient English coins found in Sweden than there are in England, and over 90 % of all the coins found in Europe from Baghdad and milieus have been found in Sweden ( Gotland to be precise ) .
No 1 knows precisely when Birka was founded, but it boomed in the ninth century. Birka was situated in one of the more populated countries of Sweden at that clip. ( It still is, as it is in the Stockhom country, with 1 million dwellers ) . It lay someplace on the Island Bj rk. It was ideally placed in the center of the counties of M lardalen, G strikland and Dalarna. The entire population of the country at that clip was about 50,000. The metropolis was protected by a wall made of soil and wood, and had a population of a twosome of 1000 dwellers who served and protected the metropolis. In the terminal of the ninth century activity at that place came to an disconnected terminal, and we are still looking for an account. Possibly they were invaded by a Viking fleet from Denmark? Or possibly they moved their concern to the more protected metropolis of Sigtuna? What historians do cognize is that the contacts eastward were really profitable, and they reached their highest degrees when the metropolis Helg ( non far from Birka ) was dining.
A batch of trading was besides done with Finland and the Baltic provinces. Most of the Swedes who went out going were `rospiggarna & # 8217 ; , the people from Roslagen. That may be one of the grounds why Finns call Sweden `Ruotsi & # 8217 ; which means `Roslagen & # 8217 ; . And even farther east there was a state named `Tavastaland & # 8217 ; .
The Vikings traveled farther and farther east up the river Neva to Ladoga, where it is believed they founded a colony, from which they started to go south. A monastic named Nestor, who lived in Kiev, wrote a history which tells the narrative behind the Viking travels and why they settled in Russia. In the history he states that Russia was founded by the Vikings, or as they called them `Varjager & # 8217 ; . Harmonizing to Nestor the Vikings levied revenue enhancements on the Slavic peoples and hence were finally chased out of the state. The local people wanted to hold a male monarch of their ain. Unfortunately this was non a success, and after awhile there was entire lawlessness in the state. Then person came up with a bright thought: Why non acquire a male monarch from elsewhere? No Oklahoman said than done, they sent for a male monarch from the foreign state Sweden, and after
awhile a Viking turned up. Nestor writes: & # 8220 ; Let us happen a male monarch from another state who will give us justness and regulation over us. And they went over the sea to the land of the Varjager, to Ruserna. Because this people is called Ruser as others are called Svear. Yet others are called Norrmaner, Anglianer and some Goter. So even all these have their names. & # 8221 ; When the couriers with their unusual offer from the foreign state turned up in Sweden three work forces were quickly selected to take on the duty. These work forces were
brothers and their names were: Rurik, Sinjeus and Truvor. The oldest ( Rurik ) of them settled down in Novgorod ; the other 1s went to White Russia ( Sinjeus ) , and Izborsk ( Truvor ) . Nestor writes: & # 8220 ; It & # 8217 ; s after these Varjager that the state of Novgorod now bears the name `land of Rusers & # 8217 ; . & # 8221 ;
Soon Rurik was the lone one left in & # 8220 ; Russland & # 8221 ; ; his brothers went on a trip along the river Dnieper to the metropolis of Kiev ( K nug rd ) , which they successfully invaded. From Kiev they made little expeditions down to Constantinople. Rurik died sometime about 879, and another Viking head took over, Oleg. Oleg besides invaded Kiev and declared this metropolis of all Russian metropoliss the female parent. Oleg was shortly replaced by his former maestro & # 8217 ; s boy, Igor. The Swedish names after Rurik, Oleg and Igor are: R rek, Helge and Ingvar. But there are uncertainnesss about the Swedish connexions. In any event, there are Swedish names involved in the earliest peace pacts which are quoted in their entireness in the Nestor history. Their names have been a spot misspelled but they can be read as: Sven, Gunnar, Tord, Ulf and Karl. These Swedes, as with all other Viking colonies, shortly became assimilated with the indigens. Igor & # 8217 ; s boy got the name Sviatoslav and founded the Rurikidernas dynasty, Rurkovitch. They in bend ruled over the Volchov-Lovat-Dnieper country until the twelvemonth 1610, when the last Rurikiden, Vassilij IV Sjusjkij, died and was replaced by the Romanov dynasty.
Merely as in the British Isles and Normandy, the Vikings shortly lost their Nordic traditions. They were merely excessively few to hold any impact on the indigens.
The Swedes had four chief paths to take from, going through mighty Russia down to the profusion of the South. Their ships could be carried against the current on smaller rivers until they reached the tributary rivers of Volga. If they chose this manner they would go through Finnish speech production peoples all the manner between Ladoga and a topographic point called Bulgar at the crook of the Volga. This was a larger metropolis where Swedes met with Turks and other
people from the South. From Bulgar a train went to China and the silk that has been found in Birka was most likely brought by this path. For the most portion the Vikings did concern with alleged
`radamiter & # 8217 ; ( Judaic merchandisers ) . An= Arab author, Ibn Khordo Adbeh, described them like this: & # 8220 ; These bottoms speak Arabic, Persian, French, Spanish, Romerska, Slaviska. They travel from the Occident to the Orient. From the Occident they bring with them eunuchs, female slaves, small male childs, cloth, teguments of different sorts and swords. & # 8221 ; Harmonizing to his narratives they travel to & # 8220 ; Sind, Hind and China & # 8221 ; . On their trips place they bring different kinds of spices and other alien things. Some of the grounds of the trading is silver coins which have been found in the metropolis of Birka. They show that trade between Swedes and the country between Baghdad and the Volga was instead extended.
The ground that we know that the Vikings did go this path is that the Persian and Arabic diplomats have written about their meetings with the Northerners, or Ruser as they called Thursday
mutton quad. They have written in instead great item about the traditions of the Vikings. The Arabic courier Ibn Fadlan, who was in Bulgar during the summer of 922, saw the Vikings arrive, and he wrote: “I have ne’er earlier seen such perfect organic structures ; they were tall
like thenar trees, blonde, with a few of them ruddy. They do non have on any jackets or kaftaner, the work forces alternatively wear frock which covers one side of the organic structure but leaves one manus free. Every one of them brings with him an Axe, a blade and a knife. They ne’er leave these things. Their blades are wide, grooved, and of Gallic make. From their abdomens to their cervixs they are tattooed in green with trees and other images. All of their adult females have a little box attached over the chest. This can be made of Fe, Ag, Cu or gold. On
each box there is a ring to which a little knife is attached. Around their cervixs they wear necklaces of gold and silver. & # 8221 ; The Vikings evidently made an feeling on the courier, but he besides writes about their bad hygiene. He continues, & # 8220 ; Each forenoon the miss comes early in the forenoon with
a deep dish of H2O. She gives this to her maestro who in bend washes his custodies, face and hair. When he is through the miss takes the dish to the adult male nearest the maestro. This adult male repeats the procedure. And so the dish wanders from adult male to adult male until everyone has washed himself in the water. & # 8221 ;
To Ibn Fadlan & # 8217 ; s friends this narrative must hold been dismaying, as they were educated Muslims. They would likely ne’er think of rinsing themselves in anything other than fluxing H2O. Another thing which interested Ibn was the Nordic work forces & # 8217 ; s sexual wonts. This is what he wrote: & # 8220 ; At the beach they build big houses made of wood. In one house there unrecorded 10 to twenty individuals. Each 1 has a bed to sit on ( sic ) . With them they have beautiful adult females
slaves who are to be sold to the slave traders. They have sexual intercourse with their slaves while their friends are watching. Often a group of work forces does this in each other & # 8217 ; s presence. & # 8221 ; One of Ibn=92s most interesting narratives is about a existent Viking entombment which he witnessed in the metropolis of Atil ( placed a spot south of Bulgar ) . Harmonizing to him the dead individual & # 8217 ; s ship was brought up on shore and was surrounded with fetishes of wood. The organic structure was clothed in its finest apparels, placed on shock absorbers in a sitting place in a collapsible shelter which was
built in the center of the boat. Around him he had several points which could be utile on his manner to the land of the dead. Among the points there were a harp, nutrient, axes and so on. A Canis familiaris was killed and divided into two parts and thrown on to the ship. The Canis familiaris was followed by two cattles and two Equus caballuss and one biddy. One of the adult male & # 8217 ; s female slaves was chosen to follow the adult male to the land of the dead ( Valhall, hopefully ) . She was intoxicated with intoxicant, brought frontward to the head and so moved to a collapsible shelter by the head & # 8217 ; s six closest work forces. They each had intercourse with her and so she was killed by an old adult female ( called the angel of decease ) with a knife ( at the same clip as the work forces were strangulating her with a rope ) . Then the relations of the adult male set the ship on fire. Afterwards they would
throw a big pile of soil over the ashes and on top of it all they put a wooden pole on which they wrote the name of the dead adult male and the name of their male monarch. Ibn tells us further: & # 8220 ; When they arrived in this seaport ( Bulgar ) they left their ships on the shore and brought with them meat, staff of life, milk and nobid ( an alcoholic drink ) and went to a high wooden pole with a carven caput. Around this pole there were other smaller statues and behind them other big poles. The bottom goes frontward to the big pole in the centre and so he gets down on his articulatio genuss and puts his caput against the land and says: & # 8216 ; O, my God, I have been going a long manner and I have brought so and so many slaves and blades. Now I bring you these offerings. & # 8217 ; This said, he puts what he has in forepart of the wooden pole and says: & # 8216 ; I wish that you send me a merchandiser of great
wealth who will purchase on my footings without questions. & # 8217 ; If the concern is good he returns and sacrifices animate beings ; if non, he brings other offerings to the statues and asks them for help. & # 8221 ; The Arabian historian Ibn Miskaweich tells us about the Ruser onslaughts on Bredaa, merely South of Baku, in the twelvemonth 943. He describes them as a powerful people who didn & # 8217 ; t seem to cognize how to give in a battle. They were equipped with axes, blades and long knifes. They fought with lances and shields. They killed the Arabic governor and chased his
people off. The Arabs who survived had to purchase their ain lives at great disbursal. The adult females weren & # 8217 ; T included in this trade ; the Ruserna kept them for themselves. Harmonizing to the histories over 6,000 Ruser held the metropolis against repeated onslaughts from the Arabs. Every clip one of the Ruser died he was buried with the adult females he liked and his arms. In the terminal the Vikings left Bredaa of their ain agreement, but merely after they had brought everything of value, including the adult females, to the river Kura where they had their ships.
One of the other paths south through g rdarike which the Vikings traveled was through the metropolis Starja Ladoga on the river Volchov. There was a trading station named Aldeigjuborg, from which the Vikings could do their manner to Novogorod, which they called Holmg rd. From here they crossed Lake Ilmen and went along the river Lovat. When they couldn & # 8217 ; t travel by ship any more they pulled their ships overland until they reached a navigable
river from which they could go to the Dnieper, which in bend led them through Kiev and finally to the Black Sea. Equally shortly as they had reached the Black Sea they were near their concluding mark ; they merely had to go through the Bosporus and so they were in Constantinople, which was called Miklag rd, & # 8216 ; the large metropolis & # 8217 ; , by the Vikings. There were two grounds for the Vikings to come all this manner, concern and war. They even tried to occupy the metropolis but for the really first clip they found that they had a superior enemy. The guardians were equipped with a signifier of napalm ( oil, sulfur and rosin & # 8211 ; Greek fire ) which they sprayed over their enemies from a sort of flame-thrower. To screen themselves from the heat they had jackets made of asbestos. This surely made a
large feeling on the Vikings. Many narratives are told in the North about the fire external respiration firedrakes and charming shirt that Ragnar Lodbrok received from his married woman Kraka. After a piece a pact was signed between the parties and more peaceable trading began. The pact was instead rough, the Vikings weren & # 8217 ; T allowed to go in groups larger than 50 individuals, they weren & # 8217 ; T allowed to transport weaponries and they couldn & # 8217 ; t purchase more silk or cloth than they were allotted. They weren & # 8217 ; T allowed to remain the winter in the town either. In return they were given entree to the public swimming halls, their ships were fitted without cost for their return and they got free nutrient and drink. The Emperor of Constantinople was really impressed by the unafraid work forces from the North,
so impressed in fact that he formed a life guard composed of lone Vikings.
But they weren & # 8217 ; t satisfied with this, they went even farther east. Precisely how far east we can non state today, but we know that they made serious efforts to make Samarkand.