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The Herulli/Herulf possibly the ancestors of the Icelanders

Discussions about ancient history or the Bible

The Herulli/Herulf possibly the ancestors of the Icelanders

Postby icelander93 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:34 pm

Possibly the Ancestors of the Icelanders
A thing i noted is that Herul could possible be from the name Herulf which means War wolf
27.Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

History of origin and migrations
The origin of the Eastgermanic Heruls/Eruli is unknown. The former claim about a Scandinavian origin was probably based on a misunderstanding of five words about a recent event in Jordanes' "Getica" from 551 AD as Jordanes also described an etymology connected with the Meotic swamps close to the mouth of Tanais (Don). In this region they were mentioned first time in the third century as pirates together with the Goths ravaging the coasts of Greece and Asia Minor. Probably the Heruls were established in the 3rd century at eastern bank of River Dnepr as an ethnogenesis between Goths, other Germanic tribes and some Sarmatian nomades. It is unknown if the Heruls being mentioned a few years later at the mouth of the Rhine were a group of mercenaries being resettled by the Romans or another branch of one of the people joining the Heruls.

Later they joined the Hunnic campaign through Europe. After an uprise against the sons of Attila in 454 AD the Heruls formed a strong kingdom in Moravia and Marchfeld (at Brno and Vienna) subduing and tributing all their neighbours - including the Lombards. They were feared as Roman mercenaries and pirates. They were also told to be the strongest group supporting Odoaker when he replaced the last Emperor of Rome in 476 AD and was elected as king of Italy - by his own Germanic soldiers.

As a secretary of the superior Eastroman general Bellisarius the historian Procopius knew the Herulian mercenarie officers. He used 2 chapters to tell about the Heruls in his work about the Gothic wars - a work he finished in 553 AD. He told that they were defeated by the Lombards (around 508 AD). Shortly afterwards the royal Herulian family and a part of their people migrated to the Scandinavian Peninsula settling at their arrival at or near the "Gautoi" (Goetes). As Jordanes' Danish expulsion of the Heruls is now dated to the 6th century by the linguists his information may be regarded as a contemporary independent confirmation of Procopius - both claiming a Herulian presence in Scandinavia.

Procopius told that their remaining kinsmen in Illyria in the 540'ies searched for a new local king - and found him in Scandinavia, where their royal family had many members. This episode - a few years before Procopius wrote - is decisive as Procopius in this situation from a position close to the Byzantine court received information from Heruls, who had just returned from Scandinavia. He even told that he had interviewed withnesses from Scandinavia about the midnightsun. Unfortunately he did not mention the rule of their royal family in Scandinavia in the first 35 years. His purpose was to "prove" that the new king and his supporters in Illyria were faithless and "utterly abandoned rascals" - a people impossible to rule.

We could be tempted to ask, how this strong people could disappear without a trace and without ever being mentioned in Scandinavia? Probably they were integrated in a Scandinavian people and their name may have been connected with the title "earl". The Roek Stone most likely confirmed the presence of a branch of the royal family in Sweden around 800 AD, but under the names Maringa and Ingoldings.

Though being generally neglected by Scandinavian scholars - but not denied - there is no doubt that a group of prominent Heruls settled somewhere at the Scandinavian Peninsula around 512 AD. The open question is: Where and how many?

Archaeology and settlement
We have to be carefull not to put too much into the words of Jordanes and Procopius about details regarding their migration 40 years earlier. Often they only knew the headlines regarding such events, but as many scholars primarily object because of their opposite motives we can use this recognition, when combining the wording of their more scattered remarks. In that case the Heruls first peacefully passed the Danes in Scania and settled between the Danes and the Goetes around 509-512 AD. According to the more reliable Scandinavia-reports by Procopius 35 years later the Heruls appear to have moved to a position at the peninsula far north of the Danes with contacts to Northern Scandinavia. This corresponds with Jordanes' remark about an expulsion by the Danes (which should be expected to press the Heruls against north). This could point at a final settlement in the Maelar Valley at the northern traderoute - but of course with more uncertainty than the former statement. The description of their arrival in Scandinavia was only based on Southeuropean historians knowing nearly nothing about Scandinavian geography. Therefore we have to use archaeology too.

Several archaeological finds indicate that a people of horsemen from the Danubian region - a.e. the Heruls from the army of Attila - had contacts along the former amber trade routes to Scandinavia already in the 5th century. Especially in the borderareas between the Danes and the Goetes mentioned above we have such early finds. This makes the area an obvious target for the royal family of the Heruls. Of the 250 runic incriptions before 800 AD we have found 9 with "ErilaR" (Earl/Jarl) from 450-550 AD - all in Norway and Southern Scandinavia. For many years the historians were convinced that "ErilaR" meant Herul too, but then this was opposed by some linguists - but opposed on wrong premisses according to the Russian expert in runes, Makaev. As the kingdom of the Heruls controlled the Moravian Gate, where these trade routes passed the Carpathians, it is obvious that their later migration to Scandinavia was no coincidence. They knew where to go, and just a generation before a chieftain with close connection to Eastgermanic or Hunnic mercenaries was buried in a mound at Hoegom in Norrland. This was the region being praised by Jordanes due to their expensive furs, which appear to have been one of the most important export articles of Scandinavia at that time. Obviously he was a part of a network of chieftains along the Western coast of Norway and Gotland - extending the amber route mentioned above, but also with a connection to Southern England. Finds in Ottars Mound and Uppsala may indicate that this royal family moved to Northern Uppland around 500 AD.

According to the archaeological chronologies of Scandinavia a general and significant change took place nearly all over Scandinavia in the 6th century. In the first phase around 500-530 AD new customs regarding religious sacrifice and burial and a more international and uniform kind of warfare and kingship appeared. Exactly at that time the group described by Procopius arrived, and a presence of the old partners from Hoegom would make Uppland the most attractive goal for these Heruls. The only archaeological site to match these Heruls at the Scandinavian Peninsula was the unusual and mythical Uppsala in Uppland north of the Goetes, where the big royal mounds were erected in the 6th century. Around Uppsala a new Scandinavian powercenter was established with less impressing "copies" in other corners of Scandinavia. Of course this alone is no convincing argument, as Uppsala in the theory could be the result of a local reaction against the arriving Heruls. However no other places in Scandinavia indicate a settlement of an Eastgermanic people of this kind in those years. Of course some of the changes may be due to the famine caused by the athmospheric darkening in 536 AD, which would have supported a warlike people like the Heruls, and will be due to the cult of Woden spreading from southwest from around 450 AD.

Unfortunately we do not know any archaeological characteristics being common between the different settlements established by the Heruls in Southern Europe - indicating that this mixed and vagrant people following Huns, Ostrogoths and Eastromans changed style and customs after their surroundings. Their archaeological profile should have been Eastgermanic, but as they operated together with Westgermanic mercenaries their style became so diffuse that some scholars use this as an argument against their existence as a people. That is totally opposite the information from the well informed Procopius - and other contemporary historians. Procopius told with indignation about cremation as their pagan burial custom - being common in Scandinavia (i.e. the Uppsala Mounds), but paradoxically never found in the regions where they had lived in the South for 150 years. This is important as it indicates, that it was his sources among the pagan Heruls from Scandinavia who told him about their new customs in Scandinavia.

As the Heruls in case of an integration in Uppland must have been a minority and this was their second settlement only scattered finds from their past can be expected in Uppsala. From the relevant period 515-565 AD we actually have singular finds similar in the Uppsala mounds and the Eastgermanic regions. Especially a characteristic mirror being spread in a pattern clearly indicating that a young woman with Sarmatian, Hunnic or Herulian ancestors was buried in the eastern mound of Uppsala. Further indications are the gravegoods found in the mounds of Uppland. They were obviously similar with the burials of the Germanic mercenarie kings along the Roman borders to whom the Heruls belonged. Later it was obvious from the fameous helmets and other equipment that the earls of the Vendel Culture for centuries lived with a strong veneration for a past as Roman officers in the 5th century.

When the Eastgermanic people were finally defeated in Southern Europe around 565 AD the Scandinavian connections moved more westerly to the pagan neighbours of the Franks (Allemania, Bavaria and Thuringia). Here also the runes now appeared. In Uppland the new boatgraves without cremation became nearly identical with the earlier mercenarie kings of Southern Europe - except for the boat. The new Vendel-culture around Uppsala, however, began successively to imitate the former victorious enemies of the Heruls (Franks and Lombards) in order to consolidate and demonstrate power and richness. As late as in the 11th century this center around Uppsala was described by Adam of Bremen as the center of the Odin-cult, where Odin, Thor and the fertility god, Frey, were worshipped side by side.

The comparison of contemporary history and archaeology does not finally prove that the kings of Vendel were Heruls, but this hypothesis is concluded to be the most probable explanation - without using the Nordic myths and chronicles as an argument.

Integration and religion
As mentioned the warrior culture suddenly began to develop uniformly and contemporarily all over Scandinavia though the warrior aristocracy had been influenced by the Romans for centuries. This may be due to the spread of experienced Herulian mercenaries and military advisors to the small Scandinavian kingdoms - leaving a.o. the ErilaR-inscriptions as their trace. This was a usual behavior of the Heruls in Southern Europe, where Heruls could fight against Heruls in various armies. As time went on alliances and political marriages may have integrated the Herulian and Nordic royal families.

Such a theory about the spread of myths and warfare from the Danubian Region was already presented in a doctoral dissertation by the Danish scholar Niels Lukman in 1943 - in German language. Therefore this supplementary or alternative explanation became impossible to discuss in the following generation due to nationalistic and anti German feelings.

Quite opposite was the destiny of the Swedish scholar Olof Rudbeck, who in the end of the 17th century in the expansive period of Sweden concluded that the mounds of Uppsala were the center of the lost Atlantis - the original source of European culture. Though being opposed by some of his academical collegues he got his gravestone in the cathedral of Uppsala. Maybe it is difficult to give up the last remains of his promising speculations, though a Herulian settlement in the Maelar-region in modern times could be regarded as a successful integration process.

The remaining Illyrian Heruls serving as a strong group of soldiers under Justinian were forced to convert to Christianity, but Procopius told that these beastly barbarians earlier worshipped a host of gods. He also told that the maingod in Scandinavia was a wargod (Ares). Jordanes on his side indicated that the migrating Goths originally worshipped ancestors like Gapt (Gaut) and he even mentioned the wargod Mars as Gothic. Jordanes also told that the Gothic name for ancestral gods was "ansis" which probably was the same as the rune "ansuz" (god) and the name of the gods "asir" - a process of divinisation which was also mentioned in the 9th century by Rimbert. Woden's and Geat's place in the front of the early English chronologies indicate a similar official position as royal ancestors. The new maingod of the Nordic warrior aristocracy, Odin, probably arrived as the Westgermanic Wothan/Woden, but he was influenced by other religions too as some of his shamanistic characteristics and the animal style might point in direction of the Scythic/Sammartian (or Samic) nomades.

These similarities reported in the 6th and 8th centuries indicate together with the archaeology a common religion among the Germanic migration people before Christianity reached them. This religion had changed since Tacitus told about Mercurius, Nerthus and Ing - just like archaeology indicates that the power in the Germanic societies changed from the agriculturists to the warriors in the first half millenium AD. Archaeology indicates that the most radical change of religion took place in Scandinavia 450-550 AD.

Scandinavian legends
Centuries later in Scandinavia Snorri Sturlusson first told the usual classical Troy-story about Odin, but later in Ynglingesaga he reconstructed a legend about a king (called Odin) and "his men from Asia" coming from the surroundings of Tanais - just like the Heruls believed they did according to Jordanes. This "Odin" first settled at one of the many places later called "Odinsey", which could as well have been in Scania as in Fyn. Later he moved to Sigtuna and got his temple in the nearby Uppsala - a settlement in two steps just like the Herulian settlement above. Apparently Snorri found an early migration legend being mixed up with the myths of the wargod and the other "ansis". Did the royal family of the Heruls in order to help the integration process merge the Wothan-cult of the warrior aristocracy already penetrating from southwest with the earlier local fertility-cult (Ing/Vanir)? Did they then or later use this opportunity to combine the cult with the legend about their own arrival?

The legends are without doubt reconstructions, but they can not all be reconstructed in the 13th century by Snorri, as often maintained. Parts of the information are known from earlier historians and poems. Snorri was able to explain changes in burial customs in the 6th century as they are first today revealed by the archaeologists - just like Beowulf (and Snorri) described the earlier boar-helmets now escavated in England and shown on helmet plates in Sweden. Many of the legends do also indicate an origin among the people joining the Huns from the Black Sea - with a concentration much higher than should be expected as the result of a normal spread of folklore. Were the missing Nordic legends of the Heruls and the earlier Southeast European legends of their ancestors manipulated and preserved fragmentarily until historical times in shape of some of these Norse religous myths and legends?

Troels Brandt has shown in "Danernes Sagnhistorie" that the passing Heruls probably were called Huns in the chronicle of Saxo. The possibility that the legendary Ynglinga-kings of Svealand from Alrik/Aun were Heruls is also mentioned, but this is not the topic of the book.

Also the Old English poems Widsith and Beowulf may contain descriptions of the passing Heruls. Widsith mentioned that Wicinga Cyn were earlier dispelled by the Danes - a close parallel to the few words of Jordanes. Beowulf told about Scyld frightening the Eorla, which could also be the Heruls. These poems may origin from the culture in East Anglia and Mercia, where especially the burial in Sutton Hoo from around 625 AD showed connections with the Scandinavian countries. We do not know if these dynastical connections were caused by marriage or Western Heruls following the Angels in the 5th century.

Maybe do the manipulated and unreliable Scandinavian sagas and cronicles in this way contain fragments of the history of this vagrant royal family - to be regarded as indications and explanations rather than an evidence of details.

Consequences and uncertainty
Is the answer to the initial question that the royal group - still subduing their neighbours as they did in Moravia/Marchfeld 10 years earlier - simply became known under another name? Had they learned by Odoaker and Theodoric (known from the Nordic legends) to merge with the lokal dynasties as a superior class by keeping the society as unchanged as possible - leading to economical benefit for both parties? This would change the royal Herulian family to a part of the Nordic class of Earls in Rigsthula - explaining what happened with the name in Germanic language. Did the reconciliation between the Asir and the old Vanir in the Norse myths reflect the merger between their worshippers? These are open questions as the sagas will never be history.

It is striking that Scandinavia was dramatically changed contemporary with the arrival of the Heruls in the 6th century. We may even suspect that the later Viking Culture was influenced by their violent way of life and ruling - similar to the image of the Herulian pirates at the Black Sea, the Heruls of Procopius and the Western Heruls.

Please notice that these hypotheses cover an area where it is normally impossible to prove anything according to usual scholarly criterias without confirming the unreliable written sources from Scandinavia by significant archaeological evidence or DNA-analyses. Most Scandinavian historians therefore avoid the Iron Ages, but accept tacitly the presentation of singular fragments - i.e. that the Danish king Roar can be dated by combining him with the Frankish Chochillaicus-story using the Beowulf poem as the only link - or to claim Uppsala and the Vendel Culture to be an internal Swedish development - or to claim that the Heruls were of Scandinavian origin. The purpose of this article by an outsider is to combine the fragmentary historical and archaeological information in a more probable and coherent way - in the hope to inspire the scholars to find a convincing way out of the dead ends.
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Benjamites:Herulians: Normans

Postby icelander93 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:44 am

Translated from ... _id=467231
Adam Rutherford wrote in 1939 a book called "Iceland's great inheritance". There he recounts the tribes, which inhabited Israel. The tribe of Benjamin, inhabited in the days of Christ the northernmost part of Palestine called Galilee, and was separated from the Judahites in Judea by the Samaritans. This people moved in considerable numbers into Asia Minor for centuries, but during the Roman campaigns in the first century, the whole tribe fled the country and settled in those areas their countrymen had before. Of this tribe was among others The Apostle Paul and most Christian Asians during the first two centuries of our time period.

Up to about the year 267 these people lived in peace, but then the Goths( who were Israelites also) invaded Asia Minor and took with them in captivity Christians to Dacia(modern Romania) in the Danube countries, but there lived these Goths. These Christians married considerably into the Gothic nation and within few generations they were also considered Dacians. Over time they lost their faith, but in this context it is important to give attention to the fact that in 350 Ulfila half Gothic half Christian wrote the bible in the tongue of the Goths that modern Icelanders can read.

Herulians - Goths

The Herulians and the Goths fought together near the black sea, , but the Herulians were seen as greater sea raiders than the Goths . As these tribal nations often fought united they were both reffered to as Goths. For example there was described a great campaign by the Goths to Greece from the Danube on 500 ships. The ships were embarked in the harbor of Pireus a 5 mile distance from Athens. The army went ashore and won great victories, but when they returned to the ships the fleet had been robbed and the Gothic army had to travel on foot through northern Greece. On the way home the Herulians split away from the army and became loyal mercenaries for the emperors of Rome where they gained great fame.

This is the first time in the campaigns description where the Herulians are specifically mentioned. This tells us that even though the historians talk about the Goths they can as well be talking about the Herulians.

Normans? Icelanders

The Herulian Odovakar became king of Italy in 476 AD, but was soon dethroned by the Ostrogoth's, who moved their tribe numbering 300 thousand into Italy and reigned until 553, when the mercenary army of Byzantium composed among others of Herulians, defeated them in a war lasting many decades. So hard did they beat the Goths that only about 1000 soldiers remained after their last battle and such respect was born for their valor and bravery that they were allowed to go with their people in peace north over the alps.

Around this time the Nordic Lombards were gaining power in the Danube area and started to corner the Herulian kingdom and other small tribes in Dacia. In this period there are historical references(Procopius) about the movement of the Herulians to Scandinavia, but there is also talk of Dacians and Goths.

In the 10th century Dudo writes the first history of the Normans and says that they were Dacians, also Duchesne who gathered the Norman Annals in the 17th century. Various historians tell that when William the bastard( later the conquerer) invaded England with a Norman army in 1066 his army had carried a banner with a wolf on it. The symbol of the wolf is derived from the Galileans and the Herulians.

Hrolf the walker( so nicknamed because he was too large to sit a horse) went from western- Norway to the Hebrides with a large Viking fleet and from there to Normandy in 911. Then his brother Hrollaugur went with another group of Vikings to Iceland where with other vikings they founded a commonwealth and became the Icelandic people.

The Normans and the Icelandic settlers nearly all came from the same areas on the western coast of Norway, though many of those who came to Iceland stopped midway in the Viking settlements in the Scottish isles.

These Vikings were newcomers and many were of a upper class, just like was the manner when the Germanic tribes of the Great migration period settled in already inhabited places. The tongue of this people was similar to the Icelandic one, just like the Gothic tongue 1650 years before and was different than the tongues of peoples elsewhere in Norway (Norse Language Encycl. Brit. 14th ed.).

Equality? Legal knowledge? Wanderlust

Equality was the characteristic of the Icelandic commonwealth and lawgiving and law knowledge was on a high level. The travels of the Icelanders and discoveries in the west tell us a lot about the wanderlust of the nation in the commonwealth era.

This is similar to the Normans. When they sailed up the Seine river in France a Frankish messenger had a meeting with them and asked for their leader they replied" We have no leader we are all equal."Also in Dudos writing, it says that in Normandy law and rights were on a higher level than in other parts of France. The Vikings brought their laws over the ocean, just like in Iceland. The Normans went to Jerusalem and on their way home conquered Southern Italy with only 40 troops from the Arabs and reigned their and in Sicily for total 200 years and were famed for their lawgiving and righteous behavior.

The Norman kingdom in England became an empire in later times and from there lands were settled in America, Africa, Australia and elsewhere. The wanderlust was always the same.

The King of the Visigoths in southern France in 412 was Ataulf. The brother of the Herulian Odovakar was named Onulf. Among the Herulians names ending in Ulf were common. It is then typical that the name Úlfr Ulfarr or Olfr tower over all other names in the records of Viking settlement in Iceland. For example the first settler Ingolf and then there are names like Herjolf Brynjolf and Thorolf.

The grandfather of Egill Skallagrimsson was named Ulf and was a great viking and later named Kveldulf( night wolf). In that family men were either fair or dark haired and the name Thorolf was common.
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Re: The Heruli/Herulfs forefathers of the Icelanders

Postby icelander93 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:20 am

Origin of the Icelanders
translated by me from

The written sources about the Germanic Migration era are mostly found in the writings of the civilizations of the Mediterranean in the Roman Empire, who called them barbarians. The Herulians are said to have come from the Scandinavians during the first centuries after Christ the same time as the Ostro and visi-Goths and settled on the northern shores of the Black Sea, along with other tribes. The Herulians became pirates around the sea of Azov and ravaged the shores of the Black Sea and the lands which lie to the Agean. They were famed for their bravery and becamNordic ce sought after mercenaries and served in the guards of the Byzantine emperor, as the Vikings from Scandinavia did several centuries later. Among other things, the Herulians were the mainstay of the forces of the Byzantine empire, which destroyed the OstroGoths in Italy. Remnants of the Goths traveled north of Alps and disappear from history and probably turned to their ancient home in the North.

In the late fourth century A.D,the Huns invaded west of the Volga and conquered the Herulians and the Goths and they fought after that in the army of the Hunnic empire until about 451, when a Roman mercenary army made up of German mercenaries defeated them in Northern France. After this the Herulians founded a mighty kingdom in the Danube region and reigned until about 500, when the Lombards another Germanic tribe defeated them and destroyed their kingdom. Half of the Herulian population then moved back to Scandinavia and they disappear from history.

Barði Guðmundsson believed that this ethnic group first went to Denmark and could be the origin of the Halfdanes from the sagas. From there, they may have crossed the straits to Norway and Sweden, because there assembled the largest Viking forces at the beginning of the Viking Age. So it was this aggressive and bold people, who never rested for long, went possibly to Western Norway, and their well-established wanderlust and audacity caused them to travel even further west, they are the Vikings that went on to attack their neighboring lands, as their ancestors did four centuries earlier at the Black Sea.

Barði believed the Herulians to have been newcomers to western Norway, and when Harald Fairhair came to power in the late 9th century, he fought a final battle with these newcomers in Hafrsfjord. The supporting evidence he has, that some 200 Viking ships came from Ireland to fight against Harald, but no one to fight with him. It would have made more sense, however, if these had been Norwegian Vikings, that they would have fought with a Norwegian king.

King Harald took the inheritance(óðal) of men in Norway, so they moved to Iceland says Egils saga. No sources are to be found that Norwegians lost their inheritance, as the inheritance rights(óðalsréttur) remained in Norway. It was just the newcomers who lost their inheritance.

Theories of Barði

Then the brunt of the teachings of Bardi are about the great differences, which occurred in the national development of Iceland and Norway. In Norway, the inheritance right was the existing form of ownership. It was not that way in Iceland. Cremating dead bodies was common in Norway, but not in Iceland, nor in most regions of Denmark. Skáldskapur(poetry)was tied with Iceland and after Iceland is settled,there are no known poets in Norway. In Norway, control was in the hands of kings and the Hersir warlords, but in Iceland the control was in the hands of the Goðis(regional chieftains that were also religious leaders). Then Barði talks about Snorri Sturlusons writings in the Heimskringla(history of the norwegian kings), where he says that the Aesir came from the Black Sea region to Scandinavia with 12 Hofgoðar(temple leaders). Then Snorri says "Odin made the law in the land, which had been the law of the Aesir. He taught the runes, magic and poetry

There were exactly 12 Goðis(religious leaders) in every quarter of Iceland. And Icelanders became immediately great lawmen, poets, and took up writing.

Finally, Barði tried to find, why only the Icelanders kept the sagas of the Huns, King Attilla and Jormunrek of the Ostrogoths in the Edda poem Hamðismál, Sigurdarkvitha the short and the kvitha of Gudruns Motive, all about the events from the Black Sea at the time when the Herulians were there

the Viking age

When the Viking era begins about the 800 it is only just over 4 centuries since the events in the Black Sea countries, as described in the Edda poems. Snorri Sturluson wrote the Heimskringla more than three centuries after the settlement of Iceland.

When Bardi came out with their theories right before 1940 the blood group difference between Norwegians and Icelanders was not known yet. The difference is not further proof that most people who emigrated from western Norway to Icelande were newcomers to Norway and not related to Norwegians, but, as a Germanic nation may be related to the other? Is it possible that to the warlike tribes of the Herulians and East-Goths, which had great wanderlust, can be traced the beginning of the Viking age in the Nordic lands? Viking raids surely started long before the 800s, but just before the turn of the century they are targeted at Christians with written language, and then those ancient tribes crawl back into world history.
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Re: The Heruli/Herulfs forefathers of the Icelanders

Postby icelander93 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:22 am

Some more bits about the Herulians
Translated from

meaning of the name Herul

In Greek and Roman books, which i have read the Heruls are either called Aeruli Eruli or Heruli. It is my theory that the name originates from 'Her-Ulfar "and I will offer some arguments for that theory.

It is common here in Iceland that those who are baptized names like Úlfar or Úlfur are nicknamed Úlli'. The name 'Ullur' is probably from the same source. The name Herúlfur became the form of Her-Ulli which obviously is the same name as Heruli / Eruli.

Barði Gudmundsson believed that the viking chieftain Hrólfur(Rollo) had been a Herulian King as the the names Hrolfur and Herulfur are similar. This name is a shortened form of Her-ólfur, which obviously is the same namer as Her-úlfur. Hrólf bore the same name as the tribe Herulians/Herulfs.Barði was probably on right track when he connected the two. I still think it is unlikely that the Herulians took theyr name from Hrolf or his forefather. More likely, I think that a Norse unit in the service of the Romans took up this name and and possibly wore clothing or had patterns on theyr shields which are related to the name. The troops have since kept theyr group and formed a tribe.

But let us not stop at the name Herul. As is well known, Hrolf conquered a part of France, the place called Normandy (North-man-dy). William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066, was a descendant of Hrolfs, But the Normans had then lost the tongue of their fathers. Now pay attention to Hrolfs Frankish name , which was Rollo. It seems obvious that Rollo is short for Hrollo or Herollo, so only a short step taken back. Then we have virtually the same form of Her-ollo, and we see nickname, Her-Ulli. Do we need additional witness at the origin of the name Heruli?

Historys of the Herulians/Herulfs
Books of the historian Prokopius are a major source of the Herulians travels around the Mediterranean.

.. Then they went (Herulians) past the Danes, without being exposed to violence by the hands of those who lived there. When they reached the sea, they sailed across the sea to the island (Thule), and settled there. Thule is huge, it is more than ten times larger than the British Isles and lies far to the north of them. This island is mostly deserted but the part that is arable live thirteen tribes a king is over every nation ...

... And they (the residents of Thule) do alot of offerings and sacrifice for deceased relatives, but they believe the first prisoner of war of each battle to be the most noble sacrifice. He is sacrificed in honor of Ares (read: Ymir-Ázi = March) that they believe the greatest of the gods ... and one of the country's most populous tribes is called the Geats and it was next to them that the Herulians took residence ... Of the heathen nations based in Thule is only one people who live like wild beasts, they are called the Finns. Their clothing is not from woven cloth, and they walk around shoeless. They do not drink wine, nor produce anything edible vegetable ...

... For the Herulians carry neither helmet nor armor or other defence, but a shield and a thick cloak for battle. And actually the slaves of the Herulians go to battle without a shield. If slaves do bravely in the first battle, they are allowed to carry a shield for protection. Such are the manners of the Herulians ...

... They (the Romans) took also with them (from Italy) allies, fifteen hundred Herulians, under the command of Fjolmod and other leaders. Except from that force the entire Heruli nation, three thousand, was under the Gepaedes (possibly meaning 'children of the earth = Ge-paedios') ...

... But as the time went by, they became (Herúlfar) more powerful than other tribes, both in terms of military and population. This led naturally to the fact that they showed their neighbors a lot of showing of strenght and pillaged their settlements. Finally they managed to subdue several nearby nations, including the Lombards who were a Christian tribe, to the extent that forced to pay tax ...

... The Herulians now showed their barbaric and ferocious nature, against their own king called Óskar. They slew him without warning, without any other reason than that they wished to be without a king. Keep in mind, however, that even though king had royal title, he had exactly no privileges over other subjects. Everyone enjoyed the right to attend the feasts and criticize him if they thought so, because no men in the world are less bound by customs or discipline than the Herulians ...

...When the evil deed had been done, they became immediatly full of repentance. They realized that without a leader and commander they could not be. Therefore, after detailed discussions, of their conclusion was that it would be best to call for a king from one of the royal familya, from Thule ... and when these messengers came to the island, they found many of the royal family but chose who they thought fit, and then ventured to return home. But this man got sick and died when they came onto Danish soil. The men were sent back to the Thule and found another heir to go which was named Dadi. With them was also his brother Horur and two hundred lads of the Herulians...

As is clearly stated by the narration of Prokopius the homeland of the Herulians was to the north of Denmark, and land can be identified other than Scandinavia. my belief is the area between Raum Elfar and Gauthild Elfar. Heimskringla mentions this area as Alfheim and Swedes call it Alvheim, the original name may have been Úlfheimar. Later this area was named Ranríki.
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Herulians and Goths

Postby icelander93 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:33 am

Professor Sigurdur Norðdal mentions in his book Icelandic Culture (1942) that Bardi Gudmundson suggested a new explanation for the circumstances of the settlement of Iceland , which has attracted some attention . Bardi Gudmundson wrote articles about the Godis(spiritual leaders) in the magazines Andvari Skirnir in the years 1936 - 1939; but it is not until a decade after the publication of the book Icelandic culture in the years 1942 - 1951 that Bardi published his group of articles named: The origins of Icelandic poetry, where he sets in form his Herulian theory clearly.

In short, it is about a tribe in the first century AD that had moved from Scandinavia to the Baltic. In the third century, they joined the Goths to the Black sea and settled around the Azov sea to the east of the Goths. By the mid-fourth century they came under the control of Ermanarik (Hermanric) king of the Goths , that in the Edda poems is called Jörumrekur.

When the Huns invaded the Black Sea region shortly thereafter Goths and Herulians became subjects to the Huns. Around the year 500 the Herulians suffered a great defeat from the Lombards. According to the narrative of the Greek historian Prokopius a remnant of the defeated Herulians went to Scandinavia and settled in the lands of the Geats(Goths). Bardi believed that some of them also mixed with the Danes (Half-Danes).

Then they moved to western Norway and ruled the area until King Harald Fair hair beat them in battle in Hafrs Fjord and the bulk of them fled west over the sea or to Iceland. Bardi notes that the sagas, poems and tales of the Herulians and their Religion was only preserved in Iceland and nowhere else.

He points out that the government structure (the rule of the Godis(spiritual leaders) and various other cultural characteristics that were in Iceland but not in Norway during the settlement period.

Bardi Gudmundssons research on the origin of the Icelanders sheds light on the narrative of Snorri Sturluson in Heimskringla and give her source value, Snorri says that the Aesir had come from the Black Sea to Scandinavia under the leadership of 12 Temple Godis. . "Odin installed law in their country, those who had been earlier with the Aesir." He taught the runes, magic and poetry.
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Possible Gothic origin of Icelanders

Postby icelander93 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:56 am

Of the Gothic origin of the Icelanders- Ebenezer Henderson - 1 part
Because of the interest which appears to be in our blood, to search for our ancestry, i have recently been looking into old books about the origin of the Icelandic nation. I'm even more steadfast in the theory that the origin of the people is Gothic. Ebenezer Henderson was a man who came here and wrote a book about his stay in the Iceland in the years 1814-1815. There he says in clear words: "The Icelandic language is justly regarded as the standard of the grand northern dialect of the Gothic language." Meanwhile he argues that Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, which he says is actually a kind of dialect between Swedish and Danish, are more of a Teutonic or Germanic roots. To verify this, it is interesting to show examples. Luckily for us Gothic writing from the year 350 AD has been preserved. Wulfilas (Ulf) was the name of the man who translated the Bible into Gothic. The late Professor Jon Helgason of Árni Magnússon institute made the Biblical text of Wulfilas accessible in the preface of his book "Poems of the Goths and Huns".
The text is like this, both from the Pater noster: "Wairþai wilja þeins swe in himina jah ana aírþai" (in Icelandic: Verði vilji þinn svo á himni og á jörðu) (in english: be your will on earth as in heaven.) It is striking how modern Icelandic is similar to to this ancient text.
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The Israelite origin of the Icelanders

Postby icelander93 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:23 am

In this third and last part i will warp light on interesting suggestions which have emerged from studies conducted in recent decades on the fate of the 10 Israelite tribes which were in the captivity of the Assyrians. The tribe of Gad, son of Jacob( later named Israel), is believed to have moved west to Europe hundreds of years before Christ and settled in Scandinavia. Gad( pronounced "gawd" according to Strong's Concordance and Lexicon) is of the same root as the English word Goth( Icelandic: Goði) compare Goði Goths Geats Gotland Gaut. Most of it seems to me to suggest this kinship. Mostly though it is the saga tradition that fascinates me the most. Also it is tradition that inheritance tales are first and foremost kept in the family of those who those stories are about. Who would be likely to preserve the inheritance of Thor Jensen? His relatives of course. The Blöndals keep the record of the Blöndal family. The Sveinatunga family has remarkability in that the first concrete house in Iceland is Sveinatunga in Norðurárdal built 1895. Who are the most likely to preserve that knowledge? Of course the Sveinatunga family. Icelanders of all peoples preserved the ancient poems about the Goths and Huns. Why? Because they are about the ancestors of our people. Snorri Sturluson wrote his Heimskringla( history of the Norwegian kings) in Iceland. Professor Barði Guðmundsson reasoned for this origin. The Runic alphabet which the Herulians are believed to have brought with them to Scandinavia is related to Hebrew and Aramaic alphabets. Two sons of Gad were Arod and Areli( in Hebrew Ha-aredi and Ha-erili). We see relations to Hordaland( province in Norway), Reidgotland( Hreidgoths) and the Herulians, the male name Hörður, Hreiðar and Hrólfur or Herjólfur, Arelíus.
According to the studies the tribe of Gad is mostly dispersed in Scandinavia near the tribes of Dan and Nepthali. The tribe of Dan was divided in three and one of her parts was in neighborhood of Gad in Galilee before the deportations.
That NepthaIi is in neighbourhood to Dan isnt surprising, Dan and Nepthali had the same mother.
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