For example, all Soviet children painted the Second World War in exactly the same way - on the one hand Tanks with stars, on the other hand tanks with crosses, planes on top, explosions in the middle. For our society, the Second World War, it’s not the world war, it’s the Great Patriotic War, the confrontation of “our” and “Germans”. How do Swedish children see the Vikings?
The image is classic, and this is how not just the majority of children, but also most adults who did not specifically get acquainted with the question, represent them in the manner that they constantly walk in the media space and in the plastic helmets that are sold in souvenir shops. The fact is that the modern concept of “Viking” has long gone beyond a specific historical phenomenon, and it doesn't matter anymore that they had no horns and no matter what these people called themselves, what their nationalities were and what the differences were Norman conquests, pirate raids and the wars of the Scandinavian kings. All who went on ships in the Baltic, regardless of occupation and ethnicity, became “Scandinavian Vikings”.
And now the main exhibit on the Viking issue. And this is not swords or helmets, this is not the layout of the city of Birka, and not Eastern silver. I consider the main exhibit on the issue to be a fairly simple installation in the Swedish Army Museum.
Here is what is said about this installation in the museum guide:
Why is this unknown “nobleman in a vacuum” from a completely different era so important for understanding the Vikings? And because the horned Vikings under striped sails grew precisely on the fertile soil of Gothicism, fertilized by the work of many Swedish scientists. Mention of this phenomenon can be found, for example, in the books of A.G. Kuzmin and V.V. Fomin. Many articles on this issue was published by L.P. Groth. To begin with, briefly about the period of the Swedish storiesin which Gothicism originated.
Gustav Eriksson Vasa (the one who built his personal Titanic) with military support from the Hansa brought Sweden out of union with Denmark and Norway, in 1523 he took the white house under siege Stockholm, and began to strengthen independent Sweden. This success was brilliantly developed by his grandson Gustav II Adolf. The successful participation of Sweden in the first pan-European conflict, and the forerunner of future world wars - the thirty-year war, as well as the expansion to the east made it the most powerful power in the Baltic region. So, the middle of the 17 century, Russia is weakened and pushed aside from the trade routes of the Baltic by the Stolbovo World, Germany is drained of blood, and its production is destroyed, Denmark and Poland no longer dispute the rule of Sweden over the region. In this situation, the strengthening of the Swedish national identity began. During the reign of Christina (daughter of the early deceased Gustav II), the number of nobles increases, the luxury of palace receptions, and the active development of art and science begins. The research of Swedish scientists became fashionable and advanced for Europe, and influenced the entire scientific community. I will cite several specific examples described in the article of L. Grotth. The epistemological roots of Normanism, as well as in the cycle of its article from here.
On the basis of the work of Juhan Bure, the most influential scholar close to Gustav II, another scientist Georg Stearnjelm 6 created a treatise on hyperborean “De Hyperboreis Dissertatio”, where the following ideas are based:
Nothing like? Indeed, in the same period, Peter Petrei de Erzelund publishes "Regin Muschowitici Sciographia" or "Muschowitiske Cronika" where for the first time in science it is thought that the ancient Russian princes were from Sweden. Peter's argument is similar to that of Bure and Shternel 6, for example, the names of the old Russian princes Rurik, Truvor and Sineus are distorted Swedish names of Eric, Sigge and Tour. The fake protocol of negotiations with Novgorod also played a huge role. From negotiations with Novgorod remained the Swedish protocol and Russian records. According to Russian records, Archimandrite Cyprian said that Novgorod had a grand duke named Rodoricus, a native of the Roman Empire, thus emphasizing the ancient ancestry of the Novgorod princes. In the Swedish protocol, there is a small typo "Grand Duke from Sweden named Rurik." Petrey’s unexpected opinion was contrary to the German-speaking historiographic tradition that was common in the 17 century (Münster, Herberstein), which deduced the Vikings from Wagria, and they also contradicted Petrey’s own work on the ancient Goto-Swedish kings, published two years earlier, which he wrote about. about the arrival of Rurik, Truvor and Sineus from Prussia. Although the dramatic change of opinion and falsification of the protocol does not seem so unexpected, given the Swedish troops in Novgorod and the 1613 talks in Vyborg about the candidacy of the Swedish Prince Carl-Philip to the throne of Moscow. New data were taken into scientific circulation and gradually began to receive distribution in European scientific circles.
Even earlier, in the 16 century, the ideas of Gothicism were widely developed in Western Europe - those who glorified the great past are ready as conquerors of the world and the ancestors of all Germanic peoples. For consonance the name of the cradle of the great Goto-German beginning proclaimed the south of Sweden or Gotland.
At the end of xnumx. The catch of Rudbeck - brought together the ideas of Gothicism, the works of Johan Bure, Peter Petrey, and his own views. The resulting infernal mixture even got its name “rudbekianism”, the best synonym of modernity would be “Fomenkovism”. In his work "Atlantis", Rudbeck argues that:
All these ideas were perceived as advanced for their time, besides the ideas of Gothicism began to be actively promoted due to the cultural opposition of the "north and south" - the Italian humanists began to oppose Roman culture to the Gothic barbarians. Accordingly, the peoples who considered themselves descendants ready, created opposing theories, therefore the works of Rudbek very well corresponded to the social request and were received with great enthusiasm.
Once the cultural rift went through Western Europe, later a similar confrontation will begin between the Gothic and Slavic ones, and especially it will escalate before the Second World War. In fact, this confrontation is still going on.
Within the framework of Gothicism, the concepts of “Gothic” and “Germanic” gradually merged into one whole. At a certain period, a third synonym was added to them - “Norman”, from which a historiographic stamp was gradually formed: the “Gothic period” in European history became equivalent to the “Norman period”. We owe this to the Swedish Gothicism, and specifically to the works of the Swedish religious figure Olaf Petri, who for the first time in Swedish historiography touched on the theme of the Viking hikes. Petri reported that the Normans from medieval sources are most likely from Sweden, Denmark or Norway. In the original ancient texts, Norden began to be translated as “Scandinavian countries”, and the adjective nordisk became almost synonymous with Scandinavian. Mixed and Nortmanni collective designation for different ethnic groups and Norveorum - an obvious ethnonym, which can be associated with future Norwegians without much difficulty.
Undoubtedly, “northerners” continental Europe understood primarily Scandinavians. But in each case it would be worthwhile to sort it out separately, because there are many counterexamples.
In the Swedish writer Olaus Magnus in his famous work “The History of the Northern Peoples”, not only Scandinavians, but Lithuanians and Russians refer to nordiska folken, and the term Nortmannos refers to foreigners. In the Frankish chronicles, the Normans refer to the population living behind the Elbe, i.e. Actually Saxons-transalbing. Some of the chroniclers wrote about the Normans as Marcomannas. Among such authors can be called, for example, the archbishop in Mainz Rabanus Maurus (780-856).
Abbot of Lobbie Abbey Folkuin (965-990) wrote about the Normans as the Nordalbing (part of the Saxons), Chronist Ademar Shavansky (989-1034) called them transalbing (also part of the Saxons).
Adam of Bremen already considers the Normans residents north of Saxony starting with the Danes, and Helmgold identifies Nortmanni not as residents, but as an army that includes the bravest of Danorum, Sueonum, Norveorum, and at the same time says that they obeyed one power, which is incomprehensible. The Saxon Annalist (Annalisto Saxo) derives the Normans from the lower Scythia. And the Italian Bishop Liudprand of Cremona (ca. 920-971 / 2), a century before Adam of Bremen in his work "Antapodosis" (949), twice mentioned the Normans as immigrants from Russia:
“The city of Constantinople (Constantinopolitana urbs) ... is located among the fiercest nations. After all, from the north, its closest neighbors are Hungarians (Hungarii), Pechenegs (Pizenaci), Khazars (Chazari), Rus (Rusii), which we otherwise call Normans (Nordmanni), and Bulgarians (Bulgarii) ”
“Closer to the north, a certain people dwell, which the Greeks (Greci) in their appearance call Russia, ρουσιος, while we locally call the Normans. Indeed, in German (Teutonum) the language nord means north, and man - man; this is why northern people can be called Normans. ”
So, it is clear that the Normans are just “northern people,” and what kind of people they have in mind depends on the location of the author, but the equality sign between the Normans and Scandinavians is already firmly established in the public consciousness.
At one point, another name “Vikings”, found in some Icelandic sagas, and also mentioned once by the chronicler Adam of Bremen, was attached to the “Gothic-Germanic-Norman beginning”.
Interestingly, the word Viking itself is probably a borrowing and is recorded in sources for 100 before the Viking period adopted in science, and in sources outside of Scandinavia, it was used to designate pirates and, until the 19 century, the identification of these two terms prevailed in scientific circles not only Sweden, but also Denmark, and Norway. But in the 19 century, poets Eric Geyer and Esaya Tegner begin to shape the romantic artistic image of the “all-Scandinavian” Vikings. And from ordinary pirates, the Vikings become almost knights of the round table, and become warrior-merchants-colonizers in one person. In addition to poetry, the representatives of romanticism in painting contributed to the spread and rooting of the "opera" image of the Viking-Scandinavian in a helmet with horns, under a striped sail and with a huge ax. The horned helmet, for example, is borrowed from the earlier mainland culture of the Gauls, and the sails are most likely simply invented, since no material or written evidence has been preserved.
Gradually, the image of the artistic Vikings became an independent phenomenon, and migrated into history, and all these concepts Norse-Scandinavian-Vikings have firmly intertwined with each other, so much so that scientists and translators arbitrarily change when quoting one to the other, which finally distorts the picture, this it can be seen even now in Russian publications.
With Vikings, the same story as with the Normans - initially they are pirates, a multinational phenomenon. Saxon Grammars mentioned Venda, and the Curonians, and the Zemgals, and the Aestians, who were members of pirate teams or victims of pirates. The famous jetsvickings were based in the city of Venedand, and their ships differed from the Scandinavian ones, and Ruyanas also piracy. But gradually the image of the Viking became exclusively Scandinavian.
Why is the study of specific individual nations - the Danes, Norwegians and Sveev was replaced by the story of the Vikings, and why these stories began to spread precisely from Sweden? The fact is that Sweden was the outskirts of the Scandinavian world, it was neither the center of the Viking hikes, nor the center of the Norman Conquests.
Consider, for example, the modern reconstruction of Viking equipment presented in the Swedish Army Museum.
If I don’t have any particular objections against the shield of the sword and the ax, then here’s the helmet and chain mail. What we see by our scientists is usually called the Norman helmet, in Western historiography it is called the “Nasal helm” or “helmet with the panther”. According to the method of manufacture, they were less complex than welded spheroconic Russian helmets, and technologically evolved from a frame helmet. Frame helmets consisted of a rim around the head and two crossed strips of metal, the gaps between them were filled with boiled leather. In the Norman helmets the same technology was used, only the gaps were closed not with leather, but with metal fastened with rivets. The helmet with the noseband was widespread throughout Europe and probably came from the east through Russia or Poland. No such helmet found in Scandinavia. The only helmet of the Viking Age was found in Jermünby (Norway) and is a simplified version of the helmet of the Wendel period. No other helmets were found, although they are common in Wendel burials. Why there was such a regression need to be dealt with separately. Images and bas-reliefs show small conical helmets (metal or leather - hard to say). Thus, a helmet from a photograph is a modern reconstruction of a pan-European helmet and it has no relation to typical Viking equipment, although theoretically it could be used by individual warriors. For example, in the battle of Neshar Olaf II, the Holy involved a squad of 100 selected warriors, dressed in chain mail and in “foreign” helmets.
Reconstruction of the only surviving 9 Viking helmet of the century, based on fragments found in the tomb in Jermünnby in Ringerik (Norway).
But they did this for 200 years before. VIIth century helmet from burial to boat in Wendel:
As for mail, they are also rare, mostly minor fragments of chain mail. As I have already mentioned, only one Viking-era mail was found in Sweden. And even in later periods, the typical protection was a leather jacket with metal or bone inserts.
More information on equipment can be found in the book by R. Chartrand, C. Dyuram, M. Harrison, I. Heath. Vikings - Mariners, Pirates and Warriors
The same with the typical Viking ships - Drakkar. While preparing the materials for the article, I was surprised to find that in Sweden there was not a single Drakkar and in general not a single ship of the Viking times, the maximum of a boat up to 6 meters in graves. In 2009, in Lake Venern, they found a large ship, which immediately, even before the examination, was declared a Drakkar, and the found pieces of iron were declared a spear and sword of the Viking era. You can read about this in a number of articles in the 2009 year, with the enthusiastic "first Viking-era ship found in Sweden". From there it migrated to the wiki. The only thing is that the ship was made using the technology that was used until the 19 century, inclusive, and X-ray and even simple pictures of the glands show that arms in general, and to the weapons of the Vikings in particular, they have nothing to do. According to Dr. Martin Rundquist, this is a flagpole no earlier than the 16 of the century.
In the Viking period, I once wrote about the population of Sweden - according to archaeological data, detached courtyards, which had just begun to gather in small villages, and a meager population.
I'm not trying to say that there were no Vikings, of course there were pirates and Norman conquests, there were battles and heroes. But let's define the scale, all the Rudbek and Normanist pictures about the countless hordes of Swedish Vikings who storm Constantinople and subordinate all of Eastern Europe somehow fade against the background of archaeological finds, more precisely against the background of their absence.
Why did the Vikings seize on the minds of our scientists, first of all? After all, until the 80s of the last century, the word Viking was practically not found in the works of Soviet authors, and now in Russia work began to work not only with the use of this term, but even with the word viking in the title. Swedish scientist J. Lind explains this phenomenon.
“In the face of the gigantic forces of the market that have flooded the world with their Viking image, historians, even if they try to do this, will not be able to turn back the time to their original positions when the Vikings have not yet received their current image. Therefore, we should probably take a Viking in all his current Scandinavian vestments, along with horns on helmets and beards with a shovel. We can even rejoice that the tourism industry, using the Viking brand, also guarantees us the best sale of our works. ”
The situation with the Swedish conquerors and colonialists was the same as with Hyperboreans, Atlantis and Russia. Achievements in shipbuilding and the conquest of the Danes and Norwegians, motley pirate gangs, European chain mail and helmets, trade routes on the territory of Russia, all this now belongs to the Vikings invented by the Swedes. Thus, the Vikings from the operetta - with the horns under the striped sails, and the market will not give it back so easily.