Greetings Europa Barbarorum fans.
Today we are proud to present The Sweboz
This is our first Preview of the fierce Sweboz faction, but more Sweboz previews will follow in the future.
The Sweboz are a not very advanced faction compared with other EB2 factions but it would be a grave mistake to underestimate the tough Sweboz warriors.
In this first preview we will introduce you with the core warriors of the Sweboz faction but we will also show you some of the strategic-map characters.
Furthermore we have included lots of background information about this faction.
Finally we have added Sweboz banners, and wallpapers in this preview that you can use if you happen to be a fan of the Sweboz faction!
A change in the climate of northern Europe at the beginning of the Iron Age had led to a series of migrations by Germanic-speaking peoples in Scandinavia into what is now northern and central Germany. The nature of farming and settlement in this new region meant that these movements were gradual, with families, bands and clans expanding into uninhabited or lightly inhabited regions around them and establishing scattered, independent settlements.
Occasionally conflict or agricultural conditions sparked larger-scale migrations or invasions and annexations of neighboring territories. A combination of these two types of expansion meant that, by 272 BC, federations of clans with common ancestral ties began to form into loosely structured tribes and these newer, larger groupings began to expand further toward the Rhine and Danube and raid further afield. Trade, raiding and other contacts made them more aware of their Celtic neighbors and of the Roman world beyond.
In 272 BC the Sęmnonoz, the Márkámánnoz, the Lángobárdoz and the Hęrmunduroz formed the core of a grouping of tribes and bands called the Swęboz - peoples that believed they shared a common heritage from their ancient, legendary ancestor Irminaz. To their west and south-west were other tribal groupings, the Hęruskoz, the Hábukoz and the Háttoz that were growing stronger on the back of richer farmlands and raiding over the Rhine. To the north lay the old homeland of Skándzá, which still saw periodic movements over the Baltic Sea into the forested lands to the east and south-east of the Sweboz . It was a time of opportunity for aggressive warriors and danger for those less able to fend off rivals.
Expansion also led to cultural changes. Population levels rose as the various tribes moved into warmer, richer lands south, west and east. Closer contact with Celtic peoples led to development in metals technology - aided by large iron deposits in upper Poland – which led to better weaponry. Raiding and the aggressive annexation of rivals’ territory also led to the rise of a warrior elite, with warfare becoming a major preoccupation of the tribal leaders and the warrior retinues they began to attract.
The old, looser tribal affiliations gave way to closer ties between clans and bands and changes in the relationships between rulers and the common people. While less socially stratified than Celtic societies, the new warrior elites became an increasingly powerful force within the tribes. The older style of ruler – a semi-sacred/religious leader chosen on the basis of his ancestry – now increasingly shared power with successful war-leaders. Thus the semi-religious Kuningáz and the Eriloz, or clan-leaders and nobles who supported him, would turn to a Hárjánáz elected to lead the tribal war-bands in times of war. Sometimes the Hárjánáz was subordinate to the Kuningáz. Sometimes the one man held both offices. Often rival Hárjánoz battled for supremacy in internal feuds and wars.
All free men still held high status in the tribe and no Kuningáz or war-leader could enforce a decision without the support and acclamation of the tribal assembly of free men. So while Germanic society was changing, it remained suspicious of absolute authority and the Germanic people prided themselves on their independence, freedom and self-sufficiency.
Gift-giving, feasting and the ancient rules of hospitality forged links between families and clans and helped order the relationships between tribes. Feuds and blood vengeance were common, but blood-prices (paid in cattle) were used to settle these outbreaks of violence. A common religious tradition and a shared cultural heritage was one thing all these tribes had in common, and songs of their ancestors in ancient Skándzá and the old gods of distant times were shared by all the tribes. Different tribes held different gods in high regard and had their own local deities and spirits, but all offered cattle and weapons to the gods in sacred places – usually forest groves or swamps. Human sacrifice was common in times of famine or as a thanks offering for victory in war.
In 272 BC these tribes, with their traditions, gods, songs and a dynamic and expanding culture was becoming a threat to the peoples to their south and west. The Gauls already knew of the danger of these people beyond the Rhine but it was not long before the Romans too became aware of the movements – often sudden, violent and massive – of these restless people. This was to lead, in the First Centuries BC and AD, to a long series of wars between the Romans and the Germanic tribes and, many centuries later, to Germanics establishing kingdoms in the ruins of the former Roman Empire.
With the Roman conquest of Illyria, Gaul and, finally, Dacia the Germanic peoples came into constant, direct contact with the Empire along its Rhine and Danube frontiers. This led to several centuries of interaction, cultural exchange, warfare and trade; with a lasting effect on both cultures.
The martial aspects of these confrontations and interactions led to an acceleration of the changes in Germanic society, with war-leaders and their retinues steadily increasing in power and influence within Germania at the expense of older forms of political power. Military confrontation changed the ways Germanic war-bands fought, with greater discipline, the use of formations and following standards on the battlefield appearing as early as the opening of the First Century AD. Germanic warriors served in the Roman army as auxilia and mercenaries throughout this period, bring their training, knowledge and, often, equipment back to their native lands on discharge.
Trade also revolutionized the previously impoverished Germanic lands. With amber prized by Roman ladies, the long trade route from the lower Danube up to the Baltic became a source of wealth for the tribes that lay along its path. Raiding into the Empire brought plunder and the Roman practice of playing some chiefs off against each other also led to large payments of tribute and rich gifts, all of which led to coinage circulating in Germanic lands and chiefs and war leaders accumulating wealth which, in turn, attracted warriors, followers and power.
All of these changes gave rise to a slow evolution within the tribes, whereby larger groups absorbed smaller ones, while others formed alliances and federations to protect themselves in an increasingly warlike environment. By the Fourth Century the older, smaller tribes and bands of 600 years before had vanished, replaced by larger tribes or federations of tribes that shared a cultural identity. It was these newer, larger, more militaristic and more powerful tribes that confronted Rome as the western half of the Empire began to decline economically and disintegrate politically in the Fifth Century AD.
At the same time, the Germanic peoples – halted by Rome to the west and south – continued to expand eastwards. By the Third Century Germanic bands were moving out onto the steppes of the Ukraine and mingling with as well as fighting against the Indo-Iranian Sarmatians and Alans they found there. These people also had a profound impact on the eastern Germanic tribes. Some of them, such as the Quadi, Goths, Gepids and Taifali, adopted the heavy lancer cavalry of the Sarmatian peoples, becoming feared heavy cavalry in the process. The Sarmatians also influenced Germanic art, introducing the interlace styles and abstract animal motifs that were to dominate Germanic art for the next 1000 years.
The aggression, restlessness and warlike nature of these tribes that the Romans noted in their first interactions with them remained their hallmarks for the rest of their history, until, by the beginning of the Fifth Century, circumstances and aggressive warfare led to Germanic kings who traced their ancestry to semi-mythic ancestors in the old Germanic homeland of Scandinavia sat on thrones in Italy, Gaul, Spain and Africa.
Faction Symbol and Name
The new faction symbol
In the process of researching the changes and improvements to the Sweboz for Europa Barbarorum II, we made the decision to give them a new faction symbol as well. Taken from the many famous Bracteate found from the Migration Period of Northern Europe, the new Sweboz symbol shows an icon of the god Wotan, thought to be the god referred to in Tacitus as the regnator omnium deus of the Suebi. Another avatar of Wotan is found in Irmin, the titular god of the Irminones, reported by Tacitus, Pliny and Pomponius Mela to be the ancestors of the Suebi, Chatti and Cherusci. Thus, even thought the artefact from which we draw the new symbol comes from a later period than that of Europa Barbarorum, the symbol itself can be traced much further back in time: proto-Germanic *Wōđanaz (and his epithet, Irmin) is almost certainly what Tacitus and Caesar refer to when they write that Mercury is the most important god worshipped by the Germans of their day.
In addition, many of the Bracteate clearly feature the distinctive Suebian knot hairstyle, one of the most well known identifying marks of Suebian warriors.
Spoiler Alert, click show to read:
Our thanks to Bobbin for his hard work in bringing a new symbol to life for the rebooted Sweboz.
The Sweboz: A culture history
The Sweboz represent the emergence of a Germanic ethnos forged in the crucible of endless war and fueled by a steady stream of those born to and tested in the rigors of the far north. Herein a seemingly subtle nexus was achieved between autochthonous tribes and those intrusive elements. This society would ultimately prove to be a polar opposite and the prefect foil to the rise of the feudal Celt and Mediterranean absolutist state, played out on the world stage as a clash of civilizations. Because of the nature of this particular expression, we must consider the linear progression of both material assemblage and traits the archaeologist regards less tangible. In order to better define the Sweboz and thus outline the struggle between conjecture, concept, and the concrete, a broad yet brief overview of the late prehistory of Germania is offered.
Part I: The Urnfield Culture
As prolog, our retelling of the Sweboz' story begins as the Middle Bronze Age Tumulus culture (1600 to 1300/1200 BC), was replaced by the Late Bronze Age Urnfield complex. The heyday of the Urnfield complex or culture (1300/1200 to 800/750 BC) was arguably one of the most dynamic periods of change in the prehistory of temperate Europe. This complex was defined by a relatively common cremation burial pattern (Coles and Harding 1979). Initially, this expression seems to have emerged, without an epicenter, across a wide expanse that extended from the Netherlands in the west, to central Poland and the Vistula in the east. Although cremation was indeed intimately associated with the Urnfield complex, this method of burial was found in the Early Bronze Age cemeteries of the Nagyrev and Kisapostag cultures, in Hungary. It was also common in northern Britain; as well as further south in Wessex and Yorkshire (Harding 2000). Moreover, cremation was the primary burial method identified throughout the Vatya culture area in the middle Danube basin, and throughout Britain in the Middle Bronze Age (Meier-Arendt 1992; Petersen 1981; Allen et al 1987).
Urnfield cremations are somewhat unexceptional when compared to the richness of earlier Bronze Age burials. In general, each burial pit included one or more ceramic vessels that contained the incinerated remains of the deceased and portions of the funerary pyre. Artifacts found within the urn were those items, unaffected by the conflagration, used to ornament the deceased during the cremation rite. Typically, these included bronze pins and jewelry; as well as glass and amber beads. Additionally, the burial pits often contained the other evidence of the pyre, as well as exequial vessels, some with the trace of carbonized funerary offerings, and other metal artifacts. However, a high-status burial was excavated near Poing, in Bavaria, that included elements of a four-wheel wagon, and bronze wagon models have been found in other Urnfield cemeteries across Europe.
Nonetheless, inhumation remained an important element of the overall burial populationwith regional variations, doubtless a lingering remnant of the former Tumulus Culture. For example, at Przeczyce in Silesia, 727 inhumations and 132 cremations were excavated (Harding 2000). At Grundfeld in Franconia, about half of the burial population were inhumations and half cremations (Feger and Nadler 1985; Ullrich 2005). Over 10,000 Urnfield or Late Bronze Age cremation and inhumation burials have been excavation to date. However, this may represent only an extremely small fraction of the overall potential sample population. Additionally, several hundred Urnfield cemeteries have been investigated. Yet again, it is probable that many thousands more have been destroyed by cultivation and other recent development.
The ceramics of the Urnfield culture was not a uniform assemblage, rather they represent at least a dozen local types, each more or less derived from the Bell Beaker tradition. As a ware type, Urnfield pottery was typically manufactured from locally procured, fine-grained clay pastes, tempered with a variety of mica, schist, and arcosic materials. Overall, vessels were hand-made using the coil and scrap or anvil methods. Vessel forms include bowl-shaped dishes, patchwork dishes, scoop, cups, bowls, cauldrons, low-neck jars, and urns. Surface treatment is normally smoothed but not polished (Probst 1996). Decoration of some types are common yet large portions of individual vessels remain unembellished. Known decoration techniques include fluting, patterned-incision, and obliterated-corrugation, while metallic inlay has been documented, as well. These forms of decoration often occur concurrently with modeled elements; such as coils, bumps, lugs, and handles. Vessel morphology include globular urns and animal effigy vessels; as well as, conical-, biconical-, and cylindrical-shaped jars, cups, and bowls. These often have low funneled-necks or cylindrical-necks with slightly flared rims (Verlinde 1987).
Architecture and settlement structure
Overall, the Urnfield culture continued the general architectural patterns that had been established in the Late Neolithic period. Thus, residential structures were typically Longhouses; that ranged from 25 to 60 meters in length and about eight meters wide. Typically, houses were defined by their rectangular post-hole pattern, normally including large corner, entry, and roof-support posts; numerous smaller posts that delineated the walls. Constructed using a timber frame enclosed by waddle-and-daub, with several rows of posts that supported a highly pitched roof made of thatch, these structures housed as many as five families. The vast majority of Urnfield settlements appear to be scattered groups of Longhouses with as few as three or as many as 80 structures.
At Zedau, in eastern Germany, 78 small Longhouses were excavated. Some used the four post configuration while other roofs were supported by the so-called two- or three-aisled systems. At Eching in Bavaria, two Urnfield settlements were investigated, each with about 16 houses each (Probst 1996). In the Netherlands several Urnfield farmsteads and villages, as well as numerous individual examples of residential architecture, have been investigated (Fokkens 1998). Some of these Urnfield settlements span the entire Bronze and Iron ages; clearly demonstrating the progression from the Early and Late Bronze Age two-aisled Longhouse to the shorter three-aisled and Byre house types of the Early Iron Age. The later duel entry complex of the Byre house (Kooi 1979) in fact denotes a radical shift from the Longhouse to small rectangular residential units designed to house individual families and there livestock under a single roof.
Integration and defense
Another important Urnfield settlement is Lovčičky in Moravia, of the Czech Republic. Of the 48 rectangular houses recorded, many were outlined by widely-spaced large postholes. Apparently, many of these structures had steeply pitched roofs, as a row of roof-support postholes were found aligned along the long axis of the structures. In the center of the settlement a large structure was situated within a large open area. The structure was 21 meters long and covered about 144 m2. The formal layout of the settlement and the presence of a large central plaza with a community house suggest this site may have served some locally important administrative function (Probst 1996). The Urnfield complex also witnessed a quantum increase in the number and size of fortified hilltop settlements. These fortifications were often elaborate, with their parameters delineated by bank and ditch features toped with palisades or stone faced walls reinforced with timber. Evidence of fortified hilltop settlements established in the Urnfield period within Hesse, include Glauberg, Hausberg, Milseburg, and Altenburg. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the interior composition of these fortified settlements, as archaeologists have focused on the defensive systems (Probst 1996).
Although the Urnfield complex ultimately covered much of Europe, it's core area included the Lusatian and the late Elp cultures. The former was centered on Poland and northeast Germany, while the latter encompassed Denmark, northwest Germany, Westphalia, and the Netherlands. More localized expressions were the Knovíz Culture of Bohemia and east central Germany; the Velatice-Baierdorf Culture in Moravia and Austria; and the Caka Culture in western Slovakia. Other examples can be found in the Northeast-Bavarian group, Dutch Delta group, Lower Hessian group, and the Rhenish-Swiss group which also included eastern France. Collectively, these expressions were centered on Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, the Saarland, the Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the southern portion of the Thuringia (Probst 1996).
Another important aspect of the Urnfield culture is that its genesis corresponds to a period of major linguistic realignments and large scale change. This process transpired across a huge expanse, with the result that the western and eastern Baltic dialects quickly differentiated. Nonetheless, the Slavic branch had not yet fully emerged from eastern Baltic. Meanwhile in the lower Danube basin and throughout the Balkans, populations that used Greek, Illyrian, Thracian, Phrygian, elements of Italic, and Dacian migrated or shifted as each grew farther apart linguistically. The dominant languages of central Europe began to adopt some of the characterized found further east, as well. Therefore, along an indistinct line Celtic began to schism into the form used in the east and the archaic dialects found west of the upper Rhone. Furthermore, the type of Celtic used within greater Germania also differentiated north from south. However, in northern Scandinavia one of the most important processes continued unabated. Developing in isolation, the primitive form of the Indo-European spoken there mixed with authochthonous tongues; in due course, this process would yield the Germanic family of languages.
As the Late Bronze Age progressed cremation burial became the dominate pattern, spreading to engulf much of Europe. This was the result of ventures that abutted the Atlantic Bronze Age culture area ultimately extending into the British Isles; as well as southern expansion into northern Spain, Italy, the Balkans, and Greece, and into the Ukraine and Belarus on the east. However, the Urnfield culture's incorporation of northern Scandinavia, in the course of human history, would prove to be the most fateful. Thus, the Urnfield Culture would lay the foundations for the successive Classical Greek, Celtic, and Italic empires and initiate the sequence of events that would inexorably culminate in the birth of the Germanic ethnos.
Part II: The Hallstatt Culture
If the Urnfield culture represented the semblance of the Late Bronze Age, the Hallstatt culture was it's substance. From the very inception of the Urnfield culture, immediately to the south, two discrete cultural nods or epicenters began to manifest. Collectively referred to as the Hallstatt culture (1200 to 475 BC), the western group was centered on upper most reaches of the Rhine, Danube, and Rhone rivers. Meanwhile the eastern group formed around the Danube between Vienna, Hallstatt, Prague, and Budapest. Initially, both phenomena appear to have been unrelated, as they were equally unrelated to the greater Urnfield complex. Yet by the 10th century BC they seemed to have merged somewhat, while retaining many of their individual characteristics. The burial patterns, ceramics, and overall weapon assemblage of the western Hallstatt group was relatively homogenous. In contrast, the eastern Hallstatt group was characterized by a diverse burial pattern and ceramic assemblage, while the weapon inventory focused primarily on defensive armaments.
The burial patterns of the Hallstatt culture were initially dominated by extended inhumations; apparently a trait inherited from the former Tumulus culture. In fact, the Hallstatt elites were buried in chambered tombs placed within large earthen mounds. These burials were rather richly furnished with a wide array of weapons, utensils, jewelry, and other domestic items; or metal, ceramic, and glass vessels (bowls, jars, drinking cups, caldrons, and other types); as well as furniture (beds, tables, and chairs) and vehicles (wagons or chariots).
Arms and Arnaments
One of the most conspicuous aspects of the Hattstatt Culture artifact assemblage is the diverse variety of weapons and armor, primarily found in ceremonial deposit and hoard contexts. Weapons types included swords, socketed spears, daggers, arrowheads, and socketed axes. In particular, the Urnfield swords demonstrate a great variety of lengths, widths, and shapes. In contrast to the Middle Bronze Age short stabbing sword, the leaf-shaped Urnfield sword appears to have been designed to deliver side or downward slashing blows (Osgood 1998). These leaf-shaped swords commonly included a ricassco and a bronze hilt. The hilt was made separately, often of a different metal, and attached to a blade, or the blade was cast with a tang upon which a hilt was affixed. Examples of swords with tangs are known from Rixheim, east of Mulhouse in the Alsace region of eastern France. The actual hilt of the tanged blades were made of wood, bone, and antler. Sword designs include the Auvernier-, Kressborn-Hemigkofen-, Erbenheim-, Möhringen-, Weltenburg-, Hemigkofen-, and Tachlovice-types.
Elements of defensive body armor include cuirasses, graves, shields, and helmets. These artifact types are extremely rare and virtually never found in burials. The finest example of a highly decorated bronze shield comes from Plzeň in Bohemia, which had a riveted handle. Similar examples of this type of shield have been found in Germany, western Poland, Denmark, England, and Ireland. The Yetholm-type shield date from 1200 to 800 BC during the bronze age. Nineteen shields have been recovered in the British Isles and one in Denmark. They vary significantly in size, but are otherwise very similar in the details of their design. The Shield type takes its named from peat bog near Yetholm in southern Scotland that yielded three examples (Figure ??). This shield type is made of a round sheet of copper with a bowl-shaped central boss and is typically about 0.6 mm thick. The outer rim has been folded and hammered to form a durable and highly resistant edge. The handle is made from a thick piece of sheet bronze folded over and riveted to the interior edge of the boss. A pair of attached tabs suggests the presence of a carrying strap (Osgood 1998).
The composition of the metal used to make the Yetholm-type shield indicates a high-tin bronze alloy. The shield face is normally decorated with concentric rings of raised ridges. Between the ridges are small hemispherical bosses about 4 mm across. The decoration was produced formed by reverse hammering known as the repoussé method. The overall design and the presence of the paired tabs clearly demonstrate that the shield was not reinforced with wood or another type of material. Overall, this shield type appears too frail to fend off a bronze sword or spear, rather in a combat role it may have been used as protection against missile attacks (Osgood 1998). Examples of the Urnfield Bronze cuirass are known from Caka, Slovakia. Other complete bronze cuirasses were recovered from Saint Germain du Plain, in France.
At Marmesse, near Haute Marne also in France, nine nested bronze cuirasses were found, while fragments of another was recovered in Albstadt-Pfeffingen, in Germany. Bronze circular plates, as a form of phalerae-like armor, that was attached to a leather lattice, have also been documented. Finally, finely decorated sheet-bronze greaves were found at Kloštar Ivani, in Croatia, and the Paulus cave, near Beuron in Germany. The thin bronze sheet used to make the Urnfield body armor would not preclude a significant breech, particularly from a determined spear thrust. Thus, in defensive terms these may have been designed to blunt the force of impact, as a wood backing or protective undergarment would prevent or reduce actual penetration. Higher quality body armor sets also may have been designed as part of a ceremonially costume or a symbol of rank and office.
The range of the Halstatt metal artifact assemblage is somewhat staggering, yet most striking is the variety of arms and armaments. These have been found in deposits, hoards, and burials contexts.
Wagons, chariots and other vehicles
One of the most intriguing Urnfield artifact types are the miniature wagon and cart models. For the most part, these have been found in southern Germany, Austria, and neighboring areas. The wheels have four spokes and turn on their axles. A cauldron or some type of vessel is often found attached to the wagon bed, while stylized aves, particularly waterfowl are often depicted, and overall appear to have been an important motif in Urnfield iconography. Approximately 12 burials interned with bronze-fitted four-wheeled wagons have been excavated that date to the early Urnfield period. These wagons are coeval with and appear to be directly associated with the use of single-piece bronze horse bits. These include the Hart and the Altz (Kr. Altötting), Mengen (Kr. Sigmaringen), Poing (Kr. Ebersberg), Königsbronn (Kr. Heidenheim) burials from Germany and the St. Sulpice (Vaud) burial, in Switzerland. Wood and bronze spoked wheels were found at Stade, in Germany, and at Mercurago, in Italy. Solid or dish-wheels made of wood have been excavated at Corcelettes, in Switzerland and at Wasserburg-Buchau, in Germany. Although very uncommon, two-part horse bits, apparently due to the influx of steppe influence, appear near the terminus of the Urnfield complex.
Architecture and settlement structure
The Hallstatt culture marks a slow departure from the architectural tradition initially established in the Late Neolithic period. Although continued into the beginning of the Late Bronze Age, by the 11th century BC, the two-aisled Longhouse was replaced by smaller and more rectangular habitation structures. An example of this newer architectural form was excavated at Heuneburg, Germany. Here a three-aisled house with a single entry centered on a long wall was excavated. Identified by post-hole patterns, this timber framed structure was 16.5 meters wide and about 20 meters in length, with the center span measuring 9 meters. It had waddle-and-daub walls, a highly pitched thatched roof, with a hard packed clay floor that included several internal hearths.
An example of a west Hallstatt settlement can be found at Riesburg, in Baden-Württemberg, where 17 Late Bronze Age houses were excavated. This settlement seems to have been composed of one or two of the large rectangular houses surrounded by several smaller structures; arranged as clusters, built one atop another, this series of settelments may have represented a farmstead. On an island in lake Federsee located in southern Germany, two successive Hallstatt settlements were identified in Wasserburg at Bad Buchau. The first was founded in the 12th century BC, and was comprised of 38 small rectangular houses, enclosed by a palisade built using thousands of posts. After a short period of abandonment a smaller palisaded settlement was reestablished 1000 B.C. with nine large, multiroom residental structures, however within a hundred years this settlement was destroyed by fire. Many of the later houses were built with shaped-timbers laid horizontally.
Scant references to the Hallstatt culture are to be found in the Classical texts. Nonetheless, possibly one of the earliest can be found in Pindar's Third Olympian Ode. Here a brief summary of Heracles' Third Labor was used as a backdrop for an expedition to the upper Danube basin and what appears to be the Hercynian forest. Here Pindar appears to call it 'god's dark forest' or 'shadowy grove.' Furthermore, upon a careful reading of the text, it doesn’t appear to say that Heracles procured the first Olive trees from this region. Rather Pindar seems to indicate that the tradition, later adopted by the Greeks, of awarding a wreath crown to warriors for acts of heroism, originated in the Hallstatt area. Because Heracles served as the protagonist, one may also conclude that the author was suggesting the setting of this short story was the Late Bronze Age.
Another notable exception is Livy's History of Rome. In chapter 33 of Book 5, Livy tells us part of the story of Ambicatos, king of the Bituriges. This account was taken from Timagenes, a Greek historian who wrote a history of the Gauls. Livy states that a large groups of Bituriges, together with elements of several other Gaulish tribes migrated from Gaul to northern Italy. Thus we learn the names of several Gaulish tribes that occupied eastern France in the Hallstatt period, roughly between 616 and 578 BC. These were called the Bituriges, Avernes, Senones, Aedues, Ambarres, Carnutes, and Aulerces. Furthermore, beside Ambicatos we discover that one of the Celtic princes was called Bellovesos.Pindar's Olympian Three
ᾧ τινι, κραίνων ἐφετμὰς Ἡρακλέος προτέρας, ἀτρεκὴς Ἑλλανοδίκας γλεφάρων Αἰτωλὸς ἀνὴρ ὑψόθεν ἀμφὶ κόμαισι βάλῃ γλαυκόχροα κόσμον ἐλαίας: τάν ποτε Ἴστρου ἀπὸ σκιαρᾶν παγᾶν ἔνεικεν Ἀμφιτρυωνιάδας, μνᾶμα τῶν Οὐλυμπίᾳ κάλλιστον ἄθλων δᾶμον Ὑπερβορέων πείσαις Ἀπόλλωνος θεράποντα λόγῳ.
To fulfill the ancient commands given Heracles, strict Aetolian judges now cast high upon the mane a display of drab olive, from the shadowy source of the Istros the son of Amphitryon brought away, a most striking tribute of the Olympian Games, when in the land of the Northmen, as Apollo's priests say. Herein with faithful intent they bit all welcome and in god's dark forest such wreaths crown men for brave acts.
Livy also says that as these events transpired a second large group of Celts migrated into southern Germania. Although, he tells us that this group was lead by another Celtic prince named Sicovesos, nothing was said about the names of these tribes. Another problem is that while the Bellovesos group clearly departed from eastern Gaul, we were told nothing about Sicovesos' migration into southern Germania. In truth all Livy tells us is that Sicovesos and Bellovesos were sons of Ambicatos' sister. Yet the Bituriges are also said to supply the rulers of many Celtic tribes, no doubt through marriage.Livy, The History of Rome
Book 5, chapter 33
 de transitu in Italiam Gallorum haec accepimus: Prisco Tarquinio Romae regnante, Celtarum quae pars Galliae tertia est penes Bituriges summa imperii fuit; ii regem Celtico dabant.  Ambigatus is fuit, uirtute fortunaque cum sua, tum publica praepollens, quod in imperio eius Gallia adeo frugum hominumque fertilis fuit ut abundans multitudo uix regi uideretur posse.  hic magno natu ipse iam exonerare praegrauante turba regnum cupiens, Bellouesum ac Segouesum sororis filios impigros iuuenes missurum se esse in quas di dedissent auguriis sedes ostendit;  quantum ipsi uellent numerum hominum excirent ne qua gens arcere aduenientes posset. tum Segoueso sortibus dati Hercynei saltus; Belloueso haud paulo laetiorem in Italiam uiam di dabant.  is quod eius ex populis abundabat, Bituriges, Aruernos, Senones, Haeduos, Ambarros, Carnutes, Aulercos exciuit. profectus ingentibus peditum equitumque copiis in Tricastinos uenit.
 Of Gaul’s passage into Italy this [account] is reliable. When Tarquinius Priscus was king of Rome, in Gaul a third of Celtae was possessed by the Bituriges who held supreme authority as they furnished kings for the Celts.  One such was Ambicatos of whom vigor and fortune followed, as at this time his nation surpassed all others in power. During his reign the domain of the Gauls was fruitful, and as humankind’s fertility became evident he sensed difficulty in ruling such a huge multitude.  When in old age, he decided to free his realm of this turbulence, so he instructed his sister’s sons, Bellouesos and Segouesos, to observe the omens and determine what the gods reveal,  to rouse as great a number that wished to migrate, and assure no nation could block their advance. When Sicouesos drew his lot was the Hercynian forest, while Bellouesos was more than pleased as the gods gave him the road to Italy.  He stirred up the excess population from the Bituriges, Avernes, Senones, Aedues, Ambarres, Carnutes, and Aulerces. Starting out this vast body of foot and horse came onto the Tricastines.
Nevertheless, Livy’s account seems to supplement another story recorded by Caesar, about a group called the Volcae who had migrated into southern Germania. If indeed these accounts were referring to the same events, then Livy's Sicovesos lead a large group of Celtic tribes collectively known as the Volcae. From Caesar's account we find that one of these Volcae, or eastern Celtic tribes, were also called the Tectosages. The only possible problem with Caesar's account was the phrase 'trans Rhenum,' which in this context could mean 'across, over,' or 'opposite the Rhine.' However, it may have been used only to indicate the general location were the migration occurred.
Caesar's Gallic War
Book 6, Chapter 24
Ac fuit antea tempus, cum Germanos Galli virtute superarent, ultro bella inferrent, propter hominum multitudinem agrique inopiam trans Rhenum colonias mitterent.  Itaque ea quae fertilissima Germaniae sunt loca circum Hercyniam silvam, quam Eratostheni et quibusdam Graecis fama notam esse video, quam illi Orcyniam appellant, Volcae Tectosages occupaverunt atque ibi consederunt;  quae gens ad hoc tempus his sedibus sese continet summamque habet iustitiae et bellicae laudis opinionem.  Nunc quod in eadem inopia, egestate, patientia qua Germani permanent, eodem victu et cultu corporis utuntur; Gallis autem provinciarum propinquitas et transmarinarum rerum notitia multa ad copiam atque usus largitur,  paulatim adsuefacti superari multisque victi proeliis ne se quidem ipsi cum illis virtute comparant.
Alltogether in the past, with vigor the Gauls rose above the Germans, to whom they brought war, this because their people grew-great in number and for the want of fertile land; they sent settlers beyond the Rhine. They went to the most fuitful lands in Germania, which were located around the Hercynian Forest, whom Eratosthenes and certain other Greeks bore witness to and recorded, although they called this place Orcynia. Thus the Volcae Tectosages sized and settled there, which in those days was a race that held higher the law and was pronounced preeminent in war. Now as Germans they continue to suffer want and necessity, the same life enjoyed by the greater cultural body. However, these Gauls proximity to our Province and much celebrated shipping enterprises, as well as preoccupation with ample and lavish trade, they by degree grew accustomed and many have transented the life of combat and with others never compare strength.Discussion
By the 10th century BC the Hallstatt culture was well established throughout the Upper Danube and Rhine river valleys. Collectively, this archaeological construct was characterized by communities associated with the Tumulus culture, yet overlain by local versions of the pervasive Urnfield culture. In this context the Hallstatt culture represents a discrete metallurgical tradition and an extensive regional exchange network. Herein, the Hallstatt culture can be explained as a three tier society controlled by a class of elite equine-warriors. This culture was supported by a mixed agriculture and pastoral economy with a population dispersed throughout the landscape in numerous small settlements and but a few large fortified towns, which served as regional centers. In turn these communities were associated with extensive cremation cemeteries while the ruling elites were often buried within discrete necropoleis entombed by large mounds.
There is little doubt that the western Hallstatt group represented the ethnogenesis of the western Celts; speaker of P-Celtic, who otherwise were known as the Gauls. Centered in eastern France between the Marne and Moselle these Gauls would eventually expand north and westward, apparently incorporating previously Q-Celtic communities. On the other hand, the eastern Hallstatt group seems to have been the group Caesar called the Volcae. Among modern linguists these Volcae or the eastern Celts, are also known as the Noric Celts. Yet another P-Celtic people, in Germania Tacitus seems to call them the Istriaones, or the ‘Followers of Istros,’ possibly due to their proximity to the Danube.
However, several of the Hallstatt culture’s most significant contributions were advancements in ore extraction, metallurgical technology, and weapon design. The Hallstatt culture role in the introduction of iron into Western Europe was critical, as it managed the development and dissemination of this important industry for generations. In fact these advanced metallurgical and weapon technologies, together with an innovative redistribution system, laid the foundation for Celtic expansion, which by the end of the Hallstatt culture had came to dominate much of temperate Europe. The emergence of the Celtic ethnos organized as a feudal society of warrior elites, who control the vast peasantry and indentured classes, seems to have soon inspired unanticipated consequences. The reasons for this strife remains unclear, and in part may transend the purview of the Hallstatt culture. Nonetheless, this perceived conflict seems deeply embedded in an ideological clashed between the cosmologies of the Urnfield and Tumulus cultures.
Part III: The Late Nordic Bronze Age
The Nordic Bronze Age culture (NBAC) clearly represented the emergence of a unique expression of highly refined technical and artistic mastery, yet upon closer inspection we quickly find a riddle wrapped in an enigma. The theory proposed by Oscar Montelius maintains that the NBAC arose sudden around 1800 BC and continued until the end of the 6th century. However, embedded within this traditional view of geographic circumscription and cultural continuity there is a rather obtuse, and persistent dichotomy. Herein, the early NBAC can also be viewed as a local version of the Tumulus culture, while the late NBAC signifies the expansion of the Urnfield culture into northern Scandinavia. Inherently, one discovers a series of taxonomies, nested one within another, which either compete with, or by extension seek to exclude the NBAC concept. To say this situation is at times somewhat baffling is indeed an understatement.
Some researchers argue that certain aspects of the NBAC were due to exchange, a product of a common inspiration, or barrowed wholesale from neighbors. But without doubt the complexity and extent of trade, methods of production, and artistic style offer an unparalleled glimpse into the religion and iconography of Bronze Age Europe, second only to Minoan and Mycenaean Greece. In theory the late NBAC flourished from 1200 BC to the 5th century; extending over much of Scandinavia and the Wadden Sea area; as well as the Baltic coastal region. However, it seems that in fact the Late NBAC was bounded in Jutland and along the southern Baltic by the Elp, Lusatian, and Baltic Tumulus cultures. Nevertheless what remains can safely be called the core of the late NBAC. This includes southern Norway, Sweden, and Gotland; as well as many of the eastern Danish islands, which together with northern Europe were economically and in some ways socially bound by a complex system of ritual and exchange.
Throughout northern Scandinavia the Late Bronze Age witnessed a dual pattern of burial. One aspect of this pattern was based on an inhumation ritual and the other was cremation. For Inhumation, the dead were placed within a oak or stone coffin, dressed in funerary gear and surrounded by gifts and offering. These items included swords, bark containers, razors, tweezers, and combs which suggest a given individual’s identity, status and rank. Due to the high state of preservation in some cases, we are provided unique insights into details of the inhumation burial ritual. For example garments, textile fragments, wrappings, fittings, hair-adornment, hats, and hairnets have been found. Over the coffin, surviving relatives and affiliates raised a large earthen mound lined with turf. Often called a tumulus, these mounds were designed to mark and memorialize the burial site. Overall, these inhumation burials represented large-scale affairs that were somewhat costly and involved entire communities.
As part of the Urnfield culture’s expansion, cremation burial was introduced and soon it became the dominant burial ritual in some area. Initially, cremations were placed in small stone-lined rectangular box accompanied by grave-goods. As this burial method became more pervasive, cremations were placed within an urn and this was buried in a shallow pit. These Urn cremations were typically provided few if any funerary gifts or burial offering. Anther similar practice was the internment of the urn cremation in a shallow trench dug into an existing burial mound. Overall these burials were not marked on the surface, yet were often placed in large formal cemeteries called Urnfields.
Copper Extraction, Bronze Production, and Trade
The Bronze Age cultures of Europe typically represented societal elements that affectively created a vast network for the production and marketing of bronze. In theory this process involved the extraction, refinement, and shipping of copper ingot, as well as the manufacture of functional and highly aesthetic tools and weapons. Of course this was followed by the transportation of these items to consumer populations, far and wide. Overall this appears to represent a market driven endeavor, whereby elites used bronze militarily and economically to establish and maintain their authority. However, in order to better control cost and profit, there would always be an incentive to expand and diversify their market while procuring new or local raw material sources. One of the most effective methods of accomplish this is though religion, ritual, and a popular iconography that fundamentally reinforced both politico-economic and military goals.
The traditional view of the late NBAC dictates that all the copper used to make bronze was imported from outside Scandinavia. However, recently it has become increasing evident that copper may have been extracted from southern Sweden and Norway. For example, Sweden has one of Europe’s richest sulphide deposits; more precisely chalcopyrite which is also known as Copper Iron Sulfide. This is a mineral from which bronze may be made directly. Indeed, at these ore bearing sites in northern Scandinavia numerous large hammer-stones have been found; which are similar to those commonly associated with copper mining activates elsewhere. In fact in southern Sweden there are exposed bedrock formations from where rich chalcopyrite ores were historically extracted and which also exhibit extensive evidence of NBAC occupations. Interestingly, the type of copper used in Scandinavian bronzes before 1600 BC appears somewhat diverse and remarkably similar to well-established ore sources in central Europe.
Another issue is that by 1700 BC, the major mining center at Mittelberg, Austria, shifted from the extraction of oxide- to sulphide-bearing copper. Thus, one may question if the technologies associated with sulphidic copper extraction and related bronze production had spread to northern Scandinavia, over the course of a century. Additionally, throughout all of Europe southern Scandinavia has demonstrated the largest collection of bronze swords, manufactured between 1500 BC and the 14th century. Yet, in terms of the type of copper used, the late NBAC weapons and tools represent a very homogeneous group. Collectively, this suggests that ore extraction originated from one or possibly two sources. Unfortunately, using metallographic and chemical analyses of artifacts and ore samples, these copper sources have not been qualitatively or quantitatively identified. Nonetheless, this remains a potentially significant avenue for future research.
Arms, Armaments, and Other Artifacts
For the late NBAC the sword was both a lethal weapon of war and one of the most valued items of personal possession. Herein, for the warrior elite the sword also served as an outward expression of rank and status. The inventory of Late Bronze Age swords found in Scandinavia is indeed extensive. However, these appear to represent only a very limited number of types. Although found throughout much of Western Europe, only a small number of Gündlingen-type swords, have been found. These represent a single hoard recovered in southern Jutland. The antenna hilted-type sword was well represented in a wide band that extended from Gaul to the Pomeranian coast, to include the eastern Danish islands. In contrast, the Mindelheim-type sword have been found exclusively in Jutland, the eastern Danish islands, and to some extent the Hallstatt area. However, the distribution of the Griffzungenschwert-type, which is very similar to the Carp’s tongue-type sword from northwest Gaul and Britain, appears concentrated in Denmark, as well.
In fact the Griffzungenschwert-type sword may represent the late NBAC tradition, as an adaptation of a design style, rather than simply locally made Hallstatt types per se. In addition to the Hallstatt styles were relatively large numbers of swords that were local copies of the late Mycenaean G- and H-types. Finally, the Rřrby-type swords are as unique as they are uncommon. This sword type has a curved blade which is very similar to the sword worn by the so-called God of War relief on the 'King's Gate, at Boghazkoy, the Hittite capital. This design is very similar to contemporary examples found in the Near East, and appear to have been used in Scandinavia, as well.
One of the most interesting examples of late NBAC armament is the Viksř-type helmet. The basic design of this helmet type consists of a bronze cap with a slender pair of matching S-shaped horns protruding from the sides. The nearly identical pair of helmets found at Viksř were indeed much more elaborate. They were also found on the Island of Sjaelland, Denmark, and represents the only intact find of this type. However, a 32 cm long segment of a horn from another Viksř-type helmet was recovered at Grevinge in Odsherred. The only other know depiction of a Viksř-type helmet are the small bronze Grevensvćnge figurines, which feature two kneeling warriors. Again, the Grevensvćnge site was located on the Island Sjaeland. Nonetheless, the 'Helmet-clad Man' motif is relatively common in the rock art of northern Scandinavia, but these naturally lack the detail nesessary to destingush their type with any degree of certainity.
A significant number of late NBAC shields have been found throughout Scandinavia. The circular Svenstrup shield was found in Himmerland in July 1948. At least two bronze shields were found in the bog Sřrup Mose on the Island of Lolland whilecommerically excavating peat. However, one of the most spectacular finds were the 18 bronze Herzsprung-type shields at Fröslunda in Västergötland, Sweden. This was another ritual cache deposited in what may have been a shallow lake. They were made as pairs of very thin hammered bronze which could not have been used as defensive weapons. Overall these shields commonly had a bowl-shaped boss with a handle, whereas several had fittings for a leather strap. They were decorated with embossed concentric rings which bounded solar symbols and U-shaped dimples. While these shields were used ceremonially, they clearly represented functional examples made of wood and leather reinforced by small bronze fittings.
Late Bronze Age Lurs were long wind-instruments that can best be classified as horns. These instruments consisted of either a single or several straight, horn-shaped, or S-curved bronze tubs. They also have with a mouth piece and a slightly flared end piece. These thin-walled lurs range from approximately 1.5 to 2.25 meters in length. Overall about 60 have currently been recovered; 37 found in Denmark, 4 in Norway, 13 in Sweden, five in Germany and one in Latvia. Indicative of this artifact type are the examples found In 1797, on Sjaelland, Denmark. While digging peat at Brudevćlte Mose three lur-pairs were eventually excavated. Another pair of lurs was found in 1894, in Rogaland, Norway. Beside the lurs the material assemblage of the NBAC also included socketed axe heads, spear heads, razors, ornate gold arm rings, bowls, cups, cauldrons, metal folding chair, necklaces, belt-boxes, belt-studs, tweezers, and spectacle-fibula.
Wagons, Chariots, and Other Vehicles
The sun chariot found near Trundholm or Solvognen on Sjćlland Denmark, is a miniature bronze statue of a mare pulling a large disk placed upon a rod frame supported by six four-spoked wheels. The temporal context of this artifact is extremely poor, yet based on stylistic grounds it has been tentatively dated between the 15th and 13th centuries BC. As with the coffin burials, this places the Trundholm sun chariot around the terminus of the Middle and Late Bronze ages. Although outside the main area of interest the Kungagraven, near Kivik in southeast Sweden, provides more insight into the significance of the Trundholm artifact. The Kungagraven (King's Grave) tomb, which was also tentatively dated to the 12th century BC, included several rock slabs with petroglyph panels. One panel depicts a man driving a two horse chariot with two four-spoked wheels (Figure 1). The Trundholm and Kungagraven examples suggests that northern Europe chariot design, in the Late Bronze Age, was similar in many respects to contemporary types used in the lands that surrounded the eastern Mediterranean basin.
Architecture And Settlement Structure
In northern Scandinavia the transition from the Neolithic two-aisled to the Late Bronze Age Longhouse was relatively subtle. This is because the Late Bronze Age Longhouse represents a common architectural tradition, which continued into the Iron Age. These structures were timber-framed, with waddle and daub walls, high-pitched thatch roofs, and hard-packed clay floors. Based on the presence of internal hearths and storage pits the post-hole patterns imply a series of contiguous living components. These were accessed by several entries spaced along their length. Overall these Longhouses were designed to house an extended family group of between ten and twenty-five individuals.
Settlements typically consisted of single farmsteads which consisted of a single structure associated with numerous external fire, storage, trash, midden, and processing pits. However, these settlements were not delineated or bounded by fences or agricultural systems. Many appear to have been occupied for only one generation, while in the Swedish uplands there were slightly larger settlements that were used for longer periods than those found farther south. For example at Hallunda, large amounts of debris included casting molds for bronze tools and weapons were found. Low circular mounds of fire-cracked rock, often numbering in the hundreds have been found near these settlements. However, these mounded features have also been found by themselves, or near formal cemetery sites.
Although written centuries later a number of references can be found in the Classical texts that may offer a view of northern Scandinavia in late Bronze Age. Herein the people of the late NBAC are collective known as the Hyperborea, while the Greeks called them the Ὑπερβορέων. Clearly Hyperborea was a Greek exonym derived from hyper-Borea, or literally ‘Beyond Boreas.’ Of course, Boreas was one of the four Anemoi; wind Gods ascribed to cardinal directions. In fact Boreas was used as a personification of the Arctic and the North in general. The Classical Greeks seem to have often used the Hyperboreans to denote those who inhabited the ‘Far-North,’ particularly the peoples of northern Scandinavia. Thus, this name seems to have been a synonym for Northmen. For example in Olympian Three, Pindar relates the story of a ritual reindeer hunt preformed by a divine Hero. Written in the early 5th century BC, this poetic work seems to relate to a late Bronze Age tradition whereby Heracles once visited the Land of Boreas, otherwise known as the Far North.
Nonetheless, Pindar’s mention of the pre-Olympian demigod Ta˙gete, brings to mind another Bronze Age tradition about a team of Reindeer that Artemis used to pull her moon-chariot. In the Hymn to Apollo, Callimachus offers a similar reference to Artemis' twin. Here we learn that Apollo's totem animal was the swan; a team of which were harnessed to a golden sun-chariot, a vehicle that links this deity to the pre-Olympian God Helios. In Aelian's ‘On the Nature of Animals,’ its explained that the principle deity of the Hyperboreans was Apollo, who was presented as a Sun God. Furthermore the author tells us about a certain priesthood dedicated to the Solar God, a large island sanctuary, and a day-long ceremony conducted upon the annual mass migration of swan. We are also told this event occurred near a place called mount Rhipaeis, which may be the same as the Ripaen Headlands, an important navigational landmark mentioned by Pliny the Elder. Thus, this local may represent the east facing portions of the Danish islands of Mřn, Sealand, and Lolland; an important migratory choke point for many subarctic avian species.Pindar's Olympian Three
εὖτέ νιν ἀγγελίαις Εὐρυσθέος ἔντυ᾽ ἀνάγκα πατρόθεν χρυσόκερων ἔλαφον θήλειαν ἄξονθ᾽, ἅν ποτε Ταϋγέτα ἀντιθεῖσ᾽ Ὀρθωσίᾳ ἔγραψεν ἱράν. τὰν μεθέπων ἴδε καὶ κείναν χθόνα πνοιᾶς ὄπιθεν Βορέα ψυχροῦ.
When upon Eurystheus orders he was forced from his father to bring back the female reindeer with golden antlers, which is Ta˙gete who is sacred to Artemis. He followed it to behold the far northern lands from where the cold winds blow.
Herodotus then seems to compound the apparent mystery surround the Hyperboreans by telling us that neither the Scyths nor the Finns were familiar with them. Instead he says that the only reliable information he could gather about this far-off ethnos came from the Greeks themselves. At first glance this may seem a bit odd as its implied these groups were neighbors. However, upon closure inspection it seems that those groups Herodotus called the Issedones or ‘man-eaters,’ were Karelians rather than Ingrian or Estonian Finns. Additionally, the Scyths homeland was the steppe country primarily south and east of the timber line that ran just south of modern Kiev and Kursk; then further on to Voronezh and Samara on the Volga. Thus, between the Hyperboreans and those groups mentioned by Herodotus we might expect to find another series of the large ethnic confederations known as the Budini, Gelonians, and Neuri. Regardless, Herodotus’ initial account of the Hyperboreans or Northmen is provided below.Aelian's Animals
Book XI, chapter 1
Hyperboreorum gentem, et Apollinis apud eos honores, non modo poetae, sed alii etiam scriptores celebrant; et inter alios Hecataeus, non Milesius ille, sed Abderita. . . Apollini igitur sacri sunt Boreae et Chionis filii, tres numero fratres, sex cubitorum proceritate. Hi cum solenne sacrificium stato et praefinito tempore peragunt, innumera cycnorum examina e Rhipaeis ut ipsi appellant montibus advolant; qui ubi templum volando circumvecti fuerint, et veluti lustrarint, in septum templi descendunt, quod et spatio amplissimum est, et specie pulcherrimum. Cum autem cantores vernaculo musicae genere deum celebrant, et simul citharistae suavissimam melodiam cantantium choro adsonant: cycni etiam ipsis concinne accinunt, nec usquam absona aut inepta voce aberrant; sed tanquam incitamentum et auspicium cantus a chorodidascalo editum secuti, peritissimis carminum sacrorum decantatoribus concinunt. Hymno jam perfecto, volucris ille chorus, ut ita dicam recedit, postquam solito sibi dei celebrandi munere est defunctus, ac divinos honores per totum audivit diem, simulque et ipse cantavit, et oblectavit alios.
The people of the Far-North, indeed worship unto Apollo, as not merely by poets, but now other writers celebrate, for among these are Hekataios, not of Miletos but that of Abdera. . . Thereupon were Apollo’s priests the descendants of cold wind and snow, brothers who number three, each six cubits (seven feet) tall. Here tradition tells a ceremony is performed at the proper time and place, when countless swan swarm out, as its said they migrate past the Ripaen Headlands. Here there is a sanctuary they fly around, and to sanctify they descend upon this sacred ground, a very large place with a design most pleasing. Following this the native bards sing their rustic hymns, and all at once the harps play pleasant melodies which provoke more song and dance; with this nearly so the swan’s song was in tune, nor was there anywhere a discordant, inept, or aberrant voice. Conversely, as if inspired by these auspices they followed after the choreography; as those most skilled who know the scared songs chanted on in unison. The hymn now ideal, as a chorus of birds, that is figuratively curtailed, thereafter as is their custom they proclaimed this holy service done, and yet they praise their God throughout the day, together and alone recite to the delight of all those present.
Herodotus also tells a story about Hyperborean religious pilgrimages repeatedly made to the Isle of Delos, in Greece. One included two young maidens accompanied by an escort of five warriors. We are told they carried a number of votive objects, possibly figurines. These were wrapped in wheat-straw, and intended as offerings to Apollo, as the Sun God. Herodotus outlined their route from the Scythic peoples that occupied the lower Danube basin to the Adriatic, and finally arriving at the Isle of Delos in the Aegean. Here they delivered their offerings and remained among the Delians for several years as honored guests. He also tells us about a delegation of the two Hyperborean maidens who attended Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis. Herodotus claims they journeyed from Hyperboreorum to Delos, where the Goddess give birth to the divine twins. These stories suggest a close relationship and sustained contacts between the eastern Mediterranean and northern Scandinavian in the late Bronze AgeHerodotus' Histories
Book IV, chapter 32
Ὑπερβορέων δὲ πέρι ἀνθρώπων οὔτε τι Σκύθαι λέγουσι οὐδὲν οὔτε τινὲς ἄλλοι τῶν ταύτῃ οἰκημένων, εἰ μὴ ἄρα Ἰσσηδόνες· ὡς δ᾽ ἐγὼ δοκέω, οὐδ᾽ οὗτοι λέγουσι οὐδέν· ἔλεγον γὰρ ἂν καὶ Σκύθαι, ὡς περὶ τῶν μουνοφθάλμων λέγουσι. ἀλλ᾽ Ἡσιόδῳ μέν ἐστι περὶ Ὑπερβορέων εἰρημένα, ἔστι δὲ καὶ Ὁμήρῳ ἐν Ἐπιγόνοισι, εἰ δὴ τῷ ἐόντι γε Ὅμηρος ταῦτα τὰ ἔπεα ἐποίησε.
However, concerning the Northmen the people of Scythia say nothing, nor do any others who dwell there, unless possibly the Finns. But to my knowing, they say nothing as well, for haply the Scyths would repeat, as they have of the Ariamaspa. But in truth Hesiod mentioned the Northmen, as did Homer in the Epigoni, if indeed these are words that Homer wrote.
Finally in 'Library of History' Diodorus of Sicily summarized what other authors had reported, while offering some additional information. Initially, he tells us that ancient Hyperborea was located north of the Celtic realm, under the constellation of the Bear. He also implied that although this place was located in the far-north; a place from where the cool north-winds blow, the Hyperborean seasonal climate was actually mild. Diodorus says that this place is at least as large as the island of Sicily and furthermore tells us that the people of Hyperborea speak a language unique to them. Finally, he claimed that they decorated their holy places with votive offerings that looked sphere-like.Herodotus' Histories
Book IV, chapter 34
πολλῷ δέ τι πλεῖστα περὶ αὐτῶν Δήλιοι λέγουσι, φάμενοι ἱρὰ ἐνδεδεμένα ἐν καλάμῃ πυρῶν ἐξ Ὑπερβορέων φερόμενα ἀπικνέεσθαι ἐς Σκύθας, ἀπὸ δὲ Σκυθέων ἤδη δεκομένους αἰεὶ τοὺς πλησιοχώρους ἑκάστους κομίζειν αὐτὰ τὸ πρὸς ἑσπέρης ἑκαστάτω ἐπὶ τὸν Ἀδρίην, ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ πρὸς μεσαμβρίην προπεμπόμενα πρώτους Δωδωναίους Ἑλλήνων δέκεσθαι, ἀπὸ δὲ τούτων καταβαίνειν ἐπὶ τὸν Μηλιέα κόλπον καὶ διαπορεύεσθαι ἐς Εὔβοιαν, πόλιν τε ἐς πόλιν πέμπειν μέχρι Καρύστου, τὸ δ᾽ ἀπὸ ταύτης ἐκλείπειν Ἄνδρον· Καρυστίους γὰρ εἶναι τοὺς κομίζοντας ἐς Τῆνον, Τηνίους δὲ ἐς Δῆλον. ἀπικνέεσθαι μέν νυν οὕτω ταῦτα τὰ ἱρὰ λέγουσι ἐς Δῆλον, πρῶτον δὲ τοὺς Ὑπερβορέους πέμψαι φερούσας τὰ ἱρὰ δύο κόρας, τὰς ὀνομάζουσι Δήλιοι εἶναι Ὑπερόχην τε καὶ Λαοδίκην· ἅμα δὲ αὐτῇσι ἀσφαλείης εἵνεκεν πέμψαι τοὺς Ὑπερ βορέους τῶν ἀστῶν ἄνδρας πέντε πομπούς, τούτους οἳ νῦν Περφερέες καλέονται, τιμὰς μεγάλας ἐν Δήλῳ ἔχοντες·
But the Delians say much more, telling that votive objects wrapped in wheat-stalks carried by Northmen researched the Scyths, who thereafter were passed westward from each neighbor till they came to the Adriatic. From there they were sent south to Greece and first received by the Dodonaians. Thereafter they descended to the gulf of Maliac and sent across to Euboea, then passed from one city to the next as far as Carystus. From here the Carystians passed them over Andros to be hosted at Tenos, and then finally on to Delos. Indeed in those days this was the way these holy offerings reached the Delians. On this occasion the Northmen sent two maidens called Imburache and Leudic to bear the offerings to Delos, with five men sent as escorts, as they were called the Gift-bearers, and at Delos were greatly revered.
Apparently, this contact involved repeated pilgrimages made to the Ionian Greek religious center on the Isle Delos. Some have even suggested that the cult of Apollon, as the solar deity ‘Apa-lluna’ or ‘Father Light,’ may have originated in Scandinavia. Although the Greek accounts seem to indicate religion played a significant role, particularly the solar deity and cult. However, the story of Eiwar's shamanistic wanderings indicate that some ventures were economically motivated. Furthermore, we have the stories of expeditions to Scandinavia conducted by the late Bronze Age heroes Hercules and Odysseus. Fore example the Hercules stories claim routes that followed the Danube then turned north along the Elbe so that he could eventually hunt reindeer and collect apples in the land of the Hyperboreans.Diodorus Siculus, Library of History
Book II, Chapter 47 and 48
Τῶν γὰρ τὰς παλαιὰς μυθολογίας ἀναγεγραφότων Ἑκαταῖος καί τινες ἕτεροί φασιν ἐν τοῖς ἀντιπέρας τῆς Κελτικῆς τόποις κατὰ τὸν ὠκεανὸν εἶναι νῆσον οὐκ ἐλάττω τῆς Σικελίας. Ταύτην ὑπάρχειν μὲν κατὰ τὰς ἄρκτους, κατοικεῖσθαι δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν ὀνομαζομένων Ὑπερβορέων ἀπὸ τοῦ πορρωτέρω κεῖσθαι τῆς βορείου πνοῆς· οὖσαν δ´ αὐτὴν εὔγειόν τε καὶ πάμφορον, ἔτι δ´ εὐκρασίᾳ διαφέρουσαν, διττοὺς κατ´ ἔτος ἐκφέρειν καρπούς. Μυθολογοῦσι δ´ ἐν αὐτῇ τὴν Λητὼ γεγονέναι· διὸ καὶ τὸν Ἀπόλλω μάλιστα τῶν ἄλλων θεῶν παρ´ αὐτοῖς τιμᾶσθαι· εἶναι δ´ αὐτοὺς ὥσπερ ἱερεῖς τινας Ἀπόλλωνος διὰ τὸ τὸν θεὸν τοῦτον καθ´ ἡμέραν ὑπ´ αὐτῶν ὑμνεῖσθαι μετ´ ᾠδῆς συνεχῶς καὶ τιμᾶσθαι διαφερόντως. Ὑπάρχειν δὲ καὶ κατὰ τὴν νῆσον τέμενός τε Ἀπόλλωνος μεγαλοπρεπὲς καὶ ναὸν ἀξιόλογον ἀναθήμασι πολλοῖς κεκοσμημένον, σφαιροειδῆ τῷ σχήματι. Καὶ πόλιν μὲν ὑπάρχειν ἱερὰν τοῦ θεοῦ τούτου, τῶν δὲ κατοικούντων αὐτὴν τοὺς πλείστους εἶναι κιθαριστάς, καὶ συνεχῶς ἐν τῷ ναῷ κιθαρίζοντας ὕμνους λέγειν τῷ θεῷ μετ´ ᾠδῆς, ἀποσεμνύνοντας αὐτοῦ τὰς πράξεις.
Ἔχειν δὲ τοὺς Ὑπερβορέους ἰδίαν τινὰ διάλεκτον, καὶ πρὸς τοὺς Ἕλληνας οἰκειότατα διακεῖσθαι, καὶ μάλιστα πρὸς τοὺς Ἀθηναίους καὶ Δηλίους, ἐκ παλαιῶν χρόνων παρειληφότας τὴν εὔνοιαν ταύτην. Καὶ τῶν Ἑλλήνων τινὰς μυθολογοῦσι παραβαλεῖν εἰς Ὑπερβορέους, καὶ ἀναθήματα πολυτελῆ καταλιπεῖν γράμμασιν Ἑλληνικοῖς ἐπιγεγραμμένα. Ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ ἐκ τῶν Ὑπερβορέων Ἄβαριν εἰς τὴν Ἑλλάδα καταντήσαντα τὸ παλαιὸν ἀνασῶσαι τὴν πρὸς Δηλίους εὔνοιάν τε καὶ συγγένειαν. Φασὶ δὲ καὶ τὴν σελήνην ἐκ ταύτης τῆς νήσου φαίνεσθαι παντελῶς ὀλίγον ἀπέχουσαν τῆς γῆς καί τινας ἐξοχὰς γεώδεις ἔχουσαν ἐν αὐτῇ φανεράς. Λέγεται δὲ καὶ τὸν θεὸν δι´ ἐτῶν ἐννεακαίδεκα καταντᾶν εἰς τὴν νῆσον, ἐν οἷς αἱ τῶν ἄστρων ἀποκαταστάσεις ἐπὶ τέλος ἄγονται· καὶ διὰ τοῦτο τὸν ἐννεακαιδεκαετῆ χρόνον ὑπὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων Μέτωνος ἐνιαυτὸν ὀνομάζεσθαι. Κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν ταύτην τὸν θεὸν κιθαρίζειν τε καὶ χορεύειν συνεχῶς τὰς νύκτας ἀπὸ ἰσημερίας ἐαρινῆς ἕως πλειάδος ἀνατολῆς ἐπὶ τοῖς ἰδίοις εὐημερήμασι τερπόμενον. Βασιλεύειν δὲ τῆς πόλεως ταύτης καὶ τοῦ τεμένους ἐπάρχειν τοὺς ὀνομαζομένους Βορεάδας, ἀπογόνους ὄντας Βορέου, καὶ κατὰ γένος ἀεὶ διαδέχεσθαι τὰς ἀρχάς.
Of the ancient accounts Hecateus and several others say beyond the far coast of the Celtic realm, in the ocean there is an island at least as large as Sicily. In truth this place is found below the constellation of the Bear, and where those called the Northmen dwell. From here the North wind blows, yet it is fertile and grows much, due to unexpected mildness, as two crops are raised and reaped each year. But to talk of mythic tales there Leto was born, thus they worship Apollo, as we know they honor his priests. Indeed, Apollo is their most high God, where on a given day; among them he is praised with music, endless song, and revered above all others. Also on this island were estates befitting Apollo and a proper holy place, where many votive offerings were displayed that looked sphere-like. Here, there was a settlement hallowed to this God, and where many lived that played the harp. For in to his sacred place they always play these instruments, songs that speak of this God amid the hymns, and thereby exalt his holyness.
Nonetheless, the Northmen have their own language, and are comfortably disposed towards the Greeks, and particular the Athenians and Delians, where from ancient times there has been innate good-will. There have been some Greeks who journeyed unto the Northmen, bearing costly votive offerings marked with Greek symbols. Moreover, the Northman Eiwar came to Greece in ancient times to renew ties of good-will and kinship, particular with the Delians. Furthermore, they claim that from their island the full-moon indeed appears closer to the earth and to them it clearly has earth-like features. They also say, that every nineteen years their shining God arrives upon this island, for this event corresponds to the return of the constellation from where it started; and for this God the period of nineteen years the Greeks know as the ‘Meton Cycle.' When this God reappears they play the cithara and dance from the night of the spring equinox, until the rising of the Pleiades, for their own delight and good-fortune. Nevertheless, the nobles of the towns and those who administer sacred places are both called Boreadae, as they were born of Boreas, an unbroken kinship passed down one after another, since the beginning.
One may say with some certainty that the core of the late NBAC was centered upon the eastern Danish island of Sjaelland. Here, between the 13th and 6th centuries BC, a wide range of distinctive bronze tools, weapons, vessels, and decorative jewelry were manufactured with a high degree of expertise. Moreover, distribution of these artifacts indicates that this expression directly influenced or expanded into the region that ran in a great arc from southern Norway to Sweden. This also included the southwestern tip of Finland, Livonia, Courland, East Prussia, greater Pomeranian, Jutland, and the lower Elbe as well as the Wadden Sea region. Beyond this area a complex network of trade routes extended in all directions. These served to ultimately deliver NBAC artifacts, particularly amber, furs, and weapons to northern Italy and the Aegean.
Indeed, distributional maps define a series of tribal communities or chiefdoms based on diagnostic artifact concentrations, largely recovered from hoards or interments. From northern Germany to Uppland, Sweden, these concentrations cluster around a number of princely burials, the richest of which are located in the lower Elbe region. These include the Seddin group of high-status burials clustered around Seddin, Kemnitz, Triglitz, and Lübz. Other large clusters of high-status burials found in the lower Elbe region are referred to as the Lüneburg and Albersdorf groups. However these burials were not associated with large residential, production, or trading centers, as the population remained scattered in numerous small settlements. Nonetheless, these high-status burials are primarily defined by the occurrence of the Socketed-axe, Lance-head, Horse-gear, and Hammered-vessel. Yet, other artifact types include Gold-armbands, Griffzungen Swords, Ship-razors, Richly-Ornamented Razor, Antenna-Hilted Swords, and Gundlingen Swords.
In turn, the iconography found on finely crafted bronze tools, vessels, weapons, and jewelry together with the Classical Greek textual sources provide intriguing insights into the nature of the cosmology, myth, and deities of the late NBAC. The artifacts tell us that the sun and moon were central to religious their life. These symbols and the alignments of the corresponding celestial bodies seemed to have been used to initiate, and otherwise regulate those aspects of a society that not only insured survival, but offered a cultural florescence, as well. From the Greeks we learn they measured their days and calendar by the phases of the moon, while observing the 19 year ‘Meton Cycle.’ Herein the procession of their gods, as heavenly features, across the sky by way of the wagon, chariots, or ship played a pivotal role in everyday life. Thus, to commemorate and institutionalize these events they were surrounded with the appropriate celebratory ritual and artifacts.
However, Norse and Greek myth suggest successive generations of gods, no doubt reflecting traditions inherent to the cosmologies of the Tumulus and Urnfield cultures. For example in chapter 11 of the Gylfaginning a primeval Chief-god is called Mundilfari, who was equivalent to Saturn and Cronus. Furthermore, this deity's son was Mána the Moon-god and his daughter Sól was a Sun-goddess who rode a sky-chariot pulled by twin Horse-gods called Arvak and Alsvid. This appears to have been shared part and parcel with the Elbe-Germanics and originally derived from the early west Baltic tradition. The Greeks imply another generation of deities with an Elder-god of northern Scandinavia called Boreas. He was also a Sky-god, but better known as a Wind-god. Conversely, the Greeks say that the people of the north worshiped Apollo and Artemis, as solar and lunar deities born to Boreas’ sister Leto. These Hellenic archetypes roughly parallel Norse myth, whereby Boreas becomes the Vanir Wind-god Njörđr. In fact both Boreas and Njörđr personified the far North as their names were literally used for this cardinal direction. Yet other parallels can be found in the twin gods Apollo and Artemis, as in Norse tradition they are Freyr and Freyja, who's mother was also the wife and sister of Njörđr.
Yet in the final analysis one is compelled ask about the relationship of the late NBAC to the Urnfield and Hallstatt cultures. Only in the lower Elbe region did all three of these contemporary expressions overlap, so that researchers, according to well-worn predilections may claim an affiliation, one-way or another. However, this does not take into account the presence of other coeval expressions, which were as well represented in the archaeological record. For example we submit the Lusantian, Elp, and House-Urn cultures. One is either obliged to promote one aspect over another or seek a compromise that will in effect, redefine each expression. Nevertheless, to better understand this complex relationship and by extension the nature of early Swabian ethnos an overview of the Lusantian, Elp, and House-Urn cultures is thus required.
Part IV: The Jastorf culture
The Pre-Roman Iron Age began sometime around 600 BC and lasted until about the BC/AD terminus, in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern area. This area is instructive because of Tacitus’ use of Mare Suebicum, indicating that by the 1st century AD, tradition held this was the homeland of the Swabians prior to their fateful encounter with Gaius Julius Caesar in Gual and southwest Germany 150 years before. Although often placed within the Jastorf Culture, the material assemblage is best described as only peripheral to this construct as defined by Künnemann (1995).
This is particular true of west Mecklenburg. Over the course of this period the local expression became increasing more influenced by the Hallstatt and later LaTene cultures of central Europe as contacts with southern Scandinavia continued (Reinecke 1991). The dominant burial pattern consisted of cremations placed within flat grave cemeteries. Nonetheless, small mounds and stone circles burials have also been found in Boitin. Several of the former burial type cemeteries appear to have been used continuously from the Late Bronze Age until the Roman Iron Age. This may suggest a certain degree of long term continuity for some of the pre-Roman Iron Age Mecklenburg-Vorpommern population that extended into the Late Bronze Age. However, this continuity is tempered by the fact that during the latter occupation, it represented an increasingly smaller segment of the regional population.
In the northern portion of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern the agricultural intensification that began in the Late Bronze Age appears to have increased as the local differentiation of the material culture increased. In contrast, the lack of imported bronze may suggest the decreased importance of trade and signify the local production of iron (Keiling 1982: 28-34; 1988; Krüger 1988; Voigt 1988). A demographic estimate, based on burial evidence, suggests that west Mecklenburg was densely occupied in the 4th century BC, with a population of 75,000 to 125,000. However, at some point after 300 BC the population level appears to have decreased slightly but steadily until sometime in the late 2nd or early 1st centuries BC, when west Mecklenburg was virtually abandoned. Concurrently, central Mecklenburg and northeast Vorpommern experienced very low population densities as well.
Some researchers have postulated that this initial overall decrease in population may have been caused by disruptions associated with the historical Cimbri migration. Interestingly the terminus for the Jastorf and Ripdorf phases has been placed at around 300 BC, as the local populations appear to go into a slow decline. In contrast, the Seedorf phase represented by widespread abandonments has been deliberately centered on 120 BC, the projected date of the Cimbri exodus from Denmark.
Indeed it may be suggested that the transition between the Jastorf C and Ripdorf phases indicate the initial emergence, arrival, or formation of the Irminones ethnos around 300 BC. If this was the case the Irminones and the later Swabian polity were virtually indistinguishable, in terms of material culture, other than a shift away from the LaTene and Pomeranian exchange networks, the formation of local nodes of manufacture, and a widespread decrease in population; possibly associated with increased warfare. There also was the introduction, apparently from southern Sweden, of Bear-claw capes, found within high status burials (Schönfelder 2007). Other than the changes mentioned above, there seems to have been few overt impacts on the native culture, other than the population decline. Nonetheless, these apparently minor changes may have indeed wrought significant social and political results.
Furthermore, latter abandonments in the Seedorf phase, were initially inspired by the Cimbri migration and the subsequent Swabian expansion to the south and southwest. Regardless, regional reoccupation and significant population increase was experienced in the 1st century AD (Keiling 1982: 35–37). Of course, this brings us to the 'Origo Gentis Langobardorum,' the 'Historia gentis Langobardorum,' and the ethnogenesis of the Winnili, who were to become the historic Langobardi (Long Beards).
In the Bardengau Zone we find a nearly identical pattern to that found in west Mecklenburg. Here Wegewitz (1972) identified a rather compact grouping of urn-burial cemeteries in the Elbe valley between the Oste and Jeetzel rivers. Over the course of this occupation these cremation cemeteries represent material assemblages that demonstrate an increasing Hallstatt and later LaTene cultural affiliation with some influence from southern Scandinavia. Once more some of these cemeteries appear to suggest a certain degree of long term continuity between the Late Bronze Age well into the Pre-Roman Iron Age.
As with Mecklenburg-Vorpommern the vast majority of the burials recovered from the Bardengau Zone cremation cemeteries date from the 6th to 3rd centuries BC. A relative decline in the number of burials between 300 and 120 BC was noted. As with the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern District there was a shift away from the LaTene and Pomeranian exchange networks, decrease in population, and the introduction, apparently from southern Sweden, of Bear-claw capes, found within high status burials (Schönfelder 2007). At the end of this period the use of a large number of these cemetery sites was rather abruptly discontinued. This evidence suggests major demographic disruptions occurred throughout the later 2nd and early 1st centuries BC and may be associated with the Cimbri migration as this region lies directly along their hypothesized route between Denmark and Bohemia. Once again the Jastorf, Ripdorf, and Seedorf phase trichotomy seems to have been correctly applied.
With the population decline in the 1st century BC, there also was the sudden appearance of differentiated male and female internments; and the associated spur, spear, sword, and shield among funerary items within the remaining burials. The demographic changes and appearance of weapon burials suggest the rapid emergence of a militaristic community where the use of the lance and competent horsemanship had become a defining cultural attribute (Christie 1995).
Künnemann (1995) proposes the Pre-Roman Iron Age Period Bardengau Zone expression is typical of the Jastorf Culture concept. In fact, the area encompassed by the modern states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein are considered the core, or heartland, of the Jastorf Culture. Yet, the marked continuity of the material assemblages found within this area strongly suggests this Pre-Roman Iron Age Jastorf construct was but a later adaptation of the widespread Late Bronze Age Urnfield Culure. Over this point, its important to remember the Urnfield Culture initially appeared in a wide band between the Netherlands and central Poland, and while a later contemporary, the Hallstatt Culture is actually a separate construct.
On the other hand, Wegewitz provides that the Bardengau Zone culture represents the historic Langobardi. More recently, researchers have noted that overall, this example is only one element of a larger expression, found between the Weser and the Vistula rivers. Furthermore, Christie correctly seems to point out that at some point, at least part of this expression (the Jastorf Culture Core Area), represented the emergence or ethnogenesis of tribes Caesar and Tacitus referred to as Swabian.