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Norway was now in the age of the bog-finds or probably somewhat later almost completely colonised for the first time right up to lat. 69° in the north of Nordland's Amt. These settlements therefore reached as far as the boundaries of the Finns, who were living there in an "Arctic" Stone-Age. But on the peninsula of Jutland, to judge by the frequent clinker-built boats found in the bogs, ship-building and navigation must have been handed down and improved for generations previously. It is therefore highly probable that a portion of the older population of Jutland under the pressure of conquerors pushing forward from the south or even in their company crossed the sea to Norway, the population of which, especially to the north, where there are very distinct traces of a new style of burial commencing from this time, thus received a much needed increase of numbers as well as importance and power. But only the coast districts appear to have been settled. The great finds from the close of the early Iron-Age in Jutland and Norway show many striking points of resemblance. But just as the various styles of burial reached Denmark from north Germany, so in Norway they were adopted later and continued longer than in Jutland. There are the same early forms of graves with cremation, the same custom of laying the burnt bones in bronze vessels with a number of clay vessels buried under stone heaps, or at times in large stone cists, often too the same deliberate damaging of the grave-goods. But these customs, which in Jutland certainly date from the Early Iron-Age, probably belong to the Middle Iron-Age in the distant and isolated fjeld-tracts of Norway. In short it would be hard to
prove that an Iron-Age was in full force in Norway or in Sweden proper at the very same time as the Early Iron-Age in Denmark.
This movement also came from the south, no doubt directly along the Elbe, and partly also from the Rhine-lands. Crossing Jutland it spread north and east. Proof of this is given by the objects found in many bogs in Jutland and Fÿen, and in contemporary Danish and Norwegian graves, such as shirts of ringmail helmets swords-frequently with damascened blades and hilts mounted with silver and ivorybrooches and other ornaments, riding-gear with gold and silver mountings draughtsmen and other pieces for games handsome vases saucepans of a peculiar kind, with strainers fixed in them, beakers of metal or glass and so on. These last are sometimes inscribed with foreign runes and have their counterparts in not a few similar beakers found in north and central Germany Hungary and many other lands. Nor are these the only proofs of such a movement: here and there in Jutland, which otherwise on the whole retained cremation longer than the more eastern parts of Denmark, we may trace the introduction of the new custom of burying corpses unburnt in graves richly furnished with vessels of metal glass and clay. With still greater certainty can we follow it across Mecklenburg to Fÿen and Seeland. In these adjacent lands the skeleton-graves of this time offer the most striking resemblance to one another. At present it would even seem that this entirely foreign mode of burial centred, as it were, in
8 The ancient Germans were desperate gamblers, sometimes staking their personal liberty on the game. Tac. Germ. 24.
Seeland, especially to the east, where it has left more numerous and considerable traces than in the rest of the old Danish lands. The same or a similar movement from the south across Mecklenburg and the surrounding country, which certainly again by way of Jutland brought a new addition of peoples in its train, spread at a later date from western Scania north to Halland and Bohuslehn and thence onwards over the south-east of Norway.
A third and not less important stream of culture and peoples must have taken a still more easterly way. From the regions on the Oder and Vistula and from the Baltic Provinces it crossed the islands of Bornholm Öeland and Gotland to south-eastern Scania Blekinge East Gotland and the rest of Sweden in the north and east. Thence it passed over to the coast of Finland, but hardly reached further than lat. 63°. The new settlement in Sweden in the Middle IronAge must now have been six degrees further south than in Norway. In the whole of Norway only a few scattered Roman silver denarii have hitherto been found. These indeed do not often appear in Jutland and Fÿen. On the other hand later West-Roman gold and silver coins, especially of the time of Constantine, are here, as in Norway also, more frequent. In Seeland the denarii begin to appear in larger numbers, but are principally gathered in south-eastern Scania Bornholm Öeland and Gotland.9 In the last of these islands they are dug up by thousands. The introduc
9 In Sweden of 4760 Roman coins from these times as many as 4000 are from Gotland, 96 from Öeland, 650 from Scania, and only 23 from the rest of Sweden. In 1870 as many as 1500 were found in one spot. O. Montelius, Kult. Schwed., pp. 95–6.
tion of the silver denarius into the eastern North was suddenly stopped doubtless by the national movements in the interior of Europe. Besides them we find hardly any other West-Roman coins in the east and north of Sweden before the year 400. Evidently this was due to the want of active intercourse with western Europe. On the other hand exactly similar troves of denarii are discovered on the Oder and Vistula quite down to Silesia Galizia and Hungary. From this we may at once infer that at this time there existed an important and extensive intercourse with the East. Thus north and south alike agree both in scattered finds of Roman or Romano-barbaric antiquities and also in the permanent monuments, which in the regions south-east of the Baltic are certainly due to an eastern Gothic population. The hitherto dark traditions of olden times which have been preserved in the Sagas fix a "Goth-heimar" or Home of the Goths in the regions south-east of the Baltic. At times too they tell us of a place called, like Denmark of old, "Reith-Gotaland" on the south coast of the Baltic, namely in the modern Pommerania and Mecklenburg. Every new observation tends to confirm these legends. Thus among others a large bog-find at Dobelsberg in Kurland reminds us strikingly in its contents and manner of deposit of the peculiar bog-finds in Jutland and Fyen dating from the close of the Early Iron-Age. The Stone-settings common in Blekinge and eastern Sweden, which take the form of squares circles and especially ships, recur for a considerable distance south-east of the Baltic, particularly in Kurland, where stones arranged in the form of ships with off
sets like thwarts have recently been investigated, and show by their contents that they were not later, as previously supposed, but certainly older than the ship-settings in Öeland and eastern Sweden, with which they evidently correspond. Moreover many antiquities found in the earth but most of all the ancient remains of the Gothic language prove that prior to the fifth century Gothic peoples must have dwelt in these regions and influenced the Finnish and other neighbouring races, and that their speech, apart from minor local peculiarities, was in the main the same as that which was spoken by the Goths on the Danube and Goths in the Scandinavian North. Of this there is distinct evidence in the oldest rune inscriptions still existing here, some of them dating from the close of the Early Iron-Age (400-450), others from the Middle Iron-Age (450-700).
Thus at last by a way of its own, though also partly owing to repeated shiftings from north to south on the Scandinavian peninsula, the north of Sweden received its first real permanent extensive population. This was about the very last period of the Early or even perhaps at the commencement of the Middle Iron-Age in the old Danish lands, that is, about the years 350-450 A.D. Like the north of Norway, which also was now for the first time settled on a large scale, these colonies were established by sturdy energetic races. Besides handsome weapons and ornaments they had appliances and ships which facilitated their passage over seas river-torrents and extensive lakes. Through the thick sombre forests they could now open out the country from Upland as a centre across Södermanland, Nerike