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Lo condition to adopt the half Romano-barbaric culture peculiar to the neighbouring Northern and other Germanic peoples. They appear however to have been early connected with or influenced by the Eastern Empire and its capital Byzantium or Constantinople. Many of the lands they occupied show traces about the sixth century of a definite though limited connexion or intercourse with the Byzantine Empire, traces of which are also to be observed in the high North.

For the first time therefore in the North besides West-Roman coins East-Roman or Byzantine coins appear.3 Naturally some time must have elapsed after they were minted ere they were brought up to the Baltic along the Oder and Vistula. Here they are found most frequently in the islands of Bornholm Öeland and Gotland, in eastern Sweden Scania Seeland and Fÿen, less frequently in Jutland, and still more rarely in Norway. In general they served in the North rather as ornaments for neck and breast than as money. As a rule therefore they are pierced and fitted with small hooks. With them we also find a peculiar kind of valuable gold trinkets manufactured in the North, as well as abroad, namely heavy rings composed of two or even more rows for the neck arms and fingers, brooches breast ornaments or bracteates swordmountings &c., occasionally in large hoards of gold mingled with fragments of valuable gold rings gold

3 "Solidi " from the "First Period of the Later Iron-Age" (4th to 8th cent.) have been found in Sweden to the number of 260, more than 200 of them in Oeland and Gotland. O. Montelius, p. 121. Gold coins have been discovered in only two Norwegian finds. O. Rygh, Norske Oldsager, No. 286.


bars and beads of gold and mosaic. Such a find for instance at Broholm in Fÿen amounts to over eight pounds,1 at Gallehus to nearly fourteen, and near Trosa 5 in Södermanland Sweden to as many as twenty-nine pounds weight of gold. The coins first minted at Byzantium in the fifth and sixth centuries as well as many of the peculiar imitations of Roman coins found along with them, the so-called gold bracteates, which mark the commencement of a Northern style, point to a somewhat later period of the Middle Age of Iron, most probably from the close of the sixth till the end of the seventh century. Strangely enough it would appear that the introduction of Byzantine gold coins into the North soon again ceased. Of the coins minted in Byzantium during the whole period between 580 and 850 or thereabouts none, so far as is yet known, reached the North except in chance connexion with treasures of a much later date. To an earlier period of the Middle Iron-Age, perhaps even from its commencement in the middle of the fifth century, belongs a not inconsiderable gold hoard dug up at Brangstrup in Fyen. It consisted of coins trinkets and large pieces of ring-gold alloyed with silver, but contained only WestRoman gold coins used as hanging ornaments. In general such large gold hoards in the North point specially to the Middle Age of Iron. In the following Viking-times they are usually succeeded by similar hoards of silver. With the coins they point to the

4 In 1832.

5 In 1774.


6 45 coins from 241 A.D. (Trajan Decius) to 352 (Constantine the Great); also one barbaric imitation of a coin of Constantine the Great.

Eastern as well as to the Western Empire, on the borderlands of which the barbaric peoples at the time of the national migrations produced such vast disturbances. Many indeed of the largest ornaments and hoards of gold must have belonged to temples. But it is very doubtful how far the gold objects, so much more costly then than now, can have been brought into the North, and to Sweden to the extent of nearly thirty pounds weight, by trade and peaceful intercourse alone during times of disturbances which must have lasted long after the national migrations had ceased. Besides the Trosa find many other large gold hoards, especially of heavy and broad gold rings, have been discovered in the north and east of Sweden. In Öeland and Gotland, which soon became important marts, it must have been easier to acquire wealth. But in north Sweden, which was only fully settled at the beginning of the Middle Iron-Age, the country was hardly yet rich enough in objects of export, to procure such an astonishing wealth of gold. More probably bold warlike adventurers, who were sprung from the later and occasionally perhaps from the older population of Sweden and the North generally, served in foreign armies, especially the Roman, or joined the expeditions and raids of Barbarians on the frontiers of the Roman Empire and elsewhere, and thus laid the foundations of this surprising wealth, which may afterwards have been increased by trade and other means. That such was probably the case may be inferred from the fact that in these hoards we find foreign objects mingled with others distinctly native. On the whole in gold ornaments and rich treasure of gold the Middle Iron-Age not only surpasses previous ages, but also the

subsequent Viking - period, which has hitherto been regarded as the richest. In this respect one might well name this period the Golden Age of the North.

But not only with the Byzantine Empire, which had long been Christian, did the heathen North come into contact. It must have had intercourse with other lands nearer home and later to receive Christianity. This was specially the case towards the end of this period. As early as the fourth century the new faith was spread among the Goths on the Danube." These can hardly have been severed from all intercourse with the kindred Goths on the Baltic. In the fifth century the Burgundians on the Rhine were baptized. In the sixth and seventh Christendom advanced victoriously in France and England. To the south the heathen North had a strong bulwark against Christendom in the far-stretching lands of the heathen Slavs. But to east and west it became more and more exposed to a variety of Christian influences. Of this there are evident signs: besides Byzantine gold coins dating from the fifth or sixth centuries small gold plates have been found in Bornholm with barbaric representations of the Apostles, angels in deacons' robes, bishops or abbots, the crucifix, Mary and John, &c.

7 It is not improbable that it began here as early as the Gothic invasion in 268. Dionysius of Rome (259-269) wrote a letter to the Church of Cæsarea 'begging for subscriptions towards the ransom of Christian Cappadocians. The letter was read publicly in the churches as late as the fourth century. Every soldier in the campaign of Claudius after the battle of Naissus (270) received three Gothic women as his share of the spoil. (Gibbon, c. xi.) Ulfilas was made bishop of the trans-Danubian Goths in 348; d. 388. Gibbon's account of the ancient Germans (c. ix.) is very unsatisfactory, as the reader will observe, on comparing it with any modern work on their antiquities.


The Brangstrup find in Fÿen along with West-Roman coins struck at the close of the fourth century contains a whole series of ornamental pendants with barbarised. Christian figures, and among others without doubt that of Christ Himself.

Many other objects have been discovered in bogs and fields as well as in skeleton-graves from the close of the Early Iron-Age and from the Middle Iron-Age in Denmark, as for instance an angel of gold in deacon's robes an armlet with Christian symbols a ball of crystal a jewel carved with Christian Gnostic inscriptions in Greek ("Ablanathanalba," i.e., Thou art our Father) brooches mountings with barbarised semiChristian ornaments, known also in other countries, and many others. These all presuppose considerable connexions in early times between Denmark and Christian countries to the south-east and south-west.

Strangely enough during the whole of the Iron-Age prior to the beginning of the Viking-times mentioned in history (770-800 A.D.) it has hitherto proved impossible to point to any close intercourse with England or any direct influence thence. This would seem to indicate a condition of downright hostility between the Germanic peoples in England and their near kinsfolk in Denmark.

Traces have been found to show that the south-west coasts of Norway carried on a lively traffic with the Anglo-Saxons at an earlier time and to a greater degree than the Danish lands. From them they received various objects, especially trinkets, the half heathen half Christian representations and ornaments of which were subsequently imitated in Norway. Other finds

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