Odin Ariovist

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 9777
Date: 2001-09-25

Monumentum Ancyranum (14 CE):

... My navy sailed the Ocean from the mouth of the Rhine to towards
the East all the way to the area of the Cimbri, where neither by land
or by sea any Roman had gone before, and the Cimbri and Charydes and
Semnones and other tribes of the Germani asked thru emissaries for
friendship from me and the Roman people.

Caesar: Belli Gallici 1,31,10:

... since the king of the Germani Ariovistus had settled down in
their land and had occupied a third of the area of the Sequani, which
was the best of all of Gallia, and now he demanded that they evacuate
another third since a few months ago 28000 Harudes had come to him,
for whom land and homesteads must be provided. (59 BCE?)

A king of the Germani, in general, not one tribe? That hasn't been
seen since. Also, why do these 28000 Harudes come to him for

Jutland at some time was divided into "sysler" (cf. "sysselmand", the
king's representative, today the title of the representative of
Denmark in the Faroe Islands). It is tempting to see this division as
done in connection with the completion of the conquest of Jutland. As
noted before, those sysler south of a line from Horsens to Ringkøbing
were named for forests (eg. Barwithsyssæl), those north of it named
for peoples (eg. Wendlæ syssæl, Himbersyssæl, Hardersyssel (Harudes,
placed near the Cimbri by Augustus)). This latter area is not
mentioned by Alfred the Great in his Geography of the World when he
describes where the South Danes and North Danes live. Therefore,
those tribes whose names are connected with a syssel, and therefore
once lived in the not-yet-conquered area were probably Celtic-
speaking, cf.

Snorri, Prolog:

"The Æsir and some of their sons married with the women of the lands
they settled, and their families became so numerous in Germany and
thence over the north that their language, that of the men of Asia,
became the language proper to all these countries. From the fact that
their genealogies are written down, men suppose that these names came
along with this language, and that it was brought here to the north
of the world, to Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, by the Æsir. In
England, however, there are ancient district and place names which
must be understood as deriving from a different language." (In other
words, the Germanic languages were brought to these countries by
Odin's people).

One might even see the people-named sysler as reservations for the
conquered tribes?

Recently an Iron Age (Celtic Iron Age, now called Pre-Roman Iron Age,
lest our archaeological establishment be flooded with nosy Welsh,
Irish and Scottish colleagues) village was excavated at Nørre
Tranders, close to Ålborg, the "capital" of Himmerland. It was
inhabited from 500 BCE to 200 CE. Two of the last houses were
particularly rich finds since they had been burnt, in one of them the
farm animals had perished too. I would interpret it to mean that it
was a Cimbrian village, burnt down when the "Odin" people conquered
Himmerland, 200 years after they first arrived in Denmark.

But Hardersyssel is to the West and South of Himmerland (around
Ringkøbing). It may have been conquered sooner. Were the 28000
Harudes that Ariovistus was to provide land and homesteads for, a
contingent of a people deported in connection with pacification?
28000 is a lot, even of the population of Hardersyssel today. On the
other hand, Augustus seems to see them as a (still?) sovereign tribe.
They can't all have emigrated or been deported.

We know that Snorri's "Odin" had assumed that name. If he and his
people left Tanais because of Pompey (Snorri's Edda, Prolog, Codex
Wormianus: "Þá er Pompejus, einn höfðíngi Rómverja, herjaði í austr-
hálfuna, flýði utan Óðinn or Asia ok híngat í norðrhálfuna." cf.
Honorius Augustodunensis, De imagine mundi 3: "Quinta
Aetas": "Pompeius dictator et consul in Oriente cum viginti duobus
regibus pugnavit, et vicit", Veraldar saga: "Pompeivs Magnvs for i
avstrveg ok barðiz þar við marga konvnga ok hafdi iafnan sigr")
around 70 BCE, and went to Saxland (Germany) and set up a nation
there by subjugating the locals and spreading his own language, would
that make him a "rex Germanorum" in 59 BCE? And if so, after he was
defeated by Caesar, and therefore facing uprising among the
subjugated peoples, wouldn't he flee to an island where he would be
safe from attack: Fyn, and set up another kingdom there?

If Snorri were right and "Odin"(Ariovistus?) was subjugating tribes
east of the Rhine, in the area later named Germania, what we should
be looking for is something supra-tribal, a tribe of tribes. There is
one: the Suebians. Caesar counts the Suebians as one of the tribes
Ariovistus aligns for battle. Perhaps this means that the other
tribes Ariovistus commands that day are prospects and hangarounds,
recently subjugated, but not yet worthy of being Suebians (Harudes
are among them)?