Golden Age of Erils
The Erils were surely heirs of traders since Bronze Age. They evaluated handicraft and even intellectual skills and runes. Metals and skills had to be brought from south. With that came the Celtic culture we see in our rock-carving and figurative remains.
Celtic culture, runes, Heruli, farmen, gifts for a fiancée, Ptolemaios' map, Danes, cuneiform brooch, freemen were druid, king, earl, ceorl, huskarl, ornum or birke,Romans and Erils |The civilised circus, At Elbe 5 AD, Wolves and bears, What happened 14 AD, Nero friend of Germans, Erils as legionaries, Culture and imperialism, Origin of runes, Early rune texts, Roman emperors
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Some rune finds are already mentioned and let us now have a closer look at the issue. The main presumption is that the runes were created by the Erils and only for their use. As ever trade and bookkeeping needed letters and numbers. Until our days people in general lived at the countryside and the nobility was a fraction below 5 percent of population.
In Icelandic the word "eril" means still house-to-house-peddling, while the Roman word Heruli may be understood as heir. In their rune texts they wrote proudly about themselves as Erils. Somewhere in between that depending on from which side you see is the truth. On Gotland they have the word farmen meaning traders with own farms. They made their fabrics in winter and went "on tour" in summer.Click for map
The map shows the finds of neck-rings H, rune inscriptions mentioning Erils are markt R and the dots are finds of golden medals in Scandinavia
The map showing finds of early runes give a picture of where they traded and lived. It is much the same as the map showing the early Roman import of luxuries. The map showing finds of golden medallions show the same pattern. Often a medal was given to a lass when they came home from the Roman empire with some gold. A word or two was love magic only for the two.
From the map we see that these cultural signs were spread all over at least southern Scandinavia and even in northern Germany. Some series of motifs show that they were spread and that means trade or other kind of spreading mechanism. The assumption must be that the Erils were the traders with a system of places they visited. With no hotels it was good to have friends in different parts of they trading territory.
The early researchers think that there were different alphabets in Scandinavia and Europe. The finds are few and the time span several hundred years. When considering what we know about the organised Erils they would have kept script as their own and since they were traders and legionaries they spread the script to some places.Click for map
On the map are the European find of rune inscriptions and golden medallions and bracts
Nearly all the finds in southern Europe are from places where we know the Erils have been. Those from Germany, Frisia and England are natural since we know they were trading there and some migrated to England too.
Some thinks that the rune alphabet was created under influence from the Greeks and others think that it was from Rome. I have to add much older inventions since 5 or 6 of 16 symbols are very old as for instance the "U" I see on a rock-carving from 2000 BC. The new invention was the phonetic script. We know that the Erils travelled to the south in East Trade as well as West Trade at Rhine in the beginning, so it is hard to tell from where and at which time they got the idea.
It is nearly the same story with the early syllable script that they think it was created at a certain time in fourth millennium BC. However some script symbols are more than 10000 year old and where do we have the border between symbolic picture … symbol … and script? If we only talk about organised script in lines we narrow our definition and it is harder to understand the sophisticated symbol and script combinations in many places.
Many phenomenons have a similar way of developing even when it is in different places and different times. Traders and merchants were the first to really need script and numbers to keep track of transactions and make trading agreements. Soon the temples needed that too since they stored many gifts and with the growth of cities the administration needed keeping books. The priest and staff of temples had to spend their time and found that it was a good thing to write down the songs and other things. All that seems to be the natural scenery.
In sparsely populated northern Europe they did not develop much of tight civilisation those days. Still there were traders and people, which needed writing in their professions. But why share that with others? We see a lot of signs of secrecy among the Erils and I think that they were just a separate law-room among the peasants.
… Up to my experience peasants were not supposed to be too much intellectual in my youth. The upper class read books and consumed culture and often in the penguin dress. I often wonder why you should wear black dress when listening to Wagner and Bach? … when I really listen to Sibelius in HiFi I often lie on the floor in my everyday clothes. That may be an obscure behaviour for the high society.
Gifts for the fiancée
Love magic is not only for girls and that is something occurring everywhere and at every time. So we find that some of the rune texts tell magic or is magic however we may be sure that counts only for a fraction of the texts. That is like today that we see some secret societies or special religions, but they are not common … I remember the girls of my younger day trying many secret tricks too.
This Roman coin became a gift to a lass.
Another reason to see the runes, as a matter for Erils is that they were differentiated and we may say allowed to trade. Man could not travel as he wished without arranging the trade route. We have only to look at the province laws from the thirteenth century. Only Scandinavians, Germans and Englishmen were really allowed to be in the province of Vaestergautland while others had to arrange permission. The writers of law had maybe the Viking Age in mind and they wrote special laws for Englishmen because many of them were monks that organised the church and taught the staff
Costly cargo maybe needed some kind of protection on trade as well as in harbour. Then the spreading of the Erils looks more like factories or the term birke/ornum in Scandinavia and factories in Germany, West Europe and other places. Then we can think about a net of factories around Europe. From the early town settlements we know that traders from different places formed their own enclaves. Maybe they had a common guard at a fortress in the town.
We know about taking hostages to keep peace, but also as a kind of agreement between folklands and traders. From early medieval times we know about taking hostages for taxes and then keeping a land as satellite. The Finnish word "kihlakunta" comes from this and means "Hostage County".
Another brooch is from Burgundy and KR in the text may be love magic understood as "Grip" as the young man wanted to grasp the girl.
The brooch It is typical with the face from Burgundy. The brooches were often made in a style typical for a tribe or area. We know that the Erils were at the "Catalunian Fields" near Burgund fighting Attila.
The custom was for the traders to arrange enclaves or colonies with the permission from the tribe in place. Old customs where also the Ionic pairhood not only between farms and provinces but also between tribes. We see that in alike tribe names in Germany. On Ptolemaios' map he mentions Sideni in northern Germany and they were surely counterparts to Deni as the prefix SI means "the other of two".
Jordanes tells that the Danes expelled the Erils from their homeland in the early sixth century. Then they sought new places outside Vaestergautland. We can only speculate in the cause. They surely lost their face after that Odoacar was split in two. Maybe the Erils had become too powerful and too Roman so that the normal peasants the Danes and their friends Sideni thought that enough is enough. And third the trade declined when first the Goths and later the Langobards took Rome. Lastly the immigration to England had started. The Erils had no more trade relations in the rich South. That may mean they could not pay or hire local people longer. This is what seems reasonable.
The finds of runes are mostly from the last century of their heydays that tells about their main trade relations at the limes. We know also that a bigger tribe was in Bohemia but had to flee to Yugoslavia for the Langobards on march. Later when they settled in northern Italy they were called Lombards. They were of course in France and Burgundy when fighting Attila.
Thus, we find some rune texts in those places as well as from Frisian places. They were also trading with them. We find runes on gifts to women such as the Freilauber brooch from Bohemia in Langobardian style as we note from the five knobs. On it is the text "Boso wrote the runes and gave to you Dalena"
The cuneiform Anglo-Scandinavian brooch.
To this mentioned we could add the cuneiform brooch found in Scandinavia and Northern Germany and the exception is most of east Sweden. It was also found in the places in England where we know the first Anglo-Saxons were spread ... that is east England. Another type from Saxony was spread in southern England and the Saxon places except in Kent.
Some may say that the runes are written with different alphabets. We may presume that these trading factories have been for long and that the Erils adapted the local tongue. The written lanuage was not standardised as in our days.
The skills to read and write runes were also a part of the skill of craftsmen working in bronze, silver and gold. Sometimes they made texts as part of the decorations. Then we have to know the "classes" of the Celtic society, which surely was the known old English division in freemen were druid, king, eorl and ceorl. Rest of the people were men, women and servants,
The Celtic druids were the real upper class and skilled in religion, philosophy, teaching and normal ruling. The Ionian philosophers highly respected the druids "... they speak in a puzzling and hidden way and learn out to devote the gods, not do evil and behave like a man". Mostly they worked as lawmen, teachers and advisers for the nobility and those playing kings. The peaceful Vaestergautland was normally ruled by the lawmen.
The eorls were perhaps the common nobility and possibly traders and fighters. We may suppose that ceorl is the same as the Nordic huskarl = house man, which means craftsmen. They were perhaps sometimes wandering masters that could be hired for a specific job or be seated at a noble man's little factory. They had the same rights as eorls. Some rune stones from the eleventh century are about them or mention them. The Erils tell about "bread-guests" and I suppose they were skilled craftsmen people could hire for a time or some were places as a "watching eye" in a folkland.
In Scandinavia were of course no towns, but we may talk about special villages ornum or birke where the farmen lived. They are known from especially Gotland in early Middle Age. Small fractions of this early feudal system we find in early laws and other remains. The nobility very often settled outside the old villages and they had enough working force and money to take up new land.
Maybe some of them were named duke. That means a skilled man in the suite of a king or other leader. As for an example an army had surely different craftsmen in the camp. Then we may suppose that there in every important settlement was some with many skills and that could write if needed. That is not far from the Middle Age Benedictine monks as they were clergymen and sometimes with several skills.
A very thin engraved golden plate was perhaps a morning gift. This maybe is influence from Byzantium