Erils as Heruli 100 to 570 AD
The Erils or Heruli are since long forgotten. One cause is that they had no specified homeland we eventually can refer to as heirs. The other is that they were defeated. This section is just an overlook on the time when Rome used German allies or foedorati
Erils as legionaires, traders and nobility, neck-rings or necklaces, maiden Freya, Heruli, Ek Erilar, Mithra, Hekate, Celts and Erils, twins or fellows, trophy of victory, Beowulf, Jupiter, Odoacar, Teoderic
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The Nydam boat from South Jutland 300 AD is clink build and 23 metres long and with at the middle 3,25 metres. It was suitable for a cargo or 45 men. Generally They seem to have been trading with the Romans at Rhine and the coasts.
Science always needs proof. When I started my studies many years ago there was only this proof and the much smaller Hjortspring boat telling about ancient vessels. In the meantime we have get finds of much older boats telling that they could build them for high seas 4000 years ago … see theFerriby boat that is 52 feet long for 18 paddlers and build of oak planks sewn together with twisted yew branches.
The oldest find in Scandinavia is so far from Valderøy ship 1300 BC and it tell a little about their technique. The boat has been clink-build with sewn boards and tap-holes. The tightening was surely made of bog moss and resin since we have find of that as trading goods.
In short there were skilled sailors long before the Romans and as proof we have also maybe 100000 ships sailing on our rocks. Then we can interpret finds and pictures of cultural influence, as sure since we know they owned ships for the cultural interchange.
In Roman times six legions placed at Rhine needed many supplies and that trade was open for all peaceful traders. Furs, dried fish, meat, corn and Baltic Amber have surely been much of the trade. The silver gathered in Poland could be from the amber trade.
We cannot know for sure how the society was organised as a whole during Bronze and Iron Age in Scandinavia and most of Europe. They belonged to the Swebian league and were just a branch of the German Celts. Normally it is only the top of the iceberg we see and then it is the culture of traders and nobility. The inscriptions at stelae at Rhine confirm this assumption by celebrating Mercurius = god of trade from the North. We cannot immediately tell that his Nordic name was Odin because we have no evidence.
In the Anglo-Saxon law that surely build on old Scandinavian law the forth class of freemen were the "merchants". On Gotland called "farmen" = "going men". The noble law stated that to be a thane the merchant should have made three journeys for own money abroad. This class and trade grew in the Roman Age and we do not know how old it is by this definition. But surely there have been bronze and salt traders.
Scientists studying Minoan culture think nowadays that the rule was ritual implying a priest as ruler. In Scandinavian Bronze Age we see much influence from the Aegean world. The male league came maybe with the Greeks in last millennium BC. Julius Caesar and other Roman writers witnessed only the southern Celts, but for the most they wrote about them like in political pamphlets.
There are few true facts and mostly names we never know whether they are some transcripts in Latin or the Latin names. However it is the only we have and we have to make most of it. We have many names on the tribes of German, Gaelic and English origin. That tells us about a manifold and some of the names are showing kinship between tribes while others may give a hint of their main gods.
Roman sources tell about the Heruli but on our runic stones they name themselves Erils for instance Ek Erilar in some texts. That is why I use the Scandinavian word. Maybe the Roman name should be understood as "heirs" and then understood as heirs of the goddess Eostre or generally Mother Earth.
It seems logic to think the Erils were heirs of the early Bronze Age traders and metallurgists since the metals and skill of working had to be imported. My other books tell about their ancient roots. For the Romans the Heruli were only mercenaries, while in Scandinavia the Erils were the upper class that managed a normal society in the sparsely populated times. That means a kind of old four class Ionian society adapted for Scandinavia.
It is symptomatic for our time that scientists imagine that they were chieftains and enslaved people, however we have no proof of that. Instead we have sign of a world order with different law-rooms. The terms birke and ornum seem to mean special law-rooms in the common farmers land and that was for those working with trade and handicraft.
If there were leaders it seems to have been one, two or three leaders and of either male or female kind. In some case it might have been a pair with a priestess leading rituals and the male as worldly leader, another case were two lawmen. As influence from Rome they might have been influenced of the republic with two consuls, however pairhood is seen much in the symbolism from 2000 BC onward.
It is obvious that the Romans influenced them once they became foedorati and legionaries. Then the male idol was the sun god or Jupiter with an eagle, however it could also be continuity of the Ansur from before Roman Age. Still they have much in common with the Gaelic Celts as for instance the trinity or tri-head and the pig.
This statue is from Marne France, in other places they had simply a pig statue.
The neck-rings and necklaces were old culture and manifestos of the new Moon Maiden as well as the Isis type of Lady of the house. From Beowulf we learn that among nobility it was custom to give all the gains to the Maiden or the Lady of the house. Then she gave some ring as reward for the pains.
For instance in the Gallo-Roman provinces we find names as Salvier, Melvier, Vellavier, Nervier, Lexovier and they are all telling that they had some cult with pigs seen by the suffix -vier and it are also found in place names. In the early carvings in passage graves we find some pictures of a sow and we may believe that behind were very old myths.
Under the Celtic era they made many statues of a pig. However, as ever in a manifold we can never generalise from that kind of facts. They have to be related to the places with finds. The same is case in Sweden where we find pig-symbolism mainly in East Sweden. To the picture belongs that the fertility Maiden Freya sometimes was named the Sow. The trinity is manifested in a couple of tri-heads on the West Coast of South Jutland.
Some may in the old platonic way believe that Scandinavia did not exist before we got maps and names on tribes. This statement belongs to those believing in everlasting ideas once they are created, but not before. Most of the land above the Sarmaticus Oceanus has been inhabited when there was no ice.
The Romans tell also about raids in the Black Sea and Greece. The Goths began their campaign ca 239 AD and the Erils joined them in 262. They sailed with 500 ships from the Black Sea to Ionian coasts. They plundered temples as Ephesus and later Athens. That is why we can ask if there is temple gold in our ritual gold?
The Romans solved the treat by persuading their leader Naulobatus and the Erils to be legionnaires and that should be the solution for more than 200 years. They preferred to be paid in gold and one ancient collector from Fyn Denmark gathered 48 coins from the period 270 to 361 AD.0ptolemei.htm
I am nearly sure that Claudius Ptolemaios created this map so that the Scandinavians got names and "come on the map" as they say today.
The map fit the picture of those One-foot, Cyclopes, Cynocephalus and those with the head in stomach the ancient Greeks believed were inhabitants on the shores of the Sarmatian Ocean. However, the 70000 years old bones of a Finn do not fit that description. I would not giggle about this if not some still today believes more in the old Greeks so to speak.
The people of Gotland are of course proud when they find their name Gutae in Skaane. In east Sweden we find the Favonai, which may mean that they were immigrants to the last province to rise out of the ocean. Many small facts point in that direction as probably people in the German-Romans' areas surely felt uncomfortable with the Roman peace. The place names in Uppland and Viken maybe show that too.
In the middle we have Vaestergautland and the Leviones, whom may have been living at Levene. The word means a "bread-meadow" and the actual were in size 26 hectares and maybe famous at the time. Another source names them Hill-leviones.
On north Jutland we find the Cimbri. As all imperialists the Romans were not too polite with names and they called all Scandinavians Cimbri. In reality they may have lived in Himmerland. Chali and Charaudes may be related to place names as Tjele and Arden maybe. From other facts we know that there lived many people in Himmerland. Fundisi were surely fond of springs and so was the later Catholic Church. A Maiden is understood behind this too. Sigulones may be related to the village Sig north of Varde and archaeologists know about the Iron Age villages in Hodde and another place in the province.
In plain words "The Scandinavians are fools, we can lure them as we wish". Since that many Scandinavians believe themselves that they are barbarians and animals like these.
Nevertheless, the Greek did not know about the real centre of the Erils. Gold had only ritual value to the Celts and Erils, however the Welsh Celts sold much to others. The finds of golden items may tell about their main places. These were the mentioned but north-east Zealand and Odense on Fyn were surely their headquarters. The god Hanno is usually said to have been from Fyn
Maybe Mercurius Rex came from Zealand. Other places were Skaane, Östfold, Bohuslaen, Vaestergautland and of course Auland and Gotland. In most of the places the finds of golden medals tell where they lived. Especially in Vaestergautland finds of the neckrings tells about ritual gold for the leader or the Maiden and perhaps the Twins or Two Fellows.
The Roman Tropaeum.
Waltheow about the dead of Hygelac
They bring him a beaker ... he was asked to drink.
Kindly she gave him two bracelets of twined gold,
a battle shirt of iron rings
and the biggest neck-ring I ever heard about.
Nowhere under the heaven I have heard
about a hero having a more glorious jewel
since Hama brought Brisingamen,
the flaming jewel to the shining castle,
when he fled for Jordmunrek's fraudulent violence
and choose never-ending welfare.
From the Snettingham finds in Norfolk England. They think there have been a gold trade to Norfolk from Ireland and maybe Scandinavians knew that trade
That ring wore Hygelac, the geat,
a friend of Swerting on his last journey,
when he under the standard fenced the treasure,
guarded his gain. His fate took him away,
when he in hubris sought the battle
against the Frisians.
He took that jewel, the neck-ring out on the billows,
the mighty sovereign, he fell under shield.
The kings' body was left with the Franks,
and so his battle shirt and neck-ring too.
Simple fighters robbed the fallen.
Geats were left on the field with dead bodies.
A Tropaeum, i.e. a trophy of victory was a helmet, a battle-shirt and the commanders' weapon. They carried it all on a staff in the victory procession.
Surely the ceremonies and trophies in Scandinavia became a mix between the Romans' style and old customs between Erils. They wrote Beowulf after the turbulence in Europe. Perhaps some Eril who had immigrated to Brittany wrote it.
Maybe this is an Eril in normal battle dress in the age before they became legionaries.
However the tattoos are not seen. Germans wore trousers that were a disgrace in Rome. However those who had been in the Alps and north of them perhaps understood that it is a better dress than the tunic in winter. The Romans made many triumphs arches but none about the defeats in Teutoburger Wald and in England. Still we get some pictures telling about the Celtic and German circus. In fact the Germans forced the Romans to stop at Rhine.
Through the ages there have been many symbols for the male "bull" such as bear, ram, buck, cock, stallion (hengest), stag and so on. It is the male need for imposing on girls and even on each other. Surely they needed faith and strength when the first tamed the bull, but after that it became a tradition and that lives still.
The Roman army developed religion of their own inspired from the east.
However the symbolism is as old as the heavenly bull Sumerian Gilgamish fought against ... in Egypt Pharaoh himself was the bull. Here a picture of a Mycenaean bullfighter and at Crete the Minoans just played with the bull. Maybe Minotaurus taught it is fun.
Many animal species can be a playmate but it is not easy to be real friend with an animal since you have to be equal. To know how the animal play is also a good beginning. I think the horse is the best example and some men become a centaur and just one with the horse. It is a question of primary attitude to animals.
This kind of fresco was found in temples of Mithra and usually under earth as the god was given birth out of a rock.
Then it is of course easier to get some mysticism in the rituals too if they are secret. All boys love secrecy and to hide in mystery since it gives some power even to the weak. Time was naturally important to them as we see the zodiac above the bullfighting Mithra.
The Celtic tradition was to prepare for the fight, which was like "going to otherworld". They put fat and ash in their hair and rose furiousity within. It was a kind of trance and mobilising hardness so they would not feel pain and react normally on pain. Battle is always a world with no rules and apart from the world of peace and world order.
Perhaps the Mithraism inspired the Erils too, however in Scandinavia they developed their own symbolism. The hero's fight was to put his hand in the jaws of the Fenriswolf. The symbolism taken from the night sky as the Celtic rite of "Bunnan Addan" where the binding is the line from North Pole over the Dragon Eye and the Hand of Hercules, the hero to the Capricorn.
The complex symbolism was about the circle of life, harvest, end of year and much more. Golden medal with the hero Tyr and Fenrisulven they fettered
The ring of Celts was much more than a neat thing around the neck. Some of them are so heavy that a bull's neck would be needed. A circle is symbol of unity and the leader wore it as symbol for his duty to offer his neck for the community. In secret rings of the male league they swore their oaths holding in the ring.
Smaller arm-rings were given to the members. It was symbol for their giving the arm to the league. The same logic was applied even to the normal society as for instance the doom rings. You sit in the ring as a member. If you are in the middle you are accused or the speaker … you should not be outside.
This is surely an oath-ring belonging to a male league and perhaps a secret society among legionaries of the nobility. This ring together with other costly golden items was found in Pietrosa near Bucharest.
It is supposed to have been at the Roman limes were in this case the Erils maybe had their temple. Perhaps they had to hide the treasure when the Huns came in 378 AD. The interesting part is that there is a short text in runes:
gutan iovi hailagis my translation of the letters. Then it is with Celtic word formation "Sanctified to Jupiter". IOVI was the Roman short name for the god Jov pater. It would be natural that soldiers in the Roman army sanctified Romans gods ... when in Scandinavia on vacations they of course followed old customs.
Irish old tales tell about a Nordic Lochlann. As ever it is hard to know whether they are telling about the other side or about reality. Anyhow there should have been a Queen Schataig's island where they trained the fighters. It is only naturals that the coming elite soldiers have been trained before they left for Rome or limes.
Still in the Middle Age it happened that the soldiers brought a wife with them and that may have been the case in the Roman permanent steady camps too. At Rhine they have found remains after some woman soldier too and they may have called her the Shield Maiden as these words have been spared to us. Emperor Probus "moved" or settled 16000 unspecified Germans to the east-provinces. That means whole families since he wanted to pacify the Germans by taking hostages and place them long way from home. In the big Roman Empire were many tribes and we know only about a few
Their nearest enemy in South-Jutland might have been the Saxons at some time if we shall decide from the finds. That is the older border in south Jutland and in Schleswig they found a chap with runes:
owlthuthewar ... niujamarirwhich I interpret Owl demon ... New Moon Maiden
The Greeks had their Hekate, the Night Queen and the Sumerian Lilith was an owl. She was in the moonless night and stands for the Mights in the night. To ask for her help is to ask for power about the invisible. The new Moon Maiden is her opposite and to pray to her is asking for growth and something newness as it is in Old Norse. Hesiodos tells about Hekate:
... the one she honours and loves,
she favours and gives the victory
with honour and glory.
She is a true friend
when men are going to fight.
Now to the tale about the Argonauts. When searching for the golden skin, Jason, the hero got help from Medea. She is Hekate's priestess and knows about witchcraft and healing and she gives the hero a wonder-working salve. It makes wonder and to that the old imagination to be a phantom ... as still is used in sports today. We know from the rock carvings that even old tales from Greece were known among the Scandinavians long before the Roman era.
This iron spear was found in Kovel Volhynia on the river road Vistula-Bug to Olbia on the coast of the Black Sea.
I read it TILARINGS, however others and I do not understand a bit. The only we may see are that these early runes and symbols are a mix of influence from Greece and Rome. It is supposed to be from the period when they made an own writing system in runes.
The Celts devoted surely Morrigan or the Maiden of Bogs as they always gave back to the bogs what should not be in circulation. No one was supposed to find it. So, broken weapons, sometimes golden pieces and other thing that might tell about changing to a new age all are hidden in the dark waters.