Zealand is the largest and most populated island in Denmark with a population of 2,267,659. It is the 96th-largest island in the world by area and the 35th most populous and it is connected to Funen by the Great Belt Fixed Link, to Lolland, Falster by the Storstrøm Bridge and the Farø Bridges. Zealand is linked to Amager by five bridges, Zealand is linked indirectly, through intervening islands by a series of bridges and tunnels, to southern Sweden. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is located partly on the shore of Zealand. Other cities on Zealand include Roskilde, Hillerød, Næstved and Helsingør, the island is not connected historically to the Pacific nation of New Zealand, which is named after the Dutch province of Zeeland. In Norse mythology as told in the story of Gylfaginning, the island was created by the goddess Gefjun after she tricked Gylfi and she removed a piece of land and transported it to Denmark, which became Zealand. The vacant area was filled with water and became Mälaren, since modern maps show a similarity between Zealand and the Swedish lake Vänern, it is sometimes identified as the hole left by Gefjun.
Zealand is the most populous Danish island and it is irregularly shaped, and is north of the islands of Lolland, and Møn. The small island of Amager lies immediately east, Copenhagen is mostly on Zealand but extends across northern Amager. A number of bridges and the Copenhagen Metro connect Zealand to Amager, Zealand is joined in the west to Funen, by the Great Belt Fixed Link, and Funen is connected by bridges to the countrys mainland, Jutland. Gyldenløveshøj, south of the city Roskilde, has a height of 126 metres, Zealand gives its name to the Selandian era of the Paleocene. Urban areas with 10, 000+ inhabitants, North Zealand Media related to Zealand at Wikimedia Commons Zealand travel guide from Wikivoyage
Iron Age Scandinavia
Iron Age Scandinavia refers to the Iron Age, as it unfolded in Scandinavia. The 6th and 5th century BC was a point for exports and imports on the European continent. Now they had to be practically self-dependent and self-sustaining, archaeology attests a rapid and deep change in the Scandinavian culture and way of life. Agricultural production became more intensified, organized around larger settlements and with a much more labour-intensive production, slaves were introduced and deployed, something uncommon in the Nordic Bronze Age. Bronze could not be produced in Scandinavia, as tin was not a natural resource. Iron is a metal and was suitable for tools and weapons. The Bronze Age ard plough was still the plough of choice, herds of livestock had pasture grazed freely in large wood pastures, but were now placed in stables, probably to utilize manure more efficiently and increase agricultural production. Even though the advent of the Iron Age in Scandinavia was a time of great crisis, the period might just reflect a change of culture and not necessarily a decline in standards of living.
The Iron Age in Scandinavia and Northern Europe begins around 500 BC with the Jastorf culture, AD800 and the beginning Viking Age. It succeeds the Nordic Bronze Age with the introduction of metallurgy by contact with the Hallstatt D/La Tène cultures. Jørgen Jensen, I begyndelsen, Gyldendal og Politikens Danmarks Historie, ISBN 87-89068-26-2 Bente Magnus, G Franceschi, Asger Jorn, Men and Masks in Nordic Iron Age Art
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius and added the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather and he is the primary contemporary source for Merovingian history. St. Martins tomb was a pilgrimage destination in the 6th century. Gregory was born in Clermont, in the Auvergne region of central Gaul, Gregory had several noted bishops and saints as close relatives, according to Gregory, he was connected to thirteen of the eighteen bishops of Tours preceding him by ties of kinship. Gregorys paternal grandmother, descended from Vettius Epagatus, the martyr of Lyons. His father evidently died while Gregory was young and his mother moved to Burgundy where she had property. Gregory went to live with his paternal uncle St. Gallus, Bishop of Clermont), under whom, Gregory received the clerical tonsure from Gallus. Having contracted an illness, he made a visit of devotion to the tomb of St.
Martin at Tours. Upon his recovery, he began to pursue a career and was ordained deacon by Avitus. Upon the death of St. Euphronius, he was chosen as Bishop by the clergy and people, who had been charmed with his piety, learning and he spent most of his career at Tours, although he assisted at the council of Paris in 577. The rough world he lived in was on the cusp of the world of Antiquity. Gregory lived on the border between the Frankish culture of the Merovingians to the north and the Gallo-Roman culture of the south of Gaul, at Tours, Gregory could not have been better placed to hear everything and meet everyone of influence in Merovingian culture. Tours lay on the highway of the navigable Loire. Five Roman roads radiated from Tours, which lay on the thoroughfare between the Frankish north and Aquitania, with Spain beyond. At Tours the Frankish influences of the north and the Gallo-Roman influences of the south had their chief contact, Gregory struggled through personal relations with four Frankish kings, Sigebert I, Chilperic I, and Childebert II and he personally knew most of the leading Franks.
Gregory wrote in Late Latin which departed from classical usage frequently in syntax, the Historia Francorum is in ten books. At this date Gregory had been bishop of Tours for two years, the second part, books V and VI, closes with Chilperic Is death in 584. During the years that Chilperic held Tours, relations between him and Gregory were tense, after hearing rumours that the Bishop of Tours had slandered his wife, Chilperic had Gregory arrested and tried for treason—a charge which threatened both Gregorys bishopric and his life
Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent late antique scholar from Palaestina Prima. He is commonly held to be the last major historian of the ancient Western world, apart from his own writings, the main source for Procopius life is an entry in the Suda, a Byzantine encyclopaedia, written sometime after 975, which tells everything about his early life. He was a native of Caesarea in the Roman Province Palaestina Prima and he evidently knew Latin, as was natural for a man with legal training. In 527, the first year of Eastern Roman Emperor Justinians reign, he became the adsessor for Belisarius, Procopius was with Belisarius on the eastern front until the latter was defeated at the Battle of Callinicum in 531 and recalled to Constantinople. Procopius witnessed the Nika riots of January,532, which Belisarius, Procopius recorded a few of the extreme weather events of 535–536, although these were presented as a backdrop to Roman military activities, such as a mutiny, in and near Carthage. He rejoined Belisarius for his campaign against the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy and experienced the Gothic siege of Rome that lasted a year and nine days and he witnessed Belisarius entry into the Gothic capital, Ravenna, in 540.
Book Eight of the Wars of Justinian, and the Secret History, suggest that his relationship with Belisarius seems to have cooled thereafter. When Belisarius was sent back to Italy in 544 to cope with a renewal of the war with the Goths, now led by the able king Totila, Procopius appears to have no longer been on Belisarius staff. As magister militum, Belisarius was a vir illustris, and Procopius, as his adsessor, must and he thus belonged to the middle-ranking group of the ordo senatorius. However, the Suda, which is well informed in such matters. Should this information be correct, Procopius had a seat in the senate of Constantinople and it is not known when Procopius himself died, and many historians date his death to 554, but in 562 there was an urban prefect of Constantinople who happened to be called Procopius. In that year, Belisarius was implicated in a conspiracy and was brought before this urban prefect, the writings of Procopius are the primary source of information for the rule of the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian.
Procopius Wars of Justinian is clearly his most important work, although it is not as known as the Secret History. The first two deal with the conflict between the Romans and Sassanid Persia in Mesopotamia, Armenia and Caucasian Iberia. They cover the early career of the Roman general Belisarius, Procopius patron, the next two books, the Vandal War, cover Belisarius successful campaign against the Vandal kingdom in Roman Africa. The remaining books cover the Gothic War, the campaigns by Belisarius and others to recapture Italy and this includes accounts of the sieges of Naples and Rome. Later, Procopius added a book, which brings the history to 552/553. This eighth book covers both in Italy and on the Eastern frontier
Scania, known by its local name Skåne, is the southernmost province of Sweden which consists of a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian Peninsula and some islands close to it. Scania is roughly equivalent to the modern Skåne County, the responsibility for overseeing implementation of state policy in the county is administered by the County Administrative Board. Within Scania there are 33 municipalities that are independent and separate from the Scania Regional Council which has its seat in Kristianstad, the largest city is Malmö, which is the third largest city in Sweden. To the north, Scania borders the provinces of Halland and Småland, to the northeast Blekinge, to the east and south the Baltic Sea and Bornholm island, since 2000 a road and railway bridge, the Øresund Bridge, bridges the sound to the Danish island of Zealand. The HH Ferry route across the part of Øresund remains as an important link between the Scandinavian Peninsula and Zealand. Scania is part of the transnational Øresund Region, Scania was part of the kingdom of Denmark up until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658.
The transition to Sweden was confirmed by the 1660 Treaty of Copenhagen, the 1679 Peace of Lund, the last serious Danish attempt to invade the province failed in 1710, after the Battle of Helsingborg. The period 1658–1720 saw widespread violence by the Swedish militaries against the local population, the same was true about the Danish military, though to a far lesser extent. The region did not form part of Sweden proper until 1720 and it was divided in two counties and has since been regarded as fully integrated in Sweden. Until the early 19th century, a policy of forced assimilation was employed by the Swedish government in what had been a linguistically Danish region. Controversy relating to whether the Scanian dialects should be classified as a language or as Danish or Swedish dialects remains to this day. From north to south Scania is around 130 kilometres and covers less than 3% of Swedens total area, about 16% of Scanias population is foreign-born. With 120 inh/km2 Scania is the second most densely populated province of Sweden, the western part, along the coast of the Øresund, is by far the most populated part.
The endonym used in Swedish and other North Germanic languages is Skåne, the Latinized form Scania occurs especially in British English as an exonym. Scania is the only Swedish province for which exonyms are still used in many languages, e. g. French Scanie and German Schonen, Polish Skania, Spanish Escania, Italian Scania. For the provinces modern administrative counterpart, Skåne län, the endonym Skåne is used in English, in the Alfredian translation of Orosiuss and Wulfstans travel accounts, the Old English form Sconeg appears. The names Scania and Scandinavia are considered to have the same etymology, the name is possibly derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjã, which appears in Old Norse as Skáney. According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning danger or damage, Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem combined with -ör, which means sandbanks
Scandinavia /ˌskændᵻˈneɪviə/ is a historical and cultural region in Northern Europe characterized by a common ethnocultural North Germanic heritage and mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. The term Scandinavia always includes the three kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden, the remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are usually not seen as a part of Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, an overseas territory of Denmark. This looser definition almost equates to that of the Nordic countries, in Nordic languages, only Denmark and Sweden are commonly included in the definition of Scandinavia. In English usage, Scandinavia sometimes refers to the geographical area, the name Scandinavia originally referred vaguely to the formerly Danish, now Swedish, region Scania. Icelanders and the Faroese are to a significant extent descended from the Norse, Finland is mainly populated by Finns, with a minority of approximately 5% of Swedish speakers. A small minority of Sami people live in the north of Scandinavia.
The Danish and Swedish languages form a continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages—all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another. Faroese and Icelandic, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent, Finnish and Meänkieli are closely related to each other and more distantly to the Sami languages, but are entirely unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Apart from these, German and Romani are recognized minority languages in Scandinavia, the southern and by far most populous regions of Scandinavia have a temperate climate. Scandinavia extends north of the Arctic Circle, but has mild weather for its latitude due to the Gulf Stream. Much of the Scandinavian mountains have a tundra climate. There are many lakes and moraines, legacies of the last glacial period, Scandinavia usually refers to Denmark and Sweden. Some sources argue for the inclusion of the Faroe Islands and Iceland, though that broader region is known by the countries concerned as Norden.
Before this time, the term Scandinavia was familiar mainly to classical scholars through Pliny the Elders writings, and was used vaguely for Scania, as a political term, Scandinavia was first used by students agitating for Pan-Scandinavianism in the 1830s. After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism, the term is often defined according to the conventions of the cultures that lay claim to the term in their own use. More precisely, and subject to no dispute, is that Finland is included in the broader term Nordic countries, various promotional agencies of the Nordic countries in the United States serve to promote market and tourism interests in the region. The official tourist boards of Scandinavia sometimes cooperate under one umbrella, Norways government entered one year later. All five Nordic governments participate in the joint promotional efforts in the United States through the Scandinavian Tourist Board of North America, Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries
Lejre is a town with a population of 2,415 in Lejre Municipality on the island of Zealand in east Denmark. The towns Old Norse name was Hleiðr or Hleiðargarðr, the municipality has an area of 240 km² and a total population of ca. The municipal seat is Kirke Hvalsø, Lejre was the capital of an Iron Age kingdom sometimes referred to as the Lejre Kingdom. According to early legends, this was ruled by kings of the Skjöldung dynasty, among other works of the medieval imagination that tell of adventures at Lejre, the best known is the fourteenth-century Icelandic Saga of King Hrolf Kraki. Archeological excavations undertaken since the 1980s have produced dramatic confirmation that medieval legends of Lejre, research teams led by archaeologist Tom Christensen of Roskilde Museum have uncovered the remains of an extensive Iron Age and Viking Age settlement complex just outside the hamlet of Gammel Lejre. Discovered here were the post-holes for a series of rectangular buildings measuring fifty to sixty meters in length or more.
These must have been the halls of powerful magnates or kings and other structures whose remains were unearthed in this same area indicate that Lejre was a center for crafts and religious observances. The relative absence of weapon finds suggests that the site was important as a social. A noteworthy loose find that has turned up, thanks to metal-detector work, is a tiny silver Viking Age figurine known as Odin from Lejre. This is thought to depict the god Odin enthroned in majesty between ravens, speculations about the prehistory of the area have been fueled by Thietmar of Merseburgs account in his twelfth-century Chronicon that pagan sacrifices were formerly held every ninth year at Lejre. The centerpiece of the facility is an Iron Age village reconstruction, the center is open to the public. Ledreborg, a palatial Baroque mansion, lies in the vicinity, land of legends Tadre Mølle Historical Reference from The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, Chapter 17
A runestone is typically a raised stone with a runic inscription, but the term can be applied to inscriptions on boulders and on bedrock. The tradition began in the 4th century and lasted into the 12th century, most runestones are located in Scandinavia, but there are scattered runestones in locations that were visited by Norsemen during the Viking Age. Runestones are often memorials to dead men, Runestones were usually brightly coloured when erected, though this is no longer evident as the colour has worn off. The tradition of raising stones that had runic inscriptions first appeared in the 4th and 5th century, in Norway and Sweden, the earliest Danish runestones appeared in the 8th and 9th centuries, and there are about 50 runestones from the Migration Period in Scandinavia. Most runestones were erected during the period 950-1100 CE, and they were raised in Sweden. —The Ynglinga saga What may have increased the spread of runestones was an event in Denmark in the 960s, King Harald Bluetooth had just been baptised and in order to mark the arrival of a new order and a new age, he commanded the construction of a runestone.
The runestone has three sides of two are decorated with images. On one side, there is an animal that is the prototype of the animals that would be commonly engraved on runestones. Shortly after this stone had been made, something happened in Scandinavias runic tradition, scores of chieftains and powerful Norse clans consciously tried to imitate King Harald, and from Denmark a runestone wave spread northwards through Sweden. In most districts, the fad died out after a generation, but, in the central Swedish provinces of Uppland and Södermanland, there are about 3,000 runestones among the about 6,000 runic inscriptions in Scandinavia. The runestones are unevenly distributed in Scandinavia, Denmark has 250 runestones, Sweden has as many as between 1,700 and 2,500 depending on definition. The Swedish district of Uppland has the highest concentration with as many as 1,196 inscriptions in stone, outside of Scandinavia, the Isle of Man stands out with its 30 runestones from the 9th century and early 11th century.
Scattered runestones have found in England, Scotland. Runestones were placed on selected spots in the landscape, such as locations, bridge constructions. In medieval churches, there are often runestones that have been inserted as construction material, in southern Scania, runestones can be tied to large estates that had churches constructed on their land. In the Mälaren Valley, the appear to be placed so that they mark essential parts of the domains of an estate, such as courtyard, grave field. Runestones usually appear as single monuments and more rarely as pairs, in some cases, they are part of larger monuments together with other raised stones. However, although scholars know where 95% of all runestones were discovered, the remainder have been found in churches, bridges, graves and water routes
Arian teachings were first attributed to Arius, a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt. The teachings of Arius and his supporters were opposed to the views held by Homoousian Christians, regarding the nature of the Trinity. The Arian concept of Christ is that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten by God the Father, there was a dispute between two interpretations based upon the theological orthodoxy of the time, both of them attempted to solve its theological dilemmas. So there were, two equally orthodox interpretations which initiated a conflict in order to attract adepts and define the new orthodoxy, homoousianism was formally affirmed by the first two Ecumenical Councils. All mainstream branches of Christianity now consider Arianism to be heterodox, the Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325 deemed it to be a heresy. According to Everett Ferguson, The great majority of Christians had no clear views on the Trinity, at the regional First Synod of Tyre in 335, Arius was exonerated.
Constantine the Great was baptized by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, after the deaths of both Arius and Constantine, Arius was again anathemised and pronounced a heretic again at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381. The Roman Emperors Constantius II and Valens were Arians or Semi-Arians, as was the first King of Italy and the Lombards till the 7th century. Arius had been a pupil of Lucian of Antioch at Lucians private academy in Antioch and he taught that God the Father and the Son of God did not always exist together eternally. A verse from Proverbs was used, The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the Son was rather the very first and the most perfect of Gods creatures, and he was made God only by the Fathers permission and power. Controversy over Arianism arose in the late 3rd century and persisted throughout most of the 4th century and it involved most church members—from simple believers and monks to bishops and members of Romes imperial family. Two Roman emperors, Constantius II and Valens, became Arians or Semi-Arians, as did prominent Gothic, such a deep controversy within the Church during this period of its development could not have materialized without significant historical influences providing a basis for the Arian doctrines.
Of the roughly three hundred bishops in attendance at the Council of Nicea, two bishops did not sign the Nicene Creed, which condemned Arianism, Arians do not believe in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. The letter of Arian Auxentius regarding the Arian missionary Ulfilas gives a picture of Arian beliefs. Arian Ulfilas, who was ordained a bishop by Arian Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work as a missionary, God, the Father, always existing, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, begotten before time began and who is Lord/Master. By the 8th century it had ceased to be the tribes mainstream belief as the tribal rulers gradually came to adopt Nicene orthodoxy. This trend began in 496 with Clovis I of the Franks, Reccared I of the Visigoths in 587, the remaining tribes – the Vandals and the Ostrogoths – did not convert as a people nor did they maintain territorial cohesion. Having been militarily defeated by the armies of Emperor Justinian I, the Vandalic War of 533–534 dispersed the defeated Vandals
In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, storms, oak trees, the protection of mankind, and hallowing and fertility. The cognate deity in wider Germanic mythology and paganism was known in Old English as Þunor and in Old High German as Donar, into the modern period, Thor continued to be acknowledged in rural folklore throughout Germanic regions. Thor is frequently referred to in place names, the day of the week Thursday bears his name, in Norse mythology, largely recorded in Iceland from traditional material stemming from Scandinavia, numerous tales and information about Thor are provided. With Sif, Thor fathered the goddess Þrúðr, with Járnsaxa, he fathered Magni, with a mother whose name is not recorded, he fathered Móði, and he is the stepfather of the god Ullr. The same sources list Thor as the son of the god Odin and the earth, Jörð. Thor has two servants, Þjálfi and Röskva, rides in a cart or chariot pulled by two goats and Tanngnjóstr, and is ascribed three dwellings.
Thor wields the mountain-crushing hammer, Mjölnir, wears the belt Megingjörð and the iron gloves Járngreipr, Thor has inspired numerous works of art and references to Thor appear in modern popular culture. Like other Germanic deities, veneration of Thor is revived in the period in Heathenry. The name of the god is the origin of the weekday name Thursday, by employing a practice known as interpretatio germanica during the Roman Empire period, the Germanic peoples adopted the Roman weekly calendar, and replaced the names of Roman gods with their own. Latin dies Iovis was converted into Proto-Germanic *Þonares dagaz, from which stems modern English Thursday, beginning in the Viking Age, personal names containing the theonym Thórr are recorded with great frequency. Prior to the Viking Age, no examples are recorded, thórr-based names may have flourished during the Viking Age as a defiant response to attempts at Christianization, similar to the wide scale Viking Age practice of wearing Thors hammer pendants.
They regard it as a duty to offer to him, on fixed days. Hercules and Mars they appease by animal offerings of the permitted kind, in this instance, Tacitus refers to the god Odin as Mercury, Thor as Hercules, and the god Týr as Mars, and the identity of the Isis of the Suebi has been debated. In Thors case, the identification with the god Hercules is likely at least in part due to similarities between Thors hammer and Hercules club. In his Annals, Tacitus again refers to the veneration of Hercules by the Germanic peoples, the southern Germanic form of the gods name. According to an account, the Christian missionary Saint Boniface felled an oak tree dedicated to Jove in the 8th century. Around the second half of the 8th century, Old English mentions of a figure named Thunor are recorded, gabriel Turville-Petre saw this as an invented origin for the placename demonstrating loss of memory that Thunor had been a gods name. Adam details that Thor, they reckon, rules the sky, he governs thunder and lightning and storms, fine weather and fertility and that Thor, with his mace, looks like Jupiter
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative lines. It may be the oldest surviving poem in Old English and is commonly cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature. A date of composition is a matter of contention among scholars, the only certain dating pertains to the manuscript, the author was an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, referred to by scholars as the Beowulf poet. The poem is set in Scandinavia, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall in Heorot has been under attack by a monster known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendels mother attacks the hall and is defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland and king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, after his death, his attendants cremate his body and erect a tower on a headland in his memory. The full poem survives in the known as the Nowell Codex. It has no title in the manuscript, but has become known by the name of the storys protagonist.
In 1731, the manuscript was damaged by a fire that swept through Ashburnham House in London that had a collection of medieval manuscripts assembled by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton. The Nowell Codex is currently housed in the British Library, the poem may have been brought to England by people of Geatish origins. Others have associated this poem with the court of King Alfred the Great or with the court of King Cnut the Great. The poem deals with legends, was composed for entertainment, though Beowulf himself is not mentioned in any other Anglo-Saxon manuscript, scholars generally agree that many of the other personalities of Beowulf appear in Scandinavian sources. This does not only people, but clans and some of the events. Three halls, each about 50 metres long, were found during the excavation, the majority view appears to be that people such as King Hroðgar and the Scyldings in Beowulf are based on real historical people from 6th-century Scandinavia. 19th-century archeological evidence may confirm elements of the Beowulf story, Eadgils was buried at Uppsala according to Snorri Sturluson.
When Eadgils mound was excavated in 1874, the finds supported Beowulf and they showed that a powerful man was buried in a large barrow, c 575, on a bear skin with two dogs and rich grave offerings. These remains include a Frankish sword adorned with gold and garnets and he was dressed in a costly suit made of Frankish cloth with golden threads, and he wore a belt with a costly buckle