Discussion:
Rollo: Danish or Norwegian?
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paulorica...@gmail.com
2021-03-11 01:23:49 UTC
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In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
wjhonson
2021-03-11 02:01:58 UTC
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Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo

has a detailed discussion of this very question
Stewart Baldwin
2021-03-12 05:31:24 UTC
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Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.

As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.

Stewart Baldwin
paulorica...@gmail.com
2021-03-22 19:12:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
taf
2021-03-22 21:28:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Stewart Baldwin
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters,
not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very
serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that
anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English
rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others
want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic
familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An
Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that
Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male
line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
As long as we are pointing out problems, the following is misleading at best:

"Other historians have identified Rollo with Hrólf the Walker (Norse Göngu-Hrólfr; Danish Ganger-Hrólf) from the 13th-century Icelandic sagas, Heimskringla and Orkneyinga Saga."

This leaves the false impression that 'other historians' equated the historical Rollo with the saga Hrolf, when both sagas make the connection explicit, Heimskringla stating that Hrolf conquered Normandy and "his son was William, father to Richard, and grandfather to another Richard, who was the father of Robert Longspear, and grandfather of William the Bastard, from whom all the following English kings are descended", while Orkneyinga saga says he conquered Normandy and "from him the jarls of Rúda (counts of Rouen, i.e. Dukes of Normandy) and the Kings of England are descended." Not much left to the imagination of those 'other historians' in making this identification.

taf
Peter Stewart
2021-03-23 03:29:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
I wouldn't believe the sky was blue in 10th-century Normandy just
because Dudo said so - the man was a fool who couldn't keep his stories
straight for a few lines on end.

But he represented Rollo as hailing from "Dacia" anyway, that is a Roman
province on the Black sea roughly in modern Romania and Bulgaria, not
even close to Scandinavia and only equivalent to Denmark if you are
already making special allowance for his inaccuracy.

Peter Stewart
paulorica...@gmail.com
2021-03-23 11:01:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
I wouldn't believe the sky was blue in 10th-century Normandy just
because Dudo said so - the man was a fool who couldn't keep his stories
straight for a few lines on end.
But he represented Rollo as hailing from "Dacia" anyway, that is a Roman
province on the Black sea roughly in modern Romania and Bulgaria, not
even close to Scandinavia and only equivalent to Denmark if you are
already making special allowance for his inaccuracy.
Peter Stewart
As I understand it and as mentioned in https://fasg.org/projects/henryproject/data/rollo000.htm, medieval chronicles often referred to Denmark as Dacia.
Peter Stewart
2021-03-23 11:21:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
I wouldn't believe the sky was blue in 10th-century Normandy just
because Dudo said so - the man was a fool who couldn't keep his stories
straight for a few lines on end.
But he represented Rollo as hailing from "Dacia" anyway, that is a Roman
province on the Black sea roughly in modern Romania and Bulgaria, not
even close to Scandinavia and only equivalent to Denmark if you are
already making special allowance for his inaccuracy.
Peter Stewart
As I understand it and as mentioned in https://fasg.org/projects/henryproject/data/rollo000.htm, medieval chronicles often referred to Denmark as Dacia.
Don't believe everything you read on the internet - even on the Henry
Project. The statement "Dudo states that Rollo and Gurim were sons of a
man who held many lands in "Dacia" (Dudo's word for Denmark, following
other authors)" is oversimplified.

Dudo specified where his idea of Dacia was, and it was somewhere between
the Danube and the "Scythian" sea next to the territory of the Alans.
The Alani inhabited a region between the Roman province of Dacia and
Germany, i.e. not in Scandinavia at all. He thought that Dacia was
surrounded by mountains, hardly a description of Denmark.

As I said before, the man was a fool. Whatever he wrote about Dacia is
ascribed to Denmark by the presupposition of readers, not from the
knowledge of the author.

Peter Stewart
pj.ev...@gmail.com
2021-03-23 21:04:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
I wouldn't believe the sky was blue in 10th-century Normandy just
because Dudo said so - the man was a fool who couldn't keep his stories
straight for a few lines on end.
But he represented Rollo as hailing from "Dacia" anyway, that is a Roman
province on the Black sea roughly in modern Romania and Bulgaria, not
even close to Scandinavia and only equivalent to Denmark if you are
already making special allowance for his inaccuracy.
Peter Stewart
As I understand it and as mentioned in https://fasg.org/projects/henryproject/data/rollo000.htm, medieval chronicles often referred to Denmark as Dacia.
Don't believe everything you read on the internet - even on the Henry
Project. The statement "Dudo states that Rollo and Gurim were sons of a
man who held many lands in "Dacia" (Dudo's word for Denmark, following
other authors)" is oversimplified.
Dudo specified where his idea of Dacia was, and it was somewhere between
the Danube and the "Scythian" sea next to the territory of the Alans.
The Alani inhabited a region between the Roman province of Dacia and
Germany, i.e. not in Scandinavia at all. He thought that Dacia was
surrounded by mountains, hardly a description of Denmark.
As I said before, the man was a fool. Whatever he wrote about Dacia is
ascribed to Denmark by the presupposition of readers, not from the
knowledge of the author.
Peter Stewart
I can see someone turning "Dania" into "Dacia" by misreading the one letter. (I have a harder time with someone in western Europe confusing the two places.)
Peter Stewart
2021-03-23 22:42:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
I wouldn't believe the sky was blue in 10th-century Normandy just
because Dudo said so - the man was a fool who couldn't keep his stories
straight for a few lines on end.
But he represented Rollo as hailing from "Dacia" anyway, that is a Roman
province on the Black sea roughly in modern Romania and Bulgaria, not
even close to Scandinavia and only equivalent to Denmark if you are
already making special allowance for his inaccuracy.
Peter Stewart
As I understand it and as mentioned in https://fasg.org/projects/henryproject/data/rollo000.htm, medieval chronicles often referred to Denmark as Dacia.
Don't believe everything you read on the internet - even on the Henry
Project. The statement "Dudo states that Rollo and Gurim were sons of a
man who held many lands in "Dacia" (Dudo's word for Denmark, following
other authors)" is oversimplified.
Dudo specified where his idea of Dacia was, and it was somewhere between
the Danube and the "Scythian" sea next to the territory of the Alans.
The Alani inhabited a region between the Roman province of Dacia and
Germany, i.e. not in Scandinavia at all. He thought that Dacia was
surrounded by mountains, hardly a description of Denmark.
As I said before, the man was a fool. Whatever he wrote about Dacia is
ascribed to Denmark by the presupposition of readers, not from the
knowledge of the author.
Peter Stewart
I can see someone turning "Dania" into "Dacia" by misreading the one letter. (I have a harder time with someone in western Europe confusing the two places.)
My point is that logic does not allow for concluding "Other writers used
Dacia for Denmark; Dudo used Dacia and therefore he meant Denmark". Dudo
did not have enough commonsense to understand even approximately what he
meant.

The closest he came to equating Dacia with Denmark is when he wrote that
the Dacians called themselves "Danai or Dani" and gloried in their
descent from Antenor who left Troy for Illyria with his followers. His
geography was so wonky that he thought "Scanza", the closest he came to
a word resembling Scandinavia, was an island in the sea he called
"Scythian" (in the vicinity of Dacia and Alania, so evidently the Black
sea) where Rollo went with six ships when expelled from Dacia by the king.

Not much of an authority for Rollo's origin. Historians are stuck with
Dudo and tend to make excuses for over-reliance on him, faute de mieux.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2021-03-24 03:26:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
My point is that logic does not allow for concluding "Other writers used
Dacia for Denmark; Dudo used Dacia and therefore he meant Denmark". Dudo
did not have enough commonsense to understand even approximately what he
meant.
The closest he came to equating Dacia with Denmark is when he wrote that
the Dacians called themselves "Danai or Dani" and gloried in their
descent from Antenor who left Troy for Illyria with his followers. His
geography was so wonky that he thought "Scanza", the closest he came to
a word resembling Scandinavia, was an island in the sea he called
"Scythian" (in the vicinity of Dacia and Alania, so evidently the Black
sea) where Rollo went with six ships when expelled from Dacia by the king.
Dudo's confusion about the geography of his Dacia may have been
compounded by an old usage of Scythia for Sweden - apparently the
meaning was a region inhabited by heathens outside the Frankish world,
as Scythia was used by the Romans and Byzantines for a vast swathe of
barbarian lands. In the annals of Corvey, under 936, it is recorded that
archbishop Unni of Hamburg went to Scythia where he died and was buried
("Unni archiepiscopus Hammaburgensis profectus in Scithiam ... ibique
defunctus ac sepultus est"): his tomb is at Birka, on Björkö island west
of Stockholm.

Dudo may have vaguely imagined that Rollo came from a Norse or Varangian
settlement in the Roman province of Dacia, somewhere not far from the
delta of the Danube, though failing to crystalise his ideas into sense -
as was his habit.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2021-03-25 00:19:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
My point is that logic does not allow for concluding "Other writers
used Dacia for Denmark; Dudo used Dacia and therefore he meant
Denmark". Dudo did not have enough commonsense to understand even
approximately what he meant.
that the Dacians called themselves "Danai or Dani" and gloried in
their descent from Antenor who left Troy for Illyria with his
followers. His geography was so wonky that he thought "Scanza", the
closest he came to a word resembling Scandinavia, was an island in the
sea he called "Scythian" (in the vicinity of Dacia and Alania, so
evidently the Black sea) where Rollo went with six ships when expelled
from Dacia by the king.
Dudo's confusion about the geography of his Dacia may have been
compounded by an old usage of Scythia for Sweden - apparently the
meaning was a region inhabited by heathens outside the Frankish world,
as Scythia was used by the Romans and Byzantines for a vast swathe of
barbarian lands. In the annals of Corvey, under 936, it is recorded that
archbishop Unni of Hamburg went to Scythia where he died and was buried
("Unni archiepiscopus Hammaburgensis profectus in Scithiam ... ibique
defunctus ac sepultus est"): his tomb is at Birka, on Björkö island west
of Stockholm.
Dudo may have vaguely imagined that Rollo came from a Norse or Varangian
settlement in the Roman province of Dacia, somewhere not far from the
delta of the Danube, though failing to crystalise his ideas into sense -
as was his habit.
A correspondent off-list has wondered if Dudo may have confused the
Danube with a river system flowing north into the Baltic - however, this
is one geographic feature in his placement of "Dacia" that he appears to
have understood more-or-less correctly, since he specified that it
flowed from the south of Germany, forming its border with "Scythia",
towards the "Scythian" (i.e. Black) sea in the east ("a meridie ad
orientem means procellosus, Germaniam et Scythiam usque eo, quo ponto
Scythico recipitur, discriminatus, vocitatur Danubius").

As I wrote before, many historians will try hard to justify Dudo simply
because he provides a lot of (mis-)information where otherwise there
would be none at all.

Peter Stewart
taf
2021-03-23 23:03:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
I can see someone turning "Dania" into "Dacia" by misreading the one letter. (I have a harder time with someone in western Europe confusing the two places.)
It was not always just simple confusion. There was some willfulness in conflating peoples of northwestern Europe with those mentioned by the Greeks and other ancients. Identifications were also made between the Getae (the peoples the Greeks mentioned as resident in Dacia), the Goths and Beowulf's Geats, and as Peter has mentioned, the Scythians and Scania.

It was the same kind of superficial nonsense-etymology that led the British Israelism fantasists to claim that the Tribe of Dan wandered from the DarDANelles to the DANube, DENmark, SweDEN, DUNkirk, LonDON, DUNdee, . . . basically any place with a DxN sting of letters anywhere in the name, and to link the Scots with the Scythians.

taf
Peter Stewart
2021-03-23 23:31:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by taf
Post by ***@gmail.com
I can see someone turning "Dania" into "Dacia" by misreading the one letter. (I have a harder time with someone in western Europe confusing the two places.)
It was not always just simple confusion. There was some willfulness in conflating peoples of northwestern Europe with those mentioned by the Greeks and other ancients. Identifications were also made between the Getae (the peoples the Greeks mentioned as resident in Dacia), the Goths and Beowulf's Geats, and as Peter has mentioned, the Scythians and Scania.
It was the same kind of superficial nonsense-etymology that led the British Israelism fantasists to claim that the Tribe of Dan wandered from the DarDANelles to the DANube, DENmark, SweDEN, DUNkirk, LonDON, DUNdee, . . . basically any place with a DxN sting of letters anywhere in the name, and to link the Scots with the Scythians.
The inventiveness of nonsense-loving people is endless. Just think of
Sidney Powell, who urged her president to declare martial law on the
basis of what she now declares no reasonable person would believe.

Dudo was not quite her equal in deceitful idiocy, but he gave it a shot.

He did think of Norwegians as distinct from Dacians, as at one point he
has the Normans worrying about what their supporters, other native
Dacians and Norwegians, might say ("quid dicent caeteri Dacigenae et
Northguegigenae").

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2021-03-25 05:35:19 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
As I understand it and as mentioned in
https://fasg.org/projects/henryproject/data/rollo000.htm, medieval
chronicles often referred to Denmark as Dacia.
Don't believe everything you read on the internet - even on the Henry
Project. The statement "Dudo states that Rollo and Gurim were sons of a
man who held many lands in "Dacia" (Dudo's word for Denmark, following
other authors)" is oversimplified.
It would be interesting to know what other authors Dudo is supposed to
have followed in using "Dacia" for Denmark - according to John Bergsagel
in 'Kanute, cuius est Dacia?', *Of Chronicles and Kings: National Saints
and the Emergence of Nation States in the High Middle Ages* (Copenhagen,
2015) p. 85, discussing the use of Dacia for Denmark: "The first to do
so seems to have been Dudo of St. Quentin, writing about 1020 ...
However, it is by no means clear how well defined the territory referred
to under this designation was, nor how generally accepted it was ...
Dudo called the country from which Rollo, the conqueror of Normandy,
came "Dacia", but the name seems not to have been applied to Denmark by
writers elsewhere for some time."

Apart from the problem that it does not seem to have been consciously
applied to Denmark by Dudo in the first place, who before him did
actually use this name for anywhere in Scandinavia?

Peter Stewart
taf
2021-03-25 13:30:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Apart from the problem that it does not seem to have been consciously
applied to Denmark by Dudo in the first place, who before him did
actually use this name for anywhere in Scandinavia?
Doing a quick Google tour I am finding little more than either generic statements that this became standard, or specific attribution to people later than Dudo (e.g. Geoffrey of Monmouth).

Hakon Melberg, Origin of the Scandinavian Nations and Languages (1951) says, "Dudo is not responsible for the mistake of rendering the Dacia of his Norman History as 'Denmark'. This element of confusion was introduced by a later generation of Norman chroniclers." This contrasts with Elisabeth van Houts, in her edition of William of Jumìeges (1992) "Dudo identified Denmark with Dacia, and Danes with Dacians; Dacia was for him a land inhabited by people called the Getae, who were Goths, and the Daci were a tribe of Goths who called themselves Danai or Dani and migrated from the island of Scanza."

The best I can do for a possible earlier source than Dudo: Jane Leake, The Geats of Beowulf, (1963, pp. 78-79) seems to be attributing the Dacia/Denmark confusion to Orosius, but I am unable to see more than snippets and later references to her doing so.

taf
Peter Stewart
2021-03-25 22:41:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Apart from the problem that it does not seem to have been consciously
applied to Denmark by Dudo in the first place, who before him did
actually use this name for anywhere in Scandinavia?
Doing a quick Google tour I am finding little more than either generic statements that this became standard, or specific attribution to people later than Dudo (e.g. Geoffrey of Monmouth).
John Bergsagel in the article cited earlier in this thread traced the
use of Dacia for Denmark and suggested (p. 88) that "It would thus
appear that the change from 'Dania' to 'Dacia' might be simply a
chronological development from the early to late twelfth century ... It
seems generally accepted that it was primarily the Roman Church that at
the end of the twelfth century established the use of the word 'Dacia'
to mean Denmark and that it came by extension to apply in various ways
to the whole region of Scandinavia."
Post by taf
Hakon Melberg, Origin of the Scandinavian Nations and Languages (1951) says, "Dudo is not responsible for the mistake of rendering the Dacia of his Norman History as 'Denmark'. This element of confusion was introduced by a later generation of Norman chroniclers." This contrasts with Elisabeth van Houts, in her edition of William of Jumìeges (1992) "Dudo identified Denmark with Dacia, and Danes with Dacians; Dacia was for him a land inhabited by people called the Getae, who were Goths, and the Daci were a tribe of Goths who called themselves Danai or Dani and migrated from the island of Scanza."
I'm afraid Van Houts was winging it here - the mentions of Getia by Dudo
provide no support at all for her proposal that for him "the Daci were a
tribe of Goths". He mentioned the Getae along with the Alani and other
ethnicities who inhabited the area of the Meotid swamps ("Getae, qui et
Gothi, Sarmatae et Amacsobii, Tragoditae et Alani, quamplurimoeque
gentes, Meotidibus paludibus excolendo commorantes") in the vicinity of
the Dacians - presumably this meant modern Ukraine around the sea of
Azov, north-east of the Danube delta. Later Dudo had a German speak of
his having fought against Dacians, Alani, Goths and Hungarians ("Contra
Dacos et Alanos Gothosque et Hungros saepe dimicavi"), without hinting
at a mix-up of these as tribes or clans of each other, but rather as
enemies of the east Frankish empire in apparently the same general
direction.

Van Houts may be closer to reality and to a helpful line of argument
when she stated in *The Normans in Europe* (2000) p. 4-5: "Erroneously
equating Danes with Dacians, Dudo began his account of the viking
settlement of Normandy with remarks on the Balkans, the home territory
of the Dacians as described by Roman authors like Jordanes; in this way
he extended Rollo’s historical background by several centuries and
matched it to the norm of classical historiography ... Carolingian
education, as represented in the person of Dudo, with its emphasis on
the authority of the written word in northwestern France, is to blame;
though Dudo's predilection for using Latin sources full of 'auctoritas'
(authority) was also a product of the Christian tradition. Fitting the
vikings into a Romano-Christian tradition enabled Dudo and William of
Jumièges to link the Roman period with the Norman period and to consider
the pagan viking years as merely an interlude."

On this basis I think an argument - though not a very strong one - can
be made that Dudo was aware of a Norwegian origin for followers of Rollo
and arbitrarily settled on "Dacia" only because this allowed for a link
to Roman cosmography and to an ancient origin (in Antenor) that linked
the Normans to the origin myth of the Franks. No-one, not even Dudo,
could seriously suppose that the name Norman (or Northmanni as he gave
it) would have become attached to people arriving from anywhere near the
Danube in the south-east. However, when he had Normans worrying about
what their allies the native "Dacians" and Norwegians might say about
them, as quoted upthread, he may have been letting slip that the main
source of support from old compatriots and kindred of the Normans came
from Norway.
Post by taf
The best I can do for a possible earlier source than Dudo: Jane Leake, The Geats of Beowulf, (1963, pp. 78-79) seems to be attributing the Dacia/Denmark confusion to Orosius, but I am unable to see more than snippets and later references to her doing so.
Orosius may have been one of the Roman authors known to Dudo, but since
he lived in the 5th century I don't suppose he had very much to say
about Danes. He wrote about the eastern borders of Europe, placing Dacia
and Gothia there but certainly not Denmark.

Peter Stewart
lancast...@gmail.com
2021-03-25 23:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
Apart from the problem that it does not seem to have been consciously
applied to Denmark by Dudo in the first place, who before him did
actually use this name for anywhere in Scandinavia?
Doing a quick Google tour I am finding little more than either generic statements that this became standard, or specific attribution to people later than Dudo (e.g. Geoffrey of Monmouth).
John Bergsagel in the article cited earlier in this thread traced the
use of Dacia for Denmark and suggested (p. 88) that "It would thus
appear that the change from 'Dania' to 'Dacia' might be simply a
chronological development from the early to late twelfth century ... It
seems generally accepted that it was primarily the Roman Church that at
the end of the twelfth century established the use of the word 'Dacia'
to mean Denmark and that it came by extension to apply in various ways
to the whole region of Scandinavia."
Post by taf
Hakon Melberg, Origin of the Scandinavian Nations and Languages (1951) says, "Dudo is not responsible for the mistake of rendering the Dacia of his Norman History as 'Denmark'. This element of confusion was introduced by a later generation of Norman chroniclers." This contrasts with Elisabeth van Houts, in her edition of William of Jumìeges (1992) "Dudo identified Denmark with Dacia, and Danes with Dacians; Dacia was for him a land inhabited by people called the Getae, who were Goths, and the Daci were a tribe of Goths who called themselves Danai or Dani and migrated from the island of Scanza."
I'm afraid Van Houts was winging it here - the mentions of Getia by Dudo
provide no support at all for her proposal that for him "the Daci were a
tribe of Goths". He mentioned the Getae along with the Alani and other
ethnicities who inhabited the area of the Meotid swamps ("Getae, qui et
Gothi, Sarmatae et Amacsobii, Tragoditae et Alani, quamplurimoeque
gentes, Meotidibus paludibus excolendo commorantes") in the vicinity of
the Dacians - presumably this meant modern Ukraine around the sea of
Azov, north-east of the Danube delta. Later Dudo had a German speak of
his having fought against Dacians, Alani, Goths and Hungarians ("Contra
Dacos et Alanos Gothosque et Hungros saepe dimicavi"), without hinting
at a mix-up of these as tribes or clans of each other, but rather as
enemies of the east Frankish empire in apparently the same general
direction.
Van Houts may be closer to reality and to a helpful line of argument
when she stated in *The Normans in Europe* (2000) p. 4-5: "Erroneously
equating Danes with Dacians, Dudo began his account of the viking
settlement of Normandy with remarks on the Balkans, the home territory
of the Dacians as described by Roman authors like Jordanes; in this way
he extended Rollo’s historical background by several centuries and
matched it to the norm of classical historiography ... Carolingian
education, as represented in the person of Dudo, with its emphasis on
the authority of the written word in northwestern France, is to blame;
though Dudo's predilection for using Latin sources full of 'auctoritas'
(authority) was also a product of the Christian tradition. Fitting the
vikings into a Romano-Christian tradition enabled Dudo and William of
Jumièges to link the Roman period with the Norman period and to consider
the pagan viking years as merely an interlude."
On this basis I think an argument - though not a very strong one - can
be made that Dudo was aware of a Norwegian origin for followers of Rollo
and arbitrarily settled on "Dacia" only because this allowed for a link
to Roman cosmography and to an ancient origin (in Antenor) that linked
the Normans to the origin myth of the Franks. No-one, not even Dudo,
could seriously suppose that the name Norman (or Northmanni as he gave
it) would have become attached to people arriving from anywhere near the
Danube in the south-east. However, when he had Normans worrying about
what their allies the native "Dacians" and Norwegians might say about
them, as quoted upthread, he may have been letting slip that the main
source of support from old compatriots and kindred of the Normans came
from Norway.
Post by taf
The best I can do for a possible earlier source than Dudo: Jane Leake, The Geats of Beowulf, (1963, pp. 78-79) seems to be attributing the Dacia/Denmark confusion to Orosius, but I am unable to see more than snippets and later references to her doing so.
Orosius may have been one of the Roman authors known to Dudo, but since
he lived in the 5th century I don't suppose he had very much to say
about Danes. He wrote about the eastern borders of Europe, placing Dacia
and Gothia there but certainly not Denmark.
Peter Stewart
Orosius is a source for Jordanes according to scholars of that author, and Jordanes may be a potential source for a link being asserted between the Balkans and Scandinavia. He certainly made a lot of confusing allusions to different nationalities from different eras and regions. It is a big topic, but have a look at *Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth* by Arne Søby Christensen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002 https://books.google.be/books/about/Cassiodorus_Jordanes_and_the_History_of.html?hl=nl&id=AcLDHOqOt4cC
Peter Stewart
2021-03-26 02:20:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Orosius is a source for Jordanes according to scholars of that author, and Jordanes may be a potential source for a link being asserted between the Balkans and Scandinavia. He certainly made a lot of confusing allusions to different nationalities from different eras and regions. It is a big topic, but have a look at *Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth* by Arne Søby Christensen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002 https://books.google.be/books/about/Cassiodorus_Jordanes_and_the_History_of.html?hl=nl&id=AcLDHOqOt4cC
Can you give a page reference for whatever you think is most relevant in
this book?

Jordanes was clearly a source for Dudo, as has been recognised for
centuries, but he did not make an equivalence between Denmark and Dacia.
An English translation of his account of the "island of Scandza" in the
northern ocean - not even close to where Dudo located it in the
"Scythian" sea - and its various peoples can be read here, pp. 11-19:
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-ZeCDwAAQBAJ.

He meant Scandinavia, and derived the Finns, Swedes, Danes and others
from there. Dudo on the other hand said that Rollo fled _to_ the island
of "Scanza" _from_ Dacia when driven out by the king.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2021-03-26 03:26:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Orosius is a source for Jordanes according to scholars of that author,
and Jordanes may be a potential source for a link being asserted
between the Balkans and Scandinavia. He certainly made a lot of
confusing allusions to different nationalities from different eras and
regions. It is a big topic, but have a look at *Cassiodorus, Jordanes
and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth* by Arne
Søby Christensen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002
https://books.google.be/books/about/Cassiodorus_Jordanes_and_the_History_of.html?hl=nl&id=AcLDHOqOt4cC
Can you give a page reference for whatever you think is most relevant in
this book?
Jordanes was clearly a source for Dudo, as has been recognised for
centuries, but he did not make an equivalence between Denmark and Dacia.
An English translation of his account of the "island of Scandza" in the
northern ocean - not even close to where Dudo located it in the
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-ZeCDwAAQBAJ.
He meant Scandinavia, and derived the Finns, Swedes, Danes and others
from there. Dudo on the other hand said that Rollo fled _to_ the island
of "Scanza" _from_ Dacia when driven out by the king.
By the way, a direct equivalence between Vikings (Northmen) and Danes
had been made in Frankish sources long before Dudo - the annals of
Saint-Vaast under 888 refer to both Northmen and Danes, while the annals
of Reichenau under 931 report that the kings of Obodrites and Northmen
were converted to Christianity ("Heinricus rex reges Abodritorum et
Nordmannorum efficit christianos"): the continuator of Regino's
chronicle repeated this while changing Northmen to Danes ("Heinricus rex
regem Abotridorum et regem Danorum efficit christianos"). The author of
a life of St Mathilde written ca 975 wrote that her mother Reinhild came
from Frisian and Danish ancestry ("a Fresonum Danorumque genere
progrediens").

It looks to me as if Dudo may have intended to be understood as
purposefully NOT tracing the origin of Rollo to Denmark.

Peter Stewart
lancast...@gmail.com
2021-03-26 08:49:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Orosius is a source for Jordanes according to scholars of that author, and Jordanes may be a potential source for a link being asserted between the Balkans and Scandinavia. He certainly made a lot of confusing allusions to different nationalities from different eras and regions. It is a big topic, but have a look at *Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth* by Arne Søby Christensen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002 https://books.google.be/books/about/Cassiodorus_Jordanes_and_the_History_of.html?hl=nl&id=AcLDHOqOt4cC
Can you give a page reference for whatever you think is most relevant in
this book?
Jordanes was clearly a source for Dudo, as has been recognised for
centuries, but he did not make an equivalence between Denmark and Dacia.
An English translation of his account of the "island of Scandza" in the
northern ocean - not even close to where Dudo located it in the
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-ZeCDwAAQBAJ.
He meant Scandinavia, and derived the Finns, Swedes, Danes and others
from there. Dudo on the other hand said that Rollo fled _to_ the island
of "Scanza" _from_ Dacia when driven out by the king.
Peter Stewart
I have no specific proposal Peter, but I worked on some of the relevant WP articles about a year ago, and Christensen was a good source for this type of question. For example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_stories_of_the_Goths From that WP article, but citing Christensen...

"The first surviving rationales concerning the equation of Goths and Scythians or Getae, were by early Christian scholars, Ambrose (about 340–397), Orosius (about 375–420) and Jerome (about 347–420). Ambrose equated the Scythians and Goths with the Biblical Gog and Magog, barbarians who come from the extreme north, where there are islands."

"Jordanes' Getica equates the Goths to Getae, and believed they were descended from the Scythians, with ancient origins in the far north. For his equation of the Getae and the Goths, even in the title of his work, he explicitly cited the authority of Orosius. Jordanes had read Josephus and apparently saw his account of the origins of the Scythians as descendants of the Biblical Magog in Genesis as compatible with his own account, though he questioned why Josephus had not specifically named the Goths and given more details."

Jordanes famously called Scandinavia a "womb of nations" and I think we are still living with the influence of that little comment, which was of course especially popular among historians and philologists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. But if I understand correctly it already created an understanding among medieval readers that there were constant back-and-forth barbarian links between the lower Danube and the Baltic region. What I experienced editing WP is that even today we still have heated debate about whether we should speak of a single long-lasting barbarian "civilization" in Europe. Proponents of continuing to use old pre-WW2 terminology, such as Liebeschuetz and Peter Heather, insist on calling them the Germanic peoples, thus extending the old idea of equating languages to ethnicities, to a whole language family. But unlike the pre-WW2 fans of this concept, such as the Nazis, such historians now admit that this "civilization" was not a single culture, did not share a single language, and was not even made up only of speakers of languages in the Germanic family. They nevertheless insist that we should stick to this much-loved terminology. Other academics like Walter Goffart, Walter Pohl, and Guy Halsall, argue that calling the eastern Europeans Germanic-speaking peoples is anachronistic and gives a misleading impression of cultural unity among the barbarians, which contemporary sources did not mention. Jordanes linked the Goths to Scandinavia much later, and was clearly using church writers as his inspiration to at least some extent. My point is that the idea of a single semi-unified barbarian culture remains very attractive even today - but it is at least as old as Jordanes.

Obviously in late classical, early medieval writers it was not a pseudo-linguistic idea, but there seem to be constant efforts to link up contemporary barbarians with classical ones like Jordanes did. Another example would be Gregory of Tours saying that the Franks came from Scythia. As has already been mentioned, one trick was to look for short ethnic names, or components of ethnic names, that sounded similar to each other.

Dacia is a particularly odd choice because I think that country had not been called that for a long time. Jordanes did mention it though because he equate Goths and Getae, and the Getae were probably Dacians.
Peter Stewart
2021-03-26 11:16:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Orosius is a source for Jordanes according to scholars of that author, and Jordanes may be a potential source for a link being asserted between the Balkans and Scandinavia. He certainly made a lot of confusing allusions to different nationalities from different eras and regions. It is a big topic, but have a look at *Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth* by Arne Søby Christensen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002 https://books.google.be/books/about/Cassiodorus_Jordanes_and_the_History_of.html?hl=nl&id=AcLDHOqOt4cC
Can you give a page reference for whatever you think is most relevant in
this book?
Jordanes was clearly a source for Dudo, as has been recognised for
centuries, but he did not make an equivalence between Denmark and Dacia.
An English translation of his account of the "island of Scandza" in the
northern ocean - not even close to where Dudo located it in the
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-ZeCDwAAQBAJ.
He meant Scandinavia, and derived the Finns, Swedes, Danes and others
from there. Dudo on the other hand said that Rollo fled _to_ the island
of "Scanza" _from_ Dacia when driven out by the king.
Peter Stewart
I have no specific proposal Peter, but I worked on some of the relevant WP articles about a year ago, and Christensen was a good source for this type of question. For example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_stories_of_the_Goths From that WP article, but citing Christensen...
This question is about the origin of Rollo - can you please post links
to the relevant WP articles you mention, and to what Christensen had to
say that sheds light on it?

Peter Stewart
lancast...@gmail.com
2021-03-26 20:07:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Orosius is a source for Jordanes according to scholars of that author, and Jordanes may be a potential source for a link being asserted between the Balkans and Scandinavia. He certainly made a lot of confusing allusions to different nationalities from different eras and regions. It is a big topic, but have a look at *Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth* by Arne Søby Christensen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002 https://books.google.be/books/about/Cassiodorus_Jordanes_and_the_History_of.html?hl=nl&id=AcLDHOqOt4cC
Can you give a page reference for whatever you think is most relevant in
this book?
Jordanes was clearly a source for Dudo, as has been recognised for
centuries, but he did not make an equivalence between Denmark and Dacia.
An English translation of his account of the "island of Scandza" in the
northern ocean - not even close to where Dudo located it in the
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-ZeCDwAAQBAJ.
He meant Scandinavia, and derived the Finns, Swedes, Danes and others
from there. Dudo on the other hand said that Rollo fled _to_ the island
of "Scanza" _from_ Dacia when driven out by the king.
Peter Stewart
I have no specific proposal Peter, but I worked on some of the relevant WP articles about a year ago, and Christensen was a good source for this type of question. For example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_stories_of_the_Goths From that WP article, but citing Christensen...
This question is about the origin of Rollo - can you please post links
to the relevant WP articles you mention, and to what Christensen had to
say that sheds light on it?
Peter Stewart
As I understood it, you felt it was relevant to ask how Orosius and Jordanes might have led to the population of Dacia being linked to the population of the Scandinavian countries. They were mentioned in some of the modern secondary sources being mentioned, and whether it is a good lead or not is not really something I have an opinion on. But it seems that Jordanes and Orosius did influence medieval thinking on that sort of connection. Jordanes probably also helped make people aware of some of the classical country names like Dacia.
Peter Stewart
2021-03-27 00:17:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by ***@gmail.com
Orosius is a source for Jordanes according to scholars of that author, and Jordanes may be a potential source for a link being asserted between the Balkans and Scandinavia. He certainly made a lot of confusing allusions to different nationalities from different eras and regions. It is a big topic, but have a look at *Cassiodorus, Jordanes and the History of the Goths: Studies in a Migration Myth* by Arne Søby Christensen, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2002 https://books.google.be/books/about/Cassiodorus_Jordanes_and_the_History_of.html?hl=nl&id=AcLDHOqOt4cC
Can you give a page reference for whatever you think is most relevant in
this book?
Jordanes was clearly a source for Dudo, as has been recognised for
centuries, but he did not make an equivalence between Denmark and Dacia.
An English translation of his account of the "island of Scandza" in the
northern ocean - not even close to where Dudo located it in the
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=-ZeCDwAAQBAJ.
He meant Scandinavia, and derived the Finns, Swedes, Danes and others
from there. Dudo on the other hand said that Rollo fled _to_ the island
of "Scanza" _from_ Dacia when driven out by the king.
Peter Stewart
I have no specific proposal Peter, but I worked on some of the relevant WP articles about a year ago, and Christensen was a good source for this type of question. For example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_stories_of_the_Goths From that WP article, but citing Christensen...
This question is about the origin of Rollo - can you please post links
to the relevant WP articles you mention, and to what Christensen had to
say that sheds light on it?
Peter Stewart
As I understood it, you felt it was relevant to ask how Orosius and Jordanes might have led to the population of Dacia being linked to the population of the Scandinavian countries. They were mentioned in some of the modern secondary sources being mentioned, and whether it is a good lead or not is not really something I have an opinion on. But it seems that Jordanes and Orosius did influence medieval thinking on that sort of connection. Jordanes probably also helped make people aware of some of the classical country names like Dacia.
Yes, but the relevance for this thread is in what Dudo made of his
sources more than in what others did, and I thought SGM readers would
(like me) not have time to go looking for nuggets of relevance in
scattered Wikipedia articles or a whole book about something else.

Jordanes placed the homeland of Danes in his island of Scandza in the
north, whereas Dudo making direct use of Jordanes and copying phrases
from him nonetheless placed his Dacia in the south-east and on the
mainland away from his island of Scanza. I don't think these changes are
as likely to have come about from confusion, even in such a nincompoop
as Dudo, as from deliberate realignment of the geography. Whether this
was obfuscation for some unknown reason or because Normans in his
audience might accept the fanciful name of "Dacia" for their homeland
(that had apparently not been used for anywhere in Scandinavia before
him) rather than an explicit identification as Danish when they (or some
of them at least) perhaps considered themselves originally Norwegian.

Peter Stewart

lancast...@gmail.com
2021-03-23 20:28:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
Maybe I am missing something but concerning this: "Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?" ...

...Obviously John, a "Plantagenet", was not in the male line of Rollo. I am supposing that on this newserver that is probably just hasty typing, but I'll note it just for good house-keeping, because someone might read this and misunderstand. :)

BTW no article needed for John's byname. Lackland is good on its own. (Might as well keep being strict while I'm on a roll.)
paulorica...@gmail.com
2021-03-23 23:33:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by wjhonson
Post by ***@gmail.com
In your opinion, was Rollo of Normandy more likely to have been Danish or Norwegian? I lean towards Danish but admit there's no proof either way.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo
has a detailed discussion of this very question
Detailed perhaps, but like many Wikipedia articles covering difficult historical matters, not that good. Leaving aside matters of opinion and interpretation, I spotted two very serious blunders just while I was briefly skimming the article. One is so glaring that anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the genealogy of the Norman and English rulers ought to be able to spot it, so I will wait a day or so to reveal it in case others want to look for it. The other blunder, unlikely to be noticed by those with only a basic familiarity with the subject, is the blatantly false statement that the Irish source "An Banshenchas" (which never mentions Rollo or any member of his family) states that Rollo had a daughter who was born in Scotland and married an Irish prince.
As for the original question, it is basically unanswerable, and it is not that clear that national identity had yet formed to the extent that there was any clear distinction between a Dane and a Norwegian.
Stewart Baldwin
With the regards to the other blunder, I suppose you mean the statement that Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?
Regardless, I lean towards Rollo being Danish because Dudo said so. I know his account is romanticized but I don't see why he would consider a Danish origin preferable to a Norwegian one.
Maybe I am missing something but concerning this: "Rollo's male line descendants confined to rule Normandy until John the Lackland lost it, right?" ...
...Obviously John, a "Plantagenet", was not in the male line of Rollo. I am supposing that on this newserver that is probably just hasty typing, but I'll note it just for good house-keeping, because someone might read this and misunderstand. :)
BTW no article needed for John's byname. Lackland is good on its own. (Might as well keep being strict while I'm on a roll.)
You're missing the context. I pointed out the fact that Rollo's Wikipedia article states "After Rollo's death, his male-line descendants continued to rule Normandy until 1204, when it was lost by John Lackland to the French King Philip Augustus.", which is, of course, false and I assume that's the obvious blunder Stewart Baldwin mentioned earlier.
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