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Finland and the Dark Ages

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Medieval Europe
Forum Discription: The Middle Ages: AD 500-1500
Moderators: Knights, edgewaters, es_bih
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=5136
Printed Date: 26-Oct-2014 at 06:55


Topic: Finland and the Dark Ages
Posted By: the_ancient_lunatic
Subject: Finland and the Dark Ages
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2005 at 01:38

What was Finland's role in the Dark ages?

Was there evidence of trade with Sweden and other countries?

Was Finland a seperate  state from the other scandinavian countries?

What was Finland's status during the Viking Age?

Are there literary references to Finland where I may find answers?



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...jag älskar mina svärd...



Replies:
Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2005 at 02:23

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Finland - Wikipedia :

During the 1st century AD trade and exhange with Scandinavia increased and some Roman artifacts from this period have been found. During the first millenia AD, the population groups of Finland exchanged their products (mostly furs) with Scandinavian traders. Influences came from the south and east as well. The society was stratified: the existence of richly furnished burials, usually with weapons, suggest that a chiefly elite existed from the 3rd century AD onwards. However, a centralized society did not evolve in Finland, not even during the Viking Age.

During this time the population in Finland can be discerned into different groups: (proper-)Finns, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tavastians" title="Tavastians - Tavastians , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karelians" title="Karelians - Karelians and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people" title="Sami people - Sami . Ĺland is Swedified during this time, if not before. These terms are used in linguistical sense, not to suggest that the Iron Age people would have used or understood modern ethnonyms

Contact between Sweden and what is now Finland was remarkable even during pre-Christian times — the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangian" title="Varangian - Vikings were known to Finns both due to their participation in commerce and plundering. However, there is no evidence of Scandinavian settlement in Finland during the Viking Age, with the expection of Ĺland Islands.



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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: Styrbiorn
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2005 at 07:12
Originally posted by the_ancient_lunatic

What was Finland's role in the Dark ages?

Was there evidence of trade with Sweden and other countries?

Was Finland a seperate  state from the other scandinavian countries?

What was Finland's status during the Viking Age?

Are there literary references to Finland where I may find answers?



Very few sources from the period exists, but in short, what now is Finland was never a unified state in the period 2nd-11th centuries (Dark Ages is a bad term, and Scandinavian and Finnish history doesn't follow that designation anyway), instead the area was populated by a  number of different tribes. Trade contacts was quite extensive. Germanic swords and luxury articles are plenty from the 5-6th centuries, and from the Viking age many Frankish swords (the kind the Scandinavians used, prefered and traded with) have been found.

However, there is no evidence of Scandinavian settlement in Finland during the Viking Age, with the expection of Ĺland Islands.


This is simply wrong. Coastal Finland had a Scandinavian population since the Iron Age, and especially in the south-western part the coast Scandinavian archaeological findings are plenty; during the Viking age the south-western coast had a solely Scandinavian population.
Also, Nyland had an immigration wave of Ests in the 5th century.


Ĺland wasn't 'Swedified' either. Burial styles and pottery from the Bronze Age and forward are Scandinavian, the higher levels of the society had close contacts with their mainland equivalents in what now is Sweden. The placenames are of Scandinavian origin as well. The islands had a new wave of immigration of Swedes (and to a much smaller amound also of Finns) in the late Viking Age and later, due to unknown reasons though.



Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 21-Aug-2005 at 09:45
I think that Wikipedia and you, Styrbiorn, agree on Aland: when the author says Swedified he means colonized by Scandinavians (Swedes), I don't understand he implies any earlier Finn population there at all.

On the rest I just don't know, so I take your word. If you think you can improve the article, join Wikipedia and edit it.


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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: Kuu-ukko
Date Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 02:45
Please, give some credit to wilpuri and his excellent article  : http://www.allempires.com/empires/finland/finland.htm 


Posted By: Styrbiorn
Date Posted: 23-Aug-2005 at 05:10
Originally posted by Maju

I think that Wikipedia and you, Styrbiorn, agree on Aland: when the author says Swedified he means colonized by Scandinavians (Swedes), I don't understand he implies any earlier Finn population there at all.


Well, it is formulated in a way which indirectly says the islands were inhabited by Finns earlier. 'Swedes' populated Ĺland even before that immigration wave.


Posted By: Kynsi
Date Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 09:36
Originally posted by Styrbiorn


the south-western coast had a solely Scandinavian population.


Are you saying that only Svear inhabited the south western coast (Turku region on map) of Finland?

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If you keep one eye on the past then you are blind in one eye, but if you
forget the past then you are blind in both eyes -old russian saying


Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 25-Aug-2005 at 10:42
Originally posted by Kuu-ukko

Please, give some credit to wilpuri and his excellent article  : http://www.allempires.com/empires/finland/finland.htm%20 - http://www.allempires.com/empires/finland/finland.htm  


Pretty good indeed.


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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: the_ancient_lunatic
Date Posted: 29-Aug-2005 at 02:08

Okay, what I am gathering here is that Finland traded generally raw goods for finished goods with the Swedes and possibly some others.

It would make sense that there was extensive contact with traders especially medieval Sweden and Gotland.

It also makes sense that there was no centralized government or religion and that there waere several tribal factions interworking.



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...jag älskar mina svärd...


Posted By: Nagyfejedelem
Date Posted: 31-Aug-2005 at 14:50
In this time Finnland was not an own state. Warriors were Vikings (Swedes).


Posted By: Kuu-ukko
Date Posted: 02-Sep-2005 at 05:23
Define "own state". The area now called Finland was ruled by tribal chiefs, most notably the Finns, Tavastians and Karelians.

There were native warriors, too. Trade relations with Vikings doesn't prove that all the warriors were imported, only the weapons .


Posted By: Nagyfejedelem
Date Posted: 02-Sep-2005 at 16:59
Perhaps were in Finns in Swedish army, but ancesters of Finns depended of them. Trade really was in this territory, but merchants were mainly Vikings.


Posted By: Nagyfejedelem
Date Posted: 02-Sep-2005 at 17:03

Kuu-ukko:

A silly question:

Does your nickname mean 'Stone God'? 



Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 02-Sep-2005 at 17:17
Originally posted by the_ancient_lunatic

Okay, what I am gathering here is that Finland traded generally raw goods for finished goods with the Swedes and possibly some others.

It would make sense that there was extensive contact with traders especially medieval Sweden and Gotland.

It also makes sense that there was no centralized government or religion and that there waere several tribal factions interworking.



They probably had a common religion (shamanism) but not a centralized one, if you mean something like the Roman Catholic Church. If they were organized in tribes they surely had supra-tribal loose alliances too.

Anyhow those traits can be said also for Swedes at that time: they had no organized religion that I know of (only a common ethnical one) and they had no centralized state either.


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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: Styrbiorn
Date Posted: 02-Sep-2005 at 17:50
Originally posted by Maju



Anyhow those traits can be said also for Swedes at that time: they had
no organized religion that I know of (only a common ethnical one) and
they had no centralized state either.

No centralized state - that didn't exist in Scandinavian until the 15th or 16th centuries. A state existed though, and the king had the right to take taxes or raise a fleet, so a central organization did exist as opposed to Finland.


Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 04:42
Are you sure that Sweden had a king in the so called Dark Ages? While Denmark did have one, I'm not so sure when Sweden became organized as kingdom... my impression is that in the Viking Ages Sweden was only a tribal zone. 

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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: Styrbiorn
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 05:17
Yes, it just didn't encompass all of modern Sweden.

Depends on what you mean with the Dark Ages though - there are no such period in Scandinavian history.


Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 08:32
I agree that Dark Ages is a very bad adjective but actually that normaly refers to the Upper/Early Middle ages (until the 10th century or so). I just used that name because it is in the title of this topic. 

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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: Kuu-ukko
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 14:16
I remember that there was a religious matter in Finland at this time, on whether the sacred animal was the elk or the bear. Also there were minor dissimilarities between the names of the gods,for example the god of sea Ahti or Vellamo, although Vellamo can also mean the wife of Ahti. So it definitely wasn't centralized, more like a different way of seeing things according to each shaman, like it was with the Nganasan.

@Nagyfejedelem

Actually my name means literally means "Moon-guy", but "ukko" can mean much more than guy, even a god. So my name basically means "lunatic" . "Stone God" would be "Kivi-jumala".


Posted By: Nagyfejedelem
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 15:26

Kuu-ukko:

Thank you very much.



Posted By: Nagyfejedelem
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 15:50
Perhaps I mixed up kuu with kivi...


Posted By: Nagyfejedelem
Date Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 15:52

Kuu-ukko:

'Kő' or earlier 'keve' mean stone, too.



Posted By: HistoryGuy
Date Posted: 10-Sep-2005 at 13:10
Ha Finns som de kan akkurat drar hjem. Jeg er ikke virkelig stor pĺ Finnish folk. De kan akkurat drar ett eller annet sted ellers jeg sier. Jeg tror at de er del av Finno-ugralickulturen, sammen med Huns, i Hungary.

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Când viaţa rãu, unele cresc testicule şi face cu ea!


Posted By: Jorsalfar
Date Posted: 10-Sep-2005 at 16:26

Maybe you should write in english

 



Posted By: gerik
Date Posted: 18-Sep-2005 at 11:30
Without written or archielogical evidence it is hard to assume anything.
I think the distant past or history of the so cald finno-ugric people is obscure,the exception are the hungarians. By the way in a way it is incorrect to speak about finno-ugric people  because finno-ugrism is a language theory, a highly controversial one.


Posted By: Kuu-ukko
Date Posted: 18-Sep-2005 at 14:49
What is so controversial about it?


Posted By: gerik
Date Posted: 22-Sep-2005 at 05:28
The conducted genetical research proved that no genetical relationship exists with finns,estionians or other finno-ugric people (even with mansis or hansis). This is true also for the hungarians at the time of conquest. Antropologically they were similar to people of turkish origin.

Even the Finno-Ugrian language theory underdetermines. It fails to isolate any lexical parallels that are valid only in the case of the Finno-Ugrian languages, but that leave out other Eurasian languages out such as the Altaic languages, the Turkish, the Mongolian, the Sumerian, etc.





Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 22-Sep-2005 at 10:01
Originally posted by gerik

The conducted genetical research proved that no genetical relationship exists with finns,estionians or other finno-ugric people (even with mansis or hansis). This is true also for the hungarians at the time of conquest. Antropologically they were similar to people of turkish origin.


Genetics and lingusitic have nothing to do. They may be parallel or not. Just look at English-Speaking Jamaicans and compare their genetics with English-Speaking from London, Sydney or New Delhi.

Even the Finno-Ugrian language theory underdetermines. It fails to isolate any lexical parallels that are valid only in the case of the Finno-Ugrian languages, but that leave out other Eurasian languages out such as the Altaic languages, the Turkish, the Mongolian, the Sumerian, etc.


That's interesting. It's he first time I read a direct attack to the Finno-Ugric theory. Can you link to a paper explaining why? (I've found http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/am_rev.html - a paper attacking one that attacks the Uralic or Finno-Ugric family , but nothing against it, much less something solid).



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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: Kuu-ukko
Date Posted: 22-Sep-2005 at 10:59
gerik, please!
Originally posted by gerik

The conducted genetical research proved that no genetical relationship exists with finns,estionians or other finno-ugric people (even with mansis or hansis). This is true also for the hungarians at the time of conquest. Antropologically they were similar to people of turkish origin.


As Maju said, genetics and linguistics are not the same. If an area changes the language it speaks, it doesn't mean complete annihilation of the previous inhabitants. Infact, it only requires a minority for an area to change a language. Only in the near past have there been cases of ethnic switch aswell (e.g. the Americas).

Also, there are common features throughout the Uralic people in religion, for example (a huge tree/mountain in the center/edges of the world holding up the sky, the land was created from mud fetched by a wood grouse from the bottom of the sea, etc.). Of course the versions are different, but the cores in the Uralic religions are the same.

Originally posted by gerik

Even the Finno-Ugrian language theory underdetermines. It fails to isolate any lexical parallels that are valid only in the case of the Finno-Ugrian languages, but that leave out other Eurasian languages out such as the Altaic languages, the Turkish, the Mongolian, the Sumerian, etc.


Linguistics can only reach back to about 6000-7000 years, beyond that is only guessing. The Uralic, Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic (I believe they are not from a common proto-language within 7000 years, hence the differenciation) languages might have had a common ancestor in the very past, OR the similarities are just an areal feature. Sumerian is known to be an isolate, that's for sure (but only to about 6000 years ).


Posted By: gerik
Date Posted: 22-Sep-2005 at 12:41
Originally posted by Maju



That's interesting. It's he first time I read a direct attack to the Finno-Ugric theory. Can you link to a paper explaining why? (I've found http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/am_rev.html - a paper attacking one that attacks the Uralic or Finno-Ugric family , but nothing against it, much less something solid).



Yes I can provide some source:

Probably you heard about Angela Marcantonio,lecturer  in General Linguistics at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza', specialising in Uralic studies.

Some of her papers are:
         The Uralic Language Family: Facts, Myths and Statistics  (actually this is a book)
       http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/book.asp?ref=0631231706 - http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/book.asp?ref=0631231706
Editor's summary:

In this detailed survey of Finnish, Hungarian, Lapp and the other Uralic Languages, Angela Marcantonio shows there is in fact no scientific evidence to support the belief that they form a genetic family. If this approach is accepted, this detailed analysis will have far-reaching consequences for other assumed language families.


     The "Ugric-Turkic" battle:a critical review, coauthors:  Pirjo Nummenaho, Michela Salvagni.
 You can find the paper at:
http://www.kirj.ee/esi-l-lu/l37-2-1.pdf - http://www.kirj.ee/esi-l-lu/l37-2-1.pdf

The conclusion of the authors are:

Our first conclusion is, therefore, that the existence and uniqueness of
the Finno-Ugric node was n o t established scientifically and beyond doubt in the last decades of the 19 Century, as widely propagated and believed.
Our second conclusion is that, to borrow D. Sinor’s words, ”... Uralic, Altaic,and Uralo-Altaic comparative linguistics should shake themselves free from simplistic — black and white, yes and no — solutions” (1988 : 739) and that, therefore, the traditional approach to the Uralic and Altaic studies clearly demands a much needed revision.


This phrases are highly used in hungarian circles.

And there is another event which created senzation in hungarian news but
not only. In 12 -nov-2004  Angela Marcantonio held a lecture at the University of Amsterdam followed by a debate. As a result of this debate
the non existance of uralic/finno-ugric language family was accepted, even by Norval Smith,  phonology professor at Department of Theoretical Linguistics, University of Amsterdam.
http://www.demokrata.hu/node/686 - http://www.demokrata.hu/node/686
http://www.naput.hu/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=788 - http://www.naput.hu/modules.php?name=News&...article& ; ;sid=788


Posted By: gerik
Date Posted: 22-Sep-2005 at 12:46
Other sources are:

Onother critique of the finno-ugrian theory is Dr. László Marácz a  linguist of a Dutch university.
Some of his works:

THE UNTENABILITY OF THE FINNO-UGRIAN THEORY
FROM A LINGUISTIC POINT OF VIEW

http://www.acronet.net/~magyar/english/1997-3/JRNL97B.htm - http://www.acronet.net/~magyar/english/1997-3/JRNL97B.htm


The Magyar Turning Point; Political Opinions Concerning Central Europe was published in 1995 in the Dutch language
You can find a downloadable abriged MS WORD version of the book in english  at:
http://www.hungarian-history.hu/lib/maracz/maracz.zip - http://www.hungarian-history.hu/lib/maracz/maracz.zip


Dr. László Marácz is accused unfairly to be nationalist, it is a usual way to discredit people.

The following webpage attacks him in  in such a vituperative manner.
It seems the owner of the webpage never read his articles.

  http://www.geocities.com/isolintu/voodoo.html - http://www.geocities.com/isolintu/voodoo.html


László Marácz
happens to be a decent linguist of a Dutch university and also who shares
anti finno-ugric views.
I quote László Marácz as a good answer:


 The pseudo science of Finno-Ugrianizm comprises the following tenets:
1. We don’t talk about anything that does not justify the Finno Ugrian theses
2. Anyone who judges the Finno-Ugrianizm can and should be subject to slander
3. Put such words into the mouth of the critic which he never said, and refute this statement.
4. Finno-Ugrianizm possesses the eternal truth.
5. Within Finno-Ugrianizm double standards are permitted.
6. Stating the truth is not allowed
7. The sciento-political background of the theory is a taboo.



Posted By: gerik
Date Posted: 22-Sep-2005 at 12:51
The Uralic Language Family: Facts, Myths and Statistics the book of Angela Marcantonio received a bad review from  Johanna Laakso,a biased one,it is usual for a mainstream finno-ugrist. Usually they hardly accept any critique of their views.

  http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/am_rev.html - http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/am_rev.html

I qoute a main-stream finno-ugrist page in the defence of Angela Marcantonio :

http://lepo.it.da.ut.ee/~lillekas/mainlanguage.html - http://lepo.it.da.ut.ee/~lillekas/mainlanguage.html


And last but not least: the Uralist Angela Marcantonio has accomplished something that her colleagues usually do not engage themselves in. Namely, she has scrupulously read through all essential Uralic research works through times. As a result of her activity she noticed in her book (Marcantonio 2002) that a number of works, belonging to the Uralistic classics had in the course of time become myths, one way or another. It means that instead of understanding the actual contents or nature of the works, certain stereotypical notions about the contents or nature, far from truthful, have been circulating among Uralistic researchers. In a number of cases a similar observation is extended also over what has taken place in the history of Uralistics. Eventually, the so-called fundamentals of Uralistics have also been critically addressed. Observing the picture, unfurled by Marcantonio in her book, one can naturally anticipate that Uralistics is no exception: to a certain degree a similar fate has struck the sciences researching other language groups. Besides, the phenomenon is of a much wider scope than just linguistics or the humanities – it is probably characteristic of scientific activity as a whole and through the ages. The more welcome it is when, at some instant, someone steps up saying: it is high time to take an account of the household of our science – there are probably things in the account that have long since disappeared or that are not useable any longer. In place of some things there is only a distant memory, often obscured beyond recognition: just nothing but a myth. And so, Marcantonio has taken an account of the results that may certainly appear as a very bad surprise to numerous traditional Uralists.


Posted By: Maju
Date Posted: 22-Sep-2005 at 16:33
Thanks, Gerik. Too many links for me to read them all. I was a little astonished when I found a Hungarian missionary claiming Bantu and Magyar to be cognates but guess his opinions are not actually relevant. On Marcantonio's work, the difference seems to be on the structure of the "Uralo-Altaic" tree (assuming there's something of the kind) and while the belonging of Magyar to the Fino-Ugric subfamily can be on stake what this review could be bring eventually would be a renewed interest for the Uralo-Altaic connection, with Magyar maybe as paradigmatic of it, am I wrong?

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NO GOD, NO MASTER!


Posted By: gerik
Date Posted: 23-Sep-2005 at 04:28
That is correct. Hungarians are the paradigm of finno-ugrist both by language,and culture.
Even the most fundamentalist hungarian finno-ugrist think about the relation with other finno-ugric languages as very distant,they use the example of english and hindi. The hungarian language has many similar features,terms
with languages of  turkish  origin.  Some  think  that  hungarian  is  as  close
to finno-ugric as to turkish. Others think that hungarian is more close to turkish languages like the following link (it is in hungarian sorry):

http://istvandr.kiszely.hu/ostortenet/index.html




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