dinsdag 17 mei 2016

Vikings in The Netherlands

Coin from Dorestadum

Hail Vikings,

I did some research about the Vikings in the Netherlands I went to Middelburg to the Zeeuwse Bibliotheek and found the most amazing books collection about Northmen and Vikings. I had some very old books in my hand. This blog will be mostly in English but also contain Dutch (one scald) and I will try to translate as much as I can. 

Today I went to Friesland and the Fries museum (Frisia in the Viking time) and Texel (Texla or Tesla in the Viking time). From Texel, I don't have much information but will be back soon. What I do know about Texel is that it is an isle now you can see on picture #1 it wasn't separate yet in the Viking time. I know they raid this place as well I am not sure what and why because I was there too short.  I haven't been to the Viking Information Centre in The Netherlands yet I have planned this trip very soon.

Today I start with a Dutch Skald I found in the search of the Vikings in The Netherlands.

Dutch version Skald:

De schepen kwamen uit het Noorden
Begerig naar strijd,
Met gapende dierenkoppen
Op de uitgesneden voorstevens
Gevuld waren ze met krijgers
En witte schilden,
Met speren uit Zuiderland
En Frankische zwaarden 

Translation by myself:

The ships came from the North
Eager for competition,
With yawn animal heads
At the gut and cure prow
Filled with warriors
And white shields,
With spear from Southland
And Frankish swords 

This is a scald from the attacks / raids the Vikings did in The Netherlands.
Some of the books I used are doubting that the Vikings even where in The Netherlands because they didn't find treasures yet and we only know mentions in foreign books but not in our own books from the Vikings. 

The view from the boat to Texel

It also suggests that there is a lot of history untold or hidden. But the books after the years 1997 until now do know that the Vikings in the Netherlands existed this is because the first Viking treasure was found in 1996 in Wieringen. The year linked to this is about 850 AD. Although we now know that the first raids were 689-695 AD in Dorestadum(Dorestad, Wijk bij Duurstede) these years are better known for the battle of Dorestadum. It was totally burned to the ground there was nothing left in that city.   

Why did the Vikings come to The Netherlands you may ask. They hunted bears, wild swine, and wild animals. They also loved our fur and salted cod. If there was no profit they sold the fur for big money to others to compensate the damage or the profit. 

During the Vikings period in The Netherlands, we know that there were three regions. those three regions are Frisia, Betua and Walcria now known as:

Frisia: Friesland, Noord-Holland (North-Holland), Zuid-Holland (South-Holland)  
Betua: De Betuwe region in Noord-Brabant (Northen-Brabant)    
Walacra: is an isle in Zealand Walcheren. 

Boat from Trajectum or Witaberg

We had three important cities at that time. Trajectum or Witaberg (Utrecht), Dorestadum (Dorestad now Wijk bij Duurstede) and Walacra (Isle Walcheren Zealand)

In the publication, I am using for this piece it tells us that the city Nijmegen called Nymegen or Numegen at that time it meant New megen (for megen is no translation know) it is possible that this was what the Vikings called Nyon but that could also be in Frankia now better known as France. People from the Betuwe were known as Bataven or Batavieren (Batavian). 

It is also said Noviomagus (Nijmegen) and Dorestadum (Wijk bij Duurstede) where nearby but that is also said from Dorestadum (Wijk bij Duurstede) and Trajectum (Utrecht). Almere was known as La Mer or La fleur (France or Frankish names)

Walacra was an isle the Vikings used this place as a den of robbers. It has two names in that time Den of robbers and Isle of strangers. The popularity by  the Vikings for this particular isle was because it said that during bad weather you couldn't see the isle and you couldn't see where the sea began or end I saw that today on the isle Texel as you can see on picture #1

From Walacra, you could go to Witla (doesn't exist anymore although it could be the isle of Schouwen also Zealand) Trajectum or Witaberg (Utrecht) and Dorestadum (Dorestad, Wijk bij Duurstede).

While Walacra was known as a place of robbers Dorestadum was known for his trade. Two sea routes were known from Dorestadum one to Scandinavia and one to England. Trajectum (Utrecht) was known for the churches and several peace treaties in return of land. One of the little churches in Trajectum (Utrecht) is known as The little church of Dilbert. 

In that time, we know three different coin makers. The FR Isunmarum, the ones from Dorestad and the DR Ide Demariën

#1 Map The Netherlands

We see raids in different cities in The Netherlands.
689-695 AD battle of Dorestadum
834, 835, 837 AD Dorestadum was attacked by the Vikings.
837, 839 AD Walacra and Witla were attacked
873 AD Oostergo
880-890 AD they raid Deventer, Zutphen, and Asselt (Limburg The Netherlands)
In 885 AD, there was an inventory list was made by the church.
1006 AD Tiel
1007 AD Utrecht

What we see in this time period is that the Vikings left and came back. In those periods, they didn't raid it could be that they concurred land or they could be found in Walacra and Dorestadum because we know there were settlements both on the isle and in the city. We do know that both Frisians and Vikings switched sides so it could be that they didn't raid and didn't left The Netherlands but settled here and stayed here to build boats, armies, trade, and do farming.

The one thing I kept questioning is how can I place Ragnar's sons into all of this or Ragnar himself. The answer is not that simple because The Netherlands was forked in Earldoms.
What we do know is that Rorik mentioned in the battle of Dorestad. Rorik is also mentioned to be accompanied with Ubbe, Halfdan and Inguar (Ivar the Boneless) not in that battle but in Frisia where the expeditions began for them to different directions. The Earldoms were given by Rorik at that time and all we know is that Ubbe was Earl from Frisia later called Duke. In the books, he is also linked with Walacra. 

The only question arises could Rorik be Ragnar? Why do you think I came across a very interesting story about Rorik I could be wrong because Ragnar died before 865 but it could be a twisted story or the dates were twisted I am not sure. 

In July 865 Pagus Isaliae (de Ijsselgouw area between the Lek river and the Ijssel river) it was just after the attacks of Paris by the Vikings Rorik came back in The Netherlands at that place and stayed there to repair ships and build a new army this one is also linked with Ubbe the Duke of the Frisian. In this defeat, Rorik disappeared from the books. The sources talk about:
  1. Possibly killed because of the defeat
  2. Ashamed by his raiding crew that he disappeared, or his crew killed him
  3. He had ashamed his own name and disappeared 
We saw this happening with Ragnar season 3 episode 10 and in season 4 episode 7 and episode 10. Or is it just the TV series that tried to put Ragnar in the history of Rorik with a different time. Like I said before it is all history and there was no written word yet by the Vikings. The books already suggest that they left stories out and put things into history.

Halfdan and Ivar went from Walacra to England. Ubbe has done many expeditions between England and The Netherlands from both Frisia and Walacra. He got defeated or it is also said he chased away in The Netherlands just before he attacked York together with Ivar 867 AD. There he was known as Ubbo dux Fresciorum or Ubbo dux Fresonum. So one fact we know is he was duke of Frisia.

Rollo is also mentioned in the books. He was in The Netherlands, and when duke he could have The Netherlands but rejected the country simply because when he first was there it was less land and a bit swampy. By the time he got it offered it had become more land then he was there the first time.

Fact The Netherlands was once attacked on four sides by the Vikings. One fleet from France, One fleet from Germany, One fleet from the North sea and one fleet from Belgium.


  1. http://www.friesmuseum.nl/?language=en

Dutch sources:

  1. http://www.vikingen.nl/pg-28219-7-84399/pagina/welkom.html
  2. Nederland in de Middeleeuwen; de canon van ons middeleeuws verleden (Boek) Jan Kuipers Uitgegeven Walburg Pers, Zutphen in 2011
  3. De Vikingen; leven, mythen en kunst (Boek) Anthony Gordon Bruce Allan Uitgegeven Librero, Kerkdriel in 2012
  4. Vikingen; Noormannen in de Lage Landen (Boek) Luit van der Tuuk Uitgegeven Omniboek, Utrecht in 2015
  5. De vikingtijd; op zoek naar de Noormannen in Nederland en België (Boek) Luit van der Tuuk Uitgegeven Omniboek, Utrecht in 2014
  6. Vikingen! (Boek) Uitgegeven Drents Museum, Assen in 2012
  7. Karolingers en Ottonen (Boek) Uitgegeven Papieren Tijger, Breda in 2014
  8. Vikingen!; overvallen in het stroomgebied van Rijn en Maas, 800-1000 (Boek) Annemarieke Willemsen Uitgegeven THOTH, Bussum in 2004
  9. Noormannen in de Lage Landen; handelaren, huurlingen en heersers (Boek) Luit van der Tuuk Uitgegeven Davidsfonds, Leuven in 2008
  10. Ridders, Romeinen en andere vechtjassen; alle feiten, tactieken en triomfen van de grootste vechters uit de geschiedenis (Boek) James Harpur Uitgegeven Kosmos, Utrecht [etc.] in 2007
  11. De vikingen achterna; wat de runen ons vertellen Johan Nowé Uitgegeven Davidsfonds, Leuven in 2009
  12. Noormannen in het rivierenland; de handelsplaatsen Dorestad en Tiel in vuur en vlam (Boek) Luit van der Tuuk Uitgegeven Omniboek, Kampen in 2009
  13. Sagen van de Noormannen; Noordse en Germaanse mythen (Boek) Jacqueline Simpson, Loren Auerbach Uitgegeven Time-Life Books, Amsterdam in 1997
  14. De Viking; vriend en vijand (Boek) Uitgegeven Peeters, Leuven in 2006
  15. Scheepvaart van de Vikingen (Boek) Arne Emil Christensen Uitgegeven De Boer Maritiem, Bussum in 1977
  16. De Wikingen in de lage landen bij de zee (Boek) Jan de Vries Uitgegeven Tjeenk Willink, Haarlem in 1923
  17. De ballade van de dode Viking (Boek) George Kettmann Uitgegeven De vrienden van Kettmann, Bilthoven in 1956
  18. Studie van de afbeeldingen op runenstenen in Zweden tot de tijd van de Vikingen; een chronologisch overzicht van het fenomeen beeldsteen (Boek) Bart Brigé Uitgegeven Studia Germanica Gandensia, Vakgroep Duits - Taalkunde, Gent in 2000
  19. De godsdienst der oude Noormannen (Boek) Louis Suson Pedro Meyboom Uitgegeven A.C. Kruseman, Haarlem in 1868
  20. Opgegraven verleden; het leven in Europa ten Noorden van de Alpen van 15.000 voor Chr. tot de tijd van de Vikingen (Boek) Geoffrey Bibby Uitgegeven Meulenhoff, Amsterdam in 1959
  21. De viking van Helgoland (Boek) A.L. Gerritsen Uitgegeven H. ten Brink's uitg.-maatschij, Arnhem in 1918
  22. De viking en zijn geslacht; een Zeeuwsch gedicht (Boek) Cornélie de Waal Uitgegeven J.C. & W. Altorffer, Middelburg in 1905
  23. De Wikingtochten (Boek) Gerard Lutke Meijer Uitgegeven Stichting IVIO, Lelystad in 1987
  24. Vikingen in Noord-Holland?; de zilverschat van Wieringen in het licht van de Noormanneninvallen (Boek) J.C. Besteman Uitgegeven Provincie Noord-Holland, afdeling Cultuur en Educatie, Haarlem in 1996
  25. Vikingen en Hanzen, Engelse, Hollandse en Franse kapers (Boek) 1953
  26. De Noormannen in Nederland; geschiedenis hunner invallen gedurende de negende, tiende en elfde eeuwen, met opgave van derzelver gevolgen, uit echte bronnen geput (Boek) J.H. van Bolhuis Uitgegeven Van Paddenburg, Utrecht in 1834
  27. De mythe van de Noormannen in Nederland (Boek) Albert Delahaye Uitgegeven Archivariaat ''Nassau-Brabant'', Zevenbergen in 1977
  28. Goden en helden van de Vikingen (Boek) Magnus Magnusson Uitgegeven Fibula-Van Dishoeck, Haarlem in 1976
  29. Zo leefden de Vikingen ten tijde van de invasies tussen 800 en 1100 (Boek) Johannes Brøndsted Uitgegeven Hollandia, Baarn in 1986
  30. Oudnoorse mythen (Boek) R.I. Page Uitgegeven Tirion, Baarn in 1992
  31. De Vikingen; Scandinavië in het eerste millennium (Boek) David M. Wilson Uitgegeven De Haan, Bussum in 1973
  32. Oudnoorse mythen (Boek) R.I. Page Uitgegeven Tirion, Baarn in 1992
  33. Een vikingschip valt ons land binnen (Boek) Uitgegeven Stichting IVIO, Amsterdam in 1950
  34. "Help, de Vikingen komen!"; de Karolingische burgen op Walcheren (Boek) Uitgegeven Openbare Bibliotheek Vlissingen, Vlissingen in 1995
  35. De Noormannen op het eiland Walcheren in den jare 874 (Boek) Alex Maurits Brederoode Uitgegeven H. Thompson, Amsterdam in 1845

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten