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Thread: Merovingians by the Svava?

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    Merovingians by the Svava?

    Merovingians by the Svava?

    by Rolf Badenhausen


    The revising literary research into Norse and Nordic traditions, as initiated by the late Heinz Ritter-Schaumburg, PhD, might motivate not only experts in Late Antiquity and pre-medieval times to take note of some new interesting context: The Old Norse-Nordic 'Þiðreks Saga' and Old Swedish 'Didriks chronicle', closely related to the saga of Dietrich von Bern, seem to throw back certain narrative light from Frankish history by Gregory of Tours, Fredegaire, and the 'Chronicle of Frankish Kings'.

    Contradicting to scholastic conviction, Ritter has evaluated the medieval Old Swedish texts he shortly called Svava, catalogued as Skokloster-Codex-I/115&116 quarto, E 9013 at 'Riksarkivet' of Stockholm, as more objective copy from an early but unknown archaic manuscript being prior to the longwinded narrating Thidreks saga which, however, is of surviving elder version, and not seldom giving more topographical information.1 As the late expert was able to prove by means of his numerous German publications, these manuscripts cannot mean King Theodoric the Great mainly for topographical reasons, but rather give narration related to an equally named Frankish king, the obvious Old Swedish Didrik, who started his rise at 'Bern(e)' in the northern Rhine-Eiffel lands.2

    Nevertheless, regarding a circumspect re-evaluation of all afore mentioned and other known records of occidental antiquity, we have to consider a sharp natural limit that was forming the big border between the Roman Empire and Germanic tribes, and, later again, the Franks and Saxons: The Rhine. Apparently, our Frankish chroniclers would not cross that river to have a look at the outlandish folks beyond; and almost all their foreign colleagues seem to have left a blank sheet about their history, particularly from the times after the downfall of the Roman Empire to Charlemagne.

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    Merovingians in the "Svava" ?

    It seems most strange to me that the Franks should have regarded the Rhine as a barrier rather than a highway. Can it really have been so difficult when travelling downstream on the Rhine to land their boats on the opposite rather than the nearer shore ?

    I assume that the "Frankish chroniclers" were monks who sat in their cells and wrote derivative accounts based on the observations of traders and others who actually travelled to and upon the Rhine. Why, one wonders, were there no descriptions of the lands and their inhabitants on the further bank of the Rhine ?

    Could this information, perhaps, been merchants' trade secrets which they did not want published ? After all, monkish chroniclers had long since proved themselves to be very skilled in filling the gaps in their information with their imaginations.

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    Here's an alternative explanation why the Franks considered the Rhine as a (temporarily) unsurmountable barrier -- one of far-stretching political and military importance:

    http://listserv.emich.edu/cgi-bin/wa...&F=&S=&P=33476

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    Gothic fleet under "experienced Roman commanders" ?

    Where did they get them from ? Have you ever heard of the Romans conducting a successful naval battle anywhere any time ? The Roman idea of naval warfare was to get as close to enemy vessels as possible, board them and fight man-to-man on the decks.

    They never had any idea of how to use a fleet. They were accustomed to fighting at close quarters using triremes, quadremes, and quinqueremes, oar-propelled vessels with rams. They had no experience with fleets of sailing vessels. They knew nothing of naval tactics and strategy.

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