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Full text of "The relations between ancient Russia and Scandinavia and the origin of the Russian state. Three lectures delivered at the Taylor Institution, Oxford, in May, 1876, in accordance with the terms of Lord Ilchester's bequest to the University"

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This "OP Book" Is an Authorized Reprint of the 
Original Edition, Produced by Microfilm-Xerography by 
University Microfilms, Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1963 







IN MA Y, 1876, 


BY . fr>i^ 


Pressor of Comparative Philology in the University of Copenhagen, 
M ember of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, &c. 



I All rights reserved ] 


^B 3 1954 J 


By E. Pickard Hall, M.A., and J. H. Stacy, 



The Lectures which are here presented to the 
public were delivered at Oxford in May, 1876, by in- 
vitation of the Curators of the Taylor Institution as 
administrators of the Ilchester Bequest for the en- 
couragement of the study of the Slavonic Language, 
Literature, and History. Within the boundaries set 
by the terms of the endowment, it was natural to me 
to choose a subject which, at the same time as being 
Slavonic, had some reference to Scandinavia, and I 
could not long be in doubt as to the choice. 

I give the Lectures here, in the main, so as I had at 
first written them, with such slight modifications and 
additions as, in revising my manuscript, I thought 
necessary. According to this plan I have not hesi- 
tated to insert several details of a philological kind 
which I was obliged to leave out or abridge when 
delivering the Lectures, but which are in fact so 
important to the purpose I had set myself that it 
seemed to me they could not well be omitted here ; 
such will be found, for instance, in the inquiry into 
the names of the Dnieper rapids, the Old Russian 
proper names, the history of the name Varangian, &c. 


I hope that the book may have gained by this, and 
I shall be glad if I have succeeded in contributing 
somewhat towards the final and impartial solution of 
a historic-ethnographical problem which may possibly 
have some interest also to English readers. 

I beg to express my best thanks first and foremost 
to the Curators of the Taylor Institution, not only for 
their honourable invitation to lecture at Oxford, but 
also for their liberality in undertaking the printing of 
the Lectures at the cost of the endowment ; next, to 
all those who have met me with kindness, as well with 
respect to the present work, as during my stay in 
England. Among them I must be allowed to offer 
my special thanks to one of the Curators, the Rev. 
G. W. Kitchin, who has also kindly assisted me in 
reading the proofs, an assistance all the more valuable 
in that it has been afforded to one who is writing in 
a foreign language. 


November, 1877. 



On the Inhabitants op Ancient Russia, and the 

Foundation of the Russian State .... i 

On the Scandinavian Origin of the ancient Russ 37 


On the Denomination and History of the Scan- 
dinavian Element in Russia 87 


Old Russian Proper Names 131 

Additions 143 

Index 147 



FROM the first dawn of authentic history that vast 
territory which now constitutes European Russia, or at 
least the large central portion of it, appears to have 
been inhabited, in the main, by the same nationalities 
which still form the bulk of its population, that is, 
partly by Slavonians, partly by Finnish and Tataric 
tribes. But the relations between these various na- 
tionalities were then quite different from what they are 
at the present day ; the overwhelming superiority, 
numerically and politically speaking, which the Slav- 
onic element has acquired over the others, has been 
the work of comparatively modern times, while the 
foundation of a Russian state belongs to none of 

We must for a moment glance at the primitive 
history of the Slavonians in Russia and the ethno- 
graphy of that extensive country at the period when 
we first meet with the name of Russia. 

The Slavs or Slavonians are a branch of that great 
family which we call the Aryan or the Indo-European 
family, which, from time out of mind, has occupied by 
far the greater part of Europe. Of course the Slav- 
onians have lived in our part of the world quite as 



long as any of their brother-peoples ; but, except their 
very nearest kinsmen and neighbours, the Lithuanians 
and the Lets, there are none of the Aryan tribes upon 
which history begins to cast its light so late as upon 
the Slavonians. Their domicile was so remote from 
the centres of ancient culture, that the Greeks and 
Romans could scarcely come into direct contact with 
them ; and having always been, as they are still, by 
nature a peaceable people, they themselves never 
greatly interfered in the affairs of their border-lands. 
This is the reason why the Slavonians were so late 
in making their appearance on the stage of history. 

It was only when the Romans had already got 
Tooting in Germany, that they became aware, through 
the Germans, of the existence of the Slavonians, and 
that we begin to find them mentioned by classic 
authors. The first Latin author who clearly alludes 
to them is Fliny the elder ( + 79 A.D.) ; and he ex- 
presses himself very cautiously thus : ' Some say the 
countries beyond the Vistula are inhabited by the 
Sarmates, the Venedi 1 ? &c. A little later we again 
find the Vencti mentioned by the Roman historian 
Tacitus in his description of Germany (ch. xlvi) ; he 
is in doubt whether this people is to be numbered 
among the Germans or not ; however, he is inclined 
to believe that they should be so, because they greatly 
resemble the Germans in their mode of living. . From 
this time the name of the Slavonians appears a little 
more frequently in the historical and geographical 
works of antiquity. 

1 Pliny, Hist. Natur. iv. 96 (14) : Quidam haec habitari td Vis- 
tulam usque fluvium a Sarmatis, Venedis, Sciris, Hirris tradunt.' 


^ V 

The name under which the Slavonians appear in 
ancient literature, is generally Venedi or Veneti ( Ve- v 
nadi y Vinidac^ Ovtvibcu). This name, unknown to the 
Slavonians themselves, is that by which the Teu tonic 
tribes have from the first designated these their 
easter n neighbours t viz. Wend s, and the use of this 
appellation by the Roman authors plainly shows 
that their knowledge of the Slavonians was derived 
only from the Germans. The Old German form of 
this name was Winedd, and Wenden is the name 
which the Germans of the present day give to the 
remnants of a Slavonic population, formerly large, 
who now inhabit Lusatia, while they give the name 
of Windcn to the Slovens in Carinthia, Carniola, and 
Styria ; we find the Anglo-Saxon form, Winedas> 
Wconodas, in King Alfred's Orosius, as a designation 
of the Wends or Slavonians south of the Baltic, 
and Vender (in the Old Norse Vitidr) was the name 
under which this wild heathen people was known in 
the North, especially in Denmark, during the middle > 

ages (nth and 12th centuries). Also the Finnish 
nations that border the Baltic and the gulf of 
Bothnia in ancient time borrowed this name from 
the Scandinavians or the Goths, and still apply it to 
Russia, which is ca lled h y the, Fi nlanders Vcnajc^ 
Vendd, or Vcnat, and by the Esthonians Vene 1 , If 
the Slavonians themselves ever applied any common 
name to the whole of their family, it must most > 
probably have been that by which we now are accus- 
tomed to call them, S/avs, or Slavonians; its original 

1 Comp. V. Thomsen, Den gotiske Sprogklasscs Indflydclse pi den 
nnske, Kobenhavn, 1869, p. 109, 159. 

B % 


native farm was Slovene. Usually, however, each of 
the numerous tribes into which the Slavonians were 
divided from days of yore called itself by some 
peculiar name, and even the name Slovene never 
appears as a common appellation, handed down by 
tradition, but only as a name which different tribes 
far remote from each other applied to themselves. 

The most ancient sources from which we derive a 
/knowledge of the Wends or Slavonians, unanimously 
place them by the Vistula. From that river, which 
must have formed their western frontier, they ex- 
tended eastward to the Dnieper, and even beyond. 
To the south the Carpathians formed their boundary. 
To the north they perhaps crossed the Dwina into 
the territory afterwards known as Novgorod. 

In the extensive woods and marshes which cover 
these remote tracts the Slavonians seem to have 
dwelt in peace and quiet during the first centuries 
after Christ, divided into a number of small tribes or 
clans, providing for their own wants without troubling 
their neighbours, if they themselves were not molested, 
and uninfluenced by the events which in 
those times disturbed the greater part of Emope. 
At any rate, history has handed nothing down to us 
which can lead us to suppose that the Slavs had, at 
that period, taken part in those important events. 

In the third or fourth century the Goths advanced 
from the southern shores of the Baltic, through the 
western part of what now constitutes Russia. One 
of their leaders, the conqueror Ermanarik, having 
established here for a short time a powerful kingdom, 
the Slavs also were compelled to bow beneath his 


yoke. But the Goths soon moved cfT southwards, 
and their relations to the Slavs of Russia were at 
an end. 

I must not here omit to refer to an interesting 
little discovery lately made, which, in my opinion, 
must certainly have come down to us from these 
Gothic immigrants. It consists of a spear-head 
bearing a short Runic inscription, which has been 
found in the neighbourhood of a town called Kovel 
in Volhynia. This inscription is in the so-called 
ancient runes, and the period to which it must 
belong is thus clearly determined as the third or 
fourth century A.D. It consists only of a man's 
name no doubt the owner's which from the cha- 
racters must probably be read e(?)larids 1 . The 
period and the idiomatic form of the inscribed 
name make it almost impossible not to see in it 
a memento of the invasion of these lands by the 

It was not long, however, before their primitive 
home became too narrow for the Slavs, and as their 
numbers could no longer be contained within their 
ancient boundaries and, perhaps, compelled to it by 
pressure from without they began to spread them-^ 
selves to the west, in which direction the great 

1 This discovery has just now been made public by A. Szumowski, 
together with a letter on the Runic inscription written by the Danish 
runologist, Dr. L. Wimmer, in the Polish Review, Wiadomos'ci Archeo- 
logiczne, vol. iii. p. 49-61. Warsaw, 1876. The spear-head itself has, 
both in workmanship and ornamentation, an extraordinary resemblance 
to one found near Miincheberg in the province of Brandenburg, which 
is represented in Professor G. Stephens's Old Northern Runic Monuments, 
vol ii. p. 880. 



migrations of the fourth and fifth centuries had made 
abundant room for the new immigrants. 

By two different roads the Slavs now begin to 
advance in great masses. On the one side, they cross 
the Vistula and extend over the tracts between the 
Carpathian mountains and the Baltic, right down to 
the Elbe, the former Germanic | population of this 
region having either emigrated or being exhausted 
by their intestine contests and their deadly struggle 
with the Roman empire. By this same road the 
Poles y and probably also the Chckhs of Bohemia and 
Moravia, reached the districts they have inhabited 
since that period. In the rest of this western territory 
the Slavonians were afterwards almost exterminated 
during their bioody wars with the Germans, so that 
but few of their descendants exist. 

The other road by which the Slavonians advanced 
lay to the south-west, along the course of the Danube. 
Thece are the so-called South-Slavonians : the Bul- 
gariaiiS) the Servians, the Croatians^ and farthest 
westward, the Slovens, A thousand years ago, how- 
ever, the Slavonians occupied in this their new home 
a still more extensive tract of land than they do 
now ; in the south Slavonic colcnies were to be found 
far down the Graeco-Turkish peninsula, and north- 
ward their territory extended over a large portion 
of what was anciently Dacia and Pannonia, the 
country which, a little later, the Hungarians made 
their home. 

These Southern Slavs have played an important 
part with regard to the whole race, inasmuch as tbey 
have been the intermediate link between Christian- 


ized civilisation and their own heathen kindred 
tribes. It was to the Danubian Slavs (especially 
in Pannonia) that the two Thessalonian brothers, 
Cyrillus and Methodius, the national saints of the 
Slavonians, preached the gospel in their (Bulgarian ?) 
mother-tongue in the latter part of the ninth century, 
and founded a flourishing literature. By the spread 
of Christianity to the other Southern and Eastern 
Slavs, this literature found a new home, and until a 
few centuries ago, this ' Old Slavonic ' tongue, in a 
slightly modified form, was the only written language 
of these nations. Even at the present day it is the 
language used by the Greek Church in their religious 

Of the Slavonians who remained in their ancient 
home, which now forms the western part of Russia, 
we hear little or nothing for several centuries. The 
first document which gives us an explicit account of 
them is the old Russian chronicle, which bears the 
name of the monk Nestor ( + c. 11 15?): in this work 
the father of Russian history has bequeathed us an 
extremely valuable sketch of the ancient history of 
his native land to about the year mo. The author 
begins his work with a description of the Slavonic 
tribes who dwelt in what is now called Russia at the 
commencement of Russian history, that is to say, in 
the ninth century, and we perceive that the Slavs at 
that period were just as far from forming a nation as 
they were when we first found them mentioned in 
history ; they were divided into a number of tribes, 
each independent of the other, and each enjoying but 
little order in its internal social state. 


These tribes were, according to Nestor, the Slovene 
(or Slavonians kqt igoxyv) round Lake Ilmen, with 
Novgorod for their capital ; to the south of them 
lay the Krivichi round the sources of the Volga, 
the Dwina, and the Dnieper, with Smolensk for 
their capital ; west of them was a kindred tribe, the 
Polochane, by the little river Polota and the Dwina, 
their capital being Polotsk. In the tract of land lying 
to the west of the Dnieper we find, if we turn south- 
wards, first the Drcgovichi^ then the Drevlianc % and 
farther on thc-Poliane, one of the most important of 
them all, whose capital, Kiev, became so celebrated in 
later times ; besides some tribes of less importance. 
On the eastern side of the Dnieper we meet with a 
few Slavonic tribes, namely, the Radiniichi i south of 
Smolensk, the Viatichi near Oka, the most easterly 
of all the tribes, and lastly the Sevcriane, just opposite 
the Poliane. 

You will perceive that even at this time a single 
tribe only, the Viatichi, had reached the centre of 
wha t is now ^called Rwsfiio, ; t he Slavs cannot n ave 
established themselves much farther east than they had 
done four hundred years before, when these districts 
were the common home of the whole race. I must 
further call your attention to the fact that the name 
Russians was still completely unknown, and as yet 
applied to none of the Slavonic tribes mentioned by 

If we cast a glance beyond the boundaries of the 
Slavonic world, we find the greater part of what is 
now called Russia, peopled by Finnish and Ta*:aric 
tribes. The broad belt of steppes which covers the 


southern part of that country, and which in antiquity 
had been inhabited principally by the Scyths, was at 
that time occupied by hordes of Tatar or Turkish 
origin, living more or less as nomads. The Khazars 
were the most important of these tribes at the opening 
of Russian history. In the latter half of the seventh 
century A.D. they had formed a state, the capital of 
which was I til on the Volga, in the neighbourhood of 
the modern town of Astrachan. A fortress of theirs 
is also mentioned, Sarlrl, ' the White House,' con- 
structed with the assistance of Greek engineers about 
835, probably on the lower course of the river Don. 
By degrees the greater part of what is now southern 
Russia fell into their power, and in the ninth century 
the Slavonic tribes nearest to their frontier, the Polians, 
the Severians and the Viatichi, were forced to become 
their tributaries. The state of the Khazarian 'Khagan,' 
as their prince was titled, won the respect even of the 
Greeks, and the extensive trade carried on by his sub- 
jects made them frequent guests in Constantinople. 
It was reserved to the Russian princes by degrees to 
repel the Khazars, till, in the year 969, their power 
was finally crushed by the conquest and destruction of 
their capital Itil, their fortress Sarkel having been 
taken four years earlier by the Russian prince Svia- 

North of the Khazars, along the Volga, particularly 
on the left bank of that river, dwelt several other 
Tatar tribes. The most important of these were the 
Bulgarians of the Volga and the Kama. This people 
is very frequently mentioned by historians, and we 
learn that they were not nomads, like so many of 


their kindred tribes, but had fixed dwelling-places. 
They employed themselves in agriculture, and also in 
/ trade, which indeed was their chief occupation, and their 
capital, Bulgar, near the modern town of Kazan, was 
frequented by numerous merchants who reached it by 
the Volga. Between the territory occupied by Slavs 
and the Volga, as well as throughout the whole of 
the northern part of the extensive Russian dominions, 
dwelt a number of Finnish tribes, of which many 
exist at the present day, though they are now more 
or less intermingled with the Russians, and are cer- 
tainly not so numerous as in former times. Thus 
Nestor mentions the Mordvins {Mordva)> the most 
southern tribe of all, now settled between the Oka 
and the Volga. To the north of them, in the present 
governments of Viatka and Kazan, we still find the 
Chcrcmis, CJicrcmisa of Nestor. If we turn to the 
north-west, we find north of the Slavonians of Nov- 
gorod, dwelling round the Gulf of Finland and Lake 
Ladoga, different Finnish tribes, nearly akin to the 
inhabitants of Finland, whom the Russian chronicles 
comprise under the common name Child \ These, 
with the Lettish and Lithuanian trioes who dwelt 
to the south of them, west of the Krivichi and the 
Polochans, completely excluded the Slavs from the 
Baltic and its bays. 

The tribes whom Nestor mentions as dwelling 
nearest to the Slavs on their eastern side, in the 
centre of modern Russia, have, on the contrary, quite 
disappeared, having been gradually absorbed by the 
Slavonian nationality. He thus names one trib?, 
Muromci) who lived near the Oka, to the north-west 


of the Mordvins, and who probably were nearly akin 
to them. This tribe has long ago become extinct. 
Its' name however still exists as the name of an 
ancient town, Murom, on the Oka. To the north of 
thern dwelt the Meria^ and farther northward the 
Ve/, two tribes which once were doubtless large and 
important. Jordanes, in his History of the Goths, 
names the Vasina (?), the Merens, and the Mordens 
(i. e. the Ves, the Meria, and the Mordvins), among 
the peoples who had once been subjugated by the 
Gothic conqueror Ermanarik. The name of the Ves 
occurs too in Arabic authors as Visu. According to 
Nestor the two lakes, Rostov and Kleshtchino (or 
Pereyaslavl), formed the centre of the Merian terri- 
tory, while the Ves are said to have dwelt near the 
lake Bielo-ozero. 

Of the extinct Finnish tribes the Meria is perhaps 
the one of which we know the most. From i85e to 
1 854 a Russian archaeologist, Count A. Uvarov, with 
great energy undertook a long series of researcnes in 
the territory the Merians inhabited in former times. 
In the course of his enquiry he opened no less than 
7729 barrows, of which in this district there is an 
immense number, often, as it were, massed together as 
in great cemeteries. His researches have brought to 
light a great many antiquities of all kinds, weapons 
(axes and spears, but no swords, this weapon being 
unknown to all Finnish tribes), household utensils, 
furniture, ornaments, coins, &c. &c, which had been 
buried with the deceased. These antiquities, which 
are now deposited in a museum in Moscow, cast a 
new light on the manners and customs of this tribe, 


long since extinct 1 . The insight we have thus ac- 
quired enables us to judge of the mode of living, &c, 
of their kindred tribes of whom no such relics exist. 
It is needless here to particularise these results, which 
are not connected with our subject. I will only 
remark that it must have been a barbarous tribe 
and but little civilised, chiefly engaged in war and 
the chase. The discovery of numerous coins, Arabic 
and of the west of Europe, indicates that they carried 
Vr on commerce, and also proves that their nationality 
and their peculiar customs were still in existence 
in the twelfth century, for the most modern coins 
which have been found belong to that age. But 
from that time their denationalisation must have 
advanced with rapid strides, contemporaneously with 
the spread of Christianity and the immigration of 
Slavonic settlers. 

It is not necessary to dwell any longer on the list 

of names of other tribes ; these few remarks must 

suffice to give a general idea of the ethnographic 

relations that existed in the ninth century in the 

lands now known to us as Russia. We find that 

extensive country peopled by a number of tribes 

of different descent Slavs, Finns, Tatars united 

I by no common tie and all generally but little civi- 

: lised. It was only about the middle of the ninth 

j century that the foundation was laid of the Russian 

I state, the first nucleus of that mighty empire which 

1 Comp. Etude sur les peuples primitifs de la Russie. Les Mdriens. 
Par le Comte A. Ouvaroff. Trad, du Russe par M. F. Mala^ud. 
St. Petb. 1875. 


has afterwards united all these various races into I 
one political body. 

* In the year 859/ says Nestor l j ' came the Var- 
angians from beyond the sea and demanded tribute 
from the Chud and from the Slavonians, the Meria, 
the Vcs and the Krivichi ; but the Khazars took 
tribute of the Polians, the Severians, and of the 

Then he continues: 'In the year 862 they drove VfX 
the Varangians over the sea, and paid them no tri- ^r 
bute, and they began to govern themselves, and 
there was no justice among them, and clan rose 
against clan, and there was internal strife between 
them, and they began to make war upon each other. 
And they said to each other : Let us seek for a 
prince who can reign over us and judge what is right. 
And they went over the sea to the Varangians, to 
Rjis\ for so were these Varangians called : they were! 
called RuJ as others are called Svie (Swedes), others 
Nurmane (Northmen, Norwegians), others Angliane 
(English, or Angles of Sleswick ?), others Gate 
(probably the inhabitants of the island of Gothland). I ' 
The Chud, the Slavonians, the Krivichi and the Ves 
said to Rus :. Our land is large and rich, but there 
is no order in it ; come ye and rule and reign over 
us. And three brothers were chosen with their whole 
clan, and they took with them all the Rus, and they 
came. And the eldest, Rurik, settled in Novgorod 2 , 

1 Chronica Nestoris cdidit Fr. Miklosich, p. 9-10. Vindobonae, i860. 
AtToimcb no .!.iH|>riiiiciin;uMy cnucicy. lliu.unu apxcorpa^unccKott 
lOMMHCciH, crp. 18-19. CaiiiancTepO., 187a. 

3 According to several manuscripts (e.g. the Hypatian and the Radzi- 

14 LECTURE /. 

and the second, Sineus, near Bielo-ozero, and the 
third, Truvor, in Izborsk. And the Russian land, 
Novgorod, was called after these Varangians ; they 
are the Novgorodians of Varangian descent ; pre- 
viously the Novgorodians were Slavonians. But after 
the lapse of two years Sineus and his brother Truvor 
died, and Rurik assumed the government and divided 
the towns among his men, to one Polotsk, to another 
Rostov, to another Bielo-ozero/ 

Such is Nestor's naive description of the foundation 
of the Russian state. If it be read without prejudice 
or sophistical comment, it cannot be doubted that the 
word Varangians is used here as a common term for 
the inhabitants of Scandinavia, and that Kits' was 
meant to be the name of a particular Scandinavian 
tribe ; this tribe, headed by Rurik and his brothers, 
is said to have crossed the sea and founded a state 
whose capital, for a time, was Novgorod, and this 
state was the nucleus of the present Russian empire. 

Next, Nestor tells us that in the same year two of 
Rurik's men, ' who were not of his family/ Askold 
and Dir, separated themselves from him with the in- 
tention to go to Constantinople. They went down 
the Dnieper ; but when they arrived at Kiev, the 
capital of the Polians, who at that time were tributary 
to the Khazars, they preferred to stay there, and 

will MSS.) Rurik first settles in Ladoga (upon river Volkhov, near its 
outlet into Lake Ladoga), and only after the death of his brothers moves 
to Novgorod. See ^Ijtoohcl no IlnaTieBCKOMy enmity. H3flanie apxcorpa- 
mecKOii kommhccIh, dp. it. CanKTiieTepd., 1871. Bielowski, Monumenta 
Poloniae historica, vol. i. p. 564, Lemberg, 1864. A. L. Sehloz^r, 
HecTopi, Russische Annalen,vol. i. p. 188 ff. Gottingen, 1802. 


founded in that town an independent principality. 
Twenty years after, in 882, this principality was 
incorporated by Rurik's successor Oleg : by a strata- 
gem he made himself master of the town and killed 
Askold and Dir, and from this time Kiev, ' the mother 
of all Russian towns,' as it was called, remained the 
capital of the Russian state and the centre of the 
Russian name. 

Some details of minor importance in Nestor's 
account may be doubtful or need a critical sifting ; in 
the third lecture I shall return to this question. But 
this circumstance does not influence the chief point. 
the express statement that the tribe that founded 
the R ussian state and gave it its name, was of Scan - 
dinavi an orj ffin For this tribe I will use in the 
sequel the name Russ, to distinguish them from the 
modern Slavonic Russians. 

It is true that in many cases it is a difficult task 
for critics to re-establish the original wording of the 
so-called Nestorian text, in consequence of the pecu- 
liar manner in which the Russian chronicles have 
come down to us : each transcriber having at pleasure 
altered or added to the wording of the text, and the 
oldest manuscripts we possess not being of earlier date 
than the fourteenth century.^ .But tne statement of 
tne chronicles as to the ongin of the Russian state is 
one of the invariable points in them. It is not only 
common to all copies, but it runs like a red thread 
through the whole of the ancient history of Russia, 
and it must therefore have belonged even to the 
archetype itself of the chronicle, as it was penned 
at the beginning of the twelfth century .J-wrSuppose 


that in the course of little more than two hundred 
years the tradition could have been falsified to such a 
degree, that the oldest chroniclers could have been 
completely mistaken, is absurd/ Cxjo j C ^T ^ e 

From the time historical critics first became ac- 
quainted with Nestor's account, that is to say from 
the beginning of the last century, until about fifteen 
or twenty years ago, scarcely any one ventured to 
doubt the accuracy of his statement. Plenty of evi- 
dence was even gradually produced from other sources 
to corroborate in the most striking manner the tradi- 
tion of the Russian chronicles. A few voices, it is true, 
had been raised against it, and had advocated different 
views. Thus Ewers, a German savant 1 , was pleased 
to turn the Varangians, who founded the Russian state, 
into Khazars, while several Slavonic scholars regarded 
them as Slavs from Prussia or Holsatia. But all their 
arguments were easily confuted and found but little 
credence. The descent of the ancient Russ from the 
Scandinavians seemed to be irrefutably established to 
the satisfaction of all sober students both Russian 
and foreign, especially since the Russian historian, 
M. Pogodin, whose death last year (1875) science has 
to lament, warmly defended it in a number of writings 
in his nati /e tongue 2 , and E. Kunik, Member of the 
Academy of St. Petersburg, with profound learning 

1 In his work Ursprung des Russischen Staats. Riga and Leipzig, 

a E.g. nponcxoHiaeiiiu Pycii (i.e. On the Origin of the Russ), Mos- 
cow, 1825. Il3Cit40Baiiifl, 3aMt i iaiiiH n jeKnia dpewiefi pyccitoii acTopia 
(i.e. Researches, Remarks and Lectures on Ancient Russian History), 
vol. i-iii. ibid. 1846 ff. 


had explained the philological side of the question in 
his important work entitled, 'Die Berufung der schwe- 
dischen Rodsen durch die Finnen und Slawen/ 2 vols, 
(St. Petersburg, 1844-45.) 

In Russia itself, however, there was a party which 
still shrank from acknowledging the foreign origin 
of the' Russian name by accepting this theory; 
and in 1859 a storm was raised against the so-called 
Northman or Scandinavian school. The attack was 
opened by V. Lamanski in a Russian work entitled 
'On the Slavs of Asia Minor, Africa, and Spain,' 
in which the author advocated the Slavonic origin 
of the Russ ; and in the following year (i860) a 
work was published by N. I. Kostomarov, 'On thet 
Origin of Russia' (0 iiaia.iu Pk") which attempted 
to prove that the Varangians, who were called in 
by the Slavs and Finns in 862, were Lithuanians. 
Since that time a complete deluge of works and 
pamphlets have appeared in Russia, all intended to 
weaken the authority of the venerable Nestor, and 
to combat the arguments of the Scandinavian school 1 . 
That is really the only point on which the different 
authors are agreed. For the rest they differ materially 
in their opinions ; most of them, however, advocate 
the Slavonic origin of the Russ, and, in direct contra- 
diction to the unanimous testimony of all records, 
assume that they had always lived in southern 
Russia 2 . 

It would be wearisome to dwell longer on the 

1 A list of this literature is given by Kunik in Memoires de l'Acad^mie 
Imjxfiiale de St. Petersbourg, vii. serie, t. xxiii. pp. 279 flf., 409 ff. 
3 Comp. e.g. the Athenaeum, July 27, 1872, p. 113 ff. 



details of this literature. It is really but a slight 
portion of it that has any scientific value. I shall 
only name one author of this school whose work bears 
at least the impress of serious thought and much 
learning; I mean S. Gedeonov, who has written 
' Researches on the Varangian Question V By far 
the greater part of these writings are of such 
a nature as to possess no claim to be called 
scientific : any really scientific method is superseded 
by the vaguest and most arbitrary fancies, which 
appear to be inspired more by ill-judged national 
fanaticism than by serious desire to discover the truth. 
Every impartial reader must receive the impression 
that their only aim is, at any cost, to suppress, the 
unpleasant fact that the origin of the Russian state 
was due to a foreign race of princes as if such a 
circumstance could in any way be dishonouring to a 
'great nation. 

The new theories, here alluded to, have not failed 
;to find contradiction even in Russia itself. The old 
jchampions, Pogodin and especially Kunik, have re- 
peatedly entered the lists in defence of their favourite 
subject, and in one work after another have combated 
ithe vague fancies of their adversaries, and other 
scholars, not less temperate than the first mentioned, 
have intrepidly followed their example. It has cer- 
tainly been acknowledged that the criticism of the 
anti-Scandinavianists has cast a new light upon some 
details of the question. But the chief question is 
quite uninfluenced hereby, and, generally speaking, 

x n.ic.Ttjonanlfl o BapjKKCKOMi Bonpoct, printed as appendices to 
3annchu IlMnep. AKajeMiii uayicb. i-iii. St. Petersburg, 1862. 


the theory of the Scandinavian origin of the Russ has 
not: yet been shaken a hair's breadth. 

However, it cannot be wondered that people who 
are not able themselves to judge the question pro- 
foundly and impartially may have received another 
impression from its discussion. Thus anti-Scandi- 
navianism appears to have become almost an article 
of faith with Russian patriots, and has even found its 
way, as an incontestable fact, to certain class-books of 
Russian history. On the other side, the great number | 
of discrepant opinions that have been put forth, in the 
eyes of many persons, have rendered the question so 
obscure and intricate that they begin to doubt the 
possibility of its being cleared up. Even so impartial 
a scholar as R. G. Latham 1 has not been able to 
come to a satisfactory solution, but in a very singular 
manner, that can be explained only by an imperfect 
knowledge of the details of the question, hesitates 
between different views, taking his exceptions to all of 
them. However he seems most inclined to regard 
the stock of the Russ as Goths, a view involving a 
confusion which cannot be sufficiently deprecated. 

Under these circumstances it is certainly time that 
the question of the origin of the Russ should be sub- 
jected to a fresh discussion carried on acc ording to th( 
method of modern science, and that Scandinavian 
penologists especially should contribute to its solution. 
This is the task I have set myself in these lectures. I 
hope to be able to treat this subject without laying 
myself open to the accusation of undue partiality and 

1 The Nationalities of Europe, vol. i. p. 364 IT. London, 1863, 
C 2 

20 LECTURE /. 

national prejudice, and to prove to your satisfaction 
that the tribe which in the ninth century founded the 
Russian state, and to whom the name Russ was 
originally applied, really were 'Northmen' or Scandi- 
navians of Swedish origin. 

This is not only the explicit tradition in Russia 
itself, handed down to us by the chronicles in the 
most clear and incontestable language, but it is also 
corroborated, directly or indirectly, by abundance of 
evidence from other sources, linguistic, historical, and 

There are two literatures especially which have 
preserved most valuable notices respecting the Russ, 
and which therefore, together with the native chron- 
icles, furnish us with the most important information 
with reference to our subject, viz. the literature of 
the Byzantine empire and that of Arabia. 

From their first appearance in Russia the Russ 
carried on a lively intercourse with Greece 1 . The 
name by which the Greeks mention them is Rhus 
fPj) or Rusioi fPovo-tot); this latter form however 
does not occur before the middle of the tenth century ; 
till then the form 'Pa>j is exclusively used. The first ( 
time we meet with this name is in the year 839, irfa ; ^ 
passage which I shall review in my next lecture. ft 
There is really no suggestion which would lead us to \ 
suppose that the Greeks before that time had come 
into contact with the people they called Rhos ; their 
closer relation to them is even considerably later, 

1 Comp. Rambaud, L'Empire Grec au dixieme siecle, p. 364 ft. 
Paris, 1870. Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the 
Roman Empire, ch. lv. 3. 


a fact which highly corroborates the approximate 
correctness, at least, of Nestor's chronology. 

The anti-Scandinavianists have sought to prove 
at Greek documents recognise the existence of the 
Russ long before that time. Because they think they 
have proved Nestor untrustworthy with respect to 
his chronology, they conclude that his statement in 
general is a mere fiction. But apart from the in- 
justice of such a conclusion, the proofs adduced are 
completely untenable. I will venture to speak of a 
passage of which much has been made. It is from 
a Greek author, Theophanes Isaakios ( + 817). He 
relates that the Greek emperor Constantine Coprony- 
mos, in the year 773, made war on the Bulgarians 
who dwelt near the Danube. He first dispatched a 
great army in 2000 galleys, and then himself sailed 
off on board some other galleys which . are called 
tol povaia. \i\avhia \ These poxxna \(\avhia have been 
interpreted as ' the Russian galleys.' But we must 
observe that the word povo-io? in the signification of 
Russia?i is not to be found in Greek before the middle 
of the tenth century. Until that period those people 
were always called 'Pa)?, and the adjective formed from 
that word was /Wiko's; in the next place it is expressly 
said that the Russ did not use 'chelandia,' which 
were a very large kind of ship, but that they always 
used small ships or boats 2 . The fact is simply this, 

1 Towry jw tTfi firjv} Maty ivhiKTiwvot i/9' tKivrjoc K<ov or avriv&t 
ot6\ov x^ a "5<W 5i<rx<XW Hard BovKyapias, teal tlae\$uv ical oi;to (it 
Tct f>ovoia xAdy8ia airtKarjo* npbt rb (K0ttv tit ruv Aavov&iov itora^Mv. 
Theophanis Chronographia, ex recensione Jo. Classcni, vol. i. p. 691. 
lionnac, 1839. 

a 'Rusorum etcnim naves ob parvitatem sui, ubi aquae minimum 


povvios is a common Greek word signifying red. We 
learn elsewhere that at that period the ships in which 
the Greek emperor sailed were painted red * ; and 
the expression ra povo-ia x*^8ia has nothing at all 
to do with the Russ, but only means 'the red (or 
imperial) galleys,' in opposition to the common war 
(or transport) galleys in which the army s ailed 2 ._ 
Cons equently this argumentp roves nothin gJLl It is 
^Incontestable that the first time the Greeks came in 
contact with the Russ, as far as we know, was in 838 
or 839, and this is also the only time the name Russ 
is mentioned in any document before the time of 

Rurik 4 .] ^ i _______ -""" 

But nearly thirty years elapsed before the Greeks, 
to their sorrow, made a closer acquaintance with this 
tribe of bold and bloodthirsty warriors. The Russ 
had scarcely got a footing on the banks of lake Ilmen 

est, transeunt, quod Grecorum chelandia ob profunditatem sui facere 
nequeunt.' Liudprand, Antapodosis, lib. v. c. 15 (Pcrtz, Monumenta 
Germaniae histor., Scriptores, vol. iii. p. 331). 

1 El* povoiov aypapiov fiOTjpxcro., Constantino Porphyrog., de adminis- 
trando Imperio, c. 51. 

a The Roman Anastasius also, who in the latter half of the ninth cen- 
tury translated the Chronography of Theophanes into Latin (Ilistoria 
ecclesiastica ex Theophane), and who had himself sojourned at Constan- 
tinople, renders thus the passage in question : et ingressus ipse in rubea 
chelandia motus est ad intrandum Danubium amnem' (Theophanis 
Chronographia, vol. li. p. 243. Bonnae, 1841). 

3 Comp. Kunik in Memoires de 1' Academic Imp. des sciences de 
St. Petersbourg, vii 6 serie, torn, xxiii. .p. 222 ff. Some other supposed 
proofs of a similar kind, but still feebler, have been, as it seems to me, 
completely refuted by Kunik, particularly in his treatise 3aniiCKl> 
roTCKaro TOiiapx.i, in SaBOCRii UMU. \1.a4e\1iu iiayKb vol. xxiv. 1874. 

4 Comp. Rambaud, L'Empire Grec au dixieme siecle, pp. 371, 


and the Dnieper, before the contiguous native tribes 
felt the might of these conquering invaders ; and 
the splendour and wealth of Constantinople itself, the 
brilliant capital of the Oriental world, the heiress of 
Roman power and civilisation, soon attracted their 
greedy eyes, and for some time made the imperial 
city the longed-for goal of their expeditions. 

In 865 the Russ started from Kiev, then ruled by 
Askold and Dir, went down the Dnieper, crossed the 
Black Sea, and having in the most cruel manner 
ravaged with fire and sword the coasts and isles 
of the Black Sea and the Propontis, suddenly ap- 
peared with a fleet of 200 vessels before the peaceful 
and unsuspecting capital which hitherto had at most 
held friendly intercourse with them, and only by 
rumour knew of their raids upon the neighbouring 
tribes. The consternation in the city was general. 
Nobody seems to have thought of defence, but with 
the emperor and the patriarch Photios at their head, 
the inhabitants had recourse to ceremonies and prayers 
to the Holy Virgin. And really the town was saved 
as it were by a miracle. A storm suddenly arose 
which destroyed the vessels of the heathen Russ, so 
that only a few of them escaped the general destruc- 
tion. It is rather an interesting fact, that besides the 
accounts of the chronicles on this expedition, two 
direct documents concerning it have been preserved. 
A few years ago two sermons of the patriarch Photios, 
entitled ' On the occasion of the attack of the Rhos ' 
(ts tov tyobov t>v 'Pais), were discovered in Russia; 
and an encyclical epistle from him to the Oriental 
bishops, written at the end of 866 with especial 


reference to the same event, is in existence. In this 
epistle he mentions the people called RJios, which 
(to use his own words) ' has often been spoken of by 
many, a people which surpasses all others in ferocity 
and bloodthirstiness. After having subdued the na- 
tions surrounding them, these Rhos have now carried 
their overweening pride so far as to raise their hands 
even against the Roman empire 1 .' He adds, 'even 
these people have now left their heathen and ungodly 
religion, and are converted to Christianity, and they 
have received a bishop ; ' however, there is every 
reason for doubting whether this conversion was of 
any extent or durability 2 . 

The next expedition of the Russ was undertaken 
in 907 by Gleg, at the head of a fleet of 2000 vessels, 
and was crowned with more success. This time too 
they ravaged in the most cruel manner the coasts and 
suburbs of Constantinople, but the Greeks having 
barricaded the entrance to the city from the sea-side 
the Russ could not force their way into it, until, 
according to the relation of Nestor, who is our only au- 
thority for this expedition, Gleg had his ships dragged 
on shore and put on wheels ; the wind filled the sails, 
and in this way they sailed on dry land towards the 
town. Confounded by the strange sight, the Greeks 
sent to Oleg, offering to pay him whatever tribute he 

1 T<} irapcL iroWois iroW&tcts OpvWovfitvov (tOi>o$) teal els &i}iuTr)Ta teal 
piai<poviav rravras btvrtpovs Ta.TTofia'ov, rovro 5t) t6 Kakovfitvov Til 'PcDs, 
oi Si) ml KarcL rijs 'PcofiatKTJs apxys, T0 ^ s ""f'p'f avrwv SovKwoanevoi, 
KaKtiOtv virtpjytca (ppovrjixaTiodtvTes, xtipas dvrjjpav, Photii Epistolae 
ed. Richard. Montacutius, p. 58. Londini, 165 1. 

2 Comp. Rambaud, L'Empire Grec au dixieme sifcele, p. 382 ff. 


might demand. The Greeks were then obliged to 
disburse an enormous ransom, and to consent to a 
peace very advantageous to the Russ. Five years 
later the conditions of this peace were more exactly 
stipulated in a mutual treaty, the wording of which is 
handed down to us by Nestor. 

The successor of Oleg was Igor, who in his turn 
undertook against the Greek empire two expeditions, 
of which several documents give us a description. 
The first took place in 941, and was particularly 
directed against the Asiatic coasts of the Black Sea. 
But it ended very unfortunately. The imperial army 
fell upon Igor, and the famous Greek fire especially 
caused dreadful destruction to his vessels, and spread 
panic among his people, of whom but a remnant 
returned home to tell their countrymen the issue of 
the expedition. 

Thirsting for revenge, Igor assembled an enormous 
army, comprising both his subjects and hired troops, 
and in 944 again appeared off the Greek coasts 
with a numerous fleet ; this time he won an easy 
victory. As soon as the Greeks had notice of the 
approach of the Russian army, they humbled them- 
selves again and purchased for an enormous sum a 
peace, which, in the following year, was confirmed by 
a new treaty. 

During the succeeding hundred years some other 
expeditions were undertaken by the Russ against 
the Greek empire, but with little success ; after 1043 
those attacks of the Russ cease altogether. 

It was not, however, merely as pirates and warriors 
that the Russ came into contact with the Greeks, 


What attracted them to Constantinople, far more than 
the uncertain chance of booty and tribute, was trade 1 . 
At the beginning of every summer great fleets of 
Russian merchantmen regularly arrived at the Greek 
capital. The wares they brought with them were 
chiefly the furs of all kinds which they had ob- 
tained from the tribes subject to them ; also slaves, 
honey, &c. ; in return Greece provided them with 
articles of luxury, ornaments of gold and silver, silk 
and other costly stuffs, specially what is called in 
Slavonic pavolok^ in Old Norse pell, probably a kind 
of brocade ; they also took the wines and the fruits of 
the South, &c. Of the extent and importance of this 
commerce we have plenty of proofs from different 
sources ; I shall presently give an analysis of a very 
interesting passage upon this subject from an illustrious 
Greek author, the emperor Constantine Porphyro- 
| genitus himself. The two treaties between the Russ 
| and the Greeks, which I have already mentioned, also 
, prove the great importance of the Russian trade, 
- their chief purpose being to stipulate for the com- 
mercial privileges of the Russ ; it is even possible 
that the later expeditions of the Russ against Greece 
. were undertaken principally to secure those privileges 2 . 
Add to this that from the beginning of the tenth 
century the Russ often served in the Greek army and 
navy 3 , and you will see that the Greeks had plenty 
of opportunities of becoming acquainted with that 

1 Comp. Rambaud, L'Empire Grec, pp. 386-387. 

2 Ibid., p. 374 f. 

8 Kunik in Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. des sciences de St. Pctersbturg, 
vii serie, tome xxiii. p. 36. Rambaud, L'Empire Grec, p. 387-390. 


people. It is therefore no wonder that we ex- 
ceedingly often find the ' RJids* mentioned by Byzan- 
tine authors, and that we owe to the intercourse of 
the Russ with the Greeks some of the most decisive 
proofs of their Scandinavian nationality, which I shall 
mention in my next lecture. 

Besides the Greeks there is another group of writers 
who give us much information with respect to the 
ancient Russ. I mean the Arabian, or rather the 
Mahomcdan, a^thftCM anrl the name by which they 
mention the Russ is Rus 

The sketch of this tribe which the Oriental authors 
give us corresponds exactly with that presented to us 
by Greek writers. We find them represented as an 
extremely active, restless, and fool-hardy people, who, 
braving all dangers and difficulties, pressed forward 
far into the unknown regions of the East. Now they 
appear as peaceful merchants, now as bloodthirsty 
warriors who, like a flash of lightning, suddenly fall 
upon the unsuspecting inhabitants, plundering and 
murdering them, or carrying them away into captivity. 
Unlike the other warlike tribes who in those times 
were a terror to their neighbours, they never ap- 
proached them by land, but always by sea, their 
only conveyance being their ships. From the land 
lying round the sources of the Volga they descended 
that river and traded with the Bulgarians ; by the 

1 The notices upon the Russ and the Slavonians which are found in 
Mahomcdan authors, arc collected and translated into Russian by A. 
Harkavy in his book : Ci;a:;niiii Mycy-ibuancKiixi nncaTCicli o CiaBHiiaxi 
i PyccKHXi., nepoBCJi u oOlhi A. H. TapROBU. CauKTiierepO, 

28 LECTURE /. 

Dnieper they reached the Black Sea, which from 
about 900 to 1223 even bore the name of the Russian 
Sea, ' because, ati Masudi the Arab (c. 940) says, none 
but the Russ navigate it.' But they did not even stop 
there. Through the Volga, which they sometimes 
reached from the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov by 
sailing up the Don and thence crossing to that river^ 
they forced their way into the Caspian Sea. The 
first time they infested those regions was as early as 
c. 880. During the next hundred years the Russ 
undertook several expeditions thither, often in great 
s ; thus we read in Masudi that in the year 913 
tfr^ appeared in the Caspian Sea with a fleet of 
500 ships, each containing 100 men. r 

It is worth noticing how early the expeditions of 
the Russ to these lands began, and how rapidly their 
name became known and feared in the East also. 
There is however nothing unreasonable in this, when 
we remember that even in 865 the Russ had ventured 
so far as to attack Constantinople. Yet nearly twenty 
years elapse from the date fixed by Nestor for the 
establishment of the Russian state, before the Oriental 
nations made acquaintance with that people. 

On the other side it deserves notice that we do not 
find the Russ referred to by Oriental writers before 
that time. It is true, there were very few historical 
and geographical writers among the Arabs before that 
period ; nevertheless there are at least five or six 
authors who mention the Slavs 1 , but none of them 

1 The usual Arabian name of the Slavs is Sahlab (^ilLi, t^JuL^), 
plural Sakalibah (iJlj^>), a form which is evidently borrowed from tie 
Greek 2i/cAdj9oi. 


say a single word of the Russ. The most ancient of 
the Mahomedan authors who mention them wrote 
about the year 900 l . * 

Some of these authors have bequeathed to us most 
interesting sketches of manners and customs in ancient 
Russia. One of the earliest of these writers is Ibn 
Dustah (c. 912 A.D.) 2 , He tells us: 'The Russ 
dwell on a marshy island, surrounded by a lake, three 
days' journey (about 60 English miles) in circum- 
ference, and covered with swamps and forests ; it is 
extremely unhealthy, and so marshy that the earth 
quivers when the foot is set to the ground. Thj 
have a prince who is called Khakan-Rfts. They 
attack tne siavs by ship, take them prisoner, and 
afterwards carry them to the Kha zars and Bulgarians 
and sell them as slaves. They have no cornfields, 
but live on what they can plunder from the Slavs. 

1 The anti-Scandinavianiscs thought they had found a far earlier ' 
reference to the Russ. It was a passage in a Persian translation of an 
historical work by the Arabian Tabary, where, under the date of the year 
643, a people is spoken of called RUs, ' the enemies of all the world, espe- 
cially of the Arabs,' as it is expressed. This passage has been quoted 
as a proof that the Russ had dwelt somewhere north of the Black Sea 
or the Caspian Sea long before the date given by Nestor. The passage 
in question, however, proves nothing ; for it has been proved that this 
notice of the Rus does not appear in the corresponding place in the 
Arabian original of Tabary himself. It was consequently interpolated by 
the Persian translator who wrote c. 963, and in whose time the Oriental 
nations had had ample opportunity to become acquainted with the Russ. 
See Dorn's Caspia, Memoires de l'Acad. Impt'r. des sciences de St. Peters- 
bourg, vii serie, tome xxiii. p. 28 ff., and Kunik, ibid., p. 233 IT. 

a Published by Chwolson under the title : iMtertl Xosapaxi, 
Bypiacaxx, Eairapaxi, Ma.ii.npaxi, CiaBanaxi n Pyccax* ItavAtcn. 
CaiiKTiiCTfl., 18C9. Compare Harkavy, 1. c. p. 260 ff., and Catalogus 
codicum manuscr. orientalium qui in Museo Britannico assei vantur, pars 
ii. pp. 604-607. London, 1871, fol. 


When a son is born to any one of them, the father 
throws a sword at him, saying, " I do not leave thee 
any property ; thine is only what thou gainest with thy 
sword." They have neither real property nor towns 
nor fields ; their only occupation is trading in all sorts 
of fur ; they keep in their belts the money they 
receive for it. The men wear gold bracelets. If 
any of their tribes want assistance, all of them take 
the field ; they do not separate, but fight unanimously 
against the enemy until they vanquish him. When 
any one goes to law with another, they plead before 
the king, and when the king has passed sentence, what 
he orders is performed. But when neither of the 
parties is satisfied with his decision, he orders them 
to settle the matter themselves with their swords : he 
whose sword is the sharper gains the cause. They 
are courageous and brave. When they attack another 
people, they do not cease till they have completely 
cestroyed them; they ravish the vanquished, and 
make slaves of them. They are tall and look well, 
and show great boldness in their attacks ; however, 
they do not exhibit their boldness on horseback, but 
undertake all their expeditions and attacks in ships. 
. . . They always wear their swords, because they have 
but little confidence in each other, and because fraud 
is very common among them ; if any one succeed in 
acquiring property, to ever so slight an amount, even 
his brother or comrade immediately will envy him, 
and watch for an opportunity to kill and plunder him. 
WTien a man of quality dies, they make him a tomb 
in the shape of a large house, put him in there, and 
together with him they put into the same tomb his 


clothes as well as the gold bracelets he has worn, and 
a quantity of victuals and vessels with drink and 
coins. Finally they put the favourite wife of the 
deceased alive into the barrow, fill up the entrance, 
and the woman dies in the enclosure.' 

For the present I will only call your attention to 
the contrast, in Ibn Dustah's account, between the 
Russ themselves and the Slavs on whom they made 
war. Next we must observe that Ibn Dustah's sketch 
of the Russ in reality does not at all answer to their 
mode of living in his day ; for then they dwelt in 
Kiev, and not upon an unhealthy remote island, and 
at that time their state was completely organized, 
politically speaking, and they were no mere plunderers 
as he has represented them. 

It appears to me that we here have a statement 
from a second, perhaps even a third hand, the source 
of which dates from the time before the foundation 
of the Russian state, at which period the dwellings 
and mode of living of the Russ may have been such 
as he describes them. When the author says that 
their prince was called Khakan-Rfls^ it seems to 
suggest that he may have derived his statement, 
directly or indirectly, from the Khazars, as Khakan 
is a Turkish or Tatar title which was really applied 
to their own princes by the Khazars themselves \ 

Another Arabian author who gives us a most 
remarkable, though in several points certainly ex- 
aggerated and uncritical, account of the Russ, is Ibn 
Fadhlan. In 921 and 922 he was sent to the Volga- 

1 Comp. A. Ilatzuk in Tpyju ncpBaro apxcoaor. cii3ja hi MockbIs. 
1869, vol. i. p. 145 f. 


Bulgarians as ambassador from the Kalif Muktadir, 
and during his stay there he often had an opportunity 
of seing the Russ when they came down the Volga to 
trade with the Bulgarians. Of this journey he left 
a description, of which fragments are preserved in the 
Geographical Dictionary of Yakut, under the article 

y*I saw the Russ/ says Ibn Fadhlan, 'who had 
arrived with their wares, and had encamped upon the 
river Itil (Volga). Never saw I people of more per- 
fect stature ; they are tall like palm-trees, ruddy and 
fair-haired. They clothe themselves neither in jackets 
nor in kaftans, but the men wear a coarse cloak, 
which they throw over the one side, so that one of 
their hands is left free. Every man carries an axe, 
a knife, and a sword. Without these weapons they 
are never seen. Their swords are broad, streaked with 

wavy lines, and of Prankish workmanship The 

women wear on the bosom a small capsule of iron, 
copper, silver, or gold, according to the wealth and 
standing of the husband. On the capsule is a ring, 
and on that a knife, fastened equally on the bosom. 
Round the neck they wear gold and silver chains. 
When a man possesses ten thousand dirhems (silver 
coins), he has a chain made for his wife ; if he has 
twenty thousand, she gets two neck-chains, and in 
that way, as often as he becomes ten thousand dir- 
hems richer, his wife receives another chain. There- 
fore a Russian woman often wears a great many 
chains round her neck. Their greatest ornament 

l Frahn, ]bn-Foszlan's und anderer Araber Berichte iiber die Russen 
alterer Zeit. St. Petersburg, 1823, 4to. 


consists of green glass beads, such as may be found 
in ships. They are very fond of them, and will pay a 
dirhem a piece for them and string them as neck- 
chains for their wives. They are the most uncleanly 
men that God has created. . . . They come from their 
country, anchor their ships in the Itil, which is a large 
river, and build on its shores large booths of wood. 
In such a booth ten or twenty of them live together, 
and each of them has a settle. ... As soon as their 
ships have arrived at the anchoring-place, each of 
them goes on shore, taking with him bread, meat, 
onions, milk and spirituous drinks, and proceeds to an 
erect high pole carved to resemble a human face, and 
surrounded by small images, behind which other high 
poles are erected. When he arrives at the high 
wooden figure, he prostrates himself before it, saying : 
Oh, my Lord, I have come from afar and bring with 
me so many girls and so many sables. Having 
enumerated in this way all the wares he has brought, 
he continues : This present I have brought to thee. 
Then he leaves before the wooden image what he has 
brought, saying : I pray thee to grant me a purchaser 
well provided with gold and silver coins, who will buy 
all as I wish without bargaining. Having said this 
he goes off. When his business goes wrong and 
the time seems long to him, he comes back bringing 
a second and even a third present* If he cannot yet 
attain what he wishes, he brings a present for each 
of the small images, and entreats their intercession, 
saying : Are not these our Lord's wives, daughters 
and sons ? If his business then prospers, and he 
sells all his wares, he says : My Lord has fulfilled my 




wish ; now it is my duty to make him a return. 
Then he offers to the gods a sacrifice of many oxen 
and sheep.' 

Now follows a description of the funeral of a 
Russian chieftain, but it is too long to be given here 
in extenso. A chieftain of the Russ died during 
their stay there. First his slaves were asked, which 
of them would die with him? and one of the girls 
declared herself willing to do so. On the day of the 
funeral the corpse was taken on board the ship, and 
placed there within a kind of tent. Beside him were 
laid his weapon, and the bodies of several victims, 
among others two horses. Finally, the girl too was 
led thither and killed. Then the ship was set on 
fire, and ere an hour elapsed, all, both ship and 
corpses, had become the prey of the flames, and were 
reduced to ashes. 

However interesting these different accounts of the 
Russ may be, as evidence of the manners and customs 
of ancient Russia, they cast generally but little light 
on the question of the nationality of the Russ. The 
vague signification which the Oriental nations gra- 
dually attached to the name Rds, is one of the 
reasons for this. For it is evident that they very 
soon began to apply this name not only to the Russ 
properly speaking, but to all the people who belonged 
to the Russian kingdom, were they Scandinavians, 
Slavs, or Finns* that is, to all who came eastwards 
from beyond the Bulgarians and Khazars. We find 
a clear indication of this application of the word in 
a notice which is to be met with in several Arabian 
authors of the tenth century (the earliest being, it 


appear?, either Abu-Iskhak al-Istakhri or Abu-Zaid 
al-Balkhi, both c. 950. A.D.) \ They say as follows : 
' The Rfts are divided into three tribes. The one is y 
nearest the Bulgarians, and their king dwells in a 
town called Kuyabah (Kiev) which is larger than 
Bulgar. The second and more remote tribe is called j 
SelAviyah ; the third is called Artaniah (or Banna- 
niah}) and its king lives in Aria (?).' The first of 
the three tribes is evidently the Russ proper in Kiev ; 
the second are Slavs, chiefly those of Novgorod ; by ; 
the third is probably meant some Finnish tribe, but 
which of these is particularly referred to, is doubtful ; 
whether the .>.$#- Mord wins (?) or the Permians, in 
Anglo-Saxon Bcormas> in Old Norse BjarmarQ). 

On account of the uncertainty which reigns in the 
terminology of Oriental authors, it cannot be doubted 
that many of the notices they give us of manners and 
customs in Russia, do not really refer to the Russ 
themselves, but now to one now to another of the 
tribes which were comprised under this name. Any 
theory whatever that has been proposed with regard 
to the nationality of the Russ has therefore been able 
to find specious support in Oriental authors. Under 
these circumstances it is necessary to use these 
writings with great caution, all the more as they 
certainly contain several exaggerations or misappre- 
hensions. It is, however, incontestable that there are 
notices which canAonly apply to the Scandinavians, j 

1 Friihn, lbn-Foszlan, p. 141 ff. Harkavy, Crania &c, pp. 193, 
197 ff., 276, dec. Chwolson, in Tpyju nepBaro apxecior. cit34a bt 

WoCKDt. 1869, 1. p. I33 f. 

D 2 


36 LECTURE /. 

land therefore may be properly used to support Nestor's 

account of the origin of the Russ. 

I will return to this point in the next lecture, when 
I will review the evidence produced from different 
sources to prove that the Russ really were Scandi- 




In the preceding lecture I sought to take a survey 
of the ethnography of ancient Russia ; I gave you 
Nestor's relation of the foundation of the Russian 
state, and I added a description of its founders, the 
Russ, derived from Greek and Oriental sources. 

I am now going to lay before you evidence from 
other sources to corroborate Nestor's account of the 
Scandinavian origin of the Russ. I freely confess that 
most of this evidence is by no means new ; but con- 
sidering the opposition which has been raised against 
this view, it cannot be too often repeated, and I 
hope also to be able to present to you fresher and 
more correct views as to some of the details of the 
subject than have hitherto been entertained. 

As I have mentioned before, the Greek form of the 
name Russ is R/ios, c l\2* (or Ritsioi, 'IWcnoi), and from, 
the close of the ninth century Byzantine literature 
abounds in references to the Rhos. There is no doubt 
that the Greeks were thoroughly acquainted with this 
people, and it is evident that they well knew how to 
distinguish them from other neighbouring-nations and 
particularly from the Slavs. But if we ask for the 
real nationality of the people to whom the Greeks 
applied the name Rhos, Byzantine literature itself 



gives us no direct and positive answer. A designation 
of them which sometimes occurs, is Scyths (Suvdai) 
or Tauroscyths (JavpoarKvOai) ; but that is a learned 
name, not a popular one, referring only to their 
dwelling in the territory of the ancient Scyths, north 
of the Black Sea, without reference to their nationality. 
A few of the Byzantine authors give us a little more 
definite suggestion on this subject, inasmuch as, in 
mentioning the expedition of 941, they design the^vgx 
Rhos as 'being of the race of the Franks' i.e. of 7 
Teutonic race, for in this general signification the 
name Franks is sometimes used by the Byzantines 1 . 

But fortunately there ate other ways of supplying 
this want. I shall begin by reviewing a series of 
passages from medkeval authors of Western Europe, 
which give us precise information upon the ethnogra- 
phical meaning of the Greek word Rhos, The unani- 
mous testimony of these documents is that by this 
name the Greeks denoted the same people which else- 
where in Europe was so well known under the common 
name of Northmen. 

The first time we find the Rhos mentioned is in the 

1 Leontios (continuator Theophanis) in describing the expedition of 
941 mentions ol 'Pws ol xal ApoptTai Kfydpifvoi. ol itc yivovt iuv Qpayyuv 
KaOiaravrai. Exactly the same expressions are used by Georgios Hamar- 
tolos in an unedited manuscript in the Vatican library (Gedeonov, 
Bapn;KCKOMT> Bonpoct, i. p. 74), and by the so-called Simeon Logothetes 
who certainly has transcribed Leontios. Comp. Kunik, Berufung der 
schwed. Rodsen, ii. p. 394 ff., 409 ff. On the Byzantine use of the word 
Franks comp. Kunik, 1. c. p. 388, and M -moires de l'Acad. Imp. de 
St. Pdtersbourg, vii serie, tome xxiii. p. 29. The name Dromitai is ex- 
plained by Kunik, Beruf. ii. p. 405, aaiiiiCK-fc roTCKaro Tonapxa, in the 
3anncKii Aia4. Haynx., xxiv. p. 1 14 ff., and in Memoires de l'Acad. Imp., 
vii serie, xxiii. p. 400. 


so-called Annates Bertiniani for the year 839 \ The 
portion of these annals in which this notice is found, 
and which includes the years from 835 to 861, is due 
to the bishop of Troyes, Prudentius, a learned and 
conscientious man, whose work ranks among the best 
and most trustworthy of that time. He tells us 
that in the year 839 there came to the emperor 
Louis the Pious Greek ambassadors, sent by the 
Byzantine emperor Theophilos, who brought with 
them a letter, together with costly presents. The 
emperor received them most honourably at Ingelheim 
on the T8th May. Together with them, continues 
Prudentius, he sent some persons ' who said that they, 
that is to say their nation r were call ed R/ios. and 
whom their own king, Chaca nus by name, had sent 
to him for friendship's sake, as they asserted ; ' now 
he begged the emperor in the said letter, that they 
might travel under his protection through the whole 
of his empire, as he would not allow them to return 
by the same way they had come, because they were 
obliged to pass through rough and barbarous tribes 
of the utmost ferocity. But inquiring more exactly 
l- * the reason of their coming, he learned that they were 

of Swedish nationality, and supposing that they had I 

,-()( come rather as spies than in search of friendship, he j 

resolved to detain them near him, until he could 
discover whether their intention were honest or not. 

1 The first who called attention to this passage was Th. S. Bayer in 
hUOriginesRussicae(Commentationes Academiae Scient. Petropolitanae, 
viii 1736, p. 388). Since then it has been discussed innumerable times. 
See especially Kunik, Die Berufung der schwed. Rodseu, ii. p. 195 ff. 

40 LECTURE //. 

Hereupon he sent information to the Greek emperor 
through his ambassadors *. 

The meaning of this passage seems to me to be 
quite clear. T he people whose king sent ambassadors 
to the Greek emperor, and with whose existence the 
Greeks perhaps for the first time became acquainted, 
was called Rhos at Constantinople ; whether they 
really used this name in' their own language, or only 
were called so by others, is a question to which I 
shall afterwards return ; here it is of no consequence". 
Under the same name, Rhos, the emperor Theophilos 
in his turn introduced^ them to Louis the Pious in the 
letter with which he had furnished his ambassadors, 
and which was of course written in Greek. That 
Prudentius refers to this letter is evident from his 
writing R/iqs, that plainly gives us the Greek form 

1 ' Vencrunt legati Graecorum a Theophilo imperatore directi . . . . 
ferentes cum donis imperatore dignis epistolam ; quos impcrator quinto 
decimo Kal. Junii in Ingulenheim honoiifice suscepit. . . . Misit 
etiam cum eis quosdam qui se, id est gentem sit am, Rhos vocari dicebatit, 
quos rex illorum, Chacanus vocabulo, ad se amicitiae, sicut asserebant, 
causa direxerat, petens per memoratam epistolam, .quatenus benignitate 
imperatoris redeundi facultatem atque auxilium per impcrium suum 
totum habere posscnt, quoniam itinera per quae ad ilium Constantino- 
polim veneiant, inter barbaras et nimiae feritatis gentes immanissimas 
habuerant, quibus eos, ne forte . periculum inciderent, redire noluit. 
Quorum adventus causam imperator diligentius investigans, comperit eos 
gentis esse Sueonum, exploratores potius regni illius nostrique quam 
amicitiae petitores ratus, penes se eo usque retinendos judicavit quod 
veraciter invenire posset, utrum fideliter eo necne pervenerint ; idque 
Theophilo per memoratos legatos suos atque epistolam intimare non 
distulit, et quod eos illius amore libenter susceperit ; ac si fideles inveni- 
rentur, et facultas absque illorum peiiculo in patriam remeandi daretur, 
cum auxilio remittendos ; sin alias, una cum missis nostris ad ejus prae- 
sentiain dirigendos, ut, quid de talibus fieri deberet, ipse decernenlo 
efficeret.' Pertz, Monumenta Germ. Hist., Script., i. p. 434. 



'P&s 1 . But this name being at that time vet unknown 
in th e whole of the West, it was necessary to make 
more exact inquiries of the ambassadors, and the 
result was that t hose persons who in the letter of the 
Greek emperor were designated as Kh os turned out 
to be Swedes, and consequently belonged to a branch 
oT those Northmen whom the Franks at that time 
knew but too well, and had every reason to suspect. 
Herein lies, then, the very natural explanation -of the 
emperor's precautions against them. Thsjflfeseafie 
to be drawn from this passage consequently is, that 
R/ioSf ' Ptiijg, was the Greek name of the Swedes. 

It is not said where the home ot those Mios was 
situated. It was perhaps somewhere in Sweden itself ; 
but i t might be T too, that we have to do her e with 
cnm<> *MTiicrafflri trihfi fl 1r f ar, y ^tt 1 ^ beyond t rie 
T^u.y Ar f] ie fiujf of Bothnia. At any rate r the 
ambassadors had evidently gone to Greece t hrough 
wViaf- ic^ir>vy ftficc^, pr^KnKiyKy the Dnieper, and it 
was by this road, really infested by a number of 
barbarous tribes, that the emperor would not allow 
them to return. 

One thing is remarkable, namely, that the king of ^* 
the Rhos is said to be called C hacanus. It has been 
very much disputed whether this is his name or his 
title. I have no doubt, however, that, at least m the 
original Greek_ letter^ jt was meant to be jbhe t itle 
kJiagan or kJiakan, which I have mentioned several 
times in the first lecture. But if we will ask how the 

1 Compare also the expression 4 quos r;x ad se direxerat,' where the 
word se shows that this notice is not due to Prudentius himself, but is a 
quotation of the words of the Greek emperor. 


Greek court came to give him this foreign title, there 
is certainly a wide scope for guessing. The most 
probable explanation is, it seems to me, that -the 
Greeks confounded the Rhos with the Khazars, Avars, 
and other northern barbaric tribes. 1 , and therefore 
applied to the king of the Rhos the same title which 
ythe king of the Khazars bore 2 . This is so much the 
less to be wondered at, as these Swedes can only- 
have reached the Black Sea through the land of the 
Khazars, and may even have been conducted to Con- 
stantinople and introduced at the Byzantine court by 
Khazars. In any case, no in ference can be drawn I 
from this appellation with respect to the nationality 
of the Rhos. 

I cannot omit briefly to refer to the attempts of 
the anti-Scandinavianists to weaken this proof of the 
signification of the name Rhos. They cannot, of 
course, deny that the persons spoken of by Prudentius 

1 Compare a passage as this : ?t X&frpoi ehe TovpKoi (ire nal 'Puis 
t) trtpuv n tOvos tuiv fSopdwv /cat SkvOiku/v, Const antine Porphyrogen., 
de administrando Imperio, ed. Bonn. p. 82. 

. 8 The same usage is suggested by a letter from Louis II, written in 87 1 
to the Greek emperor Basilios, in which he rejects the protest of the latter 
against the Frankish kings calling themselves emperors, and protests, in 
his turn, against the claim the Greek emperors laid to the monopoly of 
the title fia<xi\(vs (' @a<rv\(us vocabulum ') ; he reproaches them because 
they refused to call foreign kings so, and applied for instance the title 
chaganus to the kings of the Avars, the Gazans or the Northmen ( prae- 
latum Avarum, Gazanorum aut Nortmannorum ' the last name 
answering evidently to the Greek rwv 'Pus). See Pertz, Monumenta 
Germ. Hist., vol. iii. p. 523. Comp. the above mentioned notice in lbn 
Dustah upon Khakan-Rds (p. 31), which may also have passed through 
a Greek authority. It is only much later, after the complete destruction 
of the Khazarian empire, that we find some solitary instances of the title 
kagan being applied in Slavonic documents to the Russian grand-dmes 
Vladimir { + 1015) and Yaroslav (+1054). 


are Swedes, and, their object therefore must be to 
show that the passage in question does not prove the 
identity of the names Rhos and Swedes ; but, on the 
contrary, suggests a difference between them. The 
attempted explanations which have been given to this 
effect are extremely far-fetched. On one hand, it has 
been asserted t hat these persons may have bee n 
Swdfifcwho, coming accidentally to Constantinople, 
had taken it into their heads to give themselves out 
to be ambassadors from the king of the Rhos, and 
that the Frankish emperor may have been the first to 
discover how matters stood. But this supposition is 
not borne out b y any statement in the document 
itself. It is, on the contrary, highly improbable. 
Why should they take it into their heads to give them- 
selves out to be ambassadors? It has been replied 
that, of course, their intention was fraudulently to 
obtain for themselves such presents as it was cus- 
tomary to offer to ambassadors. But even if that be 
the case, why did they not represent themselves to 
be ambassadors from their own nation instead of 
another? They could as well, or even better, have 
obtained the supposed advantages of their deception 
without such double masquerading, by which, indeed, 
they really gained nothing, but only made the part 
they tried to play doubly difficult and the danger of 
discovery doubly great. This supposition is in the 
highest degree far-fetched and improbable. Accord- 
ing to another theory, which was first propounded in 
the last century, and has been lately revived by 
Gedejoaav, these persons are supposed to be Swedes 
who were accidentally serving at the court of ' the 

44 LECTURE 77. 

Russian Khagan/and were sent by him as ambas- 
sadors to Constantinople ; they had, therefore, a 
perfect right to represent themselves, in Constan- 
tinople, to be Rhos, though they themselves really 
belonged to another nationality. But this explanation 
is as untenable as it is fan&tckd^ In the first place, 
it is quite opposed to Prudentius' plain words, as the 
expressions ' qui se id estgcntemsuam Rhos vocan dice- 
bant,' and ' eos gentis esse Stieonum' are quite parallel, 
and it is also said that it is their own king (rex illorum) 
who sent them. In the next place, this interpretation 
is entirely opposed to. the customs and ideas of that 
period, and leaves unexplained the question which in 
that case must first and foremost be cleared up, viz. 
how, in the ninth century, in an epoch when it was 
an unheard-of thing that Scandinavians should take 
service under a foreign non -Scandinavian prince, a 
'Russian' (i.e. Slavonic) 'Khagan' in Kiev should 
employ Swedes as his ambassadors. Such a circum- 
stance would necessarily suggest a relationship between 
the Russ and the Swedes ; and consequently, even if 
this hypothesis were not in itself untenable, the con- 
clusion to be drawn from it, at all events, would be quite 
other than that which its propounders would desire. 
. r I am convinced that every impartial reader v/ill see at 
> once how strained and forced these explanations are, 
; and acknowledge that the only simple and natural in- 
J terpretation of the passage in Prudentius is, that Rhos 
! was tne Greek designation for the Scandinavian?!*? 
I Northmen, who in this case happened to be Swedes. 

A" This passage is the most ancient in which the name 
Russ is mentioned, and it is the only occasion on 


which we meet with it before Rurik's time. The 
conclusion we draw from it is most evidently corro- 
borated by documents of a rather more recent date. 
There are several Latin writers who in mentioning 
some of the expeditions of the Russ against Constan- 
tinople, expressly identify them with the people who, 
in the Roman-Teutonic world, were called Normanni. 
Of the expedition which took place in 865, Venetian 
chronicles have preserved some short notices l . It is 
true, the oldest of these chronicles is more than a 
century younger than the event itself; it is written by 
Johannes Diaconus, w ho lived at the close of the tenth 
and the beginning of the eleventh century. But just 
as the notice given by him has again been transcribed 
by later chroniclers, so there can be no doubt that it 
is founded jh an authentic contemporary account. 
It must be remembered, as Mr. Kunik observes, that 
the Venetians, from an early date, carried on an ex- 
tensive trade in the Mediterranean, and that above all 
they held lively commercial and diplomatic inter- 
course with the capital of the Byzantine empire which 
exercised even at those times, at least in name, a 
sort of supremacy over the proud republic. Under 
these circumstances, the almost incredible event 
which took place in that year, the attack of Russian 
pirates on Constantinople itself, must very early 
have become known at Venice, from citizens who had 
been eye-witnesses of it, and from some such account 
the notice of the chronicler Johannes Diaconus must 
have been derived. He says, without stating the year, 
but in connection with events which took place about 

1 Kunik, Mcmoircs de l'Acad. Imp.,vii. serie, tome xxiii. pp. 230-232. 


865, that ' at that time Northmen ventured to attack 
the city of Constantinople with 360 vessels ; but not 
being able to injure the impregnable city itself, they 
fought gallantly in the suburbs and killed as many 
people as possible, after which they returned home in 
triumph V Notwithstanding some difference between 
the details in this account and that of Nestor and the 
Byzantine authors, it is obvious that the Northmen of 
Johannes Diaconus and the Rhos of the Greeks are 
identical ; no other people of that period will answer 
to the description. 

If, nevertheless, any one should call this conclusion 
in question, every doubt must vanish, if we compare a 
passage or two of another Italian author, the Lombard 
Liudprand, who from 963 was bishop of Cremona. He 
had been twice at Constantinople, first between the 
years 948 and 950 as ambassador from king Berenga- 
rius II, and afterwards for four months in 968 as am- 
bassador from the emperor Otto I. Consequently he 
had had a good opportunity of making himself fami- 
liar with the affairs of the Byzantine empire, and the 
accounts he has left us of his travels contain many 
important statements as to this subject. 

1 Eo tempore Normannorum gentes cum trecentis sexaginta navibus 
Constantinopolitanam urbem adire ausi sunt. Verum quia nulla racione 
inexpugnabilem ledere valebant urbem, suburbanum forther patrantes 
bellum quam plurimos ibi occidere non pepercerunt, et sic predicta gens 
cum trium/ho ad propriam regressa est.' (Pertz, Monumenta Germ. 
Hist., Script., vii. p. 18.) With almost the same words, evidently based 
upon the account of Johannes Diaconus, the event is related by the 
Doge Andrew Dandulo ( + 1354) in his Chronicum Venetum, lib. viii. 
c. 4, pars 41 (Muratori, Rerum Ital. Scriptores, xii. p. 181. Mediolani, 
1728, Sol.) : Per haec tempora Normannorum gentes CCCLX navibus 
aggressi sunt Constantinopolim, et suburbana impugnant multosque 
occidunt et cum gloria redeunt.' 


In one place he e numerate ^ fop nation q that lived 
north of the Greek empire, and among them he also 
mentions'the Russ (Ru sii) whom we, with anntn^man^^ 
caJl ^or^nmen \' In another place he gives us a de- 
scription of the unfortunate expedition of Igor in 941, 
quoting as his authority his own step-father who at 
that time had been present at Constantinople as the 
ambassador of the Italian king Hugo, and who with 
his own eyes had seen Russian prisoners decapitated by 
command of the Greek emperor Romanos. Here he 
uses almost the same expressions about the Russ, 
saying : There is a people living in the north, whom 
from some personal quality the Greeks call Rusii 2 
while from the situation of their native place we call 
them Northmen. King of this people was Inger, who 
came to Constantinople with more than a thousand 
vessels, &c. * ' . 

1 * Habet quippe (Constantinopolis) ab aquilone Hungarios, Fizenacos,' 
Chazaros, Rusios quos alio nos nomine Nordmannos appellamus, atque 
Uulgaros nimium sibi vicinos.' Pertz, Monumenta Germ. Hist., Scrip- 
tores, vol. iii. p. 277. 

8 This remark is founded on a wrong etymology, the name of the 
Russ being conlounded with the Greek adjective fioitoion, 'red, red-haired.' 

3 ' Quoniam meus vitricus, vir gravitate ornatus, plenus sapientia, 
regis Hugonis fuerat nuntius, pigrum michi non hie sit inserere quid eum 
de imperatoris sapientia efchumanitate, et qualiter Rusios vicerit, audivi 
sepius dicere. Gens quaedam est sub aquilonis parte constituta quam a 
qualitate corporis Greci vocant Rusios, nos vero a positione loci nomina- 
mus Nordmannos. Lingua quippe Teutonum Nord aquilo, man autem 
dicitur homo, unde et Nordmannos aquilonares homines dicere pos- 
sumus. Hujus denique gentis rex vocabulo Inger erat, qui collectis 
mille et eo amplius navibus Constantinopolim venit. . . . Inger ingenti 
cum confusione postmodum ad propria est reversus. Greci vero victoria 
potiti, vivos secum multos ducentes, Constantinopolim regressi suntlaeti, 
quos omnes Romanos in praesentia Hugonis nuntii, vitrici scilicet mei, 
decollari praecepit.' Pertz, Monura. iii. p. 331. 



These words are perfectly clear, and leave no doubt 
as to the signification still borne by the name Russ 
among the Greeks in Liudprand's time. The efforts 
made to elude this proof are of such a nature that it is 
unnecessary for me to refute them in detail. On the 
one hand, it is affirmed that the name Northmen 
might very well have been applied to the Slavs, as 
they also dwelt in the north. But this is absolutely 
false, for Northmen, Normanni was, in the middle 
t ages, the specific denomination of the Scandinavians 1 ; 
just as in our days, for instance, * the North Sea' 
designates a particular sea, not any sea whatever 
which may happen to* lie in the north. On the other 
hand, the supposition is brought forward that the 
Russ who were executed in the presence of Liud- 
prand's step-father were perhaps merely Scandinavian 
auxiliaries serving in the Russian army, and that he 
may hence have concluded that all Russ were North- 
men. But the information Liudprand received from 
his step-father is merely an intelligence of the victory of 
the Greeks over the Russ, and the revenge they took 
upon them ; as far as their nationality is concerned, 
he had ample opportunity of forming his own opinion, 
as he in several passages speaks of having seen them 
during his stay in Greece. The whole of this argu- 
ment is based on such frivolous scepticism that there 
is nothing in the world that might not be called 
in question with such unscientific reasoning. 

Thus, from the passages already quoted we see that 
the name Rhos C ?&s) or Rtisioi f Powm) was employed 

1 Comp. Joh. Steenstrup, Normannerne. I. Indledning i Normanner- 
tiden, p. 50 ff. Kjobenhavn, 1876. 


by the Greeks in the ninth and tenth centuries to desig- 
nate the same nation which, in Western Europe, was. 
generall y called N^nanm. t.e^ Northmen or Scandi- 
navians ; the latter name being as little known among 
the Greeks as t he former was in W estern Europe. 
&Qt tile" Ilame Rhos i Kusioi, the Slavonic Rus\ belongs, 
geographically speaking, kclt' <ox?/i> to the ruling tribe 
in Kiev, and, consequently, this same tribe can only 
have been an eastern ramification of the Northmen, f 
the sole representatives of that nationality with whom' 
the Greeks had an opportunity of becoming acquainted. 

Before proceeding to speak of that highly important 
passage in a Greek author which gives us a most 
decisive proof of this fact, I will first cast a glance at 
the mention made of the Russ or Rfts by Oriental 
authors^ What we can adduce from them is, however, 
of inferior value, in comparison with what we owe to 
the Greeks. 

I have before mentioned that the Oriental authors 
use the name Rfls in so vague and uncertain a 
manner that we can scarcely draw any decisive 
inference from them as to the nationality of the 
people to which this name properly belonged. On 
this point it is evident the Orientals themselves had 
but very indistinct ideas. 

It is nevertheless incontestable that many passages 
occur in which the Rus are not only distinguished 
from the Slavs, but are also characterised in a 
manner that can apply to the Scandinavians alone. 
I will only remind you of what is told us by Ibn 
Dustah of the mode of living and manners of the 
Russ : how they dwelt in a marshy island, how they 



piratically attacked the Slavs, and how they only 
engaged in trade and war ; how they made all their 
expeditions by ship instead of on horseback ; also 
how he describes their internal strife and contentions, 
while, at the same time, they displayed implicit 
obedience and concord when in the presence of their 
enemies; how he draws their duels, their courage, 
their cruelty to the conquered, their tall stature, their 
beauty, &C. 1 The same. may be said of several pas- 
sages in Ibn Fadhlan's description of the Russ ; for he 
depicts them as ' tall like palm-trees, ruddy and fair- 
haired, armed with axes, swords and knives of 
Frankish workmanship; 5 and though some of the other 
characteristic traits of the mode of living of the Russ 
adduced by him are certainly somewhat exaggerated 
and embellished, yet unquestionably under several of 
^ them we catch glimpses of manners and customs es- 
pecially peculiar to the Scandinavians ; as, for instance, 
where he describes, evidently somewhat fantastically, 
how the body of a chieftain was placed upon a ship 
and burnt. From all this it is clear that, however 
indefinite the application of this name Russ by the 
Mahomedan authors may be, there can be no doubt 
that it is applied chiefly to the Scandinavians. There 
can, therefore, be no doubt that the name Russ, when 
it first reached the Mahomedans, bore the same signi- 
fication as the corresponding name in Slavonic and 
Greek, viz. a designation of the Northmen, especially 
of those who had settled in Russia. 

There is only one passage in an Arabian author in 

1 Comp. especially Steenstrup, Indledning i Normanriertiden, pp. 
263 ff., 351 ff., 289 f., 325 ff., 367 ff., 143, 361. 


which the Russ are clearly identified with the North-^ 
men. It is by Ahmed al-Ya'kubi al-Katib, an author' 
who wrote shortly after the year 890 \ He says that 
in 844 'heathens (Majiis) who are called Rus, attacked I 
Seville and plundered and ravaged, and burned and 
murdered.' Now we learn elsewhere that the coasts 
of Spain were really visited in that year by a host of 
Northmen, who had previously ravaged different parts 
of France, and it must be to them the author refers as 
the people who are called Rus. The question is, how- 
ever, how came he to give this name to these North- 
men? For, of course, they did not call themselves so. 
Is this passage derived from some Greek authority? 
or, rather, has not the author or perhaps some later 
transcriber transferred the name Russ which, from 
about A.D. 880, was well known in the East, to the 
Northmen whose conduct in Spain was exactly similar 
to that of the Russ on the coast of the Caspian and 
. the Black Sea ? The Arabian Masudi (c. 920 950) 
does so : after referring to this very attack of the 
* heathens' on Spain he adds, as his own private 
opinion : ' I believe that these people were Rus : for 
none but they sail on this sea (the Black sea) which 
communicates with the ocean (Ukiajius).' On account 
of this doubt, therefore, neither the passage from 
Ahmed al-Katib nor that from Masudi can be ad- 
duced as positive proof that the Russ, the Rus of the 
Arabians, were Northmen. Both these passages, how- 
ever, show clearly that the Arabians themselves must 

1 See Frahn in Bulletin scientifique publ. p. l'Acad. Imp. de St. 
P&ersbourg. Tome iv. No. <),. 10, 1838. Kunik, Berufung der Schwed. 
Rodsen, vol. ii. p. 285 ff. Harkavy, CKa3auifl, &c, p. 59 ff. 

E % 


have had an impression that the Northmen who 
devastated the west were the same people as those 
they called Rus. 

But I return to the Greeks^ in order to mention 
one of the m ost remarkable and instructive passag es 
upon the Russ which can be found in any con- 
temporary author. It is the ninth chapter of the- 
work of the emperor Constant ine jPorp ^ Yr oge n i tus o n 
the administration of the Greek empire (de adminis- 
trando Imperio), written about 950. This chapter is 
entitled * Of the Rhos who come from Russia to 
Constantinople with their boats 1 ; ' and what makes 
it so precious to us is the fact that it is the only docu- 
ment we have which gives us a direct specimen of 
the language of the ancient Russ. 

The boats (txov6vka), he tells us, that go to Con- 
stantinople, from 'exterior Russia' (aitb r?js tfco 'Paxri'a?, 
i. e. the land beyond Kiev), come from Novgorod (a-nb 
tov N/xoyap5as), from Smolensk (MtAifioTca), Lubetch 
(TcAtofrfa), Tchernigov (Tfepwycoya), and Vyshegrad 
(Bovcrcypabe), and go down the Dnieper, until they meet 
near Kiev (Ktoa/3a), which is also called Sambatas 
(2a///3ard?). Here their number is considerably aug- 
mented by new boats, for which the materials have 
been floated down the lakes and rivers from the more 
woody territories of different Slavonic tribes which 
are tributary to the Rhos. When these boats have 
been fitted out, they start from Kiev in the month of 
June, after which all the boats assemble near the 
fortress Vytitchev (BireT^'/fy) in order to pass in com- 

1 Tlfpl ruv dird rrjs 'Puaia$ \p\oyiivonf 'P fitrd. rwr fiovo^vkojy tv 



pany that long series of rapids (in modern Russian 
porogi) literally, thresholds, dams), which the Dnieper 
forms for a distance of about fifty English miles from a 
little below the modern town of Yekaterinoslav \ It 
was not nature only that made the passage of these 
rapids dangerous, but they were also infested by 
neighbouring tribes of depredatory nomads (especially 
the Petchenegs), always ready for attack. The passage 
therefore needed the utmost circumspection, and it 
was not advisable to venture upon it save with a 
numerous caravan. Of this passage Constantine gives 
us a short description, enumerating seven of the 
ragj^L and \ giving their names in two languages, 
Slavo nic {^Kk afiiwjii) and Russ ('Pohtio-tI). The ex- 
planation of these names has occupied philologers 
and historians for more than a century 2 . The Sla- 
vonic names are really pur e Slavonic, and some of 
them completely agree witn tne modern Russian 

1 Comp. Description d'Ukranie qui sont plusieurs Prouinces du 
Royaume de Pologne, &c, par le Sieur de Beauplan, pp. 19-21. 
Rouen, 1 660, 4to. Lehrberg, Untersuchungen zur Erliiuterung der iilteren 
Geschichte Russlands, p. 319 fT. St. Petersburg, 1816, 4to. J. Ch. 
Stuckenbcrg, Hydrographie des Russischen Reiches, hi. p. 252 flf. St. 
Petersburg, 1847. 

' J Th. S. Bayer in Commentarii Academiae Scient. Imper. Petro- 
politanae, torn. ix. ad annum 1737 (1744), p. 392 ff. Strube, Disser- 
tation sur les anciens Russes, 1785. J. Thunmann's Untersuchungen 
iiber die Geschichte der ostlichen europaischen Vtilker, vol. i. p. 386 ff. 
Leipzig, 1774. Lehrberg, I.e., p. 350 ff. K. Zeuss, Die Deutschen 
und die. Nachbarstiimme, p. 556 ff. Miinchen, 1837. Kunik, Die 
Berufung der schwedischen Rodsen, vol. ii. pp. 425-438. P. A. Munch, 
Samlede Afhandlinger udgivne af. G. Storm, vol. ii. p. 189 f. Christi- 
ania, 1874 (1849). C. Rafn, Antiquities de l'Orient, pp. vii-viii. Copen- 
hague, 1856. Kunik in Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. des Sciences de St. 
Petersbourg, vii" serie, tome xxiii. pp. 414, 415. 1875. 


names of the rapids, though the form in which Con- 
stantine has transmitted them to us is sometimes 
influenced by the Bulgarian or Old Slavonic idiom 
which must have been the most current among the 
different Slavonic idioms at the Byzantine court. But 
the other set of names, those which Constantine 
gives us as the Russ, are quite different from them, 
and form a group which is highly interesting to us 
and important for our purpose. For every one who 
has the least notion of languages and is not blinded 
by prejudice must own that they are pure Scandi- 
navian, and cannot be explained through any other 

I shall try to give an analysis of these names. 

First, says the author, the travellers come to the 
rapid called Essitpi^ which in Russ and Slavonic sig- 
nifies x do not sleep ' {j:p&Tov \ikv tpyovrai eis rov irp&Tov 
<f)pay}xbv tov knovop.a(pp.tvov 'En-o-ov7T?j, 6 kpya\vfverai. 
'Pwcriarl Kal ScXajSuwrt ptr] Koifiaadai). Such a warning 
as is contained in these words would really be no 
unreasonable name for the first rapid with which the 
long series of dangers begins. One thing appears 
strange, when we compare this name with the fol- 
lowing names : the author seems to suggest that the 
Russ and the Slavonic name were the same. But 
when we consider that all the other rapids have double 
names of a quite different nature, there can be no 
doubt that there must be an error in this passage, 
and that one of the names has been omitted. It 
has long been agreed that that given by Constantine 
is the Slavonic name. The pure Slavonic translation 
of the phrase ' do not sleep ' is ne pi (ue cum) ; 


and this form we really can obtain by a very slight 
change, if we suppose, as has been suggested long ago, 
Essupi to be mis writ ten for Nessupu That an n 
has been dropped at the beginning of the word is 
all the more likely and excusable, as the preceding 
word of the text ends in n. What the Russ name 
was, we do not know ; but as from all the following 
names we are entitled to suppose that it was 
of Scandinavian origin, it must, if it had the same 
form and signification as the Slavonic, have been 
something like so/ cigi or so/attu, the Old Norse form 
of this phrase. 

The second rapid is called in Russ Ulvorsi, in 
Slavonic Ostrovuniprakh^ which is explained as ' the 
islet of the rapid ' (KartpyovTai et? tov irepov typayiibv 
tov iinXeyopLevov 'Poxnori p.ev OvA/3opori, SKKafiivurTi be 
'Qo-TpofiovvLTTpax, oitep ippajtrtlHTCU to vt)o-(ov tov <^payp.ov). 
This name is quite clear. The Slavonic form is the Old 
Slavonic ostrov'nyi prag* (octpobluliH npan,), ostrov'nyi 
being an adjective derived from ostrov, an isle, and 
prag\ modern Russian porog\ a rapid. Constantine's 
translation 'the islet of the rapid' is not quite correct; 
the words ought to be reversed : ' the Islet-fall.' The 
Russ name perfectly agrees with this interpretation. 
It is evidently the Scandinavian Ho/m-/ors i a com- 
pound of the common Scandinavian word holm y Old 
Norse holmr ', a holm, an islet ; and /ors the Scandi- 

1 The Grecian form Oi>\- may be compared with the lateral form 
hulm, which occurs in several old Swedish documents and still exists in 
some Swedish dialects. The nasal m may have been pronounced rather 
indistinctly before/; thus in several Runic inscriptions from Sweden the 
name Holm-famr is written IIULFASTK, for instance, in Dybeck 


navian word for a waterfall, a rapid, ' a force/ Between 
the first rapid, and that which Constantine gives us as 
the third, there are in reality two rapids ; the first 
of them of which the modern name is Surski, is not 
very important ; but the second, now called Lokkanski, 
is one of the most dangerous of them all. As these two 
rapids succeed each other at a slight distance, it is 
possible that both of them were comprised under the 
ancient name * Holm-force! As to the origin of this 
name, it may have been derived either from three 
rocky isles, situated just above the Lokhanski l > or 
rather from an isle, about one English mile long, and 
covered with oaks and other trees, which is charac- 
teristic of the Surski' 2 . 

With reference to the third rapid Constantine says 
that it is called ' Gelattdri, which means in Slavonic 
the resonance of the rapid ' (tov rpirov (ppay^bv tov 
Xeyo^vov VeKavbpi, o kpiArjvevtrai I^KKa^u'iarl q\os <Pp&y- 
ixov). This passage has evidently been a little cor- 
rupted ; for not merely does it give us only one name, 
but this one name must also have been assigned to the 
wrong language. For Gclandri can be only the Old 
Norse participle gcllandi (or gjallandi), 'the echoing, the 
resounding' 3 . The author consequently here makes a 

Svcrikes Runurkunder, i860 ff., Upland, No. 18, 114, 140, etc. (ibid., No. 
146, HULMNFASTR; ibid., Stockholmslan, No.' 173, HULMFASTR). 

1 This is the opinion of Lehrberg, I.e., pp. 325, 356. 

a ' Neben einer mit Eichen und anderen Biiumen bewaldeten Insel.' 
Stuckenberg, 1. c., p. 254. Comp. Lehrberg, 1. C., p. 324. 

:1 This name brings to mind similar names in the Scandinavian coun- 
tries, as Rjuhtndi, ' the reeking, smoking,' a waterfall in Norway j 
Skjdlfanda-jljut, * the trembling river' in Iceland; Rennandi, 'the run- 
ning,' a mythic river, in the Edda (Grimnismal 27) &c. 


slight error in his translation, similar to the one he made 
in the preceding name, in so much that he renders Ge- 
landri 'the resonance of the rapid ' instead of ' the re- 
sounding rapid.' While in the account of the first 
rapid the Russ name is wanting, it is here the Slavonic 
name which has been omitted by the transcriber 1 . 
What it was, we cannot of course state with certainty, 
but in all probability it must have been something like 
the modern Russian name of this very rapid Zvonets^ 
(Zvonski, Zvonctski) which has just the same mean- 
ing as the one name given us, viz. 'the resound- 
ing.' At this place the water is said really to rush 
with such a noise and roaring, that it can be heard 
very far off 2 . 

After this we arrive at the fourth rapid, ' the large,' 
which is called in Russ Aifar, in Slavonic Neasit> 
as Constantine says, because the pelicans have their 
nests on the stones of the rapid (tov Tiraprov $pay\x6v t 

1 According to the conjecture of Kunik (1. c., ii. p. 430) the original 
wording of the text may have been : tov \ty6ptvQv ['Puamrl plv] 
r(Kav5pi, HKXafSiviorl \h\ . . .], t tpfjirjvtvfTai, &c. 

3 * Hundert Faden unterhalb dieses Falles engt sich das Strombett 
bis auf 300 Faden ein, und die rauschendcn, an die Felsen anprallenden 
Wogcn vcrursachcn ein solches Gebrause, dass es weit in die Feme 
hallt. Vermuthlich riihrt daher der Name des Swonetz d. h. des klin- 
genden.' Stuckenherg, I.e., p. 254. Compare Lehrberg, 1. c, p. 327, 
and W. Szujew, Bcschreibung seiner Reise von St. Petersburg nach 
Chcrson, i. p. 181 (Dresden and Leipzig, 1789), who writes: * Wir 
trafen den Szwontzkischen Wasserfall, der sich uns schon von weiten 

durch sein Kauschen ankiindigte Urn uns die langweilige Zeit 

zu verkiirzen, verschafte der Szwonezkische Wasserfall mit dem unauf- 
horlichen weit umher erschallenden Brausen seiner durch die Klippen 
sich durcharbeitenden Wogen unserm Gehor Unterhaltung, und liess 
uns eine grosse Mannichfaltigkeit von Tonen vernehmen, die durch die 
bald mehr bald weniger gepresste Wasserstromung hervorgebracht 


rbv ntyavj tov linXeyoixevov 'Poxnorri fxev 'Aetcpdp, 2/cAa/3i- 
vhtti be Ncao-TJr, 810V1 (^xaXevovcnv ol ireXeKavoi els ra 
Xidapia rod $payi*ov). As, in my opinion, the names of 
this rapid have been hitherto completely misunder- 
stood, I must dwell a little longer upon it. The rapid 
itself is evidently that which is now called Nenasy- 
tcts, a rapid which, according to all descriptions, is 
the largest and most dangerous of them all *. 

As to the Slavonic designation Neasit, it is clear 
enough, as it apparently represents the Old Slavonic 
neyfsyt (iioFACbub), in the Slavonic church language of 
Russia ncyasyt' (hciacm), which does in fact signify a 
pelican, and in this ahnost all previous interpreters 
have acquiesced ; in consequence of Constantine's 
words they have therefore explained the name as 
* the Pelican-fall.' But, strange to say, none of them, 
so far as I know, have been aware of a difficulty 
which, after all, seems to me to render this interpreta- 
tion extremely doubtful. That is, that the name of 
the rapid itself is said to be ' Ncasit ' which, according 
to this interpretation, must signify ' the Pelican/ not 
'the Pelican-fall.' If the origin of the name were 
really that which Constantine gives us, we should 
necessarily expect in Slavonic some name derived 
from ' neasit' in a similar manner as the name of 

1 In the work of Stuckenberg (p. 254) it is shortly described thus : 
Durch eine eigene Verknupfung von Widerstiinden und von Ilinder- 
nissen, welche sich hier, durch [zwei] Inseln, durch die Richtungen und 
Biegungen des Fahrwassers und durch andere Oertlichkeiten bedingt, 
dem Strome entgegenstellen, entsteht der Nenassitez, den die Schiffer mit 
Recht einen Backofen oder die Holle nennen/ For more details see 
Szujew, Beschreibung seiner Reise, i. p. 183 f. and Lehrberg, 1. c, 
p. 327 ft 


the second rapid is a derivative from ostrov\ and just 
as in English it would be necessary to use a com- 
pound name, as the Pelican-/*?//.' But every one will 
surely acknowledge that it is absurd to suppose that 
a rapid itself should have been called * the Pelican ' 
on that account; or, in other words, that it should have 
been designated in itself as an individual of a cer- 
tain species of birds characteristic of it. The only 
circumstance that could give rise to such a designa- 
tion would be some striking feature in the rapid 
itself, or the surrounding scenery, bearing a marked 
resemblance to some characteristic peculiarity of that 
bird, its beak for instance, or its voracity. Conse- 
quently there must, it seems to me, be some error in 
Constantine's statement as to the name' of this rapid. 
We must necessarily assume one of two alternatives : 
either there is something wrong in the form of the 
name handed down to us by him, some derivative 
termination having been omitted ; or the interpreta- 
tion he gives us of the word is incorrect. If we 
consider how loose and vague many of Constantine's 
interpretations of these names are, whereas the names 
in themselves are fairly correct, I have no doubt that 
the latter alternative in every respect is the more 
probable of the two ; especially as pelicans are never 
even seen there *. Constantine who evidently under- 
stood something of the Slavonic language may have 
known that the word ncy$syt' signifies a pelican, and 
therefore may have added, of his own, the story of 
the pelicans. 

1 Comp. Lchrberg, 1. c, p. 362. 


But the Slavonic neyqsyt' means more than a 
pelican. It is a derivative from the adjective syt 
(cm), satiated l , and the primitive meaning of it 
is, ' the insatiable ; ' hence it is used to denote different 
creatures, especially birds, distinguished by their vora- 
city, for instance, the vulture, or the pelican (in German 
Nimmersatt) 2 . Consequently, according to the primi- 
tive meaning of the word, it might very well be the 
rapid itself that was called ' the Insatiable,' and that 
this was really the case, is strongly corroborated 
by the modern name of this rapid, Ncnasytcts or 
Nenasytetski, which is evidently nearly the same 
as the Old Slavonic name, but which can mean 
only i the Insatiable V This is really in itself a very 
suitable name for such a mighty and violent rapid, 
and much more significant than the mild term the 


Pelican-fall V Furthermore, I believe it was not so 

1 Comp. Fr. Miklosich, Vergleichende Grammatik der Slavischen 
Sprachen, vol. ii. Stammbildungslehre, p. 374. Wien, 1875. 

a Old Slavonic neypyt', vultur, pelecanus (Miklosich, Lexicon Palaeo- 
slcvenico - graeco - latinum. Vindobonae, 1862-65); Prussian neydsyf 
(neacbiTb), a pelican ? a kind of owl ; a fabulous, voracious, insatiable 
bird ; a man insatiably greedy for food, wealth, &c. (,\i\.\b, To.iKOBi>iii 
c.ioBapi. HuiBaro BcniKopycKaro asfcira* ii. MocKBa, 1865); Bohemian 
nejeyt, a pelican. Comp. Old Slavonic nesyt' (necbin), pelecanus; 
Russian nesyf (necbiTb), a glutton, an insatiable man or animal; Servian 
nent, ' Nimmersatt, insatiabilis' (Vuk Steph. Karadschitsch, Lexicon 
Serbico-germanico-latinum. Vindobonae, 1852) ; Bohemian nesyt, a 
glutton, a pelican. 

3 Old Slavonic nenasyt' ( nenacbiTb ), ' fames ' ; Russian nenasyt' 
(iieiiacbiTb), a glutton; Servian nendsit, Nimmersatt, insatiabilis;' Polish 
nienasyciec id. ; Bohemian nenasyt, a glutton. I add that the only one 
of the previous interpreters who supports this signification even of the 
ancient name Neasit is Lehrberg (1. c., p. 364). Is perhaps even the form 
Neasit in Constantine a fault instead of Nenasit, tHivaar]T ? 

4 Compare, for instance, the Old Norse svelgr, a swirl, whirlpool, 


called from its violence and voracity in general ; for 
there is a characteristic peculiarity of this very rapid 
when compared with the other ones, from which, 
it might specially deserve the name 'the Insatiable.' 
In the spring, from March to June, the quantity of 
water in the river increases so much that the rocks 
and stones which are the causes of the rapids are 
covered by the water, and in this season therefore 
most of the rapids are more oi less navigable. 
The only exception is the Nenasytets. The obstacles 
which here stem the stream and form this rapid 
are so enormous that there is never sufficient water 
to cover them, and however abundant the supply 
of water may be in spring time, its violence is 
never diminished \ According to Constantine's de- 
scription this rapid was also the only one in which 
the Russ could not even tow their empty boats 
through the current, but were obliged to drag them 
round it by land. This rapid is consequently like a' 
bottomless pit that is never filled, and from this point 
of view no name could be more proper for it than 
1 Neasitl or Ncnasytcts^ 'the Insatiable.' 

Only after having thus established the true mean- 
ing, as I believe, of the Slavonic name shall we be 
able to make out the origin and signification of 
the Russ name Aifar y of which no satisfactory 

current, also as a proper name; a swallower, spendthrift; from the verb 
welgja, to swallow ; or iarpr, the crop of a bird, hence a renowned water- 
fall in Norway. ' M 

1 ' Au l'rintemps lors que les neiges fondent, tous les Porouys sor t 
couuerts d'eau exceptu le septieme qui s'appelle Nienastites et qui 
seul empesche la nauigation en cette saison.' Beauplan, Description 
d'Ukranie, p. 20 (comp. Lehrberg, I.e., p. 321 note). 


interpretation has hitherto been suggested \ With 
reference to the pelican theory, the interpreters have 
generally identified A'ifar with the modern Dutch 
ooievaar^ Old Low German odebaro^ Frisian adcbar, 
a stork ; supposing that the Scandinavians who did 
not know the pelicans in their aboriginal country may 
have confounded them with storks 2 . But it has been 
clearly shewn by a Dutch scholar, Prof. M. de Vries 3 , 
that this interpretation is inadmissible as a matter of 
natural history, the stork being just as much unknown 
as the pelican in those regions of Scandinavia, from 
which the immigration to Russia must have taken 
place : it is also inadmissible on philological grounds ; 
for the word in question is only Low German, 
not existing in any Scandinavian dialect, and if we 
reduce it to the language of the tenth century, every 
resemblance with A'ifar vanishes: lastly, it is inad- 
missible for logical reasons, for it is, and will ever be, 
absurd to suppose a rapid to have been called ' the 
Stork* or anything of that kind, because pelicans 
live in the neighbourhood of it 4 . If the interpreta- 

1 [Comp. the additions at the end of the book], 

3 Comp. Kunik, Die Berufung der schwed. Rodsen, ii. p. 431 ff, and 
in Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Petersbourg, vii sdrie, tome xxiii. 
p. 415. Tporb (Grot), Iiuo.ioni , iecKin pa3ucKaui. 1873, p. 448 ff. 

8 See Verslagen en Mededelingen der koninklijke Akadeniie van 
Wetenschappen, Afdeeling Letterkunde, 2de Reeks, Deel V. Amster- 
dam, 1875. 

* As to the attempt Prof, de Vries himself makes to explain this name, 
it is by no means better. He supposes AEI*AP to be miswritten for 
AEI*AP, Di/ar (i. e. Dy/ari) which he compares with the English ' a diver.' 
But dy/ari' is a fictitious word which is just as far from being Scan- 
dinavian as ooievaar is, arid, upon the whole, according to the preceding 
reasoning I must deem every search in this way to be in the wror.^ 


tion of the Slavonic name Neasit which I have given 
is correct, it must be possible to explain the Russ 
Aifar in harmony with it, and so it is in the most 
simple and natural manner. In my opinion A'ifar 
represents the Old Norse Eifari or Eyfari (or 
jE/ari), the ever-rushing (perpetuo ruens), the never- 
ceasing, from ei- or ey- (or ce-)> always, ever, and 
fart, a derivative from the verb fara, to go on \ 
In the old Swedish of the tenth centu-y the cor- 
responding form would probably be At/art 2 . I believe 
this interpretation is in all respects satisfactory. You 
will see that in this way the Russ A'ifar gives 
in the affirmative form ('the ever-rushing'), just the 
same idea as the Slavonic Neasit does in the negative 
form (' the never-satiated ';, and the proposed inter- 

1 Compare Old Norse eimuni, eymuni, ever-memorable ; eilifr, eylifr, 
alifr (perpetuo vivens), eternal ; eygld, eygloa (perpetuo splendens), the 
sun ; further, with respect to fari, dynfari or gnyfari (cum strepitu ruens), 
poetical names of the wind. The compound eyfari itself cannot be exem- 
plified from Old Norse literature ; but eyfara as a verb in the significa- 
tion ' to go on for ever,' occurs in a verse from the Edda : * ar of baeM 
)>au (summer and winter ?) skulu ey fara, unz rjiifask regin ' (Vaf)>ru$- 
nismal 27. Comp. Norrcen FornkvxSi, almindelig kaldet Sxmundar Edda 
hins fr6$a, udgiven af Sophus Bugge, pp. 69 and 396. Christiania, 1867), 
expressing just the same meaning as Genesis viii. 2 2 : While the earth 
remaineth, . . . summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.' 

9 The Teutonic diphthong at, Old Norse ei, seems in Sweden to have 
conserved for a long time its original form ai, and so it is written ex- 
tremely often in Runic inscriptions (comp. Rydqvist, Svenska SprSkets 
Lagar, vol. iv. p. 138 ff. Stockholm, 1868). Instances where the prefix 
in question occurs in the form ai are AILIFR(Liljegren, Run-Urkunder. 
Stockholm, 1833, No. 186, 187, 704) ; AIFIKR (ibid., 489) ; AIRIKR 
(ibid., 458, 601, 605, &c). As to fari in Old Swedish, comp. Rydqvist, 
1. c, vol. ii. p. 183, 1852 ; it is of frequent occurrence in Old Swedish 
proper names, as AFARI (Liljcgrn, 1. c, 389) ; A[S]FARI (ibid., 837) 
SUFARI (ibid., 702); VIFARI (ibid., 67, 389, 574). 


pretations thus mutually corroborate each other ; the 
name exactly agrees with local nature, and connects 
itself naturally and without constraint with the idiom 
to which all the other Russ names incontestably 

The name of the fifth rapid is in Russ Baruforos, 
in Slavonic Vulniprakh, and it is said to be so called, 
because it forms a large whirlpool ('PowtkttI pXv Bapov- 
(fiopoSi 2fcAa/3/.inori fe BovXi'Tjirpax, &6ti pteydk-qv klfiinjv 
[leg. Uvr]v] cmoT*\el). This name again is one of 
the clearest of them all; it means in both languages 
'the Wave-fall' or 'Whirl-fall.' The Slavonic form 
Vulniprakh represents' the old Slavonic VVrinyi 
prag (luxiiLiiLiii npan); the word prag\ a rapid, we know 
already, and vlrinyi is an adjective derived from vtna, 
modern Russian vobid, a wave, in the same manner 
as in the name of the second rapid ostrovnyi was 
derived from ostrov\ an isle. This rapid is in fact still 
called Volnyi or Volninski l . As to the Russ counter- 
part of it, BaruforoSy it is pure Old Norse Bdru-fors^ 
a compound of bdra (genitive case bdru\ a wave, and 
fors, a waterfall, which has here been conformed by 
the Greek author to the common Greek word -(popos, 

The next rapid we come to, the sixth, is said to be 
called in Russ Leanti, in Slavonic Verutzi, which 
is interpreted as 'the boiling of the water' ( . . . Acy<- 
pivov pi> *Pa)crioTt Aedirt, 2/cA.a/3ii>ioTi Se BepovT(r] f o eari 
jSpdapa vtpov). The literal translation would have 
been the boiling or bubbling fall. Verntzi is a repre- 

1 Lehrberg, 1. c, p. 329. 


sentative of the Old Slavonic vrqshtii (BbpAniTnii) 1 , 
a participle of the verb v'riH (Bbpt), to boil, bubble, 
also to well, spring forth. The Russ name 
Leanti is evidently a Scandinavian participle like 
'Gelandri! Gellandi, and the comparison which first 
offers itself is the Old Norse hlajandi, Old Swedish 
leitinde or leandc, laughing. The designation of a 
rapid as the laughing is in itself by no means unrea- 
sonable ; an English audience, I am sure, will instantly 
think of 'the laughing Water,' Minnehaha, in Long- 
fellow's Hiawatha. According to the signification of 
the Old Norse verb hlceja, to laugh, it may have been 
so called both from its rippling or babbling sound 
and from the glittering or sparkling of the foam. In 
both cases this name may very well correspond with 
the Slavonic name. I may add that this rapid seems 
to me to be that which is now called Tavolzhanski. 
The Dnieper is here more than half a mile broad, 
and filled with stones, a circumstance which may 
certainly render this rapid peculiarly boiling and 
foaming, though it is not particularly dangerous. 

Finally we have the seventh and last rapid the 
name of which is said to be in Russ Struyun\ in 
Slavonic Naprezi, signifying 'the small rapid' ('Paxriori 
pev Srpovfiovv, 2K\a/3i2nori 6e NairpeCij, o kpixrjviverai 
/xtKpo? <f) ( oay/xos). The explanation of both these names 
presents great difficulties and has been much disputed. 
As to the Slavonic name Naprezi, none of the hypo- 
theses which have been proposed, appear to be 
admissible. I rather think that it must be connected 

1 Comp. the Servian vrud, fervidus. 
1 [Comp. the additions at the end of the book.] 


with the Old Slavonic adjective br y 2 > (6piai), quick, 
or some derivative of it, of which several occur in 
different Slavonic idioms with the signification of a 
small rapid ; thus the Old Slavonic bSzina or brzhaU 
a current, a stream, \ fluentum,' the Bulgarian brziy, a 
rapid, { strom-schnelle,' the Servian brzica or brzak> a 
spot in a brook where the water runs rapidly over the 
pebbles *. I suppose we must think of some word of 
this kind, compounded with the preposition na, the 
meaning of which in this connection this is not the 
place to discuss. At any rate, you will see that this 
explanation just gives us the signification needed, that 
of ' a small rapid/ We must consequently suppose the 
Russ name to have a similar meaning. It must 
undoubtedly be read Struvun^ according . to the 
common signification of the Greek /3 at that time, not 
Strubun as has hitherto been generally assumed. I 
think that Struvun simply represents the Old Norse 
straiimr y a stream, current, a word which is not 
only extremely often used as a proper name in the 
Scandinavian countries, but which also corresponds 
very well both to the Slavonic name and to Constan- 
tine's translation. This rapid appears to be the same 
which is now called Lishni: at this point the river is 
rather narrow, the greater part of it being occupied 
by a large island, but for this very reason it is all the 
more rapid ; and as it presents no other danger or 
hindrance to navigation, it may very well be called 
* the small rapid ' or ' the stream.' 

1 For similar names compare Miklosich, Slavische Ortsnamen aus 
Appellativen, in Denkschriften der k. k. Akademie zu Wien, vol. x>iii. 
p. 149, No. 40. 


G These are the celebrated names of the Dnieper ^s 
>ids as they are transmitted to us by Constantine 
rphyrogenitus. From the foregoing explanation 
it will be evident that the so-called Russ names in 
reality are pure Old Norse or Old Swedish, and these 


proofs that we possess of the Scandinavian origin 
the Russ. _ The accuracy of this testimony is acknow- 

names are therefore without doubt one of the clearest Jh^ 

edged by all, and even the partisans of the various 
anti-Scandinavian theories have hardly ventured to 
contest these names, but have avoided them or con- 
tented themselves with vague allusions or loose postu- 
lates of the most unscientiiic kind l . 

But though these names of the Dnieper rapids are 
certainly the only direct specimen we have of the 
language of the ancient Russ, another group of lin- 
guistic mementos has come down to us from them, in 
which, still more clearly perhaps than in the names 
of those rapids, we perceive a Scandinavian tongue. 
I mean the proper names of persons which are to 
be found in the first pages of Russian history 2 . Not 
only do these names give us the most decisive proof 
of the Scandinavian origin of the Russ, but a minute 

1 Comp. Kunik in Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Pdtersbourg, vii* 
s4rie, tome xxiii. pp. 414, 415. 

8 These names have been treated previously by Bayer in Commentarii 
Academiae Scient. Imper. Petropolitanae, torn. iv. ad annum 1729, 
pp. 281-291. St. Petersburg, 1735 (compare A. L. v. Schlozer, Nestor, 
Russische Annalen, vol. iv. pp. 51-55. Giittingen, 1805). Kunik, Die 
Berufung der Schwcd. Rodsen, vol. ii. pp. 107-194. 1845. P. A. Munch 
in Samlede Afhandlinger udgivne af G. Storm, vol. ii. pp. 191, 254-256. 
Christiania, 1874 (1849) ; and in Chronica Nestoris ed. Fr. Miklosich, 
pp. 188-198. Vindobonae, i860. K. Gislason in Nestor's Russiske 
Kronike oversat af C. W. Smith, pp. 321-326. Kjobenhavn, 1869. 

F 2 


examination of them will even give us most remarkable 
information as to the details of this question \ 

We find altogether about ninety names w hich bear 
more or less evidence of their Scandinavian origin. 
Among these names stand in the first place the 
names of the members of the Russian reigning family 
in the first two or three generations: Rurik" Old 
Norse Hrcerekr ; Sincus" = Signiutr ; Tru vor* '= por- 
varSr; Olcg\ [Otg^ = Helgi ; 6>/iv? = Helqa ; Igor' 
[lugor, Irigcr] I ngvarr ; Malfrid' Mai mfri $r ; ( Os- 
kold y = Hoskuldr ; TJtr = t)yri). Towards the middle 
of the tenth century they are supplanted by Slavonic 
names, and after that time a few only of the Scandi- 
navian names continue to be employed in the reigning 
family as an inheritance from the ancestors (such as 
Rurih\ Igor, Olcg\ O/'ga). 

But besides these princely persons, almost al l the 
Rus sian noblemen o r private persons who are men- 
tioned in the chronicles, during the first century after 
the foundation of the Russian state, have pure Scan- 
dinavian names. Very few of these names outlive the 
year iooo. The richest repertories of them are the 
two treaties concluded between the Russ and the 
\jre eKs in tne years Qi2 and 94ft 2 * Bo th of them 

1 For all details see the Appendix at the end of this book, where I 
give a complete alphabetical list of the names in question. 

2 If any one calls the genuineness of these treaties in question, I 
will answer him with the words of an eminent Slavonist (F. Miklosich, 
in his edition of Chronica Nestoris, p. ix. s., Vindobonae, i860) : ' De 
foederibus factis cum Graecis confitemur, nos non intelligere, quomodo 
haec foedera, paucissimis exceptis continentia nonnisi nomina Scandica, 
fingi potuerint post Nestoris aetatem, Russis tam brevi tempore obi'tis 
haec nomina. Affirmanti vero, ficta esse aut a Nestore aut saltern aetate 

/J*k t 



begin with the words : ' We of Russian birth/ and 
thereafter follows a list of the Russian plenipoten- 
tiaries. In the first treaty fifteen ambassadors are 
e numerated i i n the latter, probably twenty-five ara- 

assadors, each 'representing some member of the 
princely family or person of the highest rank, and 
twenty-five merchants. In the treaty o f 912 there 
are no Slavonic names at all, in that of 945 only three , 
all belonging to the group of princely persons or 
noblemen (viz. Sviatoslav* son of Igor', Vladislav' and 
a woman Prcdslava) 1 . But there are about sixty 
names in the treaties, and (exclusive of the princely 
names) about ten met with elsewhere which incon- 
testably are pure Scandinavian; besides there are 
some which in all probability are the same (as, for 
instance, Aktcvu, Istr\ Klek\ Knci i Mutur, Sfanda, 

Vuzlcb')) and others which evidently have come down 
to us in so distorted a form, that it is difficult or' 
impossible at all to trace their origin with certainty 
(as Apubksar \ Kanitsaf^ Libi, Sinko Borich\ Tilcn, 

Vois? Voikov\ Yatviag"). 

It would certainly be impossible to understand how, 
at those times particularly, non-Scandinavian people 
should happen to bear names purely Scandinavian, and 
as the persons who bore those names expressly declare m 

Ncstoris, respondebimus, fictionum aetatcm in Russia longe esse recenti- 
orem saeculo duodecimo. Addemus, foedera haec, si quidem ficta sint, 
ficta esse lingua graeca.' 

1 Among the names which occur without the treaties, and which have 
been considered as Scandinavian, Bind* is pure Slavonic, Gleb' originally 
Bulgarian (see Kunik, Memoircs de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Ptersbourg, 
vii serie, tome xxiii. p. 402). Liu? may be either Scandinavian or 



themselves in th , e {;rffl1ip c f ^ v,n f I?.. ? Until* (^f 
roda russka), this is incontesta fr|Y a "inat striliinr; 
proof that the Russ really were Scandinavians. The 
opponents of this view have not been able to shake 
this testimony, and will to the end of time be obliged 
to renounce all hope of doing so. I Toojn i TOtCfe 

But we can go still a step further. It must be re- 
membered that besides a great many names which in 
antiquity were nearly equally spread over all the 
Scandinavian countries, there are others which were 
employed only within more narrow boundaries, and 
from such names wo can often, with more or less 
certainty, draw a conclusion as to the country, some- 
times even as to the part of a country, of which the 
person who bore it was a native. Thjwc..jyhaJLia:C-. 
previously examined the Scandinavo-Russian names 
have mostly taken into consideration only such names 
as arc preserved in Old Norse book-literature, which 
chiefly concerns Iceland and Norway. However, there 
are several of the Russian names which cannot be 
thoroughly explained or verified by this means only, 
but which nevertheless are clearly Scandinavian in . 
their roots. But of all the northern countries Sweden 
is the one which all the evidence points to as the 
chief centre of the relations between Scandinavia and 
Russia, and I really think we cast a new light upon 
the Russian names, if, instead of confining ourselves 
to the Saga-literature, we take for base the names 
which occur in the numerous Swedish Runic inscrip- 
tions and mediaeval papers. 

If we follow this plan, we find among the Russian 
names a great many which Sweden shares equally 


with the other Scandinavian countries. Such names 
are Adult' (AuSulfr), Adun* (AuSunn), Akun\ 
(Hakun, Hdkon), Aldan* (Halfdanr), Alvard 1 (Hall- 
varSr), AmunW (Amundi or Hamundr or Eymundr), 
Asmud* (Asmundr), Bern (Bjorn), Bndy (Bondi), Dir* 
(Dyri), Emig* (Hemingr), /^/tf/' (FrrSleifr, Frilleifr), 
Frudi (Fr65i), Furstchi (porsteinn), Grim' (Grimr), 
Gunar* (Gunnarr), IngeVd' (Ingjaldr), Ivor (fvarr), 
Karl' (Karl), Karly (Karli), Kary (Kdri), KoV 
(Kollr), Olcb\ UW (6leifr, 6lafr), Ol'g\ tf^Helgi), 
Otga (Helga), Rogvolod' (Ragnvaldr, Rognvaldr), 
Ruald* (Hroaldr), Knar' (Hroarr), Rulav (HroSleifr, 
Hrolleifr), Riurik\ Rurik' (Hrcerekr), Sfirk' (Sverkir), 
Stir* (Styrr), Sven (Sveinn), Truciri (pr6andr, prdndr), 
Turbcrri (porbjorn), Turd* (p6r3r), Tury (p6rir), 
Ul'V(}) (Ulfr), Ustin'Q) (Eysteinn). But besides these 
there are several names which appear to belong exclu- 
sively to Sweden fa few of them also to Denmark), 
or which, at any rate, are particularly frequent in 
Sweden. To this group belong Ar'fast (Arnfastr), 
Brujiy (Bruni), Farlof (Farulfr), Post* (Fasti), Frasten* 
(Freysteinn), Gomol' (Gamali), Gudy (Go Si or GuSi), 
Gunostr (Gunnfastr), Igor (Ingvarr), Ingivlad' (Ingi- 
valdr), Kant (Karni),i#0;/r(Manni), 6YW(Holmi?), 
Skik/Skrn' (Sigbj&rnjt Sincus' (Signiutr), Study (S\6$i) t 
Stud'tf, Studck (StceSingr), Svcnald* (Sveinaldr), Tuky 
(T6ki, Tuki), TuUt (polfr), Vuycfast* [or Buyefast'] 
(Vefastr? [or B6fastr?]); compare also Shibrid* = Old 
Swedish SigfriSr, Turbrid* = Old Swedish porfriSr, 
(Sfirk* =. Old Swedish Sverkir), whereas the Norse- 
Icelandic forms are SigroSr, porroSr, (Sorkvir). On the 
other hand, there are extremely few of the Russian 


names of which I have hitherto found no instance in 
Swedish records, while they are well known elsewhere 
in Scandinavia; such are OskolcT (Hoskuldr), Vc/mud' 
(Vermundr), and the female names Rogncd (Ragn- 
heiSr), and Malfrid (MalmfriSr). But if we consider 
how scanty the historical documents of Sweden are, as 
compared with those of Norway and Iceland, we are 
certainly justified in supposing it a mere chance 
that no instance of these names has come down 
to us. 

But we can proceed still farther ; for the names do 
not only betray an intimate relation to Sweden in 
general, but especially point to certain parts of it, 
namely, the provinces Upland (north of the Maelar), 
Sodermanland (south of it), and East Gotland (south 
of Sodermanland). Not only do all the names occur 
just in these three provinces, particularly in Upland, 
but several of them even appear to be characteristic 
of this very tract, as Kami (East Gotland), Signiutr 
(Upland), Slo%i (Upland and Sodermanland), StoS&ingr 
(Upland and East Gotland), perhaps also Farulfr and 
Svcinaldr (all three provinces). It must not be for- 
gotten, it is true, that by far the greater part (about 
three-fourths) of the Swedish Runic inscriptions be- 
long to these three provinces. But this circumstance 
does not suffice to explain that remarkable coin- 
cidence. At any rate, it is curious that among the 
Russian names we do not find a single name which 
can be proved to have been characteristic of other 
provinces than the three in question, e. g. none of the 
numerous names exclusively employed in the island 
of Gothland, though this island might be expected to 



have been, from ancient times, an intermediate link 
between Sweden and Russia. We must add that 
those three provinces are situated along the Swedish 
shore just opposite the Gulf of Finland, and that the 
numerous Runic inscriptions in which the relations 
between Sweden and the East are directly alluded to 
belong almost exclusively to the same three provinces. 
After all this we are certainly entitled to assert that 
the Russian proper names which occur during the first 
century after the foundation of the Russian state are 
not only, with extremely few exceptions, of pure 
Scandinavian origin, but that they also decidedly 
suggest Sweden, and especially the provinces of Up- 
land, Sodermanland, and East Gotland, to have 
been the original homestead of the so-called Russian 

But it is time we should turn to Scandinavia itself. 
to see what basi s can be found there for the Scandi? 1 
navian origin ot the Kuss.' And, in truth, though we 
find no direct account of the foundation of the Russian 
state, we have such a mass of evidence of the close 
connection that has existed from time immemorial 
between Scandinavia and the lands on the other side 
of the Bal tic and the (julf of B othnia, that, if only for 
this reason, the accuracy of Nestor's account seems 
highly probable. 

The earliest evidence in this direction is the fruit of 
archaeological researches. With regard to the most 
ancient art-periods, the Ages of Stone and Bronze, 
they are so remote that they are of no essential 
importance to our subject. Yet we may observe, in 
passing, that the few relics of the Bronze Age which 


have been found on these eastern coasts of the Baltic 
are decidedly and exclusively due to occasional inter- 
course with Scandinavia. Our true interest in this 
subject dates from the introduction of iron into the 
North : it is in this period that we first find traces of 
linguistic records in Scandinavia, the Runic inscrip- 
tions, which prove that the population at that time 
was of the same race as that which has ever since 
inhabited those regions. Even the art-culture of the 
first Iron Age, comprising, according to the Danish 
archaeologists, the period from the commencement of 
the Christian era to 450 A. D., had found its way on 
a large scale into the countries east of the Baltic. 
Many objects have been found there which so closely 
correspond with the discoveries made in Scandinavia, 
that we are forced to acknowledge that they must 
have belonged to the same population, or at least to 
one closely akin to it. But the circumstance that these 
relics are confined to the tracts of land lying near the 
coasts, and that they have no resemblance whatever 
to the artistic forms found in the interior of these-X 
countries, proves that the culture of the first Iron Age 
was brought there from the west, by emigrants from 
Scandinavia 1 . 

The relies of this Scandinavian art-culture of the 
Iron Age are especially found round the Gulf of Fin- 
land and along a considerable tract of the western 

1 Comp. Worsaae, La colonisation de la Russie et du Nord Scandi- 
nave et leur plus ancien ttat de civilisation, in Memoires de la Soci<k6 
Royalc des Antiquaires du Nord, nouv. s^rie, 1873-74 (Copenhague), 
p. 154 ft*. ( = Aarbiiger for nordisk Oldkyndighed, 1872, p. 388 (T.). 
Aspelin, Suomalais-ugrilaisen Muinaistutkinnon Alkeita, p. 136 ft*., 
Helsingfors, 1875. 


coast of Finland, the native inhabitants of which 
appear at that time to have been Laplanders (or some 
other Arctic tribe). The antiquities which have been 
discovered there are so numerous that there can be no 
doubt that even in that early period there were many 
Scandinavian settlements along that coast, extending 
quite down to the innermost part of the Gulf of 

These archaeological results agree most remarkably 
with a linguistic phenomenon which I have elsewhere 
discussed 1 . I have proved that the Finnish idioms, 
grouped round the Baltic Sea and its gulfs, at that 
very time, that is to say during the first centuries 
of the Christian era, were greatly influenced by the 
Teutonic tongues ; and this in two ways, partly by a 
Scandinavian idiom closely resembling the language 
which we meet with in inscriptions of the first Iron 
Age ; and partly by a Gothic idiom, which must have 
been a little more ancient in form than that known 
to us from the Gothic translation of the Bible made 
by Ulftlas in the fourth century, while the Goths 
inhabited the districts near the Danube. From the 
multitude and character of the words concerned I 
have shown that this influence must have been exer- 
cised at: a time when the Finns were not yet dispersed 
so widely as they are now, and when they lived in 
closer union east or south-cast of their modern terri- 
tories, and that the Teutonic tribes of whose languages 

1 Vilh. Thomsen, Den Gotiske Sprogklasscs Indflydelse pi den 
Finskc, Kiibenhavn, 1869, translated into German by E. Sievers under 
the title : Ueber den Einfluss der Germanischen Sprachen auf die 
Finnisch-Lappischen, Halle, 1870. 


fragments have in this way been preserved, must have 
been settled in the same regions. While this Scandi- 
navian influence reached the Finns from the north- 
west, the regions round the Gulf of Finland, the Gothic 
came in from the south-west, the tracts between the 
Vistula and the Dwina, where we know that the Goths 
once lived, arid where antiquities have been found 
which can only belong to them ; none of these anti- 
quities are of later date than c. 400 A. D., by which 
time the last of the Goths must have vanished from 
these districts \ 

The Scandinavian influence also, with respect both 
to art-culture and to language, seems to diminish or 
to be completely interrupted towards the end of the 
fifth century, in order to reappear in new forms some 
centuries later. This circumstance is certainly con- 
nected with the great migrations which at that very 
time took place in the East, and which not only drove 
the Slavs westwards, but also caused the Finnish race 
inhabiting Finland and the Baltic coasts at the present 
day to immigrate thither from the east or south- 

About the year 700 or a little later a new epoch 
begins in the history of Scandinavian civilisation, 
an epoch which, from an archaeological point of 
view, has been called the second Iron Age. But from 
that period archaeology is no longer our only source of 
information, and though I willingly allow that it 
continues to shed valuable light on an infinite number 
of details of social life in the North, yet the im- 

1 Comp. above, p. 4 f., and Worsaae, 1. c. f p. 1,67 ff. ( = p. 399 ff.). 


portance of it is diminished by the abundance of other 
sources which henceforward afford us an insight into 
Scandinavian history. It is at this period that the 
Scandinavians appear for the first time on the stage 
of universal history, and immediately play a part 
there, such as they have never played before or since; 
it is the period of those grand Viking expeditions that 
made the name of ''Northmen* known and dreaded 
on the most distant coasts of Europe. 

During the preceding period the inhabitants of the 
Scandinavian countries had taken but little part in 
the events which convulsed the greater portion of the 
European continent. They had had time therefore to 
form and develope a civilisation of their own, though 
it may certainly have received many prolific germs 
from the South. This civilisation, which still did not 
prevent a considerable rudeness of manners and 
customs, must have been such as to develope that in- 
flexible energy and vigour, and that taste for adven- 
tures which were characteristic of the Viking-time ; 
and as to the art-culture, it graduallyattained a remark- 
able degree of perfection, as is clearly proved by the 
richly adorned and beautiful weapons, and other anti- 
quities which have been discovered in Scandinavia. 

As, however, the Scandinavians were thus shut up 
for centuries within their own frontiers, such an in- 
crease of the population must have gradually taken 
place as left them at last no other resource but that 
of sallying forth, sword in hand, to win for them- 
selves a new sphere of action and a new home. A 
leader for such expeditions was easily found among 
the many petty kings, whose position was rendered 


highly unsatisfactory to themselves by the increasing 

centralisation of political power in the Scandinavian 


/ These were the circumstances which, from the be- 

/ginning of the ninth century, gave the impulse to the 

(Viking expeditions 1 .. 

How these Northmen thus wandered forth, some- 
times when it suited them better, as merchants, but 
most generally as pirates and plunderers, and how 
they colonized and even founded kingdoms in several 
countries in the West, need not to be dwelt on in 
this place. 

What is important for our purpose is the fact 
that a current, similar to that which first carried 
the Northmen to Western Europe, bore them at 
the very same time to the lands beyond the Baltic 
and the Gulf of Finland, Austrvcgr (the Eastway) 
as the ancient Scandinavians called them. While 
the westward stream flowed principally from Denmark 
and Norway, the movements to the East issued chiefly 
from Sweden. 

It appears that the migration eastward began some- 
what earlier than the other, perhaps even as early as 
the eighth century ; nor can this surprise us, when we 
remember that these districts, from still more ancient 
times, were known to the Scandinavians, frequented 
by them, and, as it were, homelike to them. Their 
migrations in this period are a renewal of their 

1 The same views of the causes of these expeditions have been stated 
with great erudition and profoundness by J. Steenstrup in his interesting 
work Normannerne, vol. i. Indledning i Normannertiden. Copenhagen, 
1876, 8vo. 


ancient traditions, and the name itself, Austrvegr^ is 
an expression of this homelike feeling, as it is quite 
parallel to Norvcgr (commonly written Noregr, 
Norway, literally the Northway, Norftweg in king 
Alfred's Orosius), whereas no corresponding name 
is ever applied to the movement in the opposite 
direction ( Vcstrviking). 

In the Old Nors ^ ftayg^ ar> d other documents, we 
find numerous proofs of the intercourse between 
Scandinavia and the lands beyond the Baltic 1 . It 
is true, that we do not there find any direct notice 
of the foundation of the Russian State ; for it was 
an event which passed comparatively unnoticed in 
the North, and all the more so, as the central point of 
the Saga literature, Iceland, was so remote from the 
scene of this event. But countless are the notices we 
find of trade and navigation, Viking expeditions, and 
even emigrations in great masses 2 , issuing from Scan- 
dinavia, chiefly from Sweden, to the coasts of the 
Baltic and the Gulf of Finland ; and numberless are\U.} 
the passages referring to the visits of Northmen / 
to Russia, and to the intimacy between the Scandi-/ 
navian and Russian reigning families, which can only 
be explained by a mutual national relationship. 

1 All the notices that the Sagas contain on this question are collected 
in Antiquites Russes d'apn^s les monuments historiques des Islandais et 
des anciens Scandinaves, editees par la Society Royale des Antiquaires 
duNord. Copenhague, 1850-52, 2 voll. in folio. 

* Comp. especially Steenstrup, 1. c, p. 1*94 flf. Still at the present day 
several tracts of the coasts of Finland and Esthonia have a genuine 
Swedish population, which must once have immigrated thither from 
Scandinavia ; though no tradition gives us any hint as to the period 
when this immigration took place. 


Many of these notices have a legendary character, 
and belong almost to mythical times ; many, on the 
other hand, refer to well-known historical person- 

The name by which the Scandinavians designated 
the Russian dominions, especially the northern part 
of them, was GarSar, the plural of garfr, a yard, 
a stronghold 1 , or Gar^ariki. The localities in Russia, 
or GarSariki, which are mentioned in the Sagas are 
more particularly those grouped nearest round the 
Gulf of Finland, which were evidently constantly 
frequented by the Scandinavians. Thus mention is 
often made of the old commercial town Aldcgjuborg\ 
the Russian (Old-) Ladoga, standing on the little river 
Volkhov, at some distance from its fall into lake 
Ladoga, called by the Scandinavians Aldegja. Another 
town which is extremely often mentioned is Novgorod, 
which was called by the Scandinavians H6lmgarr> 
probably because it stood on a holm situated at the 
point where the Volkhov issues from lake Ilmen 2 . 

1 This word is akin to the Russian gorod\ Old Slavonic graa", a 
stronghold, a town, which occurs in all Slavonic languages and cannot 
therefore well be borrowed from the Old Norse garbr. I would rather 
call attention to the fact that the Old Norse names of several towns in 
the east have the termination -garbr, though garbr does not in Old 
Norse signify a town ; thus, for instance, Holmgarbr, Kivnugarbr. It 
seems to me not to be unreasonable that the employment of the word 
garbr in these names is an imitation of the Slavonic gorod*, gracT. In 
the same way the Old Norse name of Constantinople, Mihligarbr, may 
have been influenced by the Slavonic name of this town, Tsarigrad', * the 
Emperor's town.' 

2 Or is Holm- a representative of Ilmen, accommodated to the Old 
Norse hdlmrf Comp. Miillenhoff in Haupt's Zeitschrift fiir deutsches 
Alterthum, vol. xii. p. 346. Similar accommodations of foreign names 
are extremely frequent in Old Norse. 


The Old iNorse name of Kiev was Kcenugar%r l , 
Polotsk was called Palteskja^ &c. 

But the Sagas are not the only written memorials 
that testify to the frequent visits of the Scandinavians 
to Russia. They are referred to in many of the Runic 
inscriptions in Sweden, raised to the memory of men 
who had fallen in the East 2 . Nearly all these monu- 
ments are found in the Swedish provinces Upland, 
Sodermanland and East Gotland, and the time from 
which they date is chiefly the tenth and eleventh 
centuries. Many of them only say of the deceased, 
that ' he fell in a battle in the East/ or ' in Gardar,' 
or ' at Holmgard,' &c. ; but there are others which 
give more detailed information. Thus we have a 
series of about 20 stones, found in different parts 
of the above mentioned three provinces, which all 
refer to one event, an expedition headed by a leader 
named Ingvar. On some of them it is said of the 
deceased: 'he went eastward with Ingvar,' or, 'he 
fell eastward with Ingvar,' or, he commanded a ship 
in Ingvar's fleet ; ' one reads : ' he had long been in 
the East, and fell in the East under Ingvar,' &c. 
It is evident that all these inscriptions refer to the 
same enterprise, which must once have been famous, 

1 Accommodated to the Old Norse kana, a kind of boat ? 

8 No Scandinavian Runic inscription has been discovered in Russia. 
But this cannot surprise us, nor can. it be adduced as a proof against the 
Scandinavian origin of the Russ. For the Rune-writing in the form 
characteristic of the later Iron-Age was not generally adopted in Sweden 
till the tenth century, consequently long after the emigration to Russia 
had taken place. In honour of the Scandinavians who afterwards found 
their death in Russia while serving in the Russian army, cenotaphs with 
inscriptions were erected in their native place. 


and in which many Swedes must have participated. 
It has been supposed * that the Ingvar who is men- 
tioned here, was no other than the Russian prince 
called by Nestor, Igor, by Liudprand, Inger, and that 
one of his expeditions is referred to. Several cir- 
cumstances, however, suggest that these inscriptions 
must be nearly a century later than Igor's time ; 
and it is therefore much more probable that Ingvar 
was a Swedish prince of that name, surnamed hinn 
vfi$for/i, 'the far-travelled,' who, according to the 
Icelandic ' Annales Regii,' died in the year 1041 2 . 

T he .testimony of the h istoric rec ords as to the 
connecti on between the Scandinavians and the eastern 
i anas is supported, in the clearest manner, by archaeo- 
logical ijjgpnwri^ We see from numerous coins 
which have been found in Russia and the NortR, 
that just at the time of the great Viking expeditions 
an extremely lively trade existed between Scandi- 
navia, the East and the Byzantine empire. This 
intercourse was carried on through the interior of 
Russia 3 . Thu s in Sweden great quaq tjf}^ "f AraKjan 
coins (nearly 20,000) have been found, wh ich date from 
Betwee n ffj)S ' afld 10 02 ,' But {he laf greater part are 

1 P. A. Munch, Det norske Folks Historic, i. 2. p. 80. Christiania, 
1853. Antiquitcs de l'Orient, Monuments Runographiques interpr<$t6s 
par C. C. Rafn, p. ix. Copenhague, 1856. 

2 See Langebek, Scriptores rerum Danicarum, vol. iii. p. 42. Stur- 
lunga Saga, edited by G. Vigfusson, vol. ii. p. 353, Oxford, 1876. This 
Ingvar is the principal person in a very fabulous Saga: Sagan om 
Ingwar Widtfarne och hans son Swen, utgifwen af N. R. Brocman. 
Stockholm, 1762, 4to. Published also in Anuquites Russes, vol. ii. 
pp. 141-169. 

* Compare Nestor's statement that even before Rurik's time there 
was a passage from the Varangians (i. e. Scandinavians) down the great 
Russian rivers to Greece. 


from between 880 and 955, the very time when, 
according to all evidence, the Scandinavian element/ 
was playing so important a part in the history of 
Russia. It seems that from the tenth century, 
especially, the island of Gothland was the central - 
point of the trade between Scandinavia and the East ; 
for the largest discoveries of coins have been made 
here (about 13,000). With these Arabian coins were 
intermixed other foreign coins which must also have i 
been brought there by traders from the East; among 
them were many Byzantine coins which bear dates 
of the tenth and eleventh centuries l . \ 

In Russia, not only have exactly similar coins been 
found, but also western European coins chiefly Anglo- n /*^\ 
Saxon, which must have been taken there by Scan- / 
dinavians, and which probably have formed part of that I 
Danegeld which England so often had been forced to I 
pay, as well as weapons and ornaments of a decidedly 
northern type. Nor is it merely in the Baltic districts 
that these objects have been discovered, but also 
farther in the interior of Russia, chiefly in isolated 
barrows, apparently raised over chiefs 2 . The most 
remarkable of these objects are the swords, and a 
kind of buckle of an oval convex form peculiar to the 
North, and the type presented by them belongs to 

1 Comp. J. J. A. Worsaae, La colonisation de la Russie et du Nord 
Scandinave et leur plus ancien tat de civilisation, in Mt'moires de la 
Societe" Royale des Antiquaires du Nord, nouvelle sene, 1873-74, Copen- 
hague, pp. 190, 191 ( = Aarbiiger for nordisk Oldkyndighed og Historie, 
1872, Kjiibenhavn, p. 42a f.). 

3 Comp. Worsaae, I.e., p. 186 ff. (-418 flf.). Comte A. Ouvaroff, 
tude sur les peuples primitifs de la Russie. Les Me>iens. Traduit 
par M. F. Malaque\ Pp. 44 ff., 84 ff., iisff. &c. St. Petersbourg, 1875. 

G 2 


the period between the ninth and eleventh centuries ; 
they correspond exactly to the northern weapons and 
ornaments which are found in Great Britain, Ireland, 
and France, and date from the time when the Danish 
and Norse Vikings visited and settled in those countries, 
in other words, from the ninth to the eleventh centuries. 
It is to be hoped that, in time, still more light may be 
thrown on this subject when such researches in Russia 
are carried on with more system, and on a larger^ 
scale than has been the case hitherto. 

When we reflect upon the testimony which I have 
adduced from Scandinavian documents and archaeo- 
logical discoveries, I think it must be acknowledged 
that they support and illustrate, in a most remarkable 
manner, the traditional view as to the Scandinavian 
origin of the Russ. None of them, it is true, give us 
any direct statement of this fact ; the greater part of 
them refer to the time after the foundation of the 
Russian state, and only prove that, at that period, \ 
the Scandinavians carried on a lively intercourse with 
Russia, ; and that a great many of them came over f 
here, some as merchants, some to serve as warriors 
under the Russian princes. , But it is evident that 
even this intercourse, this influx of Scandinavians into 
Russia, would be incredible, had it not for base some 
national kinship. I think that even if no other 
notice were left to us, we should still be obliged 
to suppose the existence of a strong Scandinavian 
element in Russia. 

But there is another circumstance which, if only 
indirectly, yet in a high degree confirms the view 
which I am endeavouring to defend. That circum- 


stance is the striking resemblance between both the 
culture and mode of life of the Scandinavians of the 
Viking times and the ancient Russ, as they are 
described to us in the Slavonic chronicles, by Greek 
and Arabian writers. According to the unanimous 
testimony of these different authorities, the Russ were 
a seafaring people, a people that wandered far and 
wide, to Greece and the Oriental lands, and whose 
ships not only navigated the rivers of Russia, but also 
the Black Sea, nay, even the Caspian Sea. Every- 
where they appear, now as Vikings, now as traders, 
as it suited them better, but always sword in hand, 
and ready at any moment to exchange the merchant's 
peaceful occupation for the bloody deeds of the pirate. 
This picture of the ancient Russ so completely 
coincides with the habits and adventurous life of the 
Northmen, as it is described to us both by northern 
writers and by the Latin authors of the middle ages, 
that it is impossible not to believe that these move- 
ments issued from the same nation and were in- 
spired with the same national spirit. It is impossible, 
on the other hand, to imagine this to be the mode of 
living among the Eastern Slavs of that time. We must 
remember that they then still dwelt in the interior 
of the land, completely separated by other tribes 
from both the Black Sea and the Baltic. How could 
it then be possible for this people to have become so 
familiar with navigation as the ancient Russ evidently 
were l ? /From the first moment this people appears 

1 Comp. Kunik in Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Petersbourg, vii 
serie, tome xxiii. p. 283, and in 3aniitKt roTCKaro Tonapia, in 3anncKH 
Hun. Ak;u. H.i\i;l, vol. xxiv. p. 1 10 ff. 


upon the stage of history, they prove themselves to 
be a maritime nation ; such people must previously 
have dwelt on the sea coasts, and have been ac- 
customed to manoeuvre their ships on the open sea. 

If we compare this with the other evidence which 
I have previously reviewed, I believe that every 
impartial judge will come to the conclusion that 
Nestor is perfectly correct in representing the original 
Russ as Scandinavians. It is clear that the settle- 
ment of the Scandinavian element in Russia, and the 
foundation of a Scandinavian state among the Finnish 
and Slavonic tribes of that vast territory, was only a 
single instance of the same mighty and widespread 
movement which in the middle ages carried the 
Northmen to Western Europe. A closer consideration 
of that part of the question which may still appear 
unexplained, I mean the particular name applied to 
the Scandinavian element in Russia, and its history, 
shall be the subject of the next lecture. I hope, then, 
to be able to show that all apparent discrepancies 
blend into the simplest and most beautiful harmony. 



In the preceding Lecture I reviewed the evidence 
which can be adduced from other sources to con- 
firm Nestor's account of the foundation of the Russian 
state, and I think that we have thus obtained a 
complete corroboration of his statement as to the 
Scandinavian origin of the ancient Russ. I have 
referred to some of the arguments used by the anti- 
Scandinavianists to weaken the power of the different 
proofs produced by their adversaries ; but, on the 
other hand, I hope I have shown that they are far 
from having succeeded in their attempts. Especial 
attention has been called to the linguistical evidence, 
founded upon the proper names which occur in early 
Russian history, and upon the few words which have 
been handed down to us of the language of the 
ancient Russ (the names of the Dnieper rapids) ; 
this evidence seems to be so decisive, that: the 
opponents of the Scandinavian theory have hardly 
made any serious attempt to gainsay it. 

To show the improbability of Nestor's account, the^ 
anti-Scandinavianists have taken particular pains to 
prove the existence of the Russ as a distinct tribe in 
Russia long before the year stated by Nestor. I have 

QsrJUC- x/^w^ a /jw^tu ct srwwx fiotyf- 



mentioned the most important of these presumed 
proofs, and believe I have shown how untenable they 
are : I will only add, that even if such evidence could 
be admitted, it would only prove that the date given 
by Nestor is incorrect ; while it would not touch the 
question of the original nationality of the Russ, a 
fact which is independent of chronology, to a certain 
extent at any rate. 

But the weightiest argument of the anti-Scandi- 
navianists lies in the name Russ itself, and it must 
be owned that the defenders of the Scandinavian 
theory have not hitherto been able to clear up the 
difficulties connected with this name. If the Russ 
be Scandinavians thus argue their opponents 
it must be possible from other sources to find 
some Scandinavian tribe who called themselves by 
that name ; but no such tribe can be indicated. 
I willingly acknowledge that this is true, but I 
must also observe, that neither is it possible to find 
any Slavonic t ribe to whom this name originally 
belo nged ; tor the eriorts that have been made to prove 
this are mere airy conjectures which cannot stand the 
test of severe scientific criticism. 

But how do we know that the ancient Russ really 
called themselves Russ, or anything similar, in their 
mother-tongue ? Were this clearly proved, the con- 
tention of the opponents of the Scandinavian theory 
k would have real weight ; but in fact there is evidence 
which shews that most probably the Old Russ did 
not give themselves this name. I therefore consider 
it a great mistake on the part of the adherents 
of the Scandinavian theory, that they should, 




so to speak, waste 'powder and shot in endeavour- 
ing to find traces of a Scandinavian or Teutonic 
tribe, from whose national appellation the name 
Russ might have been directly derived. 

The only evidence that may be supposed to 
indicate that this name was a native one, is 
the passage from Prudentius which I mentioned 
in my preceding Lecture (p. 39) ; it is also the 
earliest authority in which we meet with this name. 
My readers will remember that Prudentius relates 
how the Greek emperor sent to Louis the Pious 
some a mbassador s who had been in Constantinople, 
and who, the author adds, rendering the wording 
of the Greek letter of introduction, ' said that they, A 1 
that is to say, their nation, are called Rhos l ; ' but 
in Germany these people were discovered to be 
Swedes. If we examine the question a little closer, 
we shall see that this passage proves nothing. It \ 
is certain that these people could not have treated 
with the court in Constantinople in their mother- 
ongue, which no one there could understand, nor is it 
probable that any of them could speak Greek. The 
negotiations therefore must have been carried on by 
means of a third language, which both parties mutually 
understood, or for which interpreters at least were at 
hand. Such a language will probably have been the 
Slavonic or Khazarian. At any rate, the name applied 

1 What the wording of the Greek original writing was we unfortunately 
do not know ; but I think it must doubtless have been something like 
Tii'clt \tyofiivov$ 'Pis or rivcit ruv Keyofitvuv 'Tais, a very common 
expression in liyzantine literature which would very well bear Prudentius' 
translation; if so, it much weakens the argument that those people 
called themselves Russ. 



to these persons at the Greek court must have been [ 
that by which their nation was knownint hat language 
in which they conversed. \ Let us suppose, by way of 
J illustration, that a German embassy is sent to an 
Indian prince who has never before heard anything of 
Germany ; the negotiations would naturally be carried 
on in English, either directly, or with the assist- 
ance of native interpreters ; consequently, the nation 
to which these ambassadors belonged would be known 
in India as 'Germans,' and none would suspect 
that in their own language they called themselves 
' Deutsche.' If this supposed Indian prince were to 
send these persons to some other prince, his letters 
of introduction would naturally run as follows : ' The 
bearers of these letters are some people who say that 
their nation is called " Germans " ' but this would 
be no proof that in their own tongue they called them- 
selves so. Now, if this second prince had not heard 
this name ' Germans ' before, but, on the contrary, had 
known the Germans as ' Deutsche ' or ' Allemands,' 
he would probably be astonished to find that they 
belonged to the nation which he knew so well under 
another name : and supposing he had reason to 
suspect their intentions, he would possibly act as 
Louis the Pious acted. In short, it dggg not appear 
| to me that we ca n rira.wt}y> n^i,, g ;^n f rf ^p this 
J passage of Frudentius, that the people wfo -were. 
icallea nnos py trie ureeks ,, palip..ra11*H fhfim^ e jy e s 
so in their own language. 

That they did not we may suppose from the pas- 
sage of Liudprand, which I have already quoted 
(p. 47), in which he says that the people who in 


Western Europe were called Northmen, were called 
by the Greeks ' Rusii V^ (P(^Q 

I therefore boldly venture to maintain that the 
ancient Russ, taken as a nation, did not call them- 
selves so in their mother-tongue. Russ was only a 
name applied to them in the East, But if this be the 
case, the objection to their Scandinavian origin, whjclu 
is founded on the name Russ, is of no importance. It/ 
is just as if we would deny that the ancient German A 
were Germans; for it must now be considered as 
proved, that no German or Teutonic tribe ever called 
themselves by that name, but that it was only assigned 
to them by their Celtic neighbours, and from them 
was transmitted to the Romans. The same argu- 
ment would make us deny that the Wallachians are I 
of Romanic origin, or the Welsh of Celtic origin ; for 
neither of these nations themselves ever knew any- 
thing of that name " ; it originated among the Teutonic 
peoples, who by Walh designated all whose language 
they did not understand, partly the Celts, partly the 

1 Gedeonov says in his Fragments on the Varangian Question, No. X. 
p. 100 : ' The notice of Liudprand which is so highly appreciated by the 
Scandinavianists proves but one thing, viz. : that the name Russ was 
never a native appellation of the Northmen.' I quite agree with Gedeonov 
in this last conclusion, to a certain extent at least, though by no means in 
his assertion, that it is the only conclusion that can be drawn from Liud- 
prand's words. But when Gedeonov endeavours first to weaken the im- 
portance of Liudprand's identification of Rusii and Northmen by the 
postulate, in itself totally incorrect, that ' Northmen ' is a common name 
which may also include the Slavs, and afterwards draws the conclusion, 
from the same passage, that none of the Northmen called themselves 
Russ, I am surprised he does not perceive that in this manner he 
annihilates his own argument against the Scandinavian origin of the Russ. 
Qui nimium probat nihil probat.' 

1 Comp. Gaston Paris in the Romania i. p. 1 ff. 


Romanic nations. Numberless other instances of a 
similar variety of names can be cited. Even the name 
Northmen was hardly the native appellation of the 
Scandinavian Vikings who visited the coasts of Western 
Europe l . 

But while neither the ancient Russ nor any other f < 

Scandinavian tribe called themselves Russ, attention 
was called, even in the last century, to a name which 
is evidently the same word, and which forms its con- 
necting-link with Scandinavia. It is the name given to 
Sivcdcn by all the Finnish tribes grouped round the ^ 
Gulf of Bothnia and the. Baltic. Tn Finnish \t |g Run^i Q 

(and Ruotsalaincn, a Swede), in Esthonian Rots (and v^^/ 
Rdtslauc) y in the language of the Vot (in the govern- 
ment of St. Petersburg near Narva), Rotsi (and Rotsa- 
| lain?), and in Livonian Ruotsi (and Ruotsli). Not *~\ 
[ only must this be the same name as the Slavonic Rus' \y t 
I but it cannot be doubted that the Slavonic name(~"fr#*^ 
J took its origin from the Finnish appellation. It must^^C* 1 ^* 
ber emembered that the Finnish tribes, as we have 
previously mentioned, completely separated the Slavs 
from the sea. When the Scandin avians cross ed th e 
Baltic, they must first have come in contact with the 
Finns ; but the Slavs could only have become ac- 
quainted with them after their passage through the . 
territory of their Finnish neighbours. It is therefore 
clear that t r^e Finns must have had a name for the r yX& 
Sca ndinavians befo re the SJay^Jiad one, and it was " / 
therefore extremely natural that the Slavs should give J 

- - ^ 

1 Comp. J. Steenstrup, Normannerne, vol. i. Indledning i Normar^ 
nertiden, p. 51 f. 


them the same name as they heard applied to them 
by the Finns 1 y^ 

Several other hypotheses have been made with 
reference to the name Ritss, especially on the side of 
the anti-Scandinavian party, which, of course, will not 
acknowledge any connection whatever between this 
name and the Finnish Ruotsi. But none of them will 
hold good against sclehtiric^criticism. Thus atten- 
tion has been called to the Biblical name Rosh ('Pws 
in the Septuagint), which we find in Ezekiel, xxxviii. 
2, 3, and xxxix. 1. 'The prince of Rosh, Meshech and 
Tubal l ' is there given as the title of Gog who is 
to come up from the north against the people of 
Israel, but God will judge him and give the victory 
to Israel. It has long ago been objected that this 
comparison has no value at all, because the name 
Rosh in Ezekiel is too uncertain and solitary, and 
between his time and the Russ of the ninth century 
there is a space of more than 1400 years 2 . Neverthe- 

1 In the English authorised version this name Rosh is not to be 
found. There this passage is rendered ' the chief prince of Meshech 
and Tubal,' like the Vulgate principem capitis Mosoch et Thubal/ 
according to the common signification of the Hebrew word \cto rosh, 
which is a head or chief. It is not however improbable that Rosh may 
be used here to denote some nation or tribe, but certainly not the Russ. 
Compare CUMUHl cBpelicKiixi. iiiicaiiMeii Xaaapaxi. Co6pa.n> A. fl. 
rapMM, CaiiKTiier'. 1874, pp. 60 ff., 158 f. Lenormant, Lettres Assyrio- 
logiques, vol. i. p. 27, Paris, 1871, connects Rosh with the Assyrian 
Rashi, * pays situe sur la rive gauche du Tigre, au nord de la Susiane. 
Compare G. Maspero, Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient, 2* 6d., 
p. 402, Paris, 1876: Rasi, canton de la Susiane, la Mesobatere des 
geographes classiques.' 

* So already, Miiller, Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, vol. v. p. 
390 f. St. Petersburg, 1760 ( = vol. ii. p. 343 f. Offenbach am 
Main, 1777). 


less there are visionaries who even at the present day 
seriously quote this text to prove the antiquity of the 

Next, the name Russ has been connected with the 
name Roxolani, a \ Sarmatian \ tribe that in ancient 
times dwelt in some part of what is now Southern 
Russia. Some have supposed them to be Slavs or 
half-Slavs \ others have thought that they may have 
been Goths 2 , or even Scandinavians who had remained 
in Russia when their kinsmen, according to an un- 
tenable theory, had immigrated into the northern 
countries from the East 3 . There can be no doubt, 
however, that these Roxolani were of Oriental descent, 
probably an Iranic tribe: like so many other tribes 
they were swallowed up by the waves of the great 
migration, and have nothing to do with the Russ, 
whatever origin we may ascribe to them. 

It seems to me to be incontestable that the only 
name with which the word Russ has any direct con- 
nection is the Finnish appellation of Sweden, Ruotsi, 
and this fact is in itself highly instructive with respect 
to the question of the nationality of the Russ. 
Whenc e the name Ruotsi, in its turn, is deriyed. is 
again a subject of dispute among philologers. The 

1 Comp. e.g. the Athenoeum, 1872, July 27, p. 113. A Slavonic 
root rus, ros, ras, ra, referred to, ibid., with the meaning river,' does not 
exist; see Miklosich, Die Rusalien, p. 19 (in Sitzungsberichte der 
phil.-hist. Classe der Kais. Akademie, vol. xlvi. Wien, 1864). 

a E.g. M idler, Sammlung Russischer Geschichte, vol. v. 1760, 
p. 385 ff. (-vol. ii. 1777. P. 339 ff.)- 

3 P. A. Munch, Samlede Afhandlinger udgivne af G. Storm, vol. ii. 
p. 196 ff. Christiania,' 1874 (written 1849). Afterwards, however, he 
modified his opinion upon the Roxolani ; see his Det Norske Folks 
Historie, part I. vol. i. p. 4:. Christiania, 185a. 


explanation of this word, which has been most 
generally adopted by the so-called Scandinavian 
school, is to derive it from Roslagen, the name of the 
coast of the Swedish province of Upland, lying just 
opposite the Gulf of Finland. Several objections, 
however, have been raised against the identification of 
these two words. On the one hand, the first syllable of 
Ros/agen, which alone is supposed to have been trans- 
ferred to the Finnish, is in itself no nominative, but 
the genitive case of an Old Swedish substantive, ro\-er 
(rod, Old Norse rdftr), rowing, navigation. On the 
other hand, the na^ie Roslagen is too modern to be 
worthy of consideration ; in more ancient times the 
word Ro\er y Ro\in was used to denote those tracts of 
Upland and East Gotland that bordered the sea, and in 
the middle ages were bound to furnish ships in time 
of war. The inhabitants of this district were called 
Rods-karlar or Rods-man (their modern appellation is 
Rospiggar) 1 . On account of these difficulties this ety- 
mology has been since abandoned, even by Kunik 
who in his work ' Die Berufung der Schwedischen 
Rodsen,' had supported it with great power 2 . 

I allow that it is impossible to suppose any direct 

1 Comp. Rydqvist, Svenska Sprakets Lagar, vol. ii. pp. 273, 628. 
Stockholm, 1857. 

a Kunik has lately proposed another explanation (M^raoires de 
T Academic Imp. de St. Pc'tersbourg, vii a serie, tome xxiii. p. 381 ff.), 
connecting the names Ruotsi and Rut with an Old Norse name Reiftgotar 
or HreiSgotar (in Anglo-Saxon HreSgotan or Radgota), which seems to 
mean the Goths on the continent ; he thinks that the original form of 
this name may have been *Hrd\>igutans. But this explanation is fraught 
with such great difficulties in its phonetic aspect, that it must be con- 
sidered untenable. 


genetic connection between Roslagen, as a geogra- 
phical notion, and Ruotsi or Russ. Nevertheless I 
have some doubt whether this thread has not been 
too precipitately cut asunder. The name Ruotsi can 
no more be explained from the Finnish language than 
RuJ can from the Slavonic. It must therefore be of 
foreign, in all probability of Scandinavian origin 1 . But 
if it be so, it appears to me by no means unreasonable 
to fix upon the Old Swedish word ro\>-cr, all the 
more as it is in truth a remarkable coincidence that, 
in ancient times, Ro\cr^ Ro\in, was the name of the 
very same tracts of Sweden to which the Russian 
personal names, as we have seen before, point as the 
original homestead of the Russ. We can easily ima- 
gine that the, v Swedes who lived near the coast and 
crossed to the other side of the Baltic, might very 
early call themselves not considered as a nation, but 
after their occupation or mode of living ro\s-mcnn or 
ro\s-karlar or something similar, i. e. according to the 
^original signification of the word, rowers, seafarers 2 . 
In Sweden itself this word, and even the abstract 
substantive ro\er> gradually came to be treated as 
proper names. It is then all the less strange that the 
Finns should have understood this name to be the 
title of the nation, and adopted it in this signification, 

1 In a similar manner the Laplanders have derived the words Ladde, 
I. a (Swedish) village, 2. Sweden; and Laddelac, 1. a (Swedish) 
peasant, 2. a Swede, from the Swedish word land, land, country. 

8 In Northern Norway Rossfolk (Rors- or Rods-folk) still signifies 
4 fishers that assemble near the shore during the fishing time.' The sin- 
gular form is Ross-kar or -man. See Ivar Aasen, Norsk Ordbog, p. 612. 
Christiania, 1873. 


so that they preserved the first syllable only of the 
compound word, in the forms Rnotsi and Ruotsa- 
lainen. It might be objected, as has been done with 
regard to the derivation from Roslagen> that the first 
syllable of the compound word, Rops-, is in Swedish a 
genitive, and that it would be singular to use a geni- 
tive form as a proper name. But if we suppose that 
no Scandinavian called himself Ro\s or Rnotsi or, 
R?tss, but that this abridged name was first assigned 1 
to them by the Finns, this difficulty vanishes. For it/ 
is very common in Finnish, when a compound word' 
is adopted from another language, to keep only the 
first part of it 1 ; and if this first part happen to be 
originally a genitive, a word may unconsciously be 
adopted in its genitive form. This is the case, for in- 
stance,with the Finnish word riksi, a Swedish rix-dollar, 
which has been formed from the Swedish word riks- 
daler by dropping the principal word dalcr or dollar 
and only retaining riks-, which is originally the Swedish 
genitive form (for tikes) of rike, a kingdom 2 . Such 
an explanation of the Finnish Rnotsi I think by no 
means an unreasonable one. It is only an hypothesis ; 
but it seems to me that this hypothesis in every 
respect affords clear harmony and coherence. 

1 The same sometimes occurs in indigenous words; see A. Ahlqvist, 
Ausziige aus einer neuen Grammatik der finnischen Sprache. Z writes 
Stiick : Zusammensetzung des Nomens, 14. Helsingfors, 1872. (Acta 
Societatis Scientia'rum Fennicae, torn, x.) 

3 I will add that, from its form, the Finnish Ruotsi may date from the 
beginning of the so-called second iron-age, or a little earlier ; at any 
rate it must be younger than the first iron-age (compare above, p. 75 (.). 
See V. Thomsen, Den Gotiske Sprogklasses Indflydclse pa den Finske, 
pp. 70 f., 1 oof. Kobenhavn, 1869. 



As before said, the same name came from the 
Finns to the Slavs in the form Rus (Poycb, Pycb), 

where the sound no or 3, which is unknown in Sla- ' 
vonic, is rendered by u, exactly in the same manner ?: 

as the Finnish Suomi originally the na me of some ^-gfW*} 
Finnish tribe, and now the native name for Fin- 
land is rendered Sum (coyMb, cvml) in the Russian 

As far as the grammatical form of the name Rus 
in Slavonic is concerned, it is characteristic that this 
word is always used in the singular number as a 
collective noun. Otherwise this peculiarity only 
occurs, in Russian documents, i n the case of foreign 

name s, particularly SUC h ns HfrfiifTfpto Finnish trihpg r>r 
arc derived from the Finnish languages, in which 
we really find the model of this usage. Thus 
we have in the Russian chronicles, besides the word 
> Sinn' already mentioned, Yarn' Finnish Hiime (the 
Tavastrians), Mordva, Mcria, Muroma, Vcs' } Chud\ 
Perm, &c. This fact also corroborates our supposition 
that the name Rus* may have come to the Slavs from' 
the Finns. 

From the Slavonic name Rus* is derived the Greek 
form of the same word, R/iSs (*P<Ss), which we meet 
with in the ninth and tenth centuries. There may 
be doubts as to whether the Greeks received this 
form directly from the Slavs (or, which amounts to 
the same thing, from the Russ themselves, inas- 
much as they used the Slavonic language), or if the 
word was transmitted mediately through another lan- 
guage which had previously acquired it from the 
same source. Two things are remarkable in this 


Greek form, Rhos: firstly, the vowel o (o>), instead 
of which we should expect u (ov), if the word were 
derived directly from the Slavonic; next, the pecu- 
liarity that it is always used indefinably in this form, 
being treated as a plural noun (ol c Pg>9, t&v 'Pai?, &c). 
This latter circumstance can scarcely be sufficiently 
explained by the constant use of the name Rus' in 
the singular in Slavonic. I am rather inclined to 
regard it as suggesting that the first knowledge of 
this name reached the Greeks through the language 
of some Turkish-Tatar tribe, probably the Khazars_ 
(compare above, p. 42), and that, in the beginning, 
the Greeks themselves confounded the Russ with 
those tribes. In Byzantine literature we commonly 
find Turkish -Tatar names, and those only, used 
indeclinably in the same way, e.g. 01 Ovap, Xotm, 
'Oyw/), Qu(, Tapvt&x, &C. 1 The same circumstance may 
possibly explain also the <o of the Greek form Rhos 
(compare the Hungarian form Orosz> Russian, which 
from the prefixed is incontestably proved to have 
been introduced through some Turkish dialect). From 
about the middle of the tenth century the Greek 
form Rhos was supplanted by the more modern 
form Rusioi ('iWo-ioi), which has more affinity with 
the Slavonic R?is'. 

The Arabs received their Rfts in much the same 
way as the Greeks (or perhaps from the Greek R/ids ?). 

To the people of Western Europe, especially the 

1 Kunik (Mc c moires de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Pc l tersbourg, serie vii, tome 
xxiii. p. 404) explains this use from an identification of the name Rhos 
with the Biblical 'Pwi (see above, p. 93). But as early as 839 such an 
association of ideas seems to me highly improbable. 

H % 



Teutonic race, this name came later, with the politico- 
geographical signification in which we now employ 
the word Russia. In the eleventh century we meet 
with the Old German form Ruzd, and in mediaeval 
Latin documents we find Russia, Razzia, Rncia, &c. 
The Middle High German form is Riuze. The name 
came back to Scandinavia from Germany; in the later 
Norse Sagas we find Ritssar (Russians) and Ruza- 
land or Ruciland instead of the more ancient GarSa- 
rfki, and in Old Swedish Ryza, Russians, Ryzaland, 
Russia, where the vowel y (= original u), as well as 
the z, a letter foreign to the Swedish language, clearly 
indicate its German origin \ 

This is in abstract the development of the name 
Russ regarded from the linguistic side. As to the 
ethnographical meaning of this name, we have already 
seen that the Slavs especially used it to denote the 
Scandinavian tribe which founded a state among 
them, while the Greeks and Arabs in the ninth 
and tenth centuries employed it also in a more 
extensive sense,' answering to that of the name 
Northmen in Western Europe (pp. 49, 50). Now the 
[question arises : What Scandinavian tribe was it to 
I which the Slavs applied the name Rus'f And jiow 
I is it possible for this name to have totally changed 
its meaning in the course of time and have come 
to signify a Slavonic nationality instead of a Scandi- 
navian one ? 

I have before shown how antiquarian discoveries, 
linguistic evidence, and direct historic records all 

1 Comp. Rydqvist, Svenska Sprakets Lagar, vol. iv. p. 306. 


alike prove that, from time immemorial, there was 
an extremely lively movement from Sweden to the 
lands on the other side of the Baltic. After having 
been interrupted or only continued on a smaller 
scale for several centuries, this movement was resumed 
with redoubled energy in the eighth century, and 
certainly was not then restricted to mere occasional 
visits of Northmen, but Scandinavian settlers must 
have established themselves on different parts of the 
coasts. It must have been these very invaders and 
settlers to whom the Finns, the native inhabitants of 
these districts, gave the name Rtwtsi, Ruotsalaiset^ 
and the Slavs after their example the name Riis\ 
whatever the origin and primitive signification of this 
name may be. At that time neither the Finns nor 
the Slavs were seafarers, and therefore they could 
only become acquainted with the Scandinavians when 
the latter came over to their country. Later on, 
when the Finns came into closer connection with 
Sweden, they transferred the name Ruotsi to that 
country itself, while the Slavs, as we shall presently 
see, acquired in another way a name for the inhabit- 
ants of Sweden. It is possible that the Rhos who 
came to Constantinople in 838 or 839 belonged to 
some such colony, and not to Sweden itself; and 
the statement we find in certain Mahomedan authors, 
that the Rtls dwelt on an unhealthy island in a lake, 
may also originally refer to some such settlements. 

If we keep this in mind I believe we shall better 
understand the chief event which Nestor places in 862, 
the foundation of the Russian state. 

In Nestor's account of this event, the source of 

tW-or's- 'hm?.-;**&.i 


which must be the tradition at Kiev, there is one 
point that all certainly agree to consider as incorrect. 
That is the chronology. But tradition does not care for 
chronology, and the date fixed by the chronicles for 
this event, 862, can only have been obtained by some 
kind of calculations. Nestor refers to this year a 
series of events for which it is impossible to find 
room in that space of time. According to him, in I 
this same year the Varangian Vikings were driven ' 
back beyond the sea; the native tribes quarrelled for 
some time with each other ; the Russ were called in 
from beyond the sea; Rurik's two brothers died 'after 
the lapse of two years ' (!) ; and two of his followers, 
Askold and Dir, mastered Kiev. It is evident that all 
this cannot have taken place in one year, but that 
here different events are mingled together, which in 
\ reality were separated by a considerable interval, and 
862 is probably only the date of the last of them, 
I the occupation of Kiev. And how is it possible that 
in the same year in which the native Finnish and 
Slavonic tribes freed themselves from the oppression 
of the Varangians, they should, of their own 
accord, have again called in a Varangian clan from 
beyond the sea? Here also we must, I am sure, 
distinguish different events which the tradition has 
combined into one. 

In itself it is very improbable that the contending 
tribes should have absolutely called in a foreign race 
of princes. This point has a somewhat legendary 
look. In this respect the remarkable resemblance 
between Nestor's account and the relation of the 
arrival of the Saxons in Britain is worth noticing. 


In his Saxon chronicle Widukind tells us how am- 
bassadors from the Britons addressed themselves to 
the Saxons on the continent, and invited them to 
help them and rule over them, in almost the same 
words which Nestor puts into the mouth of the Slavs 
and Finns : ' We offer this our land, which is large 
and spacious and abounds in all things, to be at your 
command V However, this legend is perhaps only a 
naYve, as it were a dramatised, representation of the 
fact that the Slavs voluntarily subjected themselves 
to the dominion of the Russ. But even if it be so/ 
the tradition decidedly suggests a difference between 
the Vikings who had just been driven away, and the 
Russ ; the latter must have been a tribe whom the 
Slavs were previously acquainted and familiar with. 

Thus we are again led to the same result as before. 
The Scandinavian clan which the Slavs called especi- 
ally by the name given to them by the Finns, Rus' 
(as others are called Svic t others Nurmane % &c, adds 
Nestor), and which about the middle of the ninth 
century obtained the mastery over the Slavs, cannot 
under any circumstance have been called in directly 
by the Slavs from Sweden for this purpose. It must 
have been Swedish settlers whose primitive home- 
stead was the coast just opposite the Gulf of Finland, 
but who had already for some time lived somewhere 
in the neighbourhood of the Finns and Slavs, pro- 
bably near Lake Ladoga. We may perhaps find 

1 ' Terram latam et spatiosamct omnium rerum copia rcfertam vestrae 
mamlant ditioni pareic.' Widukind, Res gestae Saxonicae. i. c. 8, in 
Pertz, Monumenta Germ, hist., Script., vol. iii. p. 419. Comp. Kunik 
in Memoires de l'Acaddmie Imp. dcs Sciences de St. Petersbourg, vii. 
se'rie, tome xxiii. p. 242 ft. 


a reminiscence of such an intermediate settlement 
in the notice preserved by some of the Russian 
chronicles, that Rurik and his brothers founded the 
I town of Ladoga (comp. p. 13 note 1) and first settled 
I there ; for T^doga rpnlfy 1t '" e ^"HrV thr ->"^ nf 
territory of the Slavs. 

The mastery of the Russ over the Slavs begins 

with their settlement at Novgorod. Their absolute 

dominion here did not however attain any stability, 

and Novgorod soon ceased to be their capital. The 

real foundation of a Russian state dates from the 

occupation of Kiev. We have seen that shortly after 

Rurik had taken possession of Novgorod, two of his 

followers, Askold and Dir, left him and established 

themselves there (862 A. D.?), and in 882 Rurik's 

successor Olcg himself seized the town of Kiev and 

I made it his capital. From this time the name Russ 

I vanished from Novgorod, and was connected exclu- 

1 sively with Kiev. From this centre it spread itself 

I in wider and wider circles over all the territory which 

has gradually been acquired by the Russian crown. 

But as the name Russians thus diffused itself, its 
signification changed completely. It was once the 
ancient Slavonic appellation of the Northmen, and has 
at last come to signify a purely Slavonic nationality. 
This change is si milar to that which has taken plac e 
with respect to the name Franks and France . As is |- 
well known, the Franks were at first a Germanic tribe [/ 
which made themselves masters of Gau l. From this * 
name, Franks, was formed the name France (Francta), 
a political appellation of the land and the people 
that composed the state formerly established by the 


Franks, or rather its nucleus the 'Isle de France.' 
When at last the Frankish nationality had died out 
or had been absorbed in the far more extensive 
Romance element, and the various races became 
blended, nationally as well as politically, the appella- 
tion France, Frangais, French, became the name of the 
united nation, but of quite another nation than that 
to which it first belonged. A similar instance may 
be found in the names Northmen (Normannt) 
Normandy Normans, and many others. 

The evolution of the name RuJ or Russ was exactly s 
similar. It also was at first the appellation of a i 
foreign Scandinavian clan that gained the mastery j 
over the native Slavonic tribes, though the invaders 
were of course far inferior to them in number. The i 
name of this tribe, Rus', was then naturally trans- j 
ferred, as a politico-geographical appellation, to all \ 
land under the rule of the Russ who dwelt at Kiev ! 
(= rus'skaya zcmlia, the Russian land), next to the \ 
inhabitants also, Slavs as well as Northmen, and in 
this latter signification it gradually superseded the old \ 
names of the separate Slavonic tribes. When at last j 
the political union turned into a national unity, the 
name Russia, Russians came of course to denote the / 
whole nation. 

This evolution of the name we can distinctly trace 
in Nestor's account. While he expressly says that 
the name Russ at first belonged to a Scandinavian 
clan, and he often uses it in this signification, it is 
obvious that in his own time it had lost this its 
original signification. He uses it chiefly as the 
politico-geographical denomination of Kiev and its 


dominions. In this sense he speaks of * the Poliane 
who are now called Russ,' and classes himself among 
the Russ (' we Russ') ; but he ordinarily calls his own 
nationality and his own language Slavonic, not Rus- 
sian. However, we see the germ of the modern signi- 
fication in such phrases as this : ' The Slavonic and 
/ffie Russian nation ' (literally, ' language ') ' is one ; for ** 
/ they have called themselves Russ from the Varangians, jj 
\tiut previously they were Slavonians.' Jr 

We have now treated of the origin and history of 
the name Russ. But there is another name which in 
Russian chronicles is so closely connected with it that 
it will be necessary for us to dwell a little upon it. 
I mean the name Varangians. 

We have seen that in several passages, for instance 
that just mentioned, or where Nestor speaks of the 
foundation of the Russian state, the Russ arc identi- 
fied with the Varangians, or rather are described as a 
subdivision of the Varangians. It is impossible, in 
this connection, to give the word Varangians any 
other signification than Scandinavians. But, as the 
anti-Scandinavianists have remarked on good grounds, 
it appears that in other parts of the Russian chroni- V 
cles a distinction is always made between these 
two names. In speaking, for instance, of the expedi- 
tions of Oleg and Igor, both the Russ and Varangians, 
as well as Polians, Slavonians, &c, are mentioned as 
forming part of the armies, and consequently these 
names must denote two separate tribes. This use of the 
word has been adduced as evidence against the Scan- 
dinavian origin of the Russ, and there is really here 
an apparent difficulty which has not hitherto, I think, 


been satisfactorily explained. We must therefore 
more exactly consider the signification and history of 
the name Varangians, and try to define the mutual 
relationship between this name and the name Russ. 

That the name Varangians is not confined to Russia 
alone has long since been observed, and it has been 
remarked that in Constantinople we meet with the 
same name, Warings or Varangians (Bapayyoi), as the 
appellation of a l^ody of guards specially consisting 
of Scandinavians, and in the Old Norse Sagas often 
mentioned under the name Vccringjar. In Byzantine 
writings this body of Warings is mentioned for the 
first time under the date of 1034 \ It must however 
have existed some time before that date, per- 
haps nearly a century earlier, as we may infer from 
other documents, Latin and Scandinavian, which 
allude to them. The first instances we find in the 
Sagas of Scandinavians expressly mentioned as having 
served in the Greek army are those of the Icelanders 
Thorkel Thj6starsson and Eyvind Bjarnason (in 
Hrafnkels-saga), both before 950. Next, mention is 
made in Sagas of Gris Samiingsson (c, 970-980), 
Kolskegg Hamundsson (c. 992), and Bolli Bollason 
(c. 1 026-1030) 2 . These however appear to be the 
only instances at such an early date, as far as Norway 
and Iceland are concerned at least. The Swedes, on 
the contrary, may even at that period have furnished 
the chief contingents to the Varangian body, though 

1 Georg. Ccdrcnus, p. 735. 

a See G. Vigfusson, Um timatal i Islendinga sogum, in Safn til siigu 
Islands ok Islenzkra bokmenta, vol. i. p. 407. Kaupmannahofn, 1856. 
Comp. Kunik in Mcmoircs de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Petb., vii. serie, tome 
xxiii. p. 35. 


the Sagas of course do not mention it 1 . During the 
eleventh century, from c. 1030, it became the fashion 
for Northmen of rank to take service under the 
Greek Emperors, and particularly after -thafc the Nor- 
wegian prince Harald Hardrada (who afterwards fell 
fighting against Harold the Saxon) had fought 
under the Byzantine flag ; but after that time also 
the bulk of them must undoubtedly have continued 
to be Swedes 2 . From that time the Varangian body 
formed a corps cT elite in the Greek army, to whom 
the care of the Emperor's person was specially con- 
fided. In this quality they are extremely often men- 
tioned both in Greek and Scandinavian documents, 
the former often also alluding to their characteristic 
weapon, a long two-edged axe 3 . We do not however 
find them only in immediate attendance as the 
Emperor's body-guard, but also quartered in other 
places 4 . There still exists, at the present day, a 
remarkable monument which palpably reminds us 
of these Varangians. I mean the colossal marble 
lion in a sitting posture which now adorns the 
entrance to' the Arsenal at Venice. This lion was 
brought thither from Piraeus after the capture of 
Athens by the Venetian general Francesco Morosini 
in 1687. From time immemorial this monument had 

1 Comp. Kunik, I.e., p. 378. 

2 Compare Cronholm, Wiiringarna, pp. 26, 29. Lund, 1832. 

s From this weapon we often find them expressly designated, especially 
by affected authors who shrink from using the vulgar and barbaric name 
Varangians, ol irt\tKV<p6poi papftapoi, ol irtkeKv&upoi ftaaikfojv <pv\anes, ol 
ve\(/tvv riva lit' u/fxow ipipovrts, ol iT(\(Kis (x oVTes B&payyoi, k.t.\. 

4 Joh. Scylitzes (p. 864), for instance, mentions ol ((era's Bapayyot in 
opposition to ol iv t vakarty Bdpayyot. 


stood near the harbour of Piraeus, which had taken 
from it its Italian name of Porto Leone.' It is, in 
truth, a work of the best period of ancient Greek 
art; but what is most interesting to us is that on it 
there is a long Runic inscription, cut in serpentine 
curves on both sides of the body of the lion. Un- 
happily this inscription is so effaced by time and 
weather that it is now almost illegible 1 . From the 
form of the serpentine curves and the separate runes, 
however, the eminent runologist Professor S. Bugge, in 
Christiania, has proved 2 that it was cut, about the 
middle of the eleventh century, by a man from 
Sweden proper (' Svealand '), probably from the pro- 
vince of Upland ; and there can be no doubt that this 
man once served amcng the Varangians and happened 
to be quartered at Piraeus. 

Towards the end of the eleventh century the 
Varangian body seems to have begun to change its 
character. From that time it was not only recruited 
from Scandinavia, but also by Englishmen, who after 
the Norman conquest, being driven away from their 
native land, or dissatisfied with the state of things 
there, repaired to Constantinople to win laurels in 
the Greek service : it can scarcely be doubted that 
among these Englishmen there were several Danes. 
Towards the end of the twelfth century we read in 
several authors that the Varangians were Britons 

1 The late Danish archaeologist C. C. Rafn made an attempt to read 
and explain the whole of it (Inscription runique du Piree = Antiquites de 
l'Orient. Copenhague, 1856); but the result must be considered a failure. 

1 In Kongl. Vitterhets Historie och Antiqvitets Akademiens Manads- 
blad (Stockholm), No. 43, 1875, p. 97 fif. 


(Bptravvol), or Englishmen (*IyyXiw>i), and that they 
spoke English (iyKkuwrrt) 1 , From the beginning of 
the thirteenth century the visits of Scandinavians 
to Constantinople became more and more rare 2 , and 
finally the Varangian body consisted exclusively of 
Englishmen. In this form it seems to have existed 
till the fall of the Byzantine empire. 

On account of the position of the Varangians at 
Constantinople, as well as their frequent appearance 
in Russian history as hired troops in immediate 
attendance of the princes, this name has hitherto 
been unanimously considered as at first designating 
a military body, and it has been generally believed 
jto have originated in Constantinople. It has then 
been supposed that only in later times did it come 
to signify the nation from which the body-guard 
was formed. 

From the form of the word Vnrm^hiii. nr Waring 
there can be no doubt it is of Scandinavian origin ; 
t he" termination -ing % -enz^ -ansr is nf *'tf|f r Slir ,v 
nor Greek, but Scandinavian 3 , and all the interpreta- 
tions that have not been founded on this supposition 
have completely failed. Of the many etymologies 

1 Gaufredus Malaterra in his Historia Sicula, lib. iii. c. 27 (Mura- 
tori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. v. p. 584, 1724^, mentions * Angli 
quos Varingos appellant' as forming part of the Greek army in 1081. 

2 Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1 200 a.o.) still says : * Inter caeteros qui Con- 
stantinopolitanae urbis stipendiamerentur,Danicae vocis homines primum 
militiae gradum obtinent, eorumque custodia rex salutem suam vallare 
consuevit ' (Saxonis Grammatici Historia Danica, recc. P. E. M tiller et 
J. M. Velschow, part i. vol. ii, p. 610. Havniae, 1839). 

3 Comp. Miklosich, Die Fremdwiirter in den Slavischcn Sprachen 
(Denkschriften der philosoph.-histor. Classe der kais. Akademic der 
Wisscn chaftcn, xv), p. 14. Wien, 1867. 


which have been proposed for this word, the only 
one that satisfies the requirements of the science of 
language is its derivation from the Old Norse vdr t 
usually plural vdrar, a pledge, troth ; in Anglo-Saxon 
we find the same word in the form w&r t with nearly 
the same meaning a caution, pledge, covenant. 
Thence the word Warings or Varangians has been 
supposed to signify 'confederates,' or a body of 
'sworn men.' When this interpretation was for the 
first time proposed, a foundation for it was supposed 
to be found in a still more ancient name Focdcrati 
(<I>oi8e parot) \ the designation of a body of mercenaries 
in the Byzantine army, originally (in the third and 
fourth centuries) consisting of Goths, and the Var- 
angian body was believed to be a continuation of 
the Focdcrati, so that Varangian, Waring would be 
the national Teutonic appellation of the same body. 
It cannot 'however be doubted that there was no 
continuity or relationship whatever between these 
two bodies, as even in the fifth century the Focdcrati 
consisted of the most heterogeneous elements, chiefly 
recruited from Oriental nations, and in this form it 
seems to have continued to exist contemporaneously 
with the Varangians. But if that be the case, there 
is good reason to inquire whether the evolution of this 
word may not have been quite different from all that 
has been assumed hitherto, and all the more as the 
Old Norse word vdr-ar t to which it is referred, is 
ftever used to signify a military oath or an oath of 

1 J. Ihrc, Glossariun: Suiogothicum, vol. ii. pp. 1069, 1070. Upsaliae, 
1769, fol. 


Is it really certain that Varangian was at first 
1 the designation of a military body, or any military 
J institution whatever? I do not think so, and must 
1 consider such an opinion to be a mere assumption. 
.1 On the contrary, I maintain that the proper sig- 
nification of the word Varangian in the whole of 
the East was a distinctly geographical one, viz. that 
of Scandinavians, and more particularly Swedes. 

When we refer to the Russian chronicles, we always 
find the word Varangian (in Russian Variag\ plural 
Variazi) used in this sense ; as, for instance, in that 
. passage in which the foundation of the Russian state 
is spoken of, and in* which it is distinctly said that 
'some of the Varangians were called Russ, just as 
others are called Svie, others Nurmane,' &c. ; and 
there are numerous other passages which are equally 
evident. In short, there can be no doubt that 
whether the Varangians are mentioned in Russian 
cftTeumuiLL 1 aTTTriercenanes in the Russian army, as 
is commonly the case in the earlier times, or as 
peaceful merchants, which is almost the rule in the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the word never 
signifies any but Scandinavians, especially Swedes. 
This geographical interpretation is the only one which 
is satisfactory in every passage. One circumstance 
which must assign considerable antiquity to this 
signification is that in the chronicles the Baltic Sea 
is called 'the Varangian Sea' (yariazh' skoye more). 
That this use of the word was not forgotten 
even after the lapse of centuries is clearly proved, 
for instance, by the letter which the Russian Czar 
Ivan the Terrible wrote to the Swedish king John 


the Third in 1573, when he laid claim to the crown 
of Sweden. We there find this expression used: 
'Your people have served m}' ancestors from very 
remote times ; in the ancient annals Variags are 
mentioned who were to be found in the Autocrator 
Yaroslav-Georgi's army ; but the Variags were 
Swedes, consequently his subjects 1 / Also in an 
account of the siege of the Tikhvin monastery by 
the Swedes in 16 13, we find them called Variags 2 . 

If we turn to the Arabic writers we find there also 
the word Varank, but only with a geographical sig- 
nification. The first Mahomedan writer who mentions 
the Varank is al-Biruni (born in Chorasmia 973, -fc. 
1038 A.D.), an extremely learned and important 
author, of whose works as far as they are still in 
existence but a small portion has yet been pub- 
lished. But we learn from several more recent 
writers who quote him as their authority, that he had 
mentioned % a bay of the great ocean which stretches 
northwards of the Slavs and is called the Varangian 
Sea (Bahr Varank) ; but Varank is the name of a 
people who dwell on its coasts 3 .' Here the name 
Varank evidently denotes the Scandinavians, more 
particularly the Swedes, and the 'Varangian Sea' 
is clearly the Baltic, which, we observe, was called by 

1 "Hapoj-b Bauii iicKonn cjyHcn.ii mm npe.iKaMi: bi dapuxi j-Ito- 
nncflxi ynoMnuacTCH Bapnraxi, KOTvpue liaxo.ui.ineb bx bohckU Casio- 
jepasqa flpocjaBa-rcoprlH: a Baparii omju Wbcmli, c.ieactbchho ero 
iio.uaiiiiu.'." KapaM3Hiii,IIcTopiH rocyjapcTBa Pocciiicicaro. II34. HCTBepToe. 
T. Ix. ctp. 214. CaiiKTiieTfl. 1834. 

* Ilojiioe coopanlo pyccunxi JtraraMt, Hsjamioe no Bucoianiuesiy 
MMltataO apxeojorniecKOK) ROmUKCien, T. iii. dp. 283. CanKTUPT6. 1841. 

8 See Friihn, Ibn Foszlan's unci andcrer Araber Berichte iiber die 
Russen, p. 177. 



the same name by the Russian chroniclers. A Persian 
manuscript of Biruni's * Instruction in Astronomy ' 
(composed in 1029) has lately been discovered, and 
we are told that in three passages of this work he 
speaks of the Varank, and that in the map which 
accompanies this manuscript they are clearly placed 
on the east coast of Sweden \ The same name was 
also mentioned by another author who is often re- 
ferred to by other writers, Shirazi, who lived at the 
end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the four- 
teenth century. In a more recent Turkish geography 
(of the seventeenth century), entitled Jihan-numa, and 
composed by Haji .Khalfah, the author says as fol- 
lows : 'The German Sea (Ba/ir Alaman) is called 
in our geographical and astronomical books the 
Varangian Sea (Ba/ir Varank). The learned Shirazi, 
in his work called Tohfah, says, " On the coast 
of it dwells a nation of tall warlike men," and by 
these Varank he understands the Swedish people. . . . 
Now this sea is called the Baltic in the languages of 
the surrounding nations 2 .' These instances will suffice 
to show that, in Oriental terminology also, the word 
Varangian. Varank^ bore, from the beginning of 
the eleventh century, its geographical signification 
of Scandinavians, more particularly Swedes, and no 

As far as regards the Byzantine terminology, it is 
true that the name Varangoi (Bapayyot) seems to be 
used there in the sense of a certain military force. 

1 See Memoires de TAcad. Imp. de St. Tetersbourg, serie vii. t. xxiii. 
p. 368. 

2 See Friihn, 1. c, p. 196. 


I think, however, that was not the original meaning 
of the word ; as employed by the Greeks it was 
also, at first, the popular 1 designation for the Scan- 
dinavians (especially the Swedes) as a nation and 
not merely the name of a particular body of troops. 
This is clearly indicated in Byzantine writings by 
the fact that we always find the name Varangoi 
co-ordinate with names of other nations. Thus, 
for instance, we frequently find 'Franks and Var- 
angians* mentioned together 2 . In a passage of 
Georgius Cedrenus 3 the Varangians are mentioned 
in opposition to the Romaioi, i. e. the native Greeks, 
as he says, 'the soldiers who kept watch in the 
palace, both Romaioi and Varangians ; ' and he (or a 
copyist) adds that the latter are ' a Celtic (!) nation.' 
The learned and literary princess Anna Comnena 
speaks of 'the Varangians from Thule/ which she 
further explains as 'the axe-bearing barbarians 4 ;' 
these she opposes first to a division of the native army 

1 Comp. Joh. Scylitzes, p. 80S ( = 644 in the Bonn edition), Bapdyyovt 

ailTOVS i) HOW)) UVOH<l(l 5ld\tKTOt. 

8 e.g. Georg. Cedrenus, p. 787 (under the date of 1050 a.d.), rci (rvp- 
fiaxnea irdvra, &pdyyov$ tprjfxl *ai Bapdyyov$ ; id., p. 789 (1052 A.D.), 
Qpdyyovt ital Bapdyyovs ; Joh. Scylitzes, p. 823 (under the date of :o68 
A.D.), it t\ (3aoi\tva arparuv errayufifvot (K t Mcnit86va>v xal BovXydpwv 
ital KanirafioKwv Kal Ovfav Kal rwv dkXcuv vapaTV\6vTwv IOvikujv vpbt Bi 
ital Qpdyyuv Kal Bapdyyw ; id., p. 858 (1078 a.d.), /ttrcl Bapdyyaiv ital 
Qpdyyojv irK'fjOovt noWov. 

* P. 792 (under the date of 1056 a.d.), ol <pv\doaovT(% h rep ira\ari<p 
OTpariunai, 'Pwpaiol rt ital Bdpayyot {ylvot 5i KtkriKov ol Bdpayyot fxiodo- 
QopovvTtt 'Fojftaioia). 

* Anna Comnena, p. 6 2 (under the date of 108 1 a.d.), tovs Ik rrj$ QoiXrjt 
Bapdyyovt {rovrovt 8t) Xlyoirovt ntktKv<ptpovt Qapfidpovs). Thule in Pro- 
copius and (from his example) in mediaeval Greek authors signifies the 
Scandinavian peninsula, Sweden and Norway; see Cronholm,\Yaiingania, 

I 2 



and then to the Nemitzoi^ \ who also/ she says, ' are a 
barbarous nation V 

Kunik has also lately discovered, in the chronicle 
of the South-Italian convent of the Monte Cassino, 
written by Leo Ostiensis, the same name in the 
Italianised form Guarani or Gualani^ and there the 
name is evidently employed as the name of a nation 
(viz. Swedes) ; thus ' Dani, Russi et Gualani ' are 
n entioned (under the date of 1009) as Greek auxiliary 
troops who had been sent to Apulia and Calabria 2 . 
An Old Norse Saga finally gives testimony in the 
same direction. It is said in Harald Hardrada\s Saga 
(ch. 3) that there were in Constantinople 'a great many 
Northmen, whom they there call Varangians 3 .' 

In a Russian work on the Varangians by Professor 
Vasilievski, which unfortunately is not accessible to 
me, the author is said to have proved that some 
Byzantines in the eleventh century used the two 
names Varatigot and R/iosas synonymes; and in some 
Greek documents lately discovered the two names form 
one compound word, Varangoi-Rhosox Rhos- Varcingoi*. 

p. 35 ff. Lund, 1832, and Werlauff in Det Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes 
Selskabs hist, og philos. Afhandlinger, vol. vii. p. 90 ft. 1845, 4to. 

1 Ibid., tovs Nc/arfovs (eOvos 5e ical rovro f}ap$apinov ml rrj (HaoiXtla 
Ta/xcuW 5ov\tvov dvimd(v). The Nemitzoi are evidently the Germans, 
whom the Slavs call Nemci. Comp. Constantine Porphyrogen. De 
cerimoniis aulae Byz. ii. p. 398 . . . th rov fifjya Xafavias [i. e. Saxonia], 
tit rbv prjya Baiovprj [i. e. Bavaria] (eariv be avrrj 7) X&P a * ^y^h VOi 

a See Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Petb., vii. serie, tome xxiii. 
p. 376 ff. 

3 * par var mikill fjoldi NorSmanna, er jjeir kalla Vxringja j' Forn- 
manna Siigur, vol. vi. p. 135. Copenhagen, 1831. 

* Mem. de l'Acad., Imp. 1. c, pp. 378 f. 409. 


Here the word can only have been used to signify a 
nation, and the same or nearly the same nation as that 
which the Greeks had previously known under the 
name of Rhos. The compound words Varangoi-Rhos 
or Rhos-Varangoi must then signify as much as 
* Swedish Northmen ' or ' Scandinavian Swedes/ 

From the proofs I have already produced I think it 
is clear that not only did the Greeks use the word 
Varangoi as the name of a nation (Scandinavians, 
Swedes), but even that this was its original and most 
ancient signification among them. It was only after- 
wards when the visits of the Scandinavians to Constan- 
tinople had become rarer, and when the body-guard 
which they had formed was recruited more and more 
from other nations, that the name was simply used as 
the name of a military body, armed with the same 
weapons, and holding the same peculiar position 
among the Imperial guards as once did the Scandi- 
navians. This is a change in the signification of a 
word to which it is easy to find parallels, whereas the 
employment of a word which first was used to signify 
body-guards to designate a nation of which this guard 
was chiefly composed, is certainly unexampled. I 
need only to remind you of the * Swiss guards ' of the 
French sovereigns and of the Pope at the present day, 
who continue to bear that name, though they have 
long ago ceased to consist exclusively of Swiss. The 
word Zouave also was at first the name of a single 
Arab tribe which levied the first troops of that par- 
ticular description, but now has come to signify all 
sorts of troops wearing uniforms similar to those of 
the original Zouaves. 


When we consult Scandinavian authorities we find 
this peculiarity, that though the Old Norse word Veer- 
ingjar (in the singular Vceringr or Vceringi) is true 
Norse, yet in signification it is half foreign, since it 
only signifies the Scandinavian body-guards in the 
service of the Greek emperor, and has no reference to 
Scandinavians in general nor to any other foreign 
troops at Constantinople : thus, for instance, in Hakon 
Herdibreid's Saga, chap. %\ \ the Vceringjar are dis- 
tinctly opposed to the Franks and Flemish, whose 
position in the Greek army was, however, about the 
same. The word cannot have obtained this significa- 
tion in the Scandinavian lands, it must have been 
carried back thither by Scandinavians who had been 
in Constantinople. It is quite a solitary case when 
we find the word Vceringjar in one Saga signifying 
Scandinavians or Northmen in general. This is the 
case in the comparatively modern Thidrek's Saga 
(from c. 1250 A.D.),and as several proofs occur in the 
same Saga that the author had been in Russia, or had 
relations there at least, inasmuch as he appears to 
be well acquainted with several localities there, it is 
probable that the peculiar employment of the word 
Vceringjar in this Saga is an imitation of the Russian 
signification of the word Variag\ whether the author 
wished to display his learning or found its use in this 
sense very practical 2 . This signification of the word is 
otherwise unknown in the North. 

1 Heimskringla eller Norges Kongesagaer udg. ved C. R. Unger, 
p. 776. Chrisliania, 1S68 ( = Fornmanna Sogur, vol. v. p. 137. Copen- 
hagen, 1830). 

* Comp. G. Storm, Sagnkredsene om Karl den Store og Didrik af 
Bern hos de nordiske Folk, p. 91 ff. Christiania, 1874. 


When we review the evidence here produced, it 
seems to me unquestionable that Varangian was 
always, among the eastern nations, a geographical or I 
national title, and that it signified the inhabitants of I 
Scandinavia, principally the Swedes. If that be the 
case, there can be^no doubt that the Greeks received! 
this name from Russia. Not only had the Scandi-! 
navians been known in Russia long before the Greeks 
made acquaintance with them, but it was even the 
Russ who first introduced them in Constantinople, 
and the Scandinavians who afterward repaired to 
Greece mostly travelled through Russia on their way 
thither. For this very reason it seems to me absurd 
to suppose that the word had been coined in Con- 
stantinople and afterwards taken thence to Russia. 
Whether the Arabs, in their turn, received this word 
from the Greeks or directly from Russia, must be left 

When we reflect, on the other hand, that the name 
is incontestably Scandinavian in its root, yet that it 
presents itself in Old Norse literature as a half-foreign 
word, only one explanation seems possible to me, an 
explanation which at the same time clears up all 
philological and historical difficulties. That is to sup-f 
pose that the word took its rise among the Scandi- ^ 

navians who in former times settled in Russia, that ^S^ 
is to say, among that tribe to which the Slavs applied | %y^ 
the name Russ, and that it is a designation given by 
them to their countrymen west of the Baltic, or, at' 
any rate, to those of them whom the brisk connection 
between ancient Russia and Scandinavia took over 
there. If this supposition be correct, we gain, in this 


purely Scandinavian name, a new proof of the Scan- 
dinavian nationality of the Russ. 

The form which is the basis of the Russian form 
Variag\ the Greek form Varangos, and the Arabic 
form Varank, seems to be Varing-, without the change 
of the a to & which we meet with in the Old Norse 
form Vccringi. As to the origin of this word, it must, 
at any rate, be derived from a basis vdr-. The Old 
Norse really possesses several words of this same 
form ; but among them there is certainly one only 
which in this case is satisfactory, namely, the same 
which has previously been referred to (see above, 
p. iii). Only, I think that the interpretation of the 
word Varangian, which from this view has been 
hitherto generally accepted, is not correct. 

In different Teutonic languages we find a word the 
most ancient form of which is vara (Old Norse vdr-ar, 
A. S. wdr, Old High German wdra, &c). The sig- 
nification of this word is (i) truth, faith, faithfulness; 
(2) ( = mediaeval Latin treuga) pledge, plighted faith, 
truce, peace ; (3) (with reference to that person who 
receives the vara of another) security, safeguard, 
protection 1 . In Old Norse the word vdr is used in 
the singular as the name of a goddess of faith 2 ; 
the plural vdrar signifies a pledge, plighted faith, 
especially between man and wife, sometimes between 
personal foes 3 , but never a military oath. Words 
akin to vdrar are in Old Norse the adjective varr % 

1 Comp. Miillenhoff in Zeitschrift fur deutsches Alterthum, vol. xvi. 
(N. F. iv.) 1873, p. 149. 

2 Comp. Bugge, Soemundar Edda, p. 128. Christiania, 1867. 

3 Sigrdrifumal 23 and 35, in Sxmundar Edda. 


'peaceful, safe; snug, comfortable; tranquil, easy;' 
and the substantives vari, ' abode, shelter,' and vara, 
' snugness, warmth ; a rest, shelter V A derivative 
horn the same basis is the Old Norse vceringr or 
vceringi. If we review the just mentioned words, 
it must certainly be considered highly improbable 
that this word should have any especial reference 
to personal military service. It can scarcely signify 
anything but a person who finds shelter and safety 
somewhere 2 . From this view it may be compared 
with the Anglo-Saxon word zvdrgenga, which in an 
old glossary is interpreted 'advena,' a foreigner, but 
the proper signification of which is doubtless the 
same ; in the Langobardian laws we find the corre- 
sponding word in the form waregang^ with just the 
.same meaning 3 . The name Varangian consequently 
signifies at first nearly as much as a denizen or a 

1 These words have nothing to do with the Old Norse vera, vesa, * to 
be,' Gothic visan, as may be seen from the Old Norse words tivarr, ' rest- 
less, fierce, uncomfortable' (modern Norwegian uvcer, ovcer, 'restless, 
uneasy, displeased'), iivceri, ' uneasiness,' which evidently correspond to 
the Gothic vnverjan, * to be displeased,' and unverei, * indignation ; ' but 
these Gothic words (together with tuzvcrjan, 'to doubt') are un- 
questionably derived from *vera, which would be the Gothic form of the 
original vara. 

8 In a verse in Egil's Saga we find the poe:ical compound fold-varingi , 
* earth-dweller, i.e. the snake ' (see Vigfusson, Icelandic Dictionary). The 
literal meaning may have been ' he who is sheltered in the earth.' 

* * Omnes waregang qui de exteras fines in regni nostri finibus adve- 
nerint, seque sub scuto potestatis nostrae subdederint, legibus nostris 
Langobardorum vivere debeant,' &c. Edictus Rothari, c. 367. In 
Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. de St. F&ersb., vii. serie, tome xxiii. pp. 2496*"., 
37a ff., 421, Kunik has already compared these words with the Old 
Norse varingi, attempting to assign to all of them the signification of a 
sworn attendant ; but, with all due respect to this admirable scholar, I 
cannot but consider this interpretation totally. wrong. 



metoecus ; such was undoubtedly the very con- 
dition of the Scandinavians who came over to Russia, 
while the mastery of the country belonged to a 
kindred Scandinavian tribe. 

This name, which was consequently at first the 'Rus- 
sian' denomination of the Scandinavians who came 
over to Russia, according to their politico-social posi- 
tion there, was adopted by the Slavs in Russia as the 
name of those people according to their nationality, and 
it was extended also to denote the inhabitants of the 
Scandinavian motherlands west of the Baltic, especially 
Sweden. With this signification it was transmitted 
to the other eastern* nations, among whom we find 
the word in use, and it thus gradually supplanted the 
more ancient name applied to the Scandinavians in 
the East, Russ, at the same time as this name changed 
its original signification. T hese two nam es, Russ and 
Varangian, far from having been synonymous, musT 
once] th ^r^ntfi i ry i hnyt bft?n nsiH in ^ppftirithn tfL 
each other. The relationship between them must have 
"Been about the same as between a 'Yankee' and 
an Englishman, or, among the Spaniards in America? 
between a Creole (criollo) and a t Chapeton' or a ' Ga- 
chupin,' as they call a Spaniard from Europe. The 
distinction, however, was gradually forgotten, espe- 
cially as the ancient Russ lost by degrees their primi- 
tive nationality and became Slavonicised. Therefore, 
according to the signification of the word in his time, 
Nestor may very well have defined the primitive 
Russ as a clan of the Varangians in one part of his 
history, and in another have drawn a distinction 
between the two names. In Scandinavia itself the 


word Varangian was of course unknown in its eastern 
signification ; in more recent times it was taken there 
again by Scandinavians who had resided in Constan- 
tinople, where the ' Russ ' and the * Varangians ' met 
and associated with each other, and where the word 
had been handed down to them by tradition ; in 
this manner it acquired in Scandinavia that re- 
stricted signification in which we find it used in the 
Old Norse Sagas. 

Several questions still remain concerning the ex- 
istence of the Scandinavian element in Russia. In the 
first place, How long did the primitive Russ, the ruling 
race in Kiev, maintain their Scandinavian nationality? 
When this tribe first obtained dominion over the Slavs, / 
it cannot, comparatively speaking, have been very' 
numerous ; besides the princely leaders it consisted 
chiefly of warriors ; still, though we learn nothing 
directly about it, there can be no doubt that, like 
other hosts of Northmen \ the Russ were accompanied 
by women. We know, for instance, that Rurik's son 
Igor was married to one of his country-women, 
named Olga (Helga), who was born in Pleskov. 
Yet even if this be so, still many of these emigrants 
certainly soon began to intermarry with the native 
Slavonic women. Under these circumstances it seems 
all the less possible that the descendants of the 
original settlers, living amidst a far more numerous 
Slavonic population, could have preserved their. 
Scandinavian nationality for more than the first three 
or four generations. So far as the reigning family 
is concerned, we find that Igor's son (born 942) bore 

1 Comp. J. Stcenstrup, Indlcdning i Normannertidcn, p. 270 ff. 


the purely Slavonic name Sviatoslav; and from his 
time Slavonic names, with but few exceptions, were 
exclusively used in the reigning family. When Svia- 
toslav's son Vladimir (who died 1015) officially intro- 
duced Christianity into Russia in 988, he made the 
Slavonic language the language. of the Church, and 
there is no doubt he at that time considered himself 
ill all respects a Slav, though he probably was still ac- 
quainted with the language of his forefathers. In the 
time of his son and successor Yaroslav (4- 1054) the 
fragile traditional ties which still bound the Russian 
princes to the Scandinavian nationality were com- 
pletely severed. 

Though about the year 1000 the reigning house 
in Kiev may be considered essentially Slavoniciscd, 
it does not necessarily follow that by this time the 
Scandinavian element had entirely disappeared from 
Russia. There is much to indicate that the Russian 
race was continually recruited by Varangian immi- 
grants from the Scandinavian lanp!s ; who came, not 
merely to serve for some time at the Russian court 
or in the Russian army, but also to settle perma- 
nently in Russia. According to the German writer 
Thietmar, the population in Kiev even in the year 
1018 consisted ( chiefly of Danes 1 / whereby he cer- 
tainly does not mean exclusively Danes in the stricter 

1 ' In magna hac civitate (Ki/ava, i. e. Kiev), que istius regni caput est, 
plus quam quadringente (quadraginta ?) habentur ecclesiae et mercatus 8, 
populi autem ignota manus, quae sicut omnia haec provincia ex fugiti- 
vorum robOre servorum hue undique confluencium, et maxime ex velocibus 
Danis, multum se nocentibus Pecinegis hactenus resistebat et alios vin- 
cebat.' Thietmari Chronicon, in Pertz, Monumcnta Germ, hist., Script., 
vol. Hi. p. 871, 




sense of the word, but Scandinavians in general, in 
the sense in which this name- was used in England 
at that time. From this and other evidence we seem 
entitled to conclude that the Scandinavian element 
was largely represented at Kiev even at the beginning 
of the eleventh century. But about this period the 
stream of reinforcements from the North ceases ; for 
the abnormal conditions which had given the im- 
pulse to the Northmen's expeditions had long since 
ceased to exist. The complete establishment of 
Christianity had given an entirely new aspect to 
social life in the North, and the internal state of the 
Scandinavian countrie s claimed nil thf* *n*>rgi*g ^f Vi*> 
inhab i tant*. With about the year 1030 the Viking 
period is therefore considered to be at an end, and, in 
accordance with this, the Varangians are mentioned 
for the last time as subsidiaries in the Russian army 
in 1043 \ The few Scandinavians who were to be 
found at that time in Russia proper (i. e. Kiev) were 
left to their fate, which it is not difficult to imagine. 

The state of affairs was, however, different in Nov- 
gorod and its district. Having been abandoned by 
the Russian clan, it had maintained for some consider- 
able time a fairly independent position as the rival 
of Kiev, and attained to considerable importance by 
means of its flourishing trade, to which its favour- 
able situation and easy communication with the sea 
through Lake Ladoga greatly contributed. There the 
Scandinavian element was still more largely repre- 

1 Geo. Cedruius, p. 551 ; comp. Muralt, Chronographie Byzantine, 
p. 627, and Kunik in Memoires de l'Acad. Imp. de St. Petersb., vii. 
se>ie, tome xxiii. p. 306*. 



sented than in Kiev, as many Varangians, Scandi- 
navians from Sweden, particularly from Gothland, 
repaired thither for the sake of trade. How large 
this Scandinavian element was, may be guessed from 
Nestor's statement that Novgorod was I a Varangian 
town ;' and we learn from other sources that the Goth- 
landers had a large guildhall there in the twelfth 
century, and that there was a Varangian church 
there, &c. But from the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries the Scandinavians were forced to give way 
to the Germans, and the lucrative Novgorod trade 
passed into the hands of the German Hanse Towns. 

In conclusion, the question is, What influence after 
all has the Scandinavian element had upon the 
native element in Russia, and what traces has it left 
of its presence in former times ? One thing is certain : 
if we could analyse the blood which flows in the 
veins of the ruling race of modern Russia, we should 
scarcely discover in it a drop derived from a Scan- 
dinavian source. While in this respect the Finnish 
tribes which once inhabited so large a portion of 
the Russian empire may have exercised a somewhat 
important influence, the number of Scandinavians 
there was comparatively so small, that in physical 
respects they could hardly have had any permanent 

That in manners and customs, in social life and 
political institutions in Russia, traces of Scandinavian 
influence were long to be found, is undoubted. But 
how many or how few these traces were is an ex- 
tremely difficult question. To answer it would 
necessitate much preliminary research, which indeed 


ought to be undertaken, according to the modern 
principles of science, but which at present has not 
been attempted. 

More marked and distinct are the effects produced 
on the Russian tongue by the influence of a Scandi- 
navian language. And yet here too close examination 
of this question presents considerable difficulties. On 
one hand, we may easily be misled in this respect by 
resemblances which are due to the original affinity 
between the Slavonic and the Teutonic languages (the 
Slav. grad*, in Russian gorod\ a town, for instance, is 
a genuine Slavonic word, akin to the Old Norse 
garftr, &c). On the other hand, we shall perceive that 
not only the Russian, but also the other Slavonic 
languages, contain a great many words which are 
doubtless of Teutonic origin 1 ; but we shall also 
observe that these words are by no means homo- 
geneous, and that they belong to different strata 
of language. Thus there are many words common, 
more or less, to all the Slavonic languages, which must 
have been adopted from the language of the Goths, 
when the Slavs still dwelt together east of the Vis- 
tula: for instance, Slav, st'klo (, glass, from the 
Gothic stikls, a goblet ; Slav. uscr(g' (oycepui), user$z' 
(oycepA3b), an earring, from the Gothic ausa-hringSy &c. 
A great many other words* have been borrowed 
from the German, partly in modern, partly in earlier 

When we have carefully separated these several 

1 Comp. Miklosich, Die Fremdwiirter in den Slavischen Sprachen, in 
Denkschriften der phil.-hist. Classe der kais. Akadcmie, vol. xv. Wien. 


strata of Teutonic words, there will remain some 
which only occur in Russian, and not in the other 
Slavonic languages; these in form also betray a 
Scandinavian origin. In these words we are entitled 
to see memorials of the Scandinavian element which 
once played so important a part in the history of 
Russia. The greater portion of these words are only 
to be found in ancient Russian documents, inasmuch 
as they indicate things and ideas which are now out 
of date. Other words are preserved only in certain 
dialects ; but unfortunately the Russian dialects have 
not as yet been thoroughly investigated, and it is 
therefore impossible for me to offer an exhaustive 
list of such words l . The words of that kind which 
I have noticed, and which I unhesitatingly affirm are 
of Scandinavian origin, are the following : 

Old Russian ask\ yasV (aer*, hckx), a box, modern 
Russian yaslichik ' (nmnirb), = Old Norse ask-r, Old 
Swedish ask-cr, Modern Swedish ask. 

Old Russian grid' (rpiut), a body-guard, atten- 
dant (of the ancient Russian princes), = Old Norse 
grift, a domicile, home, with the notion of service 
(gri^Sma^r^ a servant, lodger). 

Russian dial, kerb' (nepOb), a bundle of flax, = Old 
Norse kerf, kjarf, Swedish karfve, a bundle. 

Russian hint" (Knyn,), a whip, scourge, = Old Norse 
hmt-r % Old Swedish knut-er, a knot. 

1 Words of Scandinavian origin in Russian dialects (GiOBa ofaacrnaro 
c.!OBapfl cxoauLifl ci CKOHjiiHaBCKHMn) have been collected by Grot in his 
*n.!0.ioruR'CKiH pa3MCKaiiifl, pp. 430-442, St. Petersb., 1873; but I think 
that only a very small portion of his list can be admitted by a more 
severe criticism. 


Russian lar* (iapw), a chest, = Old Swedish lar, 
modern lar. 

(Russian lava (jaBa), a bench, couch, = Swedish 
lafve ?). 

Old Russian luda (jyaa), a kind of dress, a cloak, 
= Old Norse lefoi, a fur-cloak ; Iffi, the shagginess 
of cloth. 

(Russian dialect (Arkhangelsk) riiizha^ riuza (pwata, 
p3a), a bow-net, weel, = Swedish rysja, id., which 
has also given the Finnish rysa). 

Russian dialect skiba (cuiiGa), a slice of bread, = 
Swedish ski/va, id. 

Old Russian stiag* (cm*), a banner, in modern 
dialects (Novgorod, Pskov) a pole, = Old Swedish 
slang, Old Norse stbng s a pole, a banner (the Russian 
sound ta, ya t corresponds to original en or an). 

Russian stut (ctj.ii), a chair, perhaps = Old Norse 
stSll, Swedish stol (rather than = German stu/il, which 
should probably in Russian have received the form 

Old Russian snd* (cm), name of Bosporus, = Old 
Norse and Swedish stind, a sound, straits. 

Old Russian shneka (mum), a kind of ship, = Old 
Norse snekkja, id. ; the Old French esneque, mediaeval 
Latin isnechia, must also have been borrowed from 
the Northmen. 

Old Russian ttnn', tivurt (rim, mm), a steward, 
manager (always a serf), = Old Norse pjdnn, a ser- 
vant, attendant; the Old Swedish form would be 
piun. The Russian finn corresponds in its signi- 
fication to what is commonly called in Old Norse 
bryti ; but the word pjdnn seems to have been used 



sometimes in a similar special signification ; comp. 
the Norwegian Old Gulathings-law r ch. 198, where 
pjdnn and bryti are mentioned together as the chief 

Old Russian yabednik? (HOejnuin,), an officer in ancient 
Novgorod ; comp. Old Norse embatti> Old Swedish 
ccmbiti, an office (?). 

Russian yakor (flKopb), an anchor, = Swedish ankare 
(Old Norse akkeri). 

Though this list does not pretend to be exhaustive, 
we can say with certainty that the number of these 
words is not very large ; yet they contribute to com- 
plete the picture I have tried to sketch in these 

We have seen that, according to the old Russian 
tradition, which . is unanimously corroborated by 
abundance of other evidence of different kind, the 
first organisation of the Russian state was due to 
Scandinavians, Russ being the name by which, in 
ancient times, the Northmen were designated among 
the eastern nations ; no serious criticism will ever 
be able to refute this fact. It is the Northmen who 
laid the foundation en which the native Slavs have 
raised a colossal superstructure, and the insignificant 
germ planted by them has developed into one of the 
greatest empires the world has ever seen. 


(Compare pp. 67-73.) 


Dipl S.=Diplomatarium Suecanum. Holmiae, 1829, ss., 4to. 

Dyb. fol. m Sverikes Runurkunder granskade och utgifne af Rich. Dybeck. 

Stockholm, 1860-76, fol. Vol. i. Upland (U.). Vol. ii. Stock- 

holmsliin (St.). 
Dyb. 8vo. = Svenska Runurkunder, utgifne af Rich. Dybeck. Stockholm, 

1855-57. g vo- 
Forstemann = E. Forstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch. Vol. i. Per- 

sonennamen. Nordhausen, 1855, ss., 4 to - 
L. Runurkunder, utgifne af Joh. G. Liljegren. Stockholm, 1833, 8vo. 
Steph.=The Old Northern Runic Monuments of Scandinavia and 

England, collected and deciphered by George Stephens. Vol. 

i-ii. London and Kobenhavn, 1866-68, fol. 
O.N. -Old Norse. 
The date under which each name occurs is added in parenthesis. 

Adulb' (945) -O.N. Auhulfr, AUpULFR L. 70 ( = 
Dyb. fol. U. 129). AdulpAus, Dipl. S. iii. pp. 99, 251, 271 
(Upland). Compare A.S. Eddwulf, Old German Audu/f t 
Forstemann, p. 180. 

Adun' (945) = O.N AwStmn. AUp.N, L. 588 ( = Dyb. 
fol. St. 171). ,UpUN L. 879 (Sodermanland). AUpIN L. 
1355 (W. Gotland). 0dinnus, Dipl. S. iii. p. 91. Compare 
A.S. Eddwinc, O. Germ. Audowin, Forstemann, p. 179. 

Aktevu (912) O. N. Angantyr (A.S. Ongenfiedw)} 

Akun* (945), Yakun' (1024 and often) O. N. Hdkun{n). 
1IAKUN occurs extremely often in Swedish Runic inscrip- 

K 2 


tions, for instance L. 312 ( = Dyb. fol. U. 1), 83 (- ib. 134), 
601 ( = ib. St. 247), &c. AKUN y L. 572 (Upl.). Hacun, 
Danish earl (Sax. Chron.). 

Aldan' (945) = 0. N. Halfdanr. One of the most common 
names in Swedish Runic inscriptions, written IIALFTAN, 
HALTAN, ALFTAN. Haldanus, Dipl. S. iii. pp. 90, 261. 
A.S. Heal/dene (Beowulf; Sax. Chron., A.D. 871, 875, 876). 

Alvard' (945) - O. N.- Hallvarbr. ALVARp, L. 1480 
( = Steph. 812). Halwardus, Dipl. S. iii. pp. 86, 91, 93, 95, 

Ainun'cV (945) = O. N. Amundi; AMUT1, L. 820, 825, 
835, 840 (Sodermanland) ; Amundus, Dipl. S. iii. pp. 100, 10 1, 
(Upland) ; or = O. N. Hdmundr ; HAMUNTI, L. 7 5o ( = Dyb. 
fol. U. 115) ; Hamundils, Dipl. S. iii. p. 98 (Upl.) ; compare 
A.S. Heahmimd ; or = O. N. Eymundr ; AIJ/UNT,L. 959, 
1053 ; EUMUNT, L. 1220 ; UMUT, L. 1 186. 

Apub'ksar', Apubkar', Pub'ksar', Pupsar' (945), a 
corrupt name in which may be concealed the O. N. Ospakr ; 
USBAKA, L. 943; OSBAKR, L. 1223. 

Ar'fast' (945) = O. N. Antfastr, particularly used in 
Sweden and Denmark. ARNFASTR, L. 33, 1050. AR- 
FASTR, L. 86 (Upland). 'Aruas/us, Dipl. S. iii. p. 89 (Upl.). 
Arnfastus, Saxo, p. 578. 

AskolcV see Oskold'. 

Asmud' (tutor of Igor's son Sviatoslav; c. 945) = O. N. 
Asmtmdr. Extremely common in Swedish Runic inscriptions, 
; and indeed in all Scandinavian countries. A.S. 'Osmund, 
O. Germ. Amemu/id, Forstemann, p. 109. 

Bern* (945) = O.N. Bfirn. One of the most common 
names everywhere in Scandinavia; in Runic inscriptions 
BIARN, BIORN, BIURN, BIRN t &c, in Latin documents 
Bero. A.S. Beom, O. Germ. Bero, Forstemann, p. 224. 

Bruny (945) = O. N. Brtini. Common in Swedish re- 
cords, very rare elsewhere in Scandinavia. BR UNI occurs, 


in Runic inscriptions from Upland, L. 685, 709, Dyb. fol. U. 
85, 86 ( Steph. p. 733); from Sodermanland, L. 934 ( 
Steph. p. 716); Dyb. 8vo. 41 ; from Nerike, L. 1029, 1038 ; 
from East Gotland, L. 1187. Bruno, Dipl. S. i. p. 188. 
O. Germ. Brum, Forstemann, p. 283. 

Budy (1018) - O.N. Bdndi. BUANTI, Dybeck, Runa 3, 11. 
BUTNA (for BUNTA\ L. 348 ( = Steph. p. 792); Borido, 
(Bound), Dipl. S. iii. pp. 95, iqi, 584, 656 (Upland), &c. 

Buyefast' see Vuyofast*. 

Dir (862) = O.N. Dyri. TIURI, L. 265, Steph. p. 633 
(Upland); L. 1154 (East Gotland). TURI, L. 65 (Upl.); 
1 1 79 (East Gotland). 770/57, L. 1003. Dyre, Dipl. S. iii. 
p. 100. Compare O. Germ. Dioro, Forstemann, p. 337. 

Egri (945) = O. N. *Hegri. Hcgherus, Dipl. S. iii. p. 336. 

Emig' (945) = O.N. Hemingr. Extremely common in all 
the Scandinavian countries. HIMINKR, HIMIKR, IIENMIKR, 
HEMIK\ &c. in Runic inscriptions. Compare A.S. Heming. 

Erlisk', Evlisk' (945), probably miswritten for Erlik 
= 0. N. Erlingrr 

Eton' (945)? 

Farlof (907 and 912) - Farul/r, common in certain 
parts of Sveden, unknown in the rest of Scandinavia. 
FARULFR occurs in Runic inscriptions from Upland, Dyb. 
fol. St. 20, 248, L. 434, 439 ( = Steph. p. 618), 602, 827 ; 
from Sodermanland, Dyb. 8vo. 39; from East Gotland, L. 
1 176. Farulphus Dipl. S. iii. p. 90 (Upl.). &c. Compare O. 
Germ. Faraulf, Farulf, Forstemann, p. 400. 

Post' (912) = Fasti, Fasir, Scarcely used except in Swe- 
den, but very common there. We find it in inscriptions 
from Upland, L. 151 ( = Dyb. fol. U. 202), 158, 224, 261, 
277. 452. 462 ( = ib. St. 104), 463, 464 ( = ib. 97), 573 
(ib. 187), 589 ( = ib. 172), 641; from Sodermanland, L. 
818, 837, 949 ; from East Gotland, L. 1 133, 1657. Fasio Dipl. 
S. iii. pp. 99, 258 (Upl.); Fas/ce ib. ii. p. 394 (Sodermanland). 


Frasten' (945), Prasten' (945, thrice) = O.N. Freysteinn, 
One of the most common names in Swedish records (in 

Frelaf or Frelav' (912) = O. N. FnlS/ei/r, Frilleifr. 
Compare O. Germ. Friduleib, Forstemann, p. 427. 

Frudi (945) = O. N. FrAk\ FRUpA (accus.), L. 1096 
(East Gotland). Frodho Dipl. S. iv. p. 16. Compare A.S. 
Froda (Beowulf), O. Germ. Frodo, Forstemann, p.. 432. 

Frutan (945) ? 

Fur'stdn' (945) probably = O. N. porsteimi, an extremely 
common name. As to f J>, compare Russian Feodor* =* 
Greek Q(68<opos. 

GomoP (945) = O. N. . Gamall ; frequent in Sweden, 
especially in Upland (for instance A'AMAL, L. 166, 210, 371, 
475, 558, 651, 781), rare in Norway, unknown in this form 
in Iceland (whereas Gamli occurs there). 

Grim* (945) = O. N. Grimr ; very common in the whole 
of Scandinavia. 

Gudy (912 and 945) = Runic KUpI t L. 362 (Upland), 
1235, which may represent either Go<Sz\ from grfSr, good 
(compare Gothe, Dipl. S. iii. p. . 88, and A.S. Goda, Sax. 
Chron., A.D. 988, O. Germ. Godo, Forstemann, p. 529), or 
GtiSi Icelandic gd&i, a priest. 

Gnnar' (945) = O. N. Gimnarr. Extremely frequent, also 
in Sweden. A.S. GwShcre, O. Germ. Gwidachar, Forstemann, 
p. 562. 

Gunastr' (945) = O. N. Gunnfasir ; a name peculiar to 
Sweden, which more frequently- occurs in the form GulS- 
fastr (Runic KUpFASTR). 

Igel'd' In'gel'd* (912 and 945) = O.N. Ingjaldr. IN- 
KIALTR, IKIALTR in Runic inscriptions, Ingeldus in Latin 
documents. A.S. Ingeld (Beowulf), O. Germ. Ingild i Forste- 
mann, p. 784. 


Igor' (H-945),*lyyw/>,*ryyop in Greek documents, Inger in 
Liudprand, = O. N. Ingvarr. Very common in Sweden, parti- 
cularly in Upland and SodermanlancL Besides the inscriptions 
mentioned above (p. 81 f.) we have INKVAR, L. 436 ( = 
Dyb. fol. St. 128), 484 ( = ib. 135), 601 ( = ib. 247), 605, 650 
( - ib. 23), 927 (Sodermanl.), &c. 1KVAR, L. 437 ( = Dyb. 
fol. St. 127), 562 ( = ib. 236), 1 106 (East Gotland). INGVAR, 
Dyb. fol. St. 81 ( = L. 423). Inguarus is extremely frequent 
in Dipl. S. Compare O. Germ. Inguheri, Forstemann, 
p. 785. 

In'gerd' see Igel'cV. 

IngivlacV (945) = 0. N. Ingivaldr. A name peculiar to 
Sweden. INKIVALTR for instance L. 83, 48i( = Steph. 
p. 788). Ingiualdus, Ingeualdus very often in diplomata. 

Iskusev', Iskusevi (945) ? 

Istr' (945) = ISTRC/R, L. 753 ( = Dyb. fol. U. 120)? or 
= O. N. Eistr, in Runic inscriptions AIST(R) t IST(R) ? 

Ivor* (945, 1 109, &c.) = 0. N lyarr, a common Scan- 
dinavian name. 

Kanitsar' {Kanimar ? 945)? 

Karl' (907) = O. N. Karl. One of the most frequent 
names in Sweden. Compare O. Germ. Carl, Forstemann, 

P. 303. 

Karly (912) = O.N. Karli. KARLI, L. 1557 (East 
Gotland). Just as in O. N. we find the forms Karl and 
Karli applied indiscriminately to the same person, it seems 
to be the same man that is called in 907 Karl' and in 912 

Kara' (912) = Kami, whence the accusative case KARNA, 
L. 1 1 88 (East Gotland)? Elsewhere unknown. 

Karshev' (945) = O.N. Karhefni? or KARSI, L. 506, 
515 (Upland)? 

Kary (945) = O. N. Kdn\ frequent in all the Scandi- 
navian countries. 


Klek' (94$)mKiaW {KLAKI, L. 936, 1278, 1400)? 
Some manuscripts have VIekov' or Skkotf instead of Kkkov'. 

Y A' (945) = O.N. Kollr, which rather frequently occurs 
in Sweden, for instance, Collo, Dipl. S. iii.p. 101 (Upl.), Coll, 
Saxo, p. 381. 

Kuci (945) perhaps = O. N. Kussi, (a calf). This word, 
which is often used as a surname, may undoubtedly, though 
I can quote no instance of it, have been employed also as 
a personal name quite as well as the synonym Kalfr, which 
is very frequent in this use. (The name KUSI is perhaps 
to be found in the Runic inscription Dyb. fol. St. 196 = 
Dyb. 8vo. 69.) ' 

Libi (945) ? 

LiduP (9i2) = O.N. LatSuI/r} Compare Z7TC T LP,L. 4 

Liut' (975) may be = O. N. ZJd/r, LIUTR, L. 274, Dyb. 
fol. U. 214; but it may just as well be Slavonic (///', cruel). 

Malfrid' ( + 1000) = O. N. MalmftvSr, Mdlfrf&r. 

Mony (945) = Manni (from md<Sr, tnann, a man) which 
does not appear to occur in the Norse-Icelandic Saga-litera- 
ture, but is common in Sweden and Denmark. Mamie, Dipl. 
S. i. p. 53 (Skane) ; iii. p. 92 (Upland); Manno, ib. i. p. 708 
(Smaland). Comp. A.S. Manna, Sax. Chron., A.D. 921, O. 
Germ. Matinus, Manni, Forstemann, p. 903. It must be well 
distinguished from the O.N. name Mam (literally the moon), 
which in Slavonic could not become Mony but only Many. 
In Runic inscriptions we often find MANI (e.g. from Upland 
L. 491, 616, 617, from Sodermanland L. 860, 901), which 
doubtless mostly represents Manni, double letters being un- 
known in Runic writing. 

Mutur' or Muter* (945) = O.N. Mti&porr? or Munporr? 
neither of these names occur in the records, but may very 
well be supposed. 

Oleb' or Uleb' (945) = 0. N. Oleifr, afterwards 6lafr. 


One of the most common names in all Scandinavia. The 
Slavonic e presupposes the O. N v diphthong ei (or at), and 
in Swedish Runic inscriptions we really always find it 
written OLAIFR or ULA1FR. A.S. Anldf. 

Ol'ga (the wife of Igor, + 969), *EAya in Greek authors = 
O. N. Helga. 

Ol'g', Oleg (+913) = O.N, Helgi (comp. A.S. Hdlga). 
Both this name and the preceding one are very frequent in all 
parts of the Scandinavian countries. They must originally have 
been adopted by the Slavs in the forms Yetg % Yel'ga (com- 
pare the Greek *E\ya) ; afterwards ye was changed into 
according to a phonetic law peculiar to Russian; compare 
Russian oliri = O. Slav, yeleri, a deer ; Russ. odiri = O. Slav. 
yediri, one ; O. Russ. oliad\ a galley, from the Greek 


Ol'ma = O. N. Holmi, a frequent name in Sweden (L. 
513, 522, 554, 628, 657, 1038, 1236)? 

OskolcV or Askold* (862) = O.N. Hoshddr (in Irish 
records Ascalt, comp. The War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill, 
ed. by J. H. Todd, p. 233. London, 1867). 

Prasten' see Frasten*. 

Roald' see Ruald\ 

Rogned' (daughter of Rogvolod',+ 1000) * O. N. Ragn* 
heftr, RagneiZr. Compare O. Germ. Reckinheid> Forstemann, 
p. 1018. 

Rogvolod' ('had come from beyond the sea;' prince 
of Polotsk ; 980) = O. N. Ragjwaldr. RAHNVALTR, L. 
397 ( = Dyb. fol. St. 46); RAKNVALT, L. 436, 437 ( = ib. 
127, 128) ; Ragualdus, Dipl. S. iii. p. 87, 260 (Upl.), &c. 

Ruald* (912 and 945), Roald' (A. 945)= O.N. Hrdaldr. 
HRUALTR, Dyb. 8vo. 2. Hroald Danish earl, Sax. Chron. 
A.D. 918. Comp. O. Germ. Hrodowald, Forstemann, p. 741. 

Ruar' (912) = O.N. HrSarr. HRUAR, L. 1329 (West 
Gotland); RC/AR, L. 1104 (East Gotland); A' UARI (dative), 


Dyb. 8vo. 46 (Sodermanland). Roams, Dipl. S. iii. p. 163. 
Perhaps = A.S. J7ro*gdr t O. Germ. Hrodgar, Forstemann, 
p. 727. 

Rulav' (907 and 912) = O.N. Hrfoleifr, Hrolleifr. 
RULAJFR, L. 1550 ( = Dyb. fol. Upl. 34); RULEFR, L. 174 
(UpL); RULIF{R\ L. 143, 165 ( = Dyb. fol. Upl. 208), 973 
(Sodermanland). Rodlevus> Dipl. S. iii. p. 101 (Upl.). Compare 
O. Germ. Hrodleif^ Forstemann, p. 735. 

Rurik , ,Riurik , (862) = O.N.Hrarekr. HRURIKR.'^ 
(East Gotland). R^rik, Dipl. S. iii. p. 97 (Upl.); Rfyricus, 
ib. ii. pp. 8, 37, 88, 102, 105 ; iii. pp. 89, 94, 256, &c. A.S. 
Hre^ric, O. Germ. Hrodric, Ruodrich, Forstemann, p. 740. 

Sfan'da? (945; the reading is not certain) a female 
name the first element of which appears to be O. N. Svan- 
(as in O. N. Sva/i/u'/dr, Svanlaug, &c). 

SfirV, Sfir'ka (945) = Sverkir, a frequent name in 
Sweden where several kings bore this name. In Norway 
and Iceland the form Svrkvir had the preference. 

ShibricV (945) = O. N. Sigfri^r (in the Sagas always 
Sigfr&r, Signer). SIKFIRUpR, L. 126 ( = Dyb. fol. Upl. 
156); SIKRITR, L. 80 ( = ib. 148, Steph. 723); S///FR/fiR, L. 
173 1. Sigfridus, DipL S. iii. pp. 99, 389. Compare O. Germ. 
Sigi/n'd, Forstemann, p. 1091. 

Shikh'bern' or Shigobern' (945) = Sigbfirn, which never 
appears in O.N. book-literature, but is very common in 
Swedish records. S1KBIARN, L. 294 ( = Dyb. fol. Upl. 256), 
545 ( = ib. St. 2x4). S///B/ARN, L. 523, 780 (Upland). 
S1KBIURN) L. 1061, 1133, &c. Sigbernus, Dipl. S. iii. pp. 
98, 112, 541. Compare O. Germ. Sigipero, Forstemann, 
p. 1088. 

Sineus* (862) = O.N. St'gniutr (Sign/of r), which often 
occurs in Upland, but scarcely elsewhere in the North, never 
in the Saga-literature. SIKNWt,R % L. 204, 360 ( = Dyb. fol. 
St. 70), 669 ( = ib. Upl, 58). SIKNIOT, L. 500 ( = ib. St. 


144). SIHNIUTR, Steph. 620 ( = L. 269). SIHNIUTA, L. 
214 ( = Dyb. fol. U. 189). Signiatus, Dipl. S. i. p. 530. 

Sinko Borich, Isino Kobirich, Isin'ko Birich (945), 
a corrupt name which can hardly be restored. 

Sludy (945) = Slfci. Frequent in S5dermanland and 
Upland, elsewhere unknown. From Sodermanland : SLOpJ t 
L. 916, 953 ( = Steph. 741), 966 ( = Save in Kgl. Vitterhets, 
Hist, och Antiquitets Akademiens Handlingar, vol. xxvi. 
p. 356. Stockholm, 1869), Dyb. 8vo. 41, 83. From Upland : 
SLUpI, L. 280, Dyb. fol. Upl. 142. 

Stemid' (907 and 912) perhaps = O.N. Steinvv&r, though 
no example of this name seems to be preserved ; but names 
in -vvCr were extremely common and numerous in Sweden. 

Stengi (written Steggi ; 945) perhaps = O. N. Eteingeirr 
{STA/NKIR t Dyb. 8vo. 40) ? 

Stir* (945) = O.N. Styrr. STUR, L. 162 (Upl.). S/yr, 
Dipl. S. iii. p. 98 (ib.). 

Stud'k', Studek' (945) = Sla&ingr, a name which is 
known only from Upland and East Gotland. In East Got- 
land occurs STUpIKR, L. 113 ( = Steph. 614); in Upland 
STUplK, L. 128 ( = Dyb. fol. Upl. 154); STOpINKR, L. 206 
( = ib. 182). {Slyinge, Dipl. S. iii. pp. 88, 89; Stying, ib. 
p. 89?) 

Sven' (945) = O. N. Sva'nn. One of the most frequent 
names in Sweden, and indeed in all Scandinavian countries. 

Svenald' (945 and later) = Sveinaldr, which often occurs 
in Sweden, but scarcely outside that country. SVINALTR, 
L. 469 ( = Dyb. fol. St. 113). SVA1NALTI, L. 917 (Soder- 
manland). SVAINALTR, L. 11 23 (East Gotland). Suanaldus, 
Dipl. S. iii. p. 95 (Upl.) ; Swena/dus, ib. iv. p. 646. 

Tilen*, Tiloi, or Tirei (945), a corrupt name of very 
uncertain form. 

Truan? (9 12)* O.N. (*pr6andr) prtindr, prdndr. pO- 
ROJVrR,L. i)o ( = Dyb. fol. Upl. 205); pRC/.VT,L. 11 76 


(East Gotland). Thronder, Dipl. S. iii. p. 65. Compare O. 
Germ. Throand^ Fcrstemann, p. 1198. 

Truvor' (862)*= O.N. porvar^r. In Sweden and Den- 
mark we sometimes find the syllable por- in similar names 
changed into pru-, Tru-\ com^zrepRUNIUTR ior pURNIUTR, 
L. 806; Thrugotus, Saxo p. 596 =porgau/r; Thrugillus (Saxo 
p. 513, Dipl. S. ii. p. 257, Langebek, Scriptores rerum Dan. 
viii. 233, &c), Swedish Truts, Danish Trueh = O.N. porgih ; 
Swedish Truve (Raaf, Ydre-Mulet eller Folkdialekten i Ydre 
Harad af Oster Gotland, p. 124. Orebro 1859), probably = 
O. N. porvi^r. 

Tuky (1068) =-- O.N. T6kL Frequent, especially in Swe- 
den and Denmark. 

Tulb* (945) =po/fr, which occurs only in Sweden and 
Denmark: pULFR, L. 1120 (East Gotland), 1416 (Skane). 
(Some manuscripts have Tuad\ of which Miklosich in his 
edition of Nestor makes Trua(T ; but this correction is un- 
necessary and scarcely can be right). 

Tur'bern' (945) = O. N. porbjorn. Extremely frequent 
everywhere in the North. 

Tur'brid' (945) - O. N. por/ribr. pORFRlp L. 367 ( = 
Dyb. fol. St. 2). pURFRJp L. 1098 (East Gotland). In 
O. N. book-literature this name has the form pdrro&r (com- 
pare S/iibnd 1 ). 

Turd* (945) = O. N. porbr.\ w , ' 

Tury (945) - O. N. Porir. ) Both extreme1 ^ fre( * Uent - 

Ul'b' (945) = O. N. Ulfr, if this reading is the true one. 
The manuscripts have Uleb' which may be = O. N. Ohifr 
(compare Oleb'). 

Ustin* (945) perhaps = O.N. Eysteinn ; but the reading 
of the name is not certain. 

Ver'mud' (907 and 912) = O. N. Vermundr. 

Voist' Voikov' (945), two very doubtful names. 

Vuyefast' (945) perhaps = O. N. V/fastr. V1FAST, L. 


41 ( = Dyb. fol. Upl. 42), 318 ( - ib. 6). Vyfaster, Dipl. S. ii. 
p. 231, Viuastir ib. S. iii. p. 89. Miklosich in his edition of 
Nestor gives Buyefast', perhaps - Bo/as/r, compare Bo/ester, 
Dipl. S. i. p. 188 ; Bowas/us, ib. iii. p. 657. 
* Vualfiv' or Vuzleb* (945) ? 

Yakun* see Akun\ 

Yatviag', Yavtiag' or Yastiag' (945)? 


(To pp. 52-66.) 

In the Dutch Review * Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca philologica 
Batava/ Nova Series, vol. iv. pars iv. pp. 378-382, Professor 
C. G. Cobet has lately published that passage of Constantine 
Porphyrogenitus in which he gives us the names of the 
Dnieper rapids, according to a new and exact collation of the 
chief MS. of this author. This MS. is written on parchment, 
in the eleventh or twelfth century, and is preserved in the 
National Library at Paris (No. 2009, 4^.0.). The same 
Library possesses also another MS. of inferior value (No. 
2967 fol.), written on paper in the fifteenth century; this 
MS., according to Professor Cobet, is a mere copy of the 
other. The small specimen Prof. Cobet gives us sufficiently 
proves how uncritical all the previous editions of this author 
are, and how much a new edition is to be desired. 

Among the names of the rapids there are two for which 
Prof. Cobet has proved that the traditional forms which we 
find in the printed editions are not correct. As the interpre- 
tation of these two names must be somewhat modified in 
consequence of this discovery by which I could not profit 
before the conclusion of my manuscript I shall venture to 
give here some additional remarks upon this subject. 

The name of the fourth rapid (p. 57 ff.) is not in Russ 
*Ai<j)dp 1 A'ifar> as the printed editions have hitherto con- 
stantly given it, but according to both MSS. 'A(t<j>6p t A'ifor 


This reading gives us at once a still better interpretation than 
that which I propounded above (p. 63). The name now un- 
doubtedly turns out to be a compound, of which the Former 
part is the Old Norse particle et\ ey, a, ever, while the latter 
part is the Old Norse adjective forr, forward, precipitate, 
violent, and not the substantive fan. This adjective, which 
is still used in Norway in the form for (see I. Aasen, Norsk 
Ordbog, p. 177. Christiania, 1873), is, in all probability, the 
base of the word fors, a waterfall, rapid, or at least a deriva- 
tive from the same radical. Eyforr, Eiforr (in Old Swedish 
A iforr) consequently means * the ever violent,' ' ever rapid ' 
(' perpetuo praeccps '). a name which is in fact still more ex- 
pressive than ' EifariJ literally 'aye-faring,' 'going ort for 

The other of the names in question is that of the seventh 
rapid (p. 65 f.), which all editions give us in the form Srpov- 
$ow, Struvun (or S/ndun), and such is in fact the word in the 
paper MS. 2967. But the original parchment MS. 2009 has 
most distinctly Zrpovicovv, Sfrukun, which consequently must 
be considered to be the correct reading. If it be so, this 
name cannot any more, of course, be referred to the Old Norse 
s/raumr, a stream, but the true interpretation can be easily 
found. In Norse we find the words strok (neutr.) or stryk 
(masc), 'a rapid current in a river, especially where it is 
narrow ' (see Aasen, 1. c, pp. 761, 762) ; in Swedish dialects 
the corresponding word, with the same signification, is found 
in the form strak or struk (neutr.) (see Rietz, Ordbok ofver 
Svenska Allmogespraket, p. 685. Lund, 1867) ; Rietz gives us 
also a feminine word slrukk, ' a small rapid which it is pos- 
sible to ascend by rowing.' I have no doubt that the name 
Slruhin represents this very word in its Swedish form struk 
(as to the vowel u, comp. p. 55, note 1) ; in this way the 
name most exactly agrees with the translation of Constan- 
tine, 'the small rapid,' with the corresponding Slavonic name, 


and with the character of the place. The termination -un 
of the form S/rukun only remains doubtful. It can hardly 
be the definite article of the Scandinavian languages, which 
is seldom or never used in proper names. It rather looks 
like the Old Norse and Old Swedish termination of the 
dative plur. -urn ; if it be so, we may imagine that the dative 
form Strukum originally, in Russ, happened to be governed 
by some preposition, e.g. at, at, to; and thus Sirukum 
might be supposed to be the name of the rapid. How it 
happened so is of course a mere matter of guess-work; though 
it may be ascribed with more probability to some error 
of Constantine or his authority, than to some real peculiarity 
in the denomination of this place. Let me add, that there 
may possibly be some connection between this form and the 
syllable na- in the corresponding Slavonic name Naprezi, na 
being a Slavonic preposition with the signification * on ' 
or 'at/ 

I have made no remark on the name Samaras, Samba/as, 
which is said to be another name of Kiev (p. 52). Though 
it is not expressly stated, it can scarcely be doubted that this 
word, which cannot be Slavonic, gives us the * Russian ' 
name of that town. No satisfactory interpretation of this 
name has hitherto been propounded, nor can I explain it 
with certainty. I venture, however, to put forth the hypo- 
thesis that it might be the Old Norse Sandbakki, the sand- 
bank, or Sandbakka-dss, the sandbank-ridge. I believe that 
this interpretation would suit the character of the place, bat I 
cannot afiirm it, and must leave the decision of this ques- 
tion to others. (Gedeonov explains the name Satnbaias from 
the Hungarian szomba/, which he translates i a fortress,' and 
he employs this interpretation in support of the fantastic 
hypothesis that Askold and Dir were Hungarians. The 
Hungarian szombat, however, signifies nothing but ' Satur- 
day'; it is borrowed from the Slavonic sabo/a, i.e. Sabbath. 



What may have induced Gedeonov to assign to this word 
the fictitious signification ' a fortress/ is its frequent occurrence 
in names of towns and villages in Hungary ; but also the 
names of the other days of the week are used in this manner, 
a circumstance which may probably be explained from the 
peculiar custom of calling a place from its market-day. Thus 
we are told that the word szombal exists in fourteen local 
names of Hungary and five of Transylvania ; szerda, Wed- 
nesday, in nineteen names of Hungary and six of Transyl- 
vania ; pSnfek, Friday, in seven names of Hungary and four 
of Transylvania, &c. But the days of the week are, among 
the Hungarians, a Christian institution ; consequently their 
names did not yet exist in Hungarian at the period to which 
the name Sambatas belonged. Comp. C. W. Smith, Nestors 
Russiske Kronike, p. 352. Kjobenhavn, 1869. Hunfalvy, 
in Nyelvtudomanyi Kozltrndnyek, vol. vi. p. 216 f. Pest, 1867. 
Rocsler, Romanische Studien, p. 134. Leipzig, 187 1.) 


Ahmed ul-Katib, Arabian author, 

Aifar, Aifor, 57, 61 ff., 143. f. 
Aldegja, Old Norse name of Lake 

Ladoga, 80. 
Aldegjuborg, 80. 
Annales Bertiniani. See Pruden- 

Anti-Scandinavianisme,* 16-19, 

SI, 4* rT, 48, 67, 88, 93 f., 

Askold, 14 f., 23, 68, *oa, 104, 

137. M5- 

Austrvegr, 78, 79. 

Baruforos, 64. 

Biruni, Arabic (Persian) author, 

113 f- 

Bulgarians of Volga, 9, 29, 3a ; 
of Danube, a 1 ; modern Slavonic, 

Chacanus, 39, 41 f. 

Chelandia, 21. 

Cheremis, Finnish tribe, 10. 

Christianity, among the Slavs, 7 ; 

in Russia, 34, 134. 
Chronicles, Russian, 15. Comp. 

Chronology, 21, 39, 87 f., 102. 
Chud = Finns, 10, 13, 98. 
Constantine Copronymus, Greek 

emperor, ai. 
Constantine Porphyrogenilus, a6, 

5a ff., 143 ff. 

Constantinople, 33, 24, 26, 45 ff. 
5 a, 80, 89, 101, 107 ff., 117. 

Cyrillus, 7. 

Danegeld, 83. 

Danes at Kiev, 134 f. 

Dir, 14 f., 33, 68, 103, 104, 145. 

Dnieper rapids, 53-67, 143-145. 

Dregovichi, Slavonic tribe, 8. 

Drevliane, Slavonic tribe, 8. 

East Gotland, Swedish province, 

72 f. 81, 95. 
Englishmen at Constantinople, 

109 f. 
Ermanarik, 4, 11. 
Essupi, 54 f. 

Finland, 10, 75, 76, 98. 

Finns, 10 ff., 75 f., 9a, 101 ff. ; 

Finnish language, 75 f., 92, 97 f. 
Foederati, body of troops in Greece, 

Franks, 104; in mediaeval Greek, 


GarSr, Gartfarfki, 80, 81, 100. 

Gelanuri, 56 f., 65. 

Gothland, Island of, 13, 73 f., 83, 

Goths, 4f 19, 75 f., 94. 
Gualani, Guarani = Varangian*, 




Harald Hardrada, 108. 
HolmgafSr m Novgorod, 80, 81. 

Ibn Dustah, Arabian writer, 29 ff., 

49 f. 
Ibn Fadhlan, Arabian writer, 

Igor, 25, 47, 68, 82, 106, 123, 135. 
Inger = Igor, 47, 68, 82. 
Ingvar, in Runic inscriptions, 81 f. 
Itil = Volga, 9, 32. 

Johannes Diaconu?, 45 f., II, 

Khagan, Khakan, title *~f Turkish 

princes, 9, 31, 41 f.. 
Khakan-Rus, 29, 31. 
Khazars, 9, 13, 29, 31, ^.. ^9, 99. 
Kiev, 8 ; occupied by the Russ, 

14, 15, 102, 104; capital of 

Russia, 15, 35, 104 f. ; Danes' 

at, 1 24 f. 
KcenugarSr, Old Norse name of 

Kiev, 80, 81. 
Knvichi, Slavonic tribe, 8, 13. 

Ladoga, 14, 80, 103, 104, 125. 
Leanti, 64 f. 
Lets, 2, 10. 
Lithuanians, 2, 10, 17. 
Liudprand, 46 ff., 90 f. 
Louis the Pious, 39, 40, 90. 

Masudi, Arabian author, 28, 51. 
Meria, Finnish tribe, 11 f., 13, 98. 
Methodius, 7. 
Mikligarftr, Old Norse name of 

Constantinople, 80. 
Moidva, Mordvins, Finnish tribe, 

10, 11, 35,98. 
Muroma, Finnish tribe, *o, 98. 

Naprezi, 65 f., 145. 
Neasit, 57 ff. 

Nestor, Russian chronicler, 7, 13, 
24, 101 ff., 105 f., 122. 

Normanni, 45, 48 f., 91. Comp. 

Normans, 105. 

Northmen, 41, 77 f^ 91, 125; 
name, 38, 48, 92, 100, 105 ; mi- 
grations to the West, 78 ; to 
Russia, 78 ff. ; attack Constan- 
tinople, 46, 47. 

Norway, 79. 

Novgorod, 8, 80, 1 25 f. ; occupied 
by the Russ, 13, 104; Scandi- 
navian element at, 125 f. 

Oleg, T5, 24, 68, 104, 106, 137. 
Olga, 68, 123, 137. 
Oskoid. See Askold. 
Ostrovuniprakh, 55. 

Palteskja, Old Norse, = Polotsk, 

Petchenegs, 53. 
Photius, Creek patriarch, 23. 
Pineus, Runic inscription from, 

Pliny, 2. 
Poliane, Slavonic tribe, 8, 9, 13, 

14, 106. 
Polochane, Slavonic tribe, 8. 
Polotsk, town, 8, 14, 81, 137. 
Prudentius, 39 ff., 89. Comp. 



Radimichi, Slavonic tribe, 8, 

Rasi, Rashi (Assyrian), 93. 

ReitJgotar, 95. 

Rhos, Creek name of the Russ, 
20 f., 27, 37 ff., 98 f. ; = North- 
men, 38, 41, 44, 48 f.; = Swedes 
(A.D. 839), 39 ff., 44, 89, 101. 
Comp. Russ. 

Rosh, in Ezekiel, 93, 99. 

Roslagen, district in Sweden, 95 ff. 

Ro)>er, RoJ)in, 95 ff. 

Roxolani, 94. 

Runic inscription, from VolKvnia, 
5 ; at Venice, 108 f. ; in Scan- 



dinavia, 55 f., 63, 70, 73 f., 74, 

81 f. 
Ruotsi, Finnish name of Sweden, 

92 ff., 101. 
Rurik, 13, 14,45, 68, 71, 103, 104, 

Kus, Arabian name of the Russ, 

27 ff., 49 f 99, 101 ; = North- 
men, 49 ff. ; vague signification, 

34 t; 49- 

Rus', Slavonic, = Russ, 13 f., 98, 
100 ff. 

Rusioi, Greek, = Russ, ao, 37, 99 ; 
= Northmen, 47 ff., 91. 

Russ, 15 ; not Slavs, 8, 17, 31, 37 ; 
Scandinavian origin of the, 14 ff., 
37-86, 1 20, &c. passim ; called in 
by the Finns and Slavs, 13, ioa 
ff. ; occupy Kiev, 14 f., 102, 104 ; 
expeditions to Greece, 33 ff., 
47 f. ; treaties, 25, 26, 68 f.; serve 
in the Greek army, 26 ; expedi- 
tions to the East, 27 f. ; trade, 
a6, 27, 30, 32 f., 85 ; manners 
and customs, 29 ff., 49 f.,85 f.,i 26; 
seafaring people, 27, 30, 49, 85 f.; 
language, 52 ff, 119 f., 127 ff., 
1 43 ff . ; proper names, 67 ff., 
131 ff. ; original homestef.d, 41, 
70, 72 f, iooff. ; when Slavo- 
nicised.i 23 ff. ; name given in the 
East to the Northmen, 38, 41, 
45. 47 ff - 5ff-. 9*1 100 ; espe- 
cially to those who settled there, 
49, 1 01 ft'; no native appellation, 
88 ff. ; origin and history of the 
name, (47,) 92-100 ; change of 
signification, 104 ff. 

Russia, 100, J 05; ancient ethno- 
graphy of, 1 ff. Comp. Russ. 

Russian language, Scandinavian 
words in, 137 ff. 

Russian Sea =* Black Sea, 28. 

Ryza, Ryzaland, Old Swedish, 100. 

Sagas, 79 ff., 118. 

Sambatas Kiev, 52, 145 f. 

Sarkel, Khazarian fortress, 9. 

Sarmates, 2, 94. 

Saxons called in into Britain, ioa f. 

Scandinavians, immigration of, 74, 
94 ; relations with the East, 
73 ff., 78 ff., 100 f., 1 19 ; appella- 
tion of, in the East, 14, 91, 100, 
lis ff.; history of, in Russia, 
133 ff.; visits of, to Greece, 
83, 107 ff., 115 ff., 119. 

Scyths, 9, 38. 

Severiane, Slavonic tribe, 8, 9, 13. 

Seville, attacked by Northmen, 


Sineus, 14, 68, 71, 138 f. 

Slavs, Slavonians, ancient history 
of, 1 ff. ; migrations, 6 f., 76 ; in 
Russia, 7f., 35, 104, 106, 130; 
excluded from the sea, 10, 85, 
92; Slavonic language. 7, 106, 
134, 127. 

Slavonians at Novgorod, 8, 13 f., 
35. 106. 

Sodermanland, province of Sweden, 

Struvun, Strukun, 65 ff., 144 f. 

Suomi, 98. 

Sviatoslav, 9, 69, 1 24. 

Swedes, called Rhos (AD. 839), 39, 
41, 43, 44; relations with the 
East, 78ff., 8i.93f., 191, 107 ff., 
114, &c. Comp. Scandinavians, 

Tabary, Arabian author, 39. 
Tacitus, 2. 
Tauroscyths, 38. 
TheophanesIsaakios,Greek author, 

21 f. 
Theophilos, Greek emperor, 39 f. 
Thietmar, German writer, 124. 
Truvor, 14, 68. 
Turkish-Tatar tribes, 9 ff., 99. 

Ulvorsi, 55 f. 

Upland, Swedish province, 73 f., 
81, 95. 109. 

Vocringjar, Old Norse. See Va- 

Varangian, name of the Scandina- 
vians in Russia, 13, 14, 106, 
1 1 2 ff., 1 18 ; in Greece, 1 14 ff. ; 



among the Arabs, 113 if.; body- 
guard at Constantinople, 107 ff., 
117 f; origin of name, no f., 
119 ff. ; Varangian Sea m the 
Baltic, iia, 113 

Venaja, Finnish name of Russia, 3. 

Venedi, Vinidae, 2, 3. 

Venice, relations to Constantinople, 
45 f. ; lion with Runic inscrip- 
tion at, 108 f. 

Verutzi, 64 f. 

Ves, Finnish tribe, n, 13. 

Viatichi, Slavonic tribe, 8, 9, 13. 

Vikings, 77 ff., 84, 85, 135. 
Vladimir, 134. 
Vulniprakh, 64. 

Waring. See Varangian. 
Wends, 3. 

Yaroslav, 134. 
Zouaves, 117. 






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j - 

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R08A * TS UBH AH y 

DK Thomsen, Vilhelm Ludwig Peter 
72 The relations between 
T^8 ancient Russia and