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silver were eminent in their professions, and that probably as early as the beginning of the seventh century. . . . So great was the demand for highly-finished trinkets of gold and silver, that the most capital artists of Germany resorted to England; and moreover, the most precious specimens of foreign workmanship were imported by the merchants.' On the other hand, articles in gold and silver seem to have been the chief description of manufactured goods exported from England in this period."
(3) Macpherson, i, 290.
(4) Pict. Hist. of England, i, 269.
1. THEIR ORIGIN.-2. THEIR WARLIKE DEEDS AND CHARACTER3. THEIR RELIGION-4. THEIR POLITY.-5. THEIR LOVE AND MODE OF WAR.-6. THEIR MANNERS, CUSTOMS, AND OCCU
PATIONS.-7. THEIR ARTS AND LANGUAGE.
1. The original of this extraordinary race is said to be of the very highest antiquity.' The Danes, Goths, Scythians or Getæ,— for so they are variously denominated, are offshoots of that great primitive stock, which migrating westward, settled in the Scandinavian peninsula or in the Cimbrian chersonese (Jutland); and called this region Danemarck, from Dan, their first king. Another branch passed over from the coast of Asia Minor to the islands, and thence expatiated over the western continent. "By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." GEN. X, 5. That the former branch originated from Northern Asia, there is a further proof, that the Danes, before they became known by this name, were called Cimbri; from the resemblance of which word to Cimmerian, we cannot doubt but that they sprang from the Cimmerian Scythians, whom the ancients place to the north of the Euxine and Caspian Seas.
2. But, not to dilate upon antiquarian ethnography—though this piratical nation was known to their Southern enemies by the
(1) Hoc autem regnum est primum et vetustissimum regnum mundi. PET. OLAUS. Essays
common appellation of Danes, their armaments were composed not merely of the natives of Denmark, but of all the tribes dwelling near the Baltic, and in Scandinavia. These predatory hordes were sometimes called also by the general term of Northmen, including all those numerous tribes, that issued, from time to time, from the north of Europe, whether Danes, Norwegians, Sweons, Jutes, Goths &c. Too populous for their own inhospitable clime, cultivating an ungrateful soil, destitute of arts, manufactures, and almost of commerce, they sought a home and sustenance in more favoured climes. Brigandage and piracy were their occupation, and as necessary to them, as carnage to wild beasts. Such adventurers, hardy, vigorous, brave, herculean in stature, and like their kindred the Saxons, having the same language, manners, habits, the same heathenish rites and superstitions, rude, cruel, indefatigable, and enterprising from necessity, would, under an able leader, prove indomitable; with the spirit of the old Romans, they were as numerous as the ancient Persians. For, how great soever their losses of life either by field or flood, yet, like the fabled hydra, they seemed to gain strength and courage from disaster and defeat; the warrior-sons of Thor and Woden were often vanquished, but never subdued. And in England, though they were, by the genius of Alfred, compelled to quit the kingdom (A. D. 879), after having been harassed, hunted, and almost exterminated by disease, famine, and the sword; yet in the reign of his successor, eleven years after, we find that " England was inhabited by an equal number of Saxons and Danes.""
A Danish writer, with a national vanity savouring more of romance and fiction than of truth and reality, gives a pompous enumeration of the regions and kingdoms subjugated by his warlike ancestors; these comprehend almost every part of the known world, even India, which is said to owe to one of their monarchs the blessing of Gospel light. But such fables deserve to be mentioned, only to be ridiculed. For, whatever passed in Denmark, prior to the Christian era, is unknown to us, if we except the famous expedition of the Cimbri and Teutones, into Gaul.' This incident affords but a faint ray of light, which for a moment
brightens ages of obscurity; short and transient however as it is, we gain an unerring glimpse at the character of this people.
2. The history of Rome informs us, that the ancient Danes were as formidable in their invasions by land, as their descendants proved by sea. Issuing from their forests, they spread like locusts over Gaul, and threatened Italy. But the Roman ambassadors, having remonstrated with them for having invaded the territories of their allies the Norici, the Cimbri-as they were then called, because they came from the Cimbrian peninsula chiefly-excused themselves by answering, that they knew not that the Norici were allies of the Romans, that they respected the Roman name and nation, and honoured martial valour even in an enemy; and with this apology, retired into Dalmatia, little apprehensive of hostilities especially from the Romans, upon whose vaunted good faith they relied. But they were suddenly attacked by a Roman consul. This outrage on the law of nations opened the flood-gates to a long and sanguinary war, most disastrous to the Romans, till their city was filled with grief and terror, so that many began to despair of the safety of the Republic. At length, the famous Marius, that most consummate general, was appointed to the conduct of the war, by whom the Cimbri, and the Teutones, their allies and a kindred race-another swarm from the great Northern hive,—were defeated, with the loss of 100,000 men, as Plutarch says, or according to others, of 200,000, and 70,000 prisoners, in a battle at Aquæ Sextiæ in Provence, and in the following year, of 120,000 slain, and 60,000 prisoners. Other writers content themselves with affirming, that the number of the slain was incredible; and that the inhabitants of Marseilles, for a long time after, made enclosures for gardens and vineyards with their bones, and the soil in the suburbs was so saturated with blood, that its fertility was prodigious. So highly appreciated were the victories of Marius, that there was bestowed on him the glorious title of the third founder of Rome.
From this incident, authenticated by the most veritable historian of Roman affairs, we learn that these Cimbri, or Danes, were the most formidable enemies the conquering Romans ever encountered. (5) Aspen's Universal History.
(6) Sed et hostes terram Massiliensem, quam vivi vastaverant, mortui magno affecerunt commodo, nam ossa in sepes vinearum versa, tabo carnium ita pinguefacta arva sunt, ut nunquam largiori segete luxuriaverint. LIV. EPITOME LIB. 68, 31.