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Holy Vikings

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ab 15.11.2020 - Die Sammlung
- Marokko, Cordoba, Pamplona (» weiter)

ab 15.11.2020

Da mir eine noch nicht bestimmare Menge an neuen Fakten vorliegt, hier erst einmal die Sammlung.

fi ft y years passed aft er the attack on Lindisfarne before Vikings
turned towards Iberia

Vikings are fi rst recorded in the Frankish sources as traders in 777. In 810, they
attacked Frisia, and they were soon arriving almost every year (Nelson 1997).

842; Spanien: Cádiz, Sidonia, Sevila

Vikings ( Majūs ) arrived in about 80 ships. One might say they had, as it
were, fi lled the ocean with dark red birds, in the same way as they had fi lled
the hearts of men with fear and trembling. Aft er landing at Lisbon, they
sailed to Cadiz, then to Sidonia, then to Seville. Th ey besieged this city, and
took it by storm. Aft er letting the inhabitants suff er the terror of imprisonment
or death, they remained there seven days, during which they let the people
empty the cup of bitterness.
(Ibn Idhārī Bayān , vol.2: 88–89, trans.: Stefansson: 35–36)
Anmerkung: Ibn Idhari war kein Augenzeuge, er beschrieb nur ws man ihm erzählt hat!

843, Frankreich

Norwegians from Vestfold, who attacked
Nantes in 843 with 67 ships (Ermentarius: 301; Annales Engolismenses a.84
Th eir activities entered a new phase when they started to over- winter at the
mouths of the Loire, and of the Garonne in Aquitaine. It was probably from a
base on the Garonne that they sailed to the Iberian peninsula in 844, making
the attacks commemorated at Luarca and by Ibn Idhārī

843, Sevilla

In the era 881 (843) . . . Ramiro, son of prince Vermudo, was elected king. . . .
At the same time Vikings ( Nordomanorum gens ), a pagan and extremely
cruel people previously unknown to us, arrived in our region with their
naval forces. Ramiro, who had by then been made king, gathered a great
army and fought against them at a place called Farum Brecantium . Th ere he
destroyed many bands of Vikings and burned their ships with fi re. Th e
others, those who were left , took to the sea and went to the province of
Baetica (the writer means Muslim Spain/al-Andalus). Th ey entered the city
of Seville and annihilated many bands of Chaldeans (Muslims) there, partly
by the sword and partly by fi re. Aft er the year had passed and the city of
Seville had been invaded, they returned to their own country.
( Crónicas Asturianas : 142, trans.: 174–175)

In the era 881 (843) . . . Ramiro, son of prince Vermudo, was elected king. . . .
At the same time Vikings ( Nordomanorum gens ), a pagan and extremely
cruel people previously unknown to us, arrived in our region with their
naval forces. Ramiro, who had by then been made king, gathered a great
army and fought against them at a place called Farum Brecantium . Th ere he
destroyed many bands of Vikings and burned their ships with fi re. Th e
others, those who were left , took to the sea and went to the province of
Baetica (the writer means Muslim Spain/al-Andalus). Th ey entered the city
of Seville and annihilated many bands of Chaldeans (Muslims) there, partly
by the sword and partly by fi re. Aft er the year had passed and the city of
Seville had been invaded, they returned to their own country.
( Crónicas Asturianas : 142, trans.: 174–175) also known as the Tower of Hercules because it was thought to have been built
by that great hero of Antiquity (Guerra 1964: 641–644).
Aft er nearly a century of Viking activity in Francia,
the Christians of Northern Iberia probably knew what to expect from the
Scandinavians, as a result of their contacts with Carolingian rulers and clerics
(Collins 2012: 68–69). Th e Asturian chronicler’s comment may simply confi rm
that this was the fi rst Viking attack on the peninsula, but it is also possible that
he was trying to heighten the impact of Ramiro’s victory by dramatizing the
irruption of these pagans onto the Iberian stage.

Th e writer, Ibn al-Qū t. īya (d.977), dated the attack to 230 AH (17 September 844–1 October 845), as did nearly all the other
Arabic historians who refer to it, although some of them noted the arrival of
Vikings off the coast in 229AH, i.e. before 17 September 844. Th is date fi ts well
with the raids on the northern coast in early August of the same year that the
Prophetic Chronicle recorded. Ibn al-Qū t. īya’s version of events is detailed and
for the most part plausible, but there are several problems with it. His History
of the Conquest
survives only in a version that may have been compiled by one
of his pupils, in a late- medieval manuscript (Christys 2002: 160–168). It is
typical of Arabic historiography that Ibn al-Qū t. īya did not mention the raids
on the North; historians writing in Arabic rarely recorded the deeds of
Christians, except in accounts of military encounters on the frontier. His
narrative of the attack on Seville consolidated memories of the Andalusi
response to the marauders. Ibn al-Qū t. īya focused on internal politics, listing
the men who answered the emir’s summons to repel the invaders, and
explaining the basis for their allegiance to the Umayyads.
‘Abd al-Ra h. mān [II] . . . built the walls of [Seville], because of the seizure of
Seville by Vikings ( Majūs ) when they invaded, during his reign, in the year
844 . . . Th e inhabitants panicked and fl ed the city . . . None of the inhabitants
of western al-Andalus attempted to resist the invaders, so volunteers were
recruited from among the people of Cordoba and its neighbouring provinces.
Accompanied by some ministers they set off , together with volunteers
recruited from the Marches who had assembled aft er the invaders had
occupied the far western seaboard and the area around Lisbon, in their fi rst
(Ibn al-Qū t. īya Ta’rīkh , 78, trans.: James, 100)

Using Seville as a base, Vikings raided as far inland as Constantina, north- west
of Cordoba.
reinforced, the Andalusi forces ambushed one group of Vikings at Quintas de Moafer ( Kintush Mu’āfi r ), a village south of
Seville. Two other Viking bands fl ed to their ships and, pausing only to
exchange their captives for cloth and provisions, sailed away.#

Th us historical statements were validated by analogy with the
practice of h. adīth , in which chains of witnesses claimed to be handing down
the sayings of the prophet Mu h. ammad. Yet the theoretical norms were rarely
followed, and historians were oft en indicted for careless transmission. Ibn
al-Qū t. īya was particularly lax in this respect. Th ere is no indication where he
found his narrative of the Viking raid of 844. Further, for modern readers, the
plausibility of the account is undermined in several ways. Th e number of
Vikings – 16,000 in just one of the three bands of raiders – is ludicrously high.
Ibn al-Qū t. īya also made the raid on Seville part of an expedition lasting
fourteen years, in which Vikings went on to attack the Maghreb, Alexandria
and Byzantium. It seems that he confl ated events of 844 with the second
expedition of 859–861. Even more damaging to the credibility of this passage
is Ibn al-Qū t. īya’s explanation of the signifi cance of the Viking attack:
Aft er the building of the Great Mosque of Seville was complete, ‘Abd ar-
Ra h. mān II had a dream in which he entered the building and found the
Prophet Mu h. ammad – peace and praises be upon him – lying in the prayerniche,
dead, and wrapped in a shroud. Th e dream caused him to awake in
distress, so he asked those who interpreted dreams for an explanation. Th ey
told him, ‘Th is is where his Faith will die’. Immediately aft er that the capture
of the city by Vikings occurred . . . More than one of the elders of Seville
related how Vikings set their arrows on fi re and aimed them at the roof of
the Great Mosque. Whatever ignited fell to the ground, and the marks of
those arrows can be seen in the roof until this day. When they failed to burn
the mosque, they piled wood and straw mats in one of the aisles and tried to
get the fi re to reach the ceiling. Th en a youth came from the direction of the
prayer- niche and forced them out of the mosque, and held them off for three
days until the attack on them [by the Andalusis] took place. According to
Vikings, he was a young man of great physical beauty.
(Ibn al-Qū t. īya Ta’rīkh : 80, trans.: 101)
Many of the episodes recounted in Ibn al-Qū t. īya’s History have a moral lesson,
and concern men – and one woman, Sara the Goth, from whom he may have
taken his name – who, like his own family, were indigenous Christians whose
ancestors converted to Islam aft er the conquest of 711 (Christys 2002: 158–
183)prayer- niche and forced them out of the mosque, and held them off for three
days until the attack on them [by the Andalusis] took place. According to
Vikings, he was a young man of great physical beauty.
(Ibn al-Qū t. īya Ta’rīkh : 80, trans.: 101)
Many of the episodes recounted in Ibn al-Qū t. īya’s History have a moral lesson,
and concern men – and one woman, Sara the Goth, from whom he may have
taken his name – who, like his own family, were indigenous Christians whose
ancestors converted to Islam aft er the conquest of 711 (Christys 2002: 158–

844, "die Kampagne"

Th e campaign of 844 is probably the most signifi cant episode of the whole
period of Viking activity in the South. Yet in the absence of archaeological
evidence and charters, instances of monastic destruction by sea- raiders
are diffi cult to pinpoint to the ninth century. Local tradition held Vikings
responsible for the destruction in 844 of San Cibran (Cipriano) de Calogo,
founded by Fructuosus of Braga in the sixth century, near the port of Villanueva
de Arosa, at the mouth of the river Curras, Pontevedra,

Th e earliest reference to the Viking attack of 844 is in the entry in the Annals
of St-Bertin
for that year.
Vikings ( Nordomanni ) sailed up the Garonne as far as Toulouse, wreaking
destruction everywhere, without meeting any opposition. Th en some of
them withdrew from there and attacked Galicia, but they perished, partly
because they met resistance from missile throwers, partly because they were
caught in a storm at sea. Some of them, though, got to the south- western
part of Spain, where they fought long and bitterly with the Saracens, but
were fi nally beaten and withdrew to their ships.
( AB a.844, trans.: 60)

A generation later, a geographer, al-Ya’qūbī, mentioned the same raids.
Al-Ya’qūbī had no direct connection with al-Andalus.he wrote his Book of Countries in 891. In a
very short entry on Seville, al-Ya’qūbī noted that ‘Vikings ( Majūs ), who are also
called the Rūs , fell upon the city in 229 AH (30 September 843–17 September
844) with plunder, destruction and killing’ (Al-Ya’qūbī Kitāb al- buldān : 354).
Prudentius’ and al-Ya’qūbī’s accounts are complementary. Just as Prudentius
had made it clear that the raiders on Iberia were the same Vikings with whom
the West was familiar, so al-Ya’qūbī identifi ed Seville’s attackers with the Rūs
who traded in Eastern Europe.

844; Spanien: Cordoba, Pamplona & Marokko: Nakur

In her chapter on the Vikings in Francia, Jinty Nelson had noted
Occasionally Vikings ventured far beyond the Carolingian realms. In 844
Galicia and al-Andalus were raided. In 859 (according to the annals of
St-Bertin for that year) ‘Danish pirates made a long sea- voyage, sailed
through the straits between Spain and Africa and then up the Rhone. Th ey
ravaged some towns and monasteries and made their base on an island
called the Camargue.’ Muslim sources of the tenth century and later record
other episodes on this voyage: al-Andalus was raided, and then the little
Moroccan state of Nakur, whose royal women were carried off , then handed
back aft er ransoms were paid by the amir of Cordoba; ‘more than forty ships’
were lost on the way home; and, perhaps a fi nal success on the same
expedition, the king of Pamplona was captured and ransomed in 861 for
60,000 gold pieces. A basis of historical fact thus underlies the epic
Mediterranean journey described in the later medieval Hiberno-Norse
version of Ragnar’s Saga . All this was spectacular but exceptional.
(Sawyer 1997: 29–30)

Th e first convincing evidence for Majūs who are Vikings are the accounts of the raid on Seville in 844
Although the term Majūs had a wider range of meaning than Normanni
and its variants, in the sources for al-Andalus it was used mainly for attackers
from outside the peninsula.
Th e additional details that writers in Arabic occasionally provide
also help to identify such voyagers as Vikings. A passage from a Book of
attributed to al-Zuhrī noted that:
Formerly, over [the great sea in the West] . . . many big ships sailed, which the
people of al-Andalus called ‘ qarāqīr ’. Th ese ships were capable of sailing
backwards and forwards and had square sails. They were crewed by the
people they called Majūs , who possessed a strength, courage and tenacity
without equal for navigating the sea. When they appeared off the coast, the
inhabitants fl ed towards the interior, in the grip of pure terror. Th ese Majūs
put to sea every sixth or seventh year. Th ey assembled fl eets of at least eighty
ships, sometimes more than one hundred. All those whom they encountered
at sea they overcame, took prisoner and carried off .
(Seippel vol.1: 11)
Al-Zuhrī seems to have lived in Granada in the twelft h century (Ferhat, EI
vol.2: 566)

It is not clear whether this was al-Zuhrī’s own work, or simply a copy of an earlier text. Several of the manuscripts
begin with the statement: ‘Truly, I have copied this Geography from the
Geography of al-Fazārī which was copied from the Geography of al-Ma’mūn
ibn H. ārūn al-Rashīd, in compilation of which ninety philosophers joined their
eff orts’ (cited in Tolmacheva 1985)

844/845, Sevilla

Th e ‘hegemony of ethnic nominalism’ (Montgomery 2010) provides the
background to an account of an embassy led by a poet, al-Ghazāl, to a Majūs
court (Ibn Dihya Mutrib : 138–146, trans.: Stefansson: 37–38). In spite of
repeated attempts to undermine the credibility of this episode, it has become
part of the story of Vikings in the South. In 844 or 845:
A Majūs ambassador came to make peace with Abdurrahaman aft er the
defeat of the Seville expedition in the autumn of 844 who sent al-Ghazāl on
an embassy to the Majūs king, for al-Ghazāl had great presence of mind, and
no door remained closed to him. Al-Ghazāl took costly presents with him on
board, and sailed in his own ship along with the Majūs ship. He arrived at
one of their islands, where he rested and repaired his ship. Th e Majūs
ambassador then sailed fi rst to announce his arrival. Th ey sailed to where
the king resided. It was a great island in the ocean, and in it were running
waters and gardens. It was three days’ journey from the continent.
Innumerable Majūs were there, and near were many other isles, small and
great inhabited by Majūs and the continent up there also belongs to them. It
is a large country and it takes several days to pass through it.

Th e story survives in an anthology of poetry composed in Egypt in the
thirteenth century by an Andalusi, Ibn Dihya. Th e compiler named his source
for the embassy as a ninth- century history of al-Andalus up to the reign of
‘Abd al-Ra h. mān II (822–852) by Tammām ibn Alqama; some of the latter’s
poetry survives, but the history has been lost.

Th e section of Ibn Dihya’s encyclopaedia devoted
to al-Ghazāl concentrates on two aspects of the poet: his works, which Ibn
Dihya cited extensively, and his wit. Th e embassy to the Majūs court illustrates
both these aspects. When the poet presented himself at court, the Majūs king
tried to demean him by making him enter via a very low doorway; this was a
topos and the Byzantine emperor had supposedly presented al-Ghazāl with the
same dilemma. In both cases, al-Ghazāl insulted the ruler by going in feet fi rst.
Th ree poems punctuate the account of the embassy to the Majūs . Ibn Dihya
emphasized the poet’s skill and interrupted his narrative to lament the neglect
of Andalusi and Maghrebi poets; all the published translations leave out
this section of the text, thus skewing the meaning of the whole (Stefansson:
32–33; Allen 1960: 19–25; Lewis c. 1982: 93–95). More than half of the
passage describes al-Ghazāl’s fl attery of the queen of the Majūs to whom he
improvizes a poem that begins: ‘You have to resist, Oh my heart, a love that
troubles thee, and against which you defend yourself as a lion. You are in love
with a Majūsiya , who never lets the sun of beauty set, and who lives at the
rarely visited extremity of the world’. Although he was writing within the
Arabic tradition of courtly love (Rubiera 2004: 53–68; Sells 2000), Ibn Dihya
was also sending up al-Ghazāl, who was far too old to be courting a queen; in
another poem, al-Ghazāl himself agreed that ‘youthful passion is not good for
an old man’ (Ibn Dihya Mutrib : 134–135). Ibn Dihya’s portrayal of al-Ghazāl has the simulacrum of an individualized biography; in contrast, the queen of
the Majūs is the standard representation of ‘barbarian’ as the inversion of
normality. Aft er recounting al-Ghazāl’s fl irtation with the queen, with the king
complaisantly looking on, Ibn Dihya lays out a discussion of marriage and
divorce. He shows Majūs women as the object of a textual strategy housing
both barbarian and female otherness, in which sexual freedom for women and
the lack of jealousy of their men were topoi (Pohl 2004). Another example is
Bertha, the queen of the Franks who proposed marriage to a caliph (Christys
2010). Al-Ghazāl’s destination was simply ‘somewhere else, not here’ and his
story contributes nothing to the discussion of Viking ethnography which was,
albeit in a garbled fashion, taking place in the work of geographers such as

und später

Some fi ft een years aft er their fi rst campaign in Iberia, Vikings returned to the
peninsula in an expedition that lasted three years and took them into the
Mediterranean. Th e narrative of this voyage comes mainly from citations
of earlier Arabic historians in Ibn H. ayyān’s eleventh- century compilation,
supplemented by short references preserved in a variety of contexts. As was the
case for the campaign of 844, the story of Vikings in the Mediterranean
gathered more detail in the re- telling of later centuries.

Th e Chronicle of Albelda was more interested in Ordono’s
advances against the Muslim enemy than in Vikings, but noted that a certain
count Peter killed Lordomani ( Crónicas Asturianas : 176); the continuator of
the chronicle dated the return of Lothomanni to the peninsula to July 858,
noting that they went on to kill a number of the inhabitants of Lisbon ( Crónicas
: 188). Th e Chronicle of Alfonso III tracked the raiders into the
At this time Vikings ( Nordomani piratide ) again came to our shores. Th ey
then spread out all over Spain, ravaging its coasts with sword and fi re. From
there, crossing the sea, they invaded the city of Naacor (Nakūr) in Mauretania and killed a multitude of Chaldeans (Muslims) with the sword. Th en,
heading towards the islands of Mallorca and Menorca, they depopulated
them with the sword. Th ey then sailed to Greece and fi nally returned to their
own country three years later.
( Crónicas Asturianas : 148–149, trans.: 177)

Not all the later Latin chronicles mentioned the 859–861 campaign. Th ere is,
however, a new source of information with a unique perspective. Th e Chronicon
(ES vol.20: 598–608) was probably written in Santiago but is named for
the see of Iria, which was joined with Santiago de Compostela aft er c. 860. Th e
chronicle ends with the year 984, but it may have been composed as late as
the twelft h century (Isla 1984).

Ibn H. ayyān collected two accounts of the campaign of 859–861 which are
similar but diffi cult to navigate. Th e problems posed by the text are compounded
by the state of the unique manuscript of the second part of the Muqtabas ,

[Report] on the Majūs : In this year [245AH (859) is an editorial addition]
the Majūs – may God curse them – attacked the west coast of al-Andalus,
and this was their second attack, in sixty- two ships. Th ey found the coasts
guarded; ships of the emir Muh. ammad were patrolling between the confi nes
( h. ā’i t. ) of Ifranja (probably Francia) in the east and the furthest confi nes of
Ghilīsīa (Galicia, i.e. northern Iberia) in the west. Two of their ships were
met by the ships deployed to patrol the confi nes of Jilīqīya (Galicia) and
taken by surprise in a harbor in the region of Beja. [Th e Muslims] seized
money, goods and prisoners from [the Viking ships] as booty. Th en the ships
of the Majūs continued along the coast until they came to the mouth of the
Guadalquivir and the lands bordering on it. And [the inhabitants] were in
the greatest state of alarm. Th e emir Muh. ammad hastened to send the army
to the west; he called the people to go to war against the enemy at the gates.
And they hastened from all directions. Th e leader of the sultan’s army was
‘Īsa ibn al- H. asan ibn ‘Abī Abda al- H. ājib. Th e ships of the infi dels ( al-Kufra )
went up to Seville, occupied Algeciras . . . and burned the congregational
mosque . Th ey abandoned the land of al-Andalus, seeking the [opposite?]
shore and took possession of it and took possession of its coasts. Th en they
returned to the
east coast of al-Andalus and appeared on the coast of Tudmir.
Th en they came to the fortress
(h. u s.
n) of Orihuela. Th ey went to Ifranja
(Francia) and over- wintered there and obtained captives and wealth. Th ey
took possession of a city that is named aft er them to this day. Th ey went away
to the sea of al-Andalus and more than forty ships were destroyed. Th ey were
met by the ships that had been
prepared for them by Qarqāshīsh ibn Shakrūh.

and Khashkhāsh, which were carrying a fl ask of Greek fi re ( naft . ) and many
kinds of naval armaments; tightly packed ranks of archers increased their
chance of success. [Th e Muslims] captured two of their ships off the coast
of Sidonia with much money and goods. Ibn Shakrūh. and Khashkhāsh, the
admiral of the fl eet, destroyed [the ships] and killed [the Vikings]; they
captured two more ships and burned all that was in them. And aft er that, the
Majūs defended themselves from Khashkhāsh and [sought to] avoid him.
He fought them from the prow of his ship until he met a martyr’s death, may
God have mercy on him.
Th en the remaining ships of the Majūs went up [the coast] until they
reached the confi nes ( h. ā’i t. ) of Pamplona and raided the Basques, killing
some and capturing their emir Gharsīa ibn Wanaqu (Garcia Iniquez, ruler of
Pamplona <859-c. 880). And they ransomed him for 70,000 [dinars]. Th ey
kept his sons as part payment of the ransom, and released him . . . During
their fi rst appearance in the region of Beja, they captured ‘Abd al-Malik and
‘Abd Allāh, the sons of Muh. ammad ibn Maslama. Th ey released ‘Abd Allāh
and carried off his brother ‘Abd al-Malik. And this was the place where they
took S’ad. ūn, known as al-Surunbāqī.
Th is attack did not bring them the profi t that they were accustomed to,
nor did the people of the coast suff er the usual depredations. [Vikings] did
not fi nd on the coast what they were expecting from the strength of their
onslaught. Th ey were met by a naval attack from the direction of Algeciras
that destroyed fourteen of their ships. Th ey were blown off course from the
confi nes of al-Andalus and carried away in the direction of the land of the
Franks. Th ey did not meet with any success. Th ey hastened away to their
country defeated and they have not returned to this day.
(Ibn H. ayyān Muqtabas [847–880]: 307–309)

If we read this
passage as a summing up of the failure of this Viking expedition, there is no
need to invoke a second visit to al-Andalus. Th e author’s fi nal comment
increases the probability that Ibn H. ayyān’s source was Ah. mad al-Rāzī, since
there does not seem to have been another Viking attack on the peninsula until
aft er al-Rāzī’s death in 955.

Th e second author in Ibn H. ayyān’s dossier on the expedition of 859–861,
Mu’āwiya ibn Hishām, a historian who is otherwise unknown, seems to have
had information that is not preserved either by al-‘Udhrī or in Ibn Idhārī.

[Vikings] found the landing- places uncertain, and a trap. Th ey went up the
coast of the land of the infi del Basques . . . Th en they departed. Th ey
encountered the fl eets of the emir Muh. ammad, assembled in force. [Th e
Muslims] overcame many of [the Viking] ships and seized the booty that
was in them. Th e scattered remnants of the [Viking] fl eet retreated, exhausted,
by the grace of God.
(Ibn H. ayyān Muqtabas [847–880]: 309

Rodrigo Jimenez de Rada’s Historia Arabum included a short statement on
the raids of 859–861 that echoes some of the information that Ibn H. ayyān
In the same year [ anno Arabum CCXLV , i.e. 859–860] sixty ships came from
the North ( Normania ) and Gelzirat Alhadra and mosques were altogether
despoiled and consumed by fi re; then they proceeded to Africa, where they
drove out many people from their homes and they returned to the coasts of
Hispania, where they spent the winter, and in spring they returned to their
(Rodrigo Historia Arabum : 124–125)

Ibn al-Qū t. īya provides an additional piece of information that other Arabic
historians did not preserve. Th e account of the raids of 844–845 in the History
of Ibn al-Qū t. īya, quoted in Chapter 2, continues:
[Vikings ( Majūs )] departed from Seville and directed themselves to Nakūr,
where they took prisoner the ancestor of Ibn S.ālih. , whom the emir ‘Abd
al-Rah.mān . . . ransomed from captivity. Th is was why the Banū Umayya
have had infl uence with the Banū S.ālih. . Th en they [Vikings] ravaged the
two coasts completely until they reached the land of the Byzantines and
(Ibn al-Qū t. īya Ta’rīkh : 81, trans.: 101)

Materielle Zeugnisse

Locals from O Vicedo in the extreme north- west of Galicia think that
anchors uncovered by recent storms may be Viking (Pontevedra 2014). A small
whalebone casket of Scandinavian manufacture survives in the treasury of San
Isidoro, Leon, where it was reworked for use as a reliquary (cover picture).
Unfortunately, the provenance of the casket is undocumented; it may have
been donated by a pilgrim, arrived as a diplomatic gift or been collected by one
of the donors to Leon (Roesdahl 2010a; 2010b; Martin 2006: 15, 45).

Th is may be corroborated by the inscription on a small sandstone implement
now in the British Museum. Th e runes on this implement, which have been
dated to the eleventh century, name four peoples or places: the Greeks
(Byzantines); Jerusalem; Iceland; and Serkland. Page speculated that the runecarver
itemized ‘Byzantium for trade, Jerusalem for pilgrimage, Iceland for
settlement, the Middle East for adventure’ (Page 1995: 12). In runic inscriptions
Serkland ‘has emblematic status as the south easternmost destination of the
far- travelled Vikings’ (Jesch 2005: 125). Wherever it was, Serkland was the last
corner of the Viking world and the least memorialized.

Unnützes aber korrektes Wissen von den Arabern

Thus today two of the best- known ‘facts’ about Vikings in the South are that they
made cheese (Levi-Provencal 1950–1953, vol.1: 224; Aguade 1986) and that a
poet from Umayyad Cordoba served as ambassador to a Viking court (Allen
1960; Gonzalez 2002b). In his History de l’Espagne musulman , Levi-
Provencal speculated that a group of Vikings who had been defeated at Seville in 844 did not sail away, but settled in al-Andalus to make cheese (Levi-
Provencal 1950–1953, vol.1: 224).

Adam of Bremen: ‘from Brittany at Pointe de
Saint Mathieu to Capo de Vares (La Coruna) near Santiago, three days and
three nights; thence to Lisbon, two days and two nights’ (Adam of Bremen
Book 4: 99, trans.: 187).

archaeologists have uncovered evidence that Viking ships may have travelled
as far as the island of Madeira (Rando, Pieper and Alcover 2014). Fragments of
mouse bone excavated at Ponta de Sao Lourenco, the earliest mouse populations
to be found on the island, have been dated between 900 and 1036, long before
the Portuguese conquest. Mitochondrial DNA sampled from the current
mouse population shows similarities with the mice of Scandinavia and
northern Germany, but not with those on the Portuguese mainland. Further
analysis of this DNA supports the hypothesis that mice colonized Madeira
from Viking ships.

. . beyond Norway, which is the farthermost
northern country, you will fi nd no human habitation, nothing but ocean,
terrible to look on, and limitless, encircling the whole world’ (Adam of Bremen
History 482, trans.: 215).


A late and fragmentary source from Ireland referred to
the ‘Blue men’, whom Vikings brought to Ireland from Mauretania; we assume
they were black Africans ( Fragmentary Annals : 163; Chapter 4). But slaving
was never the main object of expeditions launched from the Viking settlement
in Dublin and although it is attested in the ninth century, it did not become
important until two hundred years later (Holm 1986).
Captives acquired in Iberia and the Maghreb may have been held for ransom rather than being
traded elsewhere. Two eleventh- century charters from what is now Portugal
document the sale of property to redeem debts incurred in ransoming women
captured by Vikings (Pires 2011; see Chapter 7). According to the fi rst, the
ransom was paid in silver. In the second, the raiders left with a number of
everyday items: clothing, a sword, a cow and some salt. Supplied with these
provisions, they continued their voyage.


Da der Text aus einer ehemals anderes betitelten Seit stammt, habe ich ihn hierher "gerettet", das es Sinn ergibt.

Im Sommer 844, belagerte Karl der Kahle und Hásteinn (in den Angel-Sächsischen Chroniken als Däne bezeichnet, aber isländischer Abstammung). In der Zeit von 859-862 führte er Raubzüge entlang der Mittelmeerküste. Jeder der Raubzüge führte weiter nach Süden, entlang der Küste Spaniens westwärts. Im Nordwesten Spaniens, Austurien erfuhren die Wikinger heftigen Widerstand und verloren einen Großteil ihrer Schiffe und Beute, was sie nicht hinderte weiter zu ziehen.
Es folge damit die 30tägige Belagerung von Lissabon. Die weitere Fahrt und vor allem die Streifzüge führten bis nach Sevilla. Die Stadt wurde erobert, aber nicht die Festung. Innerhalb eines Monats wurde das gesamte Umland geplündert. Dies ging so, bis die Mauren ihre Armeen aus der Region gesammelt hatten. Die Wikinger erlitten eine Niederlage. Sevilla wurde gerettet. Ein großer Teil ihrer Arme wurde getötet, ein weiterer wurde gefangen genommen. Das Angebot der Auslösung der Gefangenen lehnten sie ab, entschieden sich für Krieg. Und wurden wieder besiegt. In Sidona verloren sie 500 Mann und 4 Schiffe. In späteren Berichten heißt es, dass 30 Schiffe verbrannt wurden. Die Mauren erhängten alle Gefangenen und schickten Emir Abderrahman II die Köpfe und 200 Heiden als Trophäe nach Marokko. Gegenüber einer gut organisierten Armee hatten die plündernden Wikinger keine Chance. Die Wikinger zogen sich zurück, sie segelten nach Sidona, entlang der Küste von Marokko. Plündernd zurück über Lissabon, Bordeaux.

859 n.Ch.

859 sollen Hásteinn und Bjorn eine (weitere) Fahrt unternommen haben. Die Route war wie zuvor, nur die Verteidigung ungleich stärker, da die Mauren und Christie sich schon untereinander im Krieg befanden. Von der 62 Schiffen zählenden Flotte segelten zwei voraus – und kaperten bei Beja. Es fanden sich Gold, Gefangene, Provisionen. Die Wikinger zogen weiter nach Andalusien, dem Flussdeltea des Gualdaquvir.

Der Emir Mohamad hatte jedoch ebenso eine starke Verteidigung hier, daher zog sich die Flotte Richtung Algericas in Andalusien zurück. Von hier sollen die Plünderfahrten weiter gegangen sein. Gefangene wurden genommen und als Leibeigene auf dem Markt in Dublin verkauft sein. Gefangene mit Schwarzer Haut.2 Von hier segelte die Flotte nach Spanien, plünderte Andalusien und nordwärts der Mittelmeerküste über die balearischen Inseln, Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza und Forteventura.3 Die Flotte verließ den Mittelmeerraum im Jahr 861 über die Straße von Gibraltar, den Aufzeichnungen zu Folge verloren sie 40 Schiffe, vier weitere Schiffe verloren sie bei Sidona, wo sie den Mauren aber schwere Verluste zu fügten. In der Bucht von Biscay gelang es ihnen den von Navarra gefangen zu nehmen und ein Lösegeld von 90.000 Denar zu erpressen. Nach weiteren Plünderungen und Erpressungen segelte die Flotte 862 aus dem Mittelmeerraum.


Die ganzen Texte sind m.E. (und anderer wesentlch qualifizierter Persönlickeiten) so voller Vorbehalte, das hier wirklich nicht durchweg von "historisch korrekt" sondern eher von voreingenommen Berichten ausgegangen werden kann.
Zu den Ibn´s wäre noch zu nennen: Ibii-al-Cutia, Nowairi , Ibn-Adhari, Ibn-Adhari

Der wichtigste Punkt: es kein Indiz das die Skandinaviere von hier Kenntnisse über einen Steckstuhl haben könnten.

Anm.: es fehlen Details zu den Ereignissen in Afrika.

843/844, al-Andalus

Ibn H. ayyān began by copying a long entry on the advent of Vikings, citing
A h. mad al-Rāzī. It begins: ‘At the end of the year 229/843–844, ships of Vikings
( al-Urmānniyīna ), who are known in al-Andalus as the Majūs , appeared off
the west coast of al-Andalus’(Ibn H. ayyān Muqtabas [796–847]: fol.185v, trans.:312). Th e narrative that follows is full of circumstantial details, which add to,
but also contradict, Ibn al-Qū t. īya’s version. Al-Rāzī noted that there were fi ft yfour
large and fi ft y- four smaller ships. Th is seems to be an exaggeration.
Ermentarius said that the attack on Nantes in 843, possibly by the same group,
involved sixty- seven ships. Fleets of more than one hundred ships are a feature
of the invasions of the Late Viking Age, such as Harald and Canute’s expeditions
against England, and would have been unlikely in the ninth century. Al-Rāzī
named the governor of Lisbon who reported the Vikings’ arrival to the emir in
Cordoba and the Andalusi commanders whom ‘Abd al-Ra h. mān mobilized
against the new threat. In the last days of 229 (the beginning of September
844) Vikings besieged the walls of Lisbon for thirteen days, before making for
Cadiz and Sidūna , the district around Jerez. Hereabouts they fought a battle
with the Andalusis at which Lubb, the brother of Mūsā ibn Mūsā was present.
On 2 October ‘ship aft er ship of the Majūs – may God curse them! – appeared
before Seville and committed outrage in the city for seven days; the men
were killed and the women and children captured’ (Ibn H. ayyān Muqtabas
[796–847]: fol.185v, trans.: 313). Th e most signifi cant diff erence between Ibn
H. ayyān’s various accounts of the Andalusi response to the Viking onslaught is
the change in dramatis personae . Here, the main protagonist of the defence is
the eunuch Na s. r, the son of a Christian convert to Islam, who became a
favourite of ‘Abd al-Ra h. mān II and directed the expansion of the Great Mosque
of Cordoba (Vallve 1985). Led by Na s. r, Andalusi forces defeated the raiders at
a crucial battle at T. alyā t. a on 1 November. ‘Abd al-Ra h. mān sent the news to all
parts of the realm, and despatched the heads of the Viking leaders to his clients,
the Berber emirs of North Africa.

Īsā al-Rāzī, in a comment on his father’s report, which Ibn H. ayyān also
included (Ibn H. ayyān Muqtabas [796–847]: fols.186r, 186v, trans.: 314–316)
noted that Vikings made their base at Qabtīl (Isla Menor) at the mouth of the
Guadalquivir and sacked Coria on the west bank of the river. Aft er the fi rst
attack on Seville, the remaining inhabitants fl ed to Carmona. Th e Vikings
returned to their base at Qabtīl , and when they attacked Seville again aft er a
few days, the city was empty apart from a few fugitives who had sheltered in a
mosque. In this version, no marvellous boy came to their rescue, and the
Muslims were surrounded and killed, ‘since when it has been called the
“Mosque of the Martyrs” ’(Ibn H. ayyān Muqtabas [796–847]: fol.186r, trans.:315). Īsā al-Rāzī added further details about the battle at T. alyā t. a , claiming that
1,000 Vikings were killed, more than 400 captured and thirty ships were
abandoned.Ibn Idhārī concluded his long account of this episode
with a victory for the Muslims at T. alyā t. a ;
At last, when war engines were used against them and reinforcements had
arrived from Cordoba, Vikings were put to fl ight. [Muslims] killed about 500
of their men, and took four of their ships with all their cargoes. Ibn-Wazim
had these burnt, aft er selling all that was found in them. Th e [Vikings] were
defeated at T. alyā t. a on the 25 Safar of this year (11 November 844). Many
were killed, others hanged at Seville, others hanged in the palm trees at
T. alyā t. a , and thirty of their ships were burnt. Th ose who escaped from the
bloodshed embarked. Th ey went to Niebla and then to Lisbon and were no
more heard of. Th ey arrived at Seville on the 14 Moharram, 230 (October 1
844) and forty- two days had passed from the day when they entered Seville
until those of them who were not put to the sword departed. Th eir general
was killed. To punish them for their crimes. God gave them to our sword and
destroyed them, numerous as they were. When they had been annihilated,
the government made this happy event known through all the provinces,
and ‘Abd al-Ra h. mān also wrote to the Sinhaja tribe in Tanger, to tell themthat with God’s help he had succeeded in destroying Vikings. At the same
time he sent them the heads of the general, and of two hundred of the
noblest Vikings warriors.
(Ibn Idhārī Bayān , vol.2: 88–89, trans.; Stefansson: 35–6)
Th e outline of Ibn Idhārī’s narrative, its names and dates, are recognizable. It
has accrued a lot of extra information, although it is not clear that Ibn Idhārī
himself was responsible for these additions. Overall Ibn Idhārī’s treatment of
Vikings is selective. Whilst he recounted the attacks on al-Andalus in detail, he
said little about the Viking raid on Nakūr in c. 859 even in the course of several
pages on the history of the town (Ibn Idhārī Bayān , vol.1: 176–181; Chapter 4).
Th ere is little justifi cation for adding details from Ibn Idhārī’s version of the
attacks on al-Andalus to modern narratives of the Vikings’ activities in Iberia.

@ Torben Barthelmie, 2003 - 2021