The Rugii, also Rugians, Rygir, Ulmerugi, or Holmrygir (Norwegian: Rugiere, German: Rugier) were an East Germanic tribe who migrated from southwest Norway to Pomerania around 100 AD, and from there to the Danube River valley. They were allies of Attila until his death in 453, and settled in what is now Austria after the defeat of the Huns at Nedao in 453.
The tribal name "Rugii" or "Rygir" is a derivate of the Old Norse term for rye, rugr, and is thus translated "rye eaters" or "rye farmers". Holmrygir and Ulmerugi are both translated as "island Rugii".
Uncertain and disputed is the association of the Rugii with the name of the isle of Rügen and the tribe of the Rugini. Though some scholars suggested that the Rugii passed their name to the isle of Rügen in modern Northeast Germany, other scholars presented alternative hypotheses of Rügen's etymology associating the name to the mediaeval Rani (Rujani) tribe.
The Rugini were only mentioned once, in a list of Germanic tribes still to be Christianised drawn up by the English monk Bede (Beda venerabilis) in his Historia ecclesiastica of the early 8th century, but James Campbell has argued that, regarding the list, "the sense of the Latin is that these are the peoples from whom the Anglo-Saxons living in Britain were derived,",:53 and thus the Rugini would be among the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons.:123–124 Whether the Rugini were remnants of the Rugii is speculative. Despite the identification by Bede as Germanic, some scholars have attempted to link the Rugini with the Rani.
The Rugii had possibly migrated from southwest Norway to Pomerania in the 1st century AD. Rogaland or Rygjafylke is a region (fylke) in south west Norway. Rogaland translates "Land of the Rygir" (Rugii), the transition of rygir to roga being sufficiently explained with the general linguistic transitions of the Norse language. Scholars suggest a migration either of Rogaland Rugii to the southern Baltic coast, the other way around, or an original homeland on the islands of Denmark in between these two regions. None of these theories is so far backed by archaeological evidence. Another theory suggests that the name of one of the two groups was adapted by the other one later without any significant migration taking place. Scholars regard it as very unlikely that the name was invented twice.
The Rugii were first mentioned by Tacitus in the late 1st century. Tacitus' description of their contemporary settlement area, adjacent to the Goths at the "ocean", is generally seen as the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the later Pomerania. Tacitus characterized the Rugii as well as the neighboring Goths and Lemovii saying they carried round shields and short swords, and obeyed their regular authority. Ptolemaeus in 150 AD mentions a place named Rhougion (also transliterated from Greek as Rougion, Rugion, Latinized Rugium or Rugia) and a tribe named Routikleioi in the same area; both names have been associated with the Rugii. Jordanes says the Goths upon their arrival in this area expelled the Ulmerugi. and makes other, retrospect references to the Rugii in his Getica of the 6th century. The 9th-century Old English Widsith, a compilation of earlier oral traditions, mentions the tribe of the Holmrycum without localizing it. Holmrygir are mentioned in an Old Norse Skaldic poem, Hákonarmál, and probably also in the Haraldskvæði.
Around the mid 2nd century AD, there was a significant migration by Germanic tribes of Scandinavian origin (Rugii, Goths, Gepidae, Vandals, Burgundians, and others) towards the south-east, creating turmoil along the entire Roman frontier. These migrations culminated in the Marcomannic Wars, which resulted in widespread destruction and the first invasion of Italy in the Roman Empire period. Many Rugii had left the Baltic coast during the migration period. It is assumed that Burgundians, Goths and Gepids with parts of the Rugians left Pomerania during the late Roman Age, and that during the migration period, remnants of Rugians, Vistula Veneti, Vidivarii and other, Germanic tribes remained and formed units that were later Slavicized. The Vidivarii themselves are described by Jordanes in his Getica as a melting pot of tribes who in the mid-6th century lived at the lower Vistula. Though differing from the earlier Willenberg culture, some traditions were continued. One hypothesis, based on the sudden appearance of large amounts of Roman solidi and migrations of other groups after the breakdown of the Hun empire in 453, suggest a partial re-migration of earlier emigrants to their former northern homelands.
The Oxhöft culture is associated with parts of the Rugii and Lemovii. The archaeological Gustow group of Western Pomerania is also associated with the Rugii. The remains of the Rugii west of the Vidivarii, together with other Gothic, Veneti, and Gepid groups, are believed to be identical with the archaeological Debczyn group.
In the beginning of the 4th century, large parts of the Rugii moved southwards and settled at the upper Tisza in ancient Pannonia, in what is now modern Hungary. They were later attacked by the Huns but took part in Attila's campaigns in 451, but at his death they rebelled and created under Flaccitheus a kingdom of their own in Rugiland, a region presently part of lower Austria (ancient Noricum), north of the Danube. After Flaccitheus's death, the Rugii of Rugiland were led by king Feletheus, also called Feva, and his wife Gisa. Yet other Rugii had already become foederati of Odoacer, who was to become the first Germanic king of Italy. By 482 the Rugii had converted to Arianism. Feletheus' Rugii were utterly defeated by Odoacer in 487; many came into captivity and were carried to Italy, and subsequently, Rugiland was settled by the Lombards. Records of this era are made by Procopius, Jordanes and others.
Two years later, Rugii joined the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great when he invaded Italy in 489. Within the Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy, they kept their own administrators and avoided intermarriage with the Goths. They disappeared after Totila's defeat in the Gothic War (535-554).
The Battle of Nedao was a battle fought in Pannonia in 454 between Huns and their former Germanic vassals. Nedao is believed to be a tributary of the Sava river.After the death of Attila the Hun, allied forces of the subject peoples under the leadership of Ardaric, king of the Gepids, defeated the Hunnic forces of Ellac, the son of Attila, who had struggled with his brothers Ernak and Dengizich for supremacy after Attila's death. Ellac himself was killed in the battle.According to the 6th-century historian Jordanes:
And so the bravest nations tore themselves to pieces. For then, I think, must have occurred a most remarkable spectacle, where one might see the Goths fighting with pikes, the Gepidae raging with the sword, the Rugii breaking off the spears in their own wounds, the Suavi fighting on foot, the Huns with bows, the Alani drawing up a battle-line of heavy-armed and the Heruli of light-armed warriors.
Jordanes claims that, in the battle of Nedao, Ostrogoths fought against the Huns, but this is rejected by modern historians like Herwig Wolfram or Hyun Jin Kim. The latter believes that this is a forged story and that the Ostrogoth king Valamir himself fought alongside the Huns. Alternatively, J.R. Martindale and Franz Altheim accept that the Ostrogoths were among the victors of Nedao, while many others, including Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen, believe that they did not participate at all.Calucones
The Calucones were a Rhaetian tribe mentioned by a few of the classical sources, but not all. Pliny the Elder (Book 3 Chapter 24 of Naturalis Historia, published in 77 CE) quotes a monument to the reign of Augustus, the tropeaum Alpium, located in the Rhaetia of his day, stating that Augustus subdued the Alpine peoples from the upper sea to the lower sea, including the Calucones.
Ptolemy in Geography (Book 2 Chapter 10) on the other hand locates the Kaloukones on either side of the Elbe "below" (north of?) the Silingae or Silesians. Since the Elbe does not drain the Alps, if the two Calucones are the same, the tropeaum cannot have meant that Augustus subdued only Rhaetia. However, the tropeaum also lists the Rugusci, another Rhaetian tribe, but some have hypothesized this the tribe he intended to reference was the Rugii who at that time would have been located on or near Rügen. According to this theory, Pliny's upper and lower seas would have been the Baltic and the Mediterranean respectively. This hypothesis is not likely to be true, unless Augustus achieved some sort of alliance with Germanic tribes stretching over the entire region from the Danube to the Baltic Sea.Chamavi
The Chamavi were a Germanic tribe of Roman imperial times whose name survived into the Early Middle Ages. They first appear under that name in the 1st century AD Germania of Tacitus as a Germanic tribe that lived to the north of the Lower Rhine. Their name probably survives in the region today called Hamaland, which is in the Gelderland province of the Netherlands, between the IJssel and Ems rivers.Feletheus
Feletheus (also known as Feva, Feba, Foeba, Fevva, Fevvanus, Theuvanus; died 487) was the king of the Rugii from 475 to 487.Flaccitheus
Flaccitheus (died c. 475) was the founder of the Kingdom of the Rugii.Germanic kingship
Germanic kingship is a thesis regarding the role of kings (called Konungrs) among the pre-Christianized Germanic tribes of the Migration period (c. 300–700 AD) and Early Middle Ages (c. 700–1,000 AD). The thesis holds that the institution of feudal monarchy developed, through contact with the Roman Empire and the Christian Church, from an earlier custom of sacral and military kingship based on both birth status and popular consent.
The term barbarian kingdom is used in the context of those Germanic rulers who after 476 AD and during the 6th century ruled territories formerly part of the Western Roman Empire, especially the Barbarian kings of Italy. In the same context, Germanic law is also derisively termed leges barbarorum "barbarian law" etc.The thesis of Germanic kingship appeared in the nineteenth century and was influential in the historiography of early medieval society, but today it stands largely discredited for drawing broad conclusions from sparse evidence.Gustow group
The Gustow group (German: Gustow Gruppe or Gustower Gruppe, Polish: grupa gustowska) is an archaeological culture of the Roman Iron Age in Western Pomerania. The Gustow group is associated with the Germanic tribe of the Rugii.Since the second half of the 1st century AD, settlement in Western Pomerania became more dense. The highest density was reached in the 2nd century. Artefacts, settlements and tombs from this period belong to the coastal group of the Roman Iron Age and are heavily influenced by the material culture of the Oder and Vistula area. Influences from the Elbe area and Scandinavia are found in ceramics artefacts.Slag from the smelting of iron was found in many settlements, also imported goods, primarily from the Roman provinces, as well as silver and gold. After an archaeological site in Gustow on Rügen, this western Pomeranian culture is referred to as Gustow group. The Gustrow group comprised the coastal territories between the Darß peninsula in the West, and the Rega river in the East, while the adjacent Lower Oder area in the South belonged to the related Lebus group. The Gustow group was closely related to the contemporary Elbe cultures.In the 3rd century, as in all of Pomerania, many settlements were abandoned, and fewer settlement traces are found in the following period. Though rather scarce, Gustow group settlements were located on better soil due to the increasing importance of plant cultivation.Gynerium
Gynerium is a monotypic genus of Neotropical plants in the grass family, native to Mexico, Central America, South America, and the West Indies. It is classified in its own tribe Gynerieae.The sole species in the genus is Gynerium sagittatum, a tall grass that grows up to six metres (twenty feet) high. It is a very vigorous species that grows into a considerably dense mass of vegetation. The species is known as "cana-do-rio", "cana-flecha", "cana-frecha", "ubá" and "cana-brava" in Brazil, "caña brava" in Peru and Colombia, "chuchío" in eastern Bolivia, and "tañil" in Guatemala and other Spanish speaking countries. It is known in English as "wildcane" or "wild cane", while "arrow cane" is less common (sagitta is Latin for arrow).Hermunduri
The Hermunduri, Hermanduri, Hermunduli, Hermonduri, or Hermonduli were an ancient Germanic tribe, who occupied an area near the Elbe river, around what is now Thuringia, Bohemia, Saxony (in East Germany), and Franconia in northern Bavaria, from the first to the third century. At times, they apparently moved to the Danube frontier with Rome. The Thuringii may have been the descendants of the Hermunduri. Claudius Ptolemy mentions neither tribe in his geography but instead the Teuriochaemae, who may also be connected to both.Herules
The Herules (or Heruli) were an East Germanic tribe who lived north of the Black Sea apparently near the Sea of Azov, in the third century AD, and later moved (either wholly or partly) to the Roman frontier on the central European Danube, at the same time as many eastern barbarians during late antiquity, such as the Goths, Huns, Scirii, Rugii and Alans.
In the third century, they were named along with Goths as one of the most important "Scythian" groups who attacked Greece from the Black Sea by sea, and marauded around the Balkans for several years. In the fourth century, they were subjugated by the empires of Ermanaric the Ostrogoth, and later Attila the Hun; they are not mentioned in the written record again until after the death of Attila.
Along with many other people they reappear in the written records as one of many groups from the east who were struggling for supremacy on the left bank of the middle Danube after the death of Attila, in the area stretching from modern Bavaria to modern Hungary. They established their own kingdom and many joined Odoacer, who deposed the last Western Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus in 476 AD. They became well known both as soldiers in various Roman armies, in the Italian kingdom of Odoacer, and as sea raiders on the Atlantic coast, before fading out of history. The Danubian kingdom broke up and remnants settled in the Balkans and other places. The last known political entity which was described as Herulian seem to have been in the area of modern Belgrade in the 550s, as a settlement within the Roman Empire and under Roman control.
The details of their history are difficult to reconstruct. Like the Goths and some other Germanic peoples who entered the Roman Empire, there was an origin myth for the Herules wherein they had come from the far north of Europe, and been ejected after fighting with a neighbouring people, in this case named as the Dani.Lemovii
The Lemovii were a Germanic tribe, only once named by Tacitus in the late 1st century. He noted that they lived near the Rugii and Goths and that they had short swords and round shields.The Oksywie culture is associated with parts of the Rugii and Lemovii. Also, the Plöwen group (German: Plöwener Gruppe) of the Uecker-Randow region is associated with the Lemovii.The archaeological Dębczyn group might comprise the remnants of the Lemovii, probably identical with Widsith's Glommas, who are believed to have been the neighbors of the Rugii, a tribe dwelling at the Baltic Sea coast in today's Pomerania region before the migration period. Both "Lemovii" and "Glommas" translate to "the barking". Germanic sagas report a battle on the isle of Hiddensee between king Hetel (Hethin, Heodin of the Glommas) and Rugian king Hagen, following the abduction of Hagen's daughter Hilde by Hetel. Yet, there are also other hypotheses about the location of the Lemovii, and that their identification as Glommas, though probable, is not certain.The Lemovii have also been equated with Jordanes' Turcilingi, together with the Rugii with Ptolemy's Rhoutikleioi, also with Ptolemy's Leuonoi and with the Leonas of the Widsith.Moneasa River
The Moneasa is a river in Bihor County and Arad County, Romania. At its confluence with the river Dezna in the village Dezna, the river Sebiș is formed.Odoacer
Flavius Odoacer (; c. 433 – 493 AD), also known as Flavius Odovacer or Odovacar (Latin: Odoacer, Odoacar, Odovacar, Odovacris), was a barbarian statesman who deposed Romulus Augustus and became King of Italy (476–493). His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire.Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of the emperor in Constantinople. Odoacer generally used the Roman honorific patrician, granted by the emperor Zeno, but is referred to as a king (Latin: rex) in many documents. He himself used it in the only surviving official document that emanated from his chancery, and it was also used by the consul Basilius. Odoacer introduced few important changes into the administrative system of Italy. He had the support of the Roman Senate and was able to distribute land to his followers without much opposition. Unrest among his warriors led to violence in 477–478, but no such disturbances occurred during the later period of his reign. Although Odoacer was an Arian Christian, he rarely intervened in the affairs of Trinitarian state church of the Roman Empire.
Of East Germanic descent, according to most opinions, Odoacer was a military leader in Italy who led the revolt of Herulian, Rugian, and Scirian soldiers that deposed Romulus Augustulus on 4 September AD 476. Augustulus had been declared Western Roman Emperor by his father, the rebellious general of the army in Italy, less than a year before, but had been unable to gain allegiance or recognition beyond central Italy. With the backing of the Roman Senate, Odoacer thenceforth ruled Italy autonomously, paying lip service to the authority of Julius Nepos, the previous Western emperor, and Zeno, the emperor of the East. Upon Nepos's murder in 480 Odoacer invaded Dalmatia, to punish the murderers. He did so, executing the conspirators, but within two years also conquered the region and incorporated it into his domain.
When Illus, master of soldiers of the Eastern Empire, asked for Odoacer's help in 484 in his struggle to depose Zeno, Odoacer invaded Zeno's westernmost provinces. The emperor responded first by inciting the Rugii of present-day Austria to attack Italy. During the winter of 487–488 Odoacer crossed the Danube and defeated the Rugii in their own territory. Zeno also appointed the Ostrogoth Theoderic the Great who was menacing the borders of the Eastern Empire, to be king of Italy, turning one troublesome, nominal vassal against another. Theoderic invaded Italy in 489 and by August 490 had captured almost the entire peninsula, forcing Odoacer to take refuge in Ravenna. The city surrendered on 5 March 493; Theoderic invited Odoacer to a banquet of reconciliation and there killed him.Oksywie culture
The Oksywie culture (ger. Oxhöft-Kultur) was an archaeological culture that existed in the area of modern-day Eastern Pomerania around the lower Vistula river from the 2nd century BC to the early 1st century AD. It is named after the village of Oksywie, now part of the city of Gdynia in northern Poland, where the first archaeological finds typical of this culture were discovered.
Archaeological research during the past recent decades near Pomerania in Poland suggests that the transition of the local component of the Pomeranian culture into the Oksywie culture occurred in the 2nd century BC. A connection with the Rugii has been suggested.Like other cultures of this period, the Oksywie culture related to La Tène cultural characteristics, and possessed traits typically shown from the Baltic cultures. Oksywie culture's ceramics and burial customs indicate strong ties with the Przeworsk culture. Men only had their ashes placed in well made black urns with fine finish and a decorative band around. Their graves were supplied with practical items for the afterlife such as utensils and weapons. Typically buried with the man, this culture would also place swords with one-sided edge, and the graves were often covered or marked by stones. Women's ashes were buried in hollows and supplied with feminine items.Popular monarchy
Popular monarchy is a term used by Kingsley Martin (1936) for royal titles referring to a people rather than a territory.
This was the norm in classical antiquity and throughout much of the Middle Ages, and such titles were retained in some of the monarchies of 19th- and 20th-century Europe.
During the French Revolution Louis XVI had to change his title to indicate he was "king of the French" rather than "king of France", paralleling the title of "king of the Franks" (rex Francorum) used in medieval France.
Currently, Belgium has the only explicit popular monarchy, the formal title of its king being King of the Belgians rather than King of Belgium.Rugiland
The Kingdom of the Rugii or Rugiland was established by the Germanic Rugii in present-day Austria in the 5th century.Tufa (general)
Tufa (? - 492/493) was a Germanic warrior active in 5th century Italy.Turcilingi
The Turcilingi (also spelled Torcilingi or Thorcilingi) were an obscure barbarian people who first appear in historical sources as living in Gaul in the mid-fifth century and last appeared in Italy during the reign of Romulus Augustulus (475–76). Their only known leader was Odoacer (Odovacar).Vidivarii
The Vidivarii are described by Jordanes in his Getica as a melting pot of tribes who in the mid-6th century lived at the lower Vistula:
Ad litus oceani, ubi tribus faucibus fluenta Vistulae fluminibus ebibuntur, Vidivarii resident ex diversis nationibus aggregati.
Though differing from the earlier Willenberg culture, some traditions were continued, thus the corresponding archaeological culture is sometimes described as the Vidivarian or widiwar stage of the Willenberg culture. The bearers of the Willenberg culture have been associated with a heterogeneous people comprising Vistula Veneti, Goths, Rugii, and Gepids. One hypothesis, based on the sudden appearance of large amounts of Roman solidi and migrations of other groups after the breakdown of the Hun empire in 453, suggest a partial re-migration of earlier emigrants to their former northern homelands.
History of the Germanic peoples
Early Middle Ages)