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Bjarmaland and interaction in the North of Europe from the Viking Age until the Early Middle Ages
2012 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, Vol. 6, no 2, 37-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The medieval Scandinavian written sources locate Bjarmaland to the WhiteSea. The words Terfinna land connect the location with the KolaPeninsula and the environs of the Varzuga River whereas the name Gandvíkguides our interest towards the Kantalahti Bay of the White Sea. The name Vína can be connected with either theNorthern Dvina River or Viena Karelia. The Bjarmians as portrayed in the writtensources seem to have been a permanently settled group of Baltic Fennic speakingpeople that lived in the north of Europe since the Viking Age (first mentionedin writing in the ninth century) until the early Middle Ages (mid-thirteenthcentury). They seem to have been involved in the international fur trade andhad continuous contacts with Norwegians with both looting and trade as integralpart of interaction. The Bjarmians cannot be connected ethnically with anyexisting group of people but must be considered as a group of their own. Theorigin of the specific ethnical identity most likely lies in economicalinteraction (trade with furs and possibly other items) with neighbouring areas.Since the twelfth and thirteenth centuries new settlers moved to the northernareas and many political and economical changes occurred in NorthernFennoscandia and Russia, all of which would have contributed to a change thatleft the Bjarmians out of written sources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2012. Vol. 6, no 2, 37-58 p.
Keyword [en]
Bjarmaland, Bjarmians, Beormas, Kola peninsula, Finno-ugrian peoples, Baltic Fennic language, fur trade
National Category
Humanities Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66475OAI: diva2:606905
Available from: 2013-02-21 Created: 2013-02-21 Last updated: 2013-02-25Bibliographically approved

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