Full text: The national Church of Sweden

people inhabiting an estuary of the ocean, towards which 
amber was brought by the waves from an island a 
day’s voyage distant (cp. Plin., N. H., Book 37, ch. 11). 
Tacitus, who wrote about the end of the first century after 
Christ, speaks of the Guthones, who must be the same 
people, as occupying a position between tribes who 
inhabited the modern West Poland and Silesia, and those 
who dwelt by the ocean in the modern Pomerania (Germ., 
ch. 43). This description suggests the lower course of the 
Vistula, but somewhat south of the Gulf of Danzig, where 
Pytheas seems to place them. They form a kingdom 
which is ruled more strictly than the other German tribes. 
Tacitus writes: —‘‘ That which distinguishes all these 
peoples is the round shield, the short sword, and their 
reverence to their kings.”” The German tribes usually had 
oblong shields and long swords, and were very indepen- 
dent. His description of the Suiones which follows 
(ch. 44) places them by contrast in ipso oceano—that 
is, in an island or peninsula, and he tells us that they are 
powerful by their fleets as well as in men and arms. He 
describes their ships as equally fit for landing at the stern 
and the bow—a remark which applies to many later 
northern vessels. They have no sails, nor even regular 
banks of oars, but are rowed, as in some rivers, now on 
one side, now on the other, of course by paddles. The 
Suiones honour wealth, and are governed by a monarch, 
who has great power. Men are not allowed to bear arms 
freely, partly because it is not necessary, since the ocean 
prevents sudden hostile raids. 
Next to them (proceeds Tacitus) are the Sitones, who 
are like the Suiones in other respects, but fall even lower 
than the condition of slaves, being governed by a woman. 
This is the end of Suevia. So far Tacitus. 
18 Pliny also makes the Guttones a German people, evidently 
of the Mainland (N. H., Book iv., ch. 28). His account of 
Scandinavia, which he makes an immense island of unknown 
extent, is that it is inhabited by the Hilleviones in 500 villages, 
who call it a second world. The island of Eningia is thought to 
be no smaller (ibid, 27.) 

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