World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Grobin

Article Id: WHEBN0002736232
Reproduction Date:

Title: Grobin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Viking Age, Musar movement, Olof (I) of Sweden, Birger Nerman, Simcha Zissel Ziv, Mokhovoye, Rus' people, Varangians
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Grobin

Grobiņa
Town

Coat of arms
Grobiņa
Grobiņa
Location in Latvia

Coordinates: 56°32′N 21°11′E / 56.533°N 21.183°E / 56.533; 21.183Coordinates: 56°32′N 21°11′E / 56.533°N 21.183°E / 56.533; 21.183

Country  Latvia
District Grobiņa municipality
Town rights 1695
Government
 • Mayor Jānis Neimanis
Area
 • Total 5.12 km2 (1.98 sq mi)
Population
 • Total 4 218
 • Density 823.2/km2 (2,132/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code LV-3430
Calling code +371 634
Number of city council members 9

Grobiņa (Grobina castle are still visible. The town was given its charter in 1695.

During the Early Middle Ages, Grobiņa (or Grobin) was the most important political centre on the territory of Latvia. There was a centre of Scandinavian settlement on the Baltic Sea, comparable in many ways to Hedeby and Birka but probably predating them both. About 3,000 surviving burial mounds contain the most impressive remains of the Vendel Age in Northern Europe.

Scandinavian settlement

The settlement pre-dates the Viking Age, but was apparently used as a place of passage by Vikings from the early 9th century.[1]

Site

The settlement at Grobin was excavated by Birger Nerman in 1929 and 1930. Nerman found remains of an earthwork stronghold, which had been protected on three sides by the Ālande River. Three Vendel Age cemeteries may be dated to the period between 650 and 800 AD. One of them was military in character and analogous to similar cemeteries in the Mälaren Valley in Central Sweden, while two others indicate that there was "a community of Gotlanders who were carrying on peaceful pursuits behind the shield of the Swedish military".[2] From Nerman's findings, it appears that Grobin was the site of an early Scandinavian colony from Gotland. Many of the graves in level ground were of women, who could be identified as natives of Gotland by their belt-buckles and brooches. The grave-mounds predominantly housed men, often accompanied by typical Scandinavian weaponry.[3]

In one grave a picture-stone or stele depicting two duck-like birds was found in 1987. Such picture-stones are otherwise unique to Gotland. From its style it can be dated to the second half of 7th century. The weathered surface of one side contains refined carvings - inside the ring of ornaments there are two waterbirds; their beaks meet. Several hundreds of such picture stones (Swedish: bildsten) have been found in Gotland.[4]

In the early years of the 9th century female graves at Grobin become scarce. Later graves are those of seafaring Scandinavian males.[5]

Destruction

The Norsemen may have remained in control of Grobin until the mid-9th century, when — as Rimbert's Vita Ansgari relates — people inhabiting the Courland regions of Latvia rebelled after a long period as tributaries of Swedish rulers. In about 854 a fleet of Danes attempted to reimpose the tribute on their own behalf, but was defeated. Then Olof (I) of Sweden gathered an enormous army and tried to win back the former colony, in the process destroying a place that Rimbert calls Seeburg, usually identified as Grobin. Seeburg had 7,000 armed men to protect it, but the town was pillaged, ravaged, and burnt by the Swedes. The invaders sent back their ships and started out on a five-day expedition into the hinterland. They reached the town of Apulia (modern Apuolė, 25 miles to the southeast, in Lithuania) which had as many as 15,000 warriors. The town was besieged for eight days without apparent success and the Norsemen even appealed to the Christian God for help. When they were preparing for a decisive battle, the Curonians suddenly sued for peace, giving as booty weapons and gold captured by them from the Danes a year earlier.[6]

Nerman's excavations at the ancient fort of Apulia corroborated the account of Vita Ansgari. He found evidence of a large-scale conflict in the 9th century, notably large concentrations of Swedish arrowheads near the walls of the derelict Curonian fortress.

References

Further reading

  • B. Nerman. Grobin-Seeburg, Ausgrabungen und Funde. Stockholm, 1958.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.