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EUROPE ASIA AND AFRICA
E. D. CLARKE LL.D.
PART THE THIRD
VOLUME THE NINTH
BY R. WATTS CROWN COURT TEMPLE BAR.
THE AUTHOR'S PREFACE
PART THE THIRD.
The Author has at length the satisfaction of fulfilling so far his original promise, as to present to the Public nearly the whole of what remains for the completion of his present Work. The Third Part of his Travels relates entirely to Scandinavia; by which name he wishes to be understood as alluding, not only to all those countries lying to the north of the Baltic Sea, which the Antients comprehended under the name of BALTIA — that is to say, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Lapland — but also all Finland, to the utmost extremity of the Finland Gulph. To which is added, a description of Christiania, and the Silver Mines of Kongsberg in the south of Norway; the Mines and Universities of Sweden ; the Åland Isles; Finland; and the Cities of StockHOLM and PETERSBURG.
There is one remark, generally applicable to
Scandinavia, to which the future historian may, perhaps, attach some degree of importance; namely, that this thinly-peopled region had never, in
any former period, a population equal to what it possesses at the present time: consequently, all that has been written respecting it, as being the “Storehouse of Nations," as the “great Northern hive," whence armies of innumerable warriors, under the name of Goths, “issued in swarms from the neighbourhood of the Polar circle, to chastise the oppressors of mankind',” is not history, but fable. Yet it is marvellous to observe with what success this erroneous notion has been propagated, and with what pertinacity it has been maintained. people increase and multiply exceedingly in cold countries,” observes Rapin de Thoyras,” it often happened that Denmark and Norway were overstocked with inhabitants, and therefore forced, in order to make room for the rest, to send away large colonies? :" and this remark, made with
(1) Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. I. p. 335. Many vestiges, which cannot be ascribed to popular vanity, attest the antient residence of the Goths in the countries beyond the Ballic.” (Ibid. p. 332. Lond. 1807.) Their residence, it is true, is well attested by the monuments alluded to; that is to say, the monuments of a colonial settlement ; but nothing more.
(2) Hist. of England, vol. I. p. 83. Lond. 1732.
respect to those countries in the ninth century, has often been supposed equally applicable to the state of Sweden at a much earlier period; than which nothing can be more absurd.
- The Goths, a warlike nation,” say the authors of the Universal History', “and, above all, famous in the Roman History, came originally, according to Jornandes, out of Scandinavia, a country rightly styled by him OFFICINA GENTIUM, and VAGINA NATIONUM, on account of the incredible multitudes of people that, issuing from thence in swarms, overran, and stocked with inhabitants, other, as well distant as neighbouring countries.” These books, meeting with a general perusal, and being among the historical writings which are recommended to youth, together with others of a similar nature, fix early in the mind an erroneous notion respecting the Gothic invasion. That the barbarians, who, under the various names of Cimbrians, Getes, and Goths, proved such a scourge to the inhabitants of EUROPE,
(3) Universal History, vol. XIX. p. 253. Lond. 1748.
(4) “ Ex hac igitur Scanzia insula quasi officina gentium, aut certè velut vagina nationum, cum rege suo nomine Berig, Gothi quondam memorantur egressi.”—Jornandes De Rebus Gelicis, cap. iv. p. 613. Hist. Goth. Vandal, et Langobard, ab Hugo Grotio digesta. Amst. ap. Elzevir. 1655.