Burgundians

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The Burgundians (Latin: Burgundiōnes; Old Norse: Burgundar; Old English: Burgendas; Greek: Βούργουνδοι) were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose old form in Old Norse still was Burgundarholmr (the Island of the Burgundians), and from there to mainland Europe. In Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar (The Saga of Thorstein, Viking's Son), Veseti settled in an island or holm, which was called Borgund's holm, i.e. Bornholm. Alfred the Great's translation of Orosius uses the name Burgenda land. The poet and early mythologist Viktor Rydberg (1828–1895), (Our Fathers' Godsaga) asserted from an early medieval source, Vita Sigismundi, that themselves retained oral traditions about their Scandinavian origin.

Contents

Early history

Tribal origins

The Burgundians' tradition of Scandinavian origin finds support in place-name evidence and archaeological evidence (Stjerna) and many consider their tradition to be correct (e.g. Musset, p. 62). Possibly because Scandinavia was beyond the horizon of the earliest Roman sources, including Tacitus (who only mentions one Scandinavian tribe, the Suiones), Roman sources do not mention where the Burgundians came from, and the first Roman references place them east of the Rhine (inter alia, Ammianus Marcellinus, XVIII, 2, 15). Early Roman sources considered them simply another East Germanic tribe.

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