Monday, August 16, 2010

Scritobini: Dawn of Europe

The Scritobini were a particularly barbaric tribe in ancient Scandinavia. "Scritobini" was the name which the Romans called them. Here "Scritobini" is used in part, to represent the first inhabitants of the region, or at least going back to the last Ice Age.

Book I, Chaper V

The Scritobini, for thus that nation is called, are neighbors to this place. They are not without snow even in the summer time, and since they do not differ in nature from wild beasts themselves, they feed only upon the raw flesh of wild animals from whose shaggy skins also they fit garments for themselves. [1] They deduce the etymology of their name [2] according to their barbarous language from jumping.

For by making use of leaps and bounds they pursue wild beasts very skillfully with a piece of wood bent in the likeness of a bow. Among them there is an animal not very unlike a stag, [3] from whose hide, while it was rough with hairs, I saw a coat fitted in the manner of a tunic down to the knees, such as the aforesaid Scritobini use, as has been related.

In these places about the summer solstice, a very bright light is seen for some days, even in the night time, and the days are much longer there than elsewhere, just as, on the other hand, about the winter solstice, although the light of day is present, yet the sun is not seen there and the days are shorter than anywhere else and the nights too are longer, and this is because the further we turn from the sun the nearer the sun itself appears to the earth and the longer the shadows grow.

[1] What is said about the Scritobini (or Scridefinni) can be traced to one and the same source as the account of Thule given in Procopius' Gothic War, II, 13, or of Scandza in Jordanes' Gothic History, 3; see Zeuss, 684.
[2] Perhaps from schreitcii, " to stride," or some kindred word.
[3] A reindeer (Waitz).

[Music: 'House of 1000 Corpses' by Rob Zombie]

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