Adogit/Halogi – From the Land of the High Flames (Halogaland, Lofoten, Norway)

Adogit = Hálogi, Adogii, Andogii (Norway)

Sources: Jordanes, Getica III.19-21 (written in 551 AD)

  1. 1.    *Hálogi – The people of Hálogaland (“Land of High Flames”) in Northern Norway (Roughly the counties of Nordland and Troms in contemporary Norwegian geography). Jordanes mentions how the Adogit share their territories with other tribes, such as the Screrefennae  - the Sami people, a Finno-Ugric hunter-gatherer tribe that once dominated this area. From the 1st century AD, Norse people moved into the coastal districts and gradually built a tribe of Háleygir that shows signs of political significance from the 7th and 8th centuries AD. At the island Vestvågey in Lofoten (Lofótr in Old Norse) a very important royal seat emerged from the 8th century onwards with the great Hall at Borg as the political center of the Háleygir (The People of Hálogaland) tribe.

 

  1. 2.    *Adogii <*Andogii – A Norse tribe from Andey, an island in Vesterålen, which is an island district far north in the contemporary county of Norland, north of Lofoten.

 

In his Sixth Century AD Getica, Jordanes wrote about the Adogit:

“19. Now in the island of Scandza, whereof I speak, there dwell many and divers nations, though Ptolemaeus mentions the names of but seven of them. There the honey-making swarms of bees are nowhere to be found on account of the exceeding great cold. In the northern part of the island the race of the Adogit live, who are said to have continual light in midsummer for forty days and nights, and who likewise have no clear light in the winter season for the same number of days and nights.

20. By reason of this alternation of sorrow and joy they are like no other race in their sufferings and blessings. And why? Because during the longer days they see the sun returning to the east along the rim of the horizon, but on the shorter days it is not thus seen. The sun shows itself differently because it is passing through the southern signs, and whereas to us the sun seem to rise from below, it seems to go around them along the edge of the earth. There also are other peoples.”

Hålogaland figures extensively in the Norse sagas, and in the Heimskringla, especially the Ynglinga Saga and Háleygjatal. It was inhabited by the race of Hölgi (Háleygja ætt) who was the eponymous hero of Hålogaland.

In the saga, Heimskringla, a man called Gudlög led a number of Norwegian pirates that were fought by the Swedish king Jorund and king Godgest of Hålogaland was given a horse by the Swedish king Adils. The first earl of Lade, Håkon Grjotgardsson, ruler of Trøndelag, came from Hålogaland, and sought to extend his kingdom southwards. Here, he met with Harald Fairhair, and joined him.

Ancient Norwegians said that Hálogaland was named after a royal named Hölgi. The Norse form of the name was Hálogaland. The first element of the word is the genitive plural of háleygr, a ‘person from Hålogaland’. The last element is land, as in ‘land’ or ‘region’. The meaning of the demonym háleygr is unknown. Thorstein Vikingson’s Saga, 1, describes it as a compound of Hial, “Hel” or “spirit,” and “loge”, “fire”.

The Gothic historian Jordanes in his work ‘De origine actibusque Getarum’ – a.k.a. Getica -, written in Constantinople in c. 551 AD, mentions a people “Adogit” living in the far North. This could be an old form of háleygir and a possible reference to the petty kingdom of Hålogaland, which based on some medieval accounts may have been inhabited by the Kven people in the middle of the first millennium, but also perhaps a long before. Jordanes’ Vinoviloth is viewed by many historians as a reference to the Kvens of Northern Scandinavia and Fennoscandia:

“And there are beyond these the Ostrogothae (Eastern Geats), Raumarici (Romerike), Aeragnaricii (Ranrike), and the most gentle Finni (referring to either Sami or Finns), milder than all the inhabitants of Scandza (Scandinavia). Like them are the Vinoviloth (Kvens) also.”
According to Emeritus Professor Kyösti Julku, in the modern-day Northern Norwegian county of Troms alone there are at least 12 prehistoric Kven place names. During the Viking Age, Troms formed the northernmost part of Hålogaland.

Alex Woolf links the name Hålogaland to the Aurora Borealis – the “Northern Lights” -, saying that Hålogaland meant the “Land of the High Fire” “loga” deriving from ‘logi’, which refers to fire.



In the medieval accounts of Ynglingatal and Skáldskaparmál, “Logi” is described as the personification of fire, a fire giant, and as a “son of Fornjót”. In the medieval Orkneyinga saga and the account of Hversu Noregr byggðist (‘How Norway was inhabited’), Fornjót is described as the King of Finland, Kvenland and Gotland. The royal lineages sprung from his children are discussed in these and other medieval accounts.

The beginning of the Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar (‘Saga of Thorstein son of Víking’) discusses King Logi who ruled the country north of Norway. Because Logi was larger and stronger than any other man in land, his name was lengthened from Logi to Hálogi, meaning ‘High-Logi’. Derived from that name his country became called Hálogaland, meaning “Hálogi’s land”. Eventually the spelling of the name shaped to the modern-day Hålogaland.

The Hversu Noregr byggðist is an account of the origin of various legendary Norwegian lineages. It traces the descendants of the primeval Finnish ruler Fornjót (Fornjotr) down to Nór, who is here the eponym and first great king of Norway, who unites the Norwegian lands (petty kingdoms). The Hversu account then gives details of the descendants of Nór and of his brother Gór in the following section known as the Ættartölur (‘Genealogies’, a.k.a. Fundinn Noregr, ‘Founding of Norway’). The Hversu account is closely paralleled by the opening of the Orkneyinga saga.

In 873 AD, according to the Egil’s saga (written in c. 1240 AD) the Kvens and Norse cooperate in battling against the invading Karelians. The chapter XVII of Egil’s saga describes how Thorolf Kveldulfsson (King of Norway’s tax chief starting 872 AD) from Namdalen, located in the southernmost tip of the historic Hålogaland, goes to Kvenland again:
“That same winter Thorolf went up on the fell with a hundred men; he passed on at once eastwards to Kvenland and met King Faravid.”
Based on medieval documents, the above meeting took place during the winter of 873-874 AD. Hålogaland’s rather close vicinity to Kvenland is also demonstrated in c. 1157 AD in the geographical chronicle Leiðarvísir og borgarskipan by the Icelandic Abbot Níkulás Bergsson (Nikolaos), who provides descriptions of lands around Norway:

“Closest to Denmark is little Svíþjóð (Sweden), there is Eyland (Öland); then is Gotland (Gotland); then Helsingaland (Hälsingland); then Vermaland (Värmland); then two Kvenlönd (Kvenlands), and they extend to north of Bjarmalandi (Bjarmia).”

Hålogaland figures extensively in the Norse sagas, and in the Heimskringla, especially the Ynglinga Saga and Háleygjatal. It was inhabited by the race of Hölgi (Háleygja ætt) who was the eponymous hero of Hålogaland.

In the saga, Heimskringla, a man called Gudlög led a number of Norwegian pirates that were fought by the Swedish king Jorund and king Godgest of Hålogaland was given a horse by the Swedish king Adils. The first earl of Lade, Håkon Grjotgardsson, ruler of Trøndelag, came from Hålogaland, and sought to extend his kingdom southwards. Here, he met with Harald Fairhair, and joined him.

Ancient Norwegians said that Hálogaland was named after a royal named Hölgi. The Norse form of the name was Hálogaland. The first element of the word is the genitive plural of háleygr, a ‘person from Hålogaland’. The last element is land, as in ‘land’ or ‘region’. The meaning of the demonym háleygr is unknown. Thorstein Vikingson’s Saga, 1, describes it as a compound of Hial, “Hel” or “spirit,” and “loge”, “fire”.

The Gothic historian Jordanes in his work ‘De origine actibusque Getarum’ – a.k.a. Getica -, written in Constantinople in c. 551 AD, mentions a people “Adogit” living in the far North. This could be an old form of háleygir and a possible reference to the petty kingdom of Hålogaland, which based on some medieval accounts may have been inhabited by the Kven people in the middle of the first millennium, but also perhaps a long before. Jordanes’ Vinoviloth is viewed by many historians as a reference to the Kvens of Northern Scandinavia and Fennoscandia:

“And there are beyond these the Ostrogothae (Eastern Geats), Raumarici (Romerike), Aeragnaricii (Ranrike), and the most gentle Finni (referring to either Sami or Finns), milder than all the inhabitants of Scandza (Scandinavia). Like them are the Vinoviloth (Kvens) also.”
According to Emeritus Professor Kyösti Julku, in the modern-day Northern Norwegian county of Troms alone there are at least 12 prehistoric Kven place names. During Viking Age, Troms formed the northernmost part of Hålogaland.

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