Would it be a good idea to have a project for Scandinavian profiles before the year 1000?

+20 votes

I would like to suggest that a new project should be started, concentrating on the Scandinavian profiles prior to the year 1000.

For a start, I would like to thank C Mackinnon for the recent work on cleaning, writing bios and merging profiles from the Ynglinga saga. But the work also raised questions and I think it would be good to have a project that could work out some kind of guidelines. 

It would also be good to have a project as manager of such profiles. I, for one, would hate to see the work put into these profiles being edited without anyone interested to notice it. And yes, most profiles already have multiple managers (more than 5-6 managers which I think is the recommended amount) and up to as many as 50 people on the trusted list but none working on the profiles. 

I'm not sure if it should be a sub-project of EuroAristo since the description is "EuroAristo's focus is on the noble families of Europe, from as far back as there are reliable records, to the present day." And really, there are no reliable records for this era, almost everything is told several hundred years later.

If it should be a sub-project to EuroAristo it would still need a project account of its own. EuroAristo seems to be a project that is too big to actually be the manager of profiles? 

As to why the year 1000 as breakpoint? By then most of Scandinavia had been christened and the Scandinavian countries began to form, united under one king. Before that Scandinavia mainly had chieftains and petty kings ruling smaller areas. 

Any thoughts? Anyone interested besides me and C Mackinnon?

Edited: Added more tags

Edited; Since three more answers in this thread indicates they are willing to join the project, we are now 5 persons interested in starting up the project. 

asked in Policy and Style by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Mach 8 (80.6k points)
edited by Maggie Andersson
I have a vague recollection of earlier discussions coming to the conclusion that EuroAristo is so big that subprojects with their own project account would be warranted.
I am interested and think it's sounds like a great idea. Having said that, I'm not even pre-1500 certified yet myself...
I would like to join this project as well.
While I consider the sagas more as myths than as reliable genealogical sources, and definitely don't want to join such a project, I find it odd that "Iceland" is missing from the tags.
Me too.  But then I thought, can anything in the sagas proper (the ones set in Iceland) be dated before 1000?
There is no project for Iceland? At least I have not been able to find any so I included the countries that have projects and project members in the tags.

8 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
Thanks Maggie I think a Scandinavian pre-1000 project is a great idea.

I also agree that it would be better to have it as a separate project to EuroAristo, partly because it crosses over two of the EuroAristo sub-projects, (Europe pre 742, and Europe 742-1499) and also as you state because the profiles are mostly 'mythological' and that doesn't quite fit with the EuroAristo basis.

In regards to connection to EuroAristo, it could be like the Cymru Welsh Royal and Aristocrats project, which was set up separately to the EuroAristo project though with obvious connections both to EuroAristo and the United Kingdom project.

If there isn't enough interest to set up a fully formed project, then it could be a sub-project of EuroAristo but I would want to make sure there was at least a coordinator, willing to do most of the work
answered by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (322k points)
selected by Eowyn Langholf
Very good - and thanks to Eowyn for the best answer star.
Thanks for your input John.

Could a sub-project of EuroAristo later be turned into a project of its own?

I'm willing to be either a co-leader or coordinator for the project.
Sure, it's possible for a sub-project to turn into a project of its own.

I'm not underestimating the work that has already taken place and the work that still has to be completed, but I think there would be an end date for a project like this.

The process for gaining pre-1500 recognition means that is it unlikely any more profiles will be added, nor is it likely that any long forgotten sources will turn up, so eventually it might just need a bit of overall monitoring?

I'm going to be fairly busy for the next 3-4 days, but after that we can work out what needs to be done to turn this into a EuroAristo sub-project if that is what is the best way forward.
Let's count how many interested we have to start this project... I think we need to have five members for it to be a project of its own?

Me and C Mackinnon have both tried to work with this mess already so we are both interested.  

R Teschner, I count your answer as a yes, and we could use your knowledge of Norwegian names.

Possibly Juha and SJ Baty as well? That would make five members to get us started.
+12 votes
I think that is a smashing good idea.  Early Scandinavian history borders on mythology and getting the profiles straight requires quite a lot of compromise due to the early conflicting errors.  When I look at the merges, canceled merges, disagreements (sometimes bickering) between some of the early profiles I can see how a full-time referee could be useful in many circumstances.
answered by SJ Baty G2G6 Pilot (339k points)
Would you like to join the project SJ?
My first reaction is to say no as I have too much on my plate already: I'm trying to kick-start the Penn project, create a Spain sub project, put the other half of my tree on the net, and I type this from the hospital as we (my Wife really) are working on delivering a new baby.

All that said, i still would like to be a part - either as a regular member or.co-coordinator but with the caveat that I may not be very effective for the next few.weeks/months. I will know more how my schedule will look when we find out if this little fella is high or low maintenance.

So, if you need a body for the number count now, but knowing you'll only get some work out of me later, count me in.
Best  wishes for new baby!

 - typed with 17-month-old time constrainer in lap
I can't wait for 17 months - 2 to 3 hour feeding schedule just kills the night!
Ah, yes. I vaguely remember those days :)
+14 votes
I'd say "Yes". We've got over the issue of dates, I think, but there are still many things about the Ynglinga Saga profiles for instance that cannot be sorted by applying the usual Wikitree way of thinking. What to do with Mrs Olaf Dottir? She has a husband and some offspring so she's a person. Let's keep the nonsense until someone finds out who she was. Look for corroborating evidence. Abandon her if you don't want to do it. Trouble is there will be no corroborating evidence unless some scholar unearths a new Saga. (Thank would be lovely, but............). Do we keep the links in the vitals? I'd like that but it is impractical as there are other important sources telling other stories. Dates. We need dates to keep the profiles pre-1500 I think but what dates? Lots of decisions to be made that will be of interest to very few but could be contrary to normal procedure. Pre-1500 has been around for 3? years now yet many of these profiles have PMs without Pre-1500 certification. It's very hard to work out who to talk to or indeed if there is anyone listening. Need a project, a good project might even bring non-genealogists to Wikitree. How will it differ from Wikipedia? That's another matter. To be worth doing it must have something else to offer. Inclusivity?
answered by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
+8 votes
I would see this as a joint subproject for the Scandinavian countries. Preferably with it's own project account, a volunteer leader or coordinator to set up the necessary pages and a couple of leaders for the official part.

I must admit that I know nothing about the sagas and tend to skip profiles from that era that need attention. I would love to have the ability to look up some resources or be able to make a question to knowledgeable people here on WT.
answered by Juha Soini G2G6 Mach 6 (69.2k points)
Hemskringla including Ynglingasaga is now on the internet in English.  www.vsnrweb-publications.org.uk/Heimskringla%20l.pdf. I'm still sourcing from my hard copy as I find it easier. Hope to go back to re-source from here when it's sorted out.
Juha, I think we found some profiles for characters from Kalevala... would that suit you better? ;-) ;-) ;-)

The funny thing with folklore is that the characters in them may have existed. I read somewhere that characters in Kalevala could be interpreted to have counterparts in the sagas. My knowledge of Kalevala is as slim as my knowledge of the sagas, but they should IMO go under the same project.


So we could count you in as a member of this new project?
I'm in, but will not have very much time over just now while getting acquainted with the Military and War project.
+5 votes
If a synopsis of where the descendants lead were developed, then I think a majority would define where a subproject might fit, or else highlight the uniqueness of these ancestors. For sure, descendants exist; so, I think a meta analysis might suggest the best how to categorize the project, perhaps.

And making these folks project protected can prevent all the good work of late from being undone. At a certain point - and I think that likely is in sight - no one is left to be "discovered," and the focus can be on addressing inquiries and assisting researchers, while ensuring that the grooming does not get undone.
answered by Fann Fann G2G6 Mach 2 (24.8k points)
+4 votes
I think it's a great idea.

I could probably also help with it, especially if some consensus could be reached as to what should actually be in their biographies (a lot of the current ones just make my brain melt!)
answered by R Teschner G2G6 Mach 1 (19.4k points)
+3 votes

We now have enough members to start a project on its own (not a subproject under EuroAristo) and I have started to sketch on some goals for the project here

Today I will send it to the Leaders email list for their comments.

answered by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Mach 8 (80.6k points)
As for where to draw the endline in time, could it be done by defining which sagas should be used as sources?

As for the G2G tag to be used, I think SAGAS is a good choice.

I would like to think that not only the mythological saga characters would fit into this project but also persons proved to have existed, like Harald Bluetooth, should be included in the project. 

Neither do I think we only should use the sagas as sources, we also have Saxo, Adam of Bremen and Chronicon Roskildense for instance.

But we should have a page for what resources to use for this early profiles. I would not want to have a bunch of the 1800 romantic nationalism books to be considered good sources. We will have to work that out once we get the project started.

Aren't the real persons also in the sagas?

And I think SAGAS is a good tag even if we also use Saxo.

+1 vote

Should these mythological profiles be considered profiles of "Ancient European Aristocracy"???

answered by Maggie Andersson G2G6 Mach 8 (80.6k points)
I would myself instinctively say no.

Having the title king in those days rather meant that you were of an old family, you were supposed to have one of the gods, or giants, or other important creature from Norse mythology as an ancestor.

If you were from an old family, you probably had some land to rule over, you were a chieftain or a petty king but would they really be aristocrats?? You could on the other hand also be made well known by participating bravely in battle and your name would make its way into the sagas.
I do not think mythical creatures are European Aristocrats. They are figures of Norse myth. Gods like Odin or Balder should be no problem to identify as myths, nor should personifications of natural phenomena, like Queen Snowdrift and her father be identified as anything but myths.

I guess there is a shady area in between - but I think you are on the right track with your suggestion we look at what the royal houses today consider as the earliest historical rulers of the Scandinavian countries. And, aren't there a few before that where archaeological evidence corroborate the sagas and chronicles?
I wouldn't quite call these characters from the sagas mythical creatures, more "mortals of legend" or something - these are people that supposedly walked the earth, unlike the gods they may or may not have descended from.

For the sake of this argument, I'm ignoring the fact that Norse gods also are believed by some to have walked the earth. I'm just saying there's a difference between mortals and gods. We could document the former despite the murkiness, and the latter probably doesn't belong in WikiTree all ;)

 Since most of the sagas are written at least 500-700 years later than the persons included is supposed to have lived, I (and most Nordic people?) consider them myths until proven by archaeology and perhaps new historical finds. Since the profiles are already on WT (and will not be deleted) we might as well clear them up to be presentable and tell which of the sagas they belong in. 

I do believe that there is some truth to the oral lore that the sagas is based on but to correctly preserve the family ties stated, that I do not believe in (and even the sagas contradict themselves sometimes), hence mythological

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