Plans Of Scandinavian Sailing Ships

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refers to them as the Suiones. (Tacitus died a.d. 108.) As Caesar was struck by the difference between the Roman sh ps and those of the Veneti, so Tacitus remarks that the ships of the Suiones differ from the Romans', too. Although these were not sailing ships—nec velis ministrantur—yet they were of the same design as those which were fitted with mast and sail. Double-ended, they could easily be beached and in battle could the more rapidly manœuvre ahead or astern.

Rut we have much earlier informa L'on than the writings of the Roman chronicler. We have history written t stone, obvious, illustrative and imperishable. In many parts of the Scandinavian coast, beginning as far north as Trondhjem and extending right round to the isle of Gothland, are to be found many rock sculptures dep^ctir the forms of both ships and men. A few have also been found m Denmark as well as on the shores of Lake Ladoga in Russia. These rock carvings are really history4 set forth in picture language, primitive yet intelligible. In spite of all the hur treds of years that have rolled by, and the w. ids and rains that have da,shed against them, they are still tuite decipherable. Professor Gustafson in his book on orwegian antiquities* gives several interesting pictures of these rock-carvings, and I am able here to reproduce one for the reader who will no doubt agree that the evidence here afi'orded is exceptionally striking. Fig. 20 shows the Viking-like ship beyond all doubt. Frequently these carviigs are rcpreseiited i i groups and it has been thought that they record naval rattles fought in the vicinity, the several representations of ships denoting fieets. The human figures perhaps are there valent. Forma navlum eo differt quod utrinque prora para tain semper cppulsui frontem agit : uec velis miniftrantur, nec remos in ordinem lateribus adjungunt. solutum, ut in quibusdam fluminum, et mutabile, ut res poscit, hinc vel illine remigium."

• "Norges Oldtid," by Gabriel Gustafson. Kristiania, l,90f). 110

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