Guta Myth


The Guta  Myth in 2 versions

There are 2 versions of the Guta Myth. Guta Myth 1 is the "traditional" one.  Guta Myth 2 is included in Strelows Cronica Guthilandorum pulished in 1633.

Guta Myth 1  Top  of Page

Gutland hitti fyrsti maşr şan sum şieluar hit. şa war gutland so eluist at şet daghum sanc Oc natum war uppj. En şann maşr quam fyrsti eldi a land Oc sişan sanc şet aldri.

Since the 19th century the "Gutasagan" is the generally used name of the Guta  Myth. It consists of eight handwritten pages which finish the  Guta law from the middle of the 14th century. The myth possibly goes back to the time before 1285. It describes the tradition of Tjelvar as first settler on the island, the prehistoric exodus caused by overpopulation, the incorporation with the state of the Svea king, the visit of saint Olav etc. In chronical form it also includes the christianization and building of the first churches and the association with the Linköping diocese. To some exent the Guta  Myth is considered as historic source, an its information about the Allhelgona chuch in Vi (Visby) has been confirmed from archologic excavaions during the 1980-ies. The myth has, however been given too much importance by many writers until our time.

Some scientists think that the Guta  Myth probably was written down around 1220. It is written in old Gotlandic and it is preserved in one single parchment document. It was found in 1690, and some time later it was said that it "some years ago was found in a country church among dirt as a thing thrown away". The Guta  Myth is a complement to the Guta law and is added after it. In addition to its mythical beginning it mainly contains a historical description of Gotland´s constitutional and ecclesiastical status.

Guta Myth 2   Top  of Page

Hans Nielsson Strelow, vicar in the Vall and Hogrän parishes, worked for many years with the history of Gotland and he published a book printed in Copenhagen 1633 with the title Cronica Guthilandorum. The book was is written in Danish and it is one of the oldest provincial Chronicals. It is the first gothlandic history-book and it contains some trustworthy facts and it is a rich source of knowledge. Much of the informaion in the book is based on documents which have disappeared.

In the book there is another version of the Guta  Myth which is more extensive. On this site there is a summary of this part of the book as Version 2.

Top  of Page

Home | Svenska | English | Interlingua | Text | Ordlistor

Last updated: 06/07/04.