Charudes is the scholarly Latinization of an Germanic tribe
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 known in Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 as the Charoudes. They are stated (Book 2, Chapter 10) to have lived on the east side of the Cimbric Chersonese, Ptolemy's term for Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

. Their name suggests that their origins were from Hardanger
Hardanger is a traditional district in the western part of Norway, dominated by the Hardangerfjord. It consists of the municipalities of Odda, Ullensvang, Eidfjord, Ulvik, Granvin, Kvam and Jondal, and is located inside the county of Hordaland....

 in Western Norway.

People of classical times

The Charoudes are believed to be the home population of an earlier unit of 24,000 military Harudes, who crossed the Rhine under the command of Ariovistus
Ariovistus was a leader of the Suebi and other allied Germanic peoples in the second quarter of the 1st century BC. He and his followers took part in a war in Gaul, assisting the Arverni and Sequani to defeat their rivals the Aedui, after which they settled in large numbers in conquered Gallic...

 (Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, De Bello Gallico, 31, 37 and 51), but no evidence connects the two. In Caesar, Ariovistus had been petitioned by the Celtic Sequani
Sequani, in ancient geography, were a Gallic people who occupied the upper river basin of the Arar , the valley of the Doubs and the Jura Mountains, their territory corresponding to Franche-Comté and part of Burgundy.-Etymology:...

 for assistance in their war against the Celtic Aedui
Aedui, Haedui or Hedui , were a Gallic people of Gallia Lugdunensis, who inhabited the country between the Arar and Liger , in today's France. Their territory thus included the greater part of the modern departments of Saône-et-Loire, Côte-d'Or and Nièvre.-Geography:The country of the Aedui is...

. In return, Ariovistus was promised land grants, although exactly where is not certain.

In any case, gathering forces from a wide area of Germany, Ariovistus crossed the Rhine with large numbers and defeated the Aedui. The Germanic tribes, however, had their own agenda. They were interested in resettling large tracts of Celtic country, among both the Sequani and the Aedui. The Celts appealed to Caesar. Romans and Germans raced to the strategic fortified city of Vesontio (Besançon
Besançon , is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. It had a population of about 237,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area in 2008...

), but the Romans arrived first and occupied the city. They met and routed the Germanic army in the land between the city and river, effecting a massacre as the Germans tried to escape over the river, in 58 BC. The fate of the 24,000 Harudes is not known.

Some Harudes in Germania must have survived, as they continued to trouble the Romans in the reign of Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

, the first emperor (if you do not count Julius). We have some documentary evidence that they did exist: the Res Gestae Divi Augusti
Res Gestae Divi Augusti
Res Gestae Divi Augusti, is the funerary inscription of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, giving a first-person record of his life and accomplishments. The Res Gestae is especially significant because it gives an insight into the image Augustus portrayed to the Roman people...

, "Deeds of the Divine Augustus". In this long inscription, the Charydes of Jutland are said to have petitioned the friendship of Rome.

Germanic migrations

During the later age of Germanic migrations, the Harudes do not appear in Jutland. Instead, the Angles and Jutes are there, who migrate to Britain. In Tacitus the Angles are further south. Perhaps not all the Harudes left Jutland, and the Harudes could have been a constituent of the Jutes. Hardsyssel
Hardsyssel or Harsyssel is a traditional district and an ancient syssel in Denmark, forming the western part of central Jutland. Hardsyssel is roughly identical with the former county Ringkjøbing Amt. Today it forms the western half of Region Midtjylland. The biggest towns in Hardsyssel are...

, a traditional district (syssel
A sýsla is a police district in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and formerly in Denmark.Spelled syssel, the name still can be found in the Danish district Vendsyssel and in Norway in the title: sysselmann .-Faroe Islands sýsla:* Norðoyar* Eysturoy* Streymoy* Vágar* Sandoy*...

) of western Jutland, is thought to be derived from Harudes. Its inhabitants were called harder in Danish.

Norway and beyond

The Angles were probably occupying territory abandoned at least in part by the Harudes, as the latter migrated into Norway. There they are believed to be the Hǫrðar people who settled in Hordaland
is a county in Norway, bordering Sogn og Fjordane, Buskerud, Telemark and Rogaland. Hordaland is the third largest county after Akershus and Oslo by population. The county administration is located in Bergen...

 and gave name to the fjord Hardanger
Hardanger is a traditional district in the western part of Norway, dominated by the Hardangerfjord. It consists of the municipalities of Odda, Ullensvang, Eidfjord, Ulvik, Granvin, Kvam and Jondal, and is located inside the county of Hordaland....


In a second theory, the Hǫrðar are identical to the Arochi dwelling in the Scandza
Scandza was the name given to Scandinavia by the Roman historian Jordanes in his work Getica, written while in Constantinople around AD 551. He described the area to set the stage for his treatment of the Goths' migration from southern Sweden to Gothiscandza...

 mentioned in the Getica of Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

, which dates to the 6th century, but might refer to any time prior to then. The ch in that case would be a corruption of th, with the initial h not expressed.

Jordanes had read Ptolemy, but he claimed to be writing of times before those of Ptolemy. A comparison of Germanic geography in the works of the two men has raised some questions concerning the direction in which some Germanics migrated. On the whole, based on Jordanes, the direction has been taken to be southward from Scandinavia, and it is possible that the Charudes of Ptolemy's Jutland arrived there in prehistory from a more ancient Hordaland.

On the other hand the Hǫrðar could have intruded locally and late into Norway. Some have expanded this idea into a theory that the Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 originated in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and entered Scandinavia in the age of Germanic migration. As this hypothesis discounts Jordanes' judgement but accepts his tribal picture, it is not generally accepted.


Latin Harudes is also attested in Old English as Hæredas and related to Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 Hörðar "Hords, inhabitants of the Hardangerfjord in Norway". This name is considered to be an extension of Germanic *xaruþaz (IE *k^osdho) "forest" (cf. OE harað, OHG hard "mountain forest, wooded hills", MHG hart), making the Harudes the "forest-dwellers" . This root is considered to stem from Indo-European *k^óss meaning "pine, conifer", akin to Russian sosná "pine", Greek kônos "pinecone, pine-seed, cone", kôna "pitch", kýneion "hemlock; giant fennel", Oroshi
, is the Japanese term for a wind blowing strong down the slope of a mountain, occasionally as strong gusts of wind which can cause damage. Oroshi is a strong local wind across the Kanto Plain on the Japan Sea side of central Honshu...

 sānĵ "post".

See also

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