Ohthere of HÃ¥logaland
Ottar (Norwegian Ottar fra Hålogaland ) was a merchant from Hålogaland. In the year 890 he met on one of his trips to King Alfred the Great of Wessex. This could translate the Historiae of Orosius adversum Pagano into ancient English at this time. Here, the problem arose that Orosius had initiated his work in the 5th century with a description of the known world, it 's Europe north of the Alps did not describe. The reports Ottar were included in the translation.
Ottar presented himself to the king as a rich man before, who live further north than all Northmen, according to the prevailing opinion in the southern part of Troms. He had half-wild reindeer, six so-called Lockrentiere, very valuable in the seed tame animals with which wild and semi- wild reindeer are attracted, twenty sheep and twenty swine. His wealth consisted in the luxury goods fur and walrus tusk, after which he was on the lookout active in his travels, and was developed from the trade links to the seeds. The listeners of his reports fell on this particular, that this so rich man possessed in relation very little land, he reported only by a bit field which he plowed with a horse.
After his description Norðmanna country is a long narrow area by the sea. All parts subject populated country on the coast. Further east the territory of the seeds was ( Finnås ). The further you get to the north, the narrower will the populated country. In the southeast there was about sixty old English miles, about ninety kilometers, deep, in the mid-thirties miles, narrow in the north at some places only to just 3 miles before you get to the mountains.
The above Finnås went in winter to hunt and fished in the summer and were Ottar tribute. The tribute in turn depended on the social status. So that is chief, 15 marten skins, reindeer skins 5, 1 bearskin, 10 handmade paper feathers, 1 jacket bear or otter fur and two sixty cubits long Ropes from walrus or seal skin had to be provided.
He also reported on his expedition to the Kola Peninsula to the White Sea presumably to Archangel. There lived a people that he called Bjarmer and which he said that they spoke a language similar to the seeds.
At the southern tip of Norway he described a city of commerce, referred to here as Sciringesheal. Ottar took a month to get there when the wind was good and he did not sail at night. He always had the Nordvegen to port.
Ottar's description is the first known written source, in which the terms "Norway" ( northern route ) and "Denmark" ( Denamearc ) used.