Dan, The Pioneer of Israel

By Colonel J.C. Gawler, Keeper of the Crown Jewels


Chapter V

Dannans, or Danes, of Scandinavia, Ireland, and Scotland


Holsace chronicles[i] – Education – Odin’s capital, Asgard – Modern Asgard north of Lake Van – Baal worship and the serpent – IRELAND, Tuatha Danan from Greece and the Euxine – Date of arrival – Poenulus of Plautus – Milesians, Gadelians, or Scoti, from the Euxine – Villaneuva’s Phoenician Ireland – Baal worship: serpent and eagle – SCOTLAND, Dannans, Baal worship, coins.


The Danes are always spoken of as of the Gothic family (see Otta’s Scandinavia, and others), though seemingly more specially given to the sea than the other Gothic Tribes. The reputed common ancestor, leader, or deity of Goths, Saxons, and Danes, was one, Odin. The Danes also claim as an ancestor, or leader, a renowned warrior named Dan, and hence their country was called Danne-merk, or Dan’s-land.

The settlements of the Dannans, or Danes, in Denmark and Norway seem to have been made in very remote time, for the Irish colony of Dannans are said to have visited Denmark first, and to have found their compatriots and namesakes there before them in some strength with considerable towns. It is characteristic of these early Dannans that, wherever we read of them, we hear of their establishing schools; and being regarded, of course for their superior knowledge, as magicians by the simpler aborigines of the countries to which they came.

Odin is a historic and mythical personage. It was a name also assumed by Danish chieftains. In Norse it is Ottin, in Gothic Wuotan, the Lombards wrote Wodan, Old Saxons Wodan, Westphalian Saxons Godan, or Gudan (Grimm; Moore’s Pillar Stones of Scotland, 151, and Sharon Turner, Anglo-Sax., vol. i., p. 100).

”Odin’s capital, Asgard, was supposed to be between the Euxine and Caspian Seas… The chronicle of the Norwegian[ii] kings commences with an account of a people on the east of the river Tana-quisl (the Tana-quisl is the Dana-strom, or Danube). The people were governed by a pontiff-king, Odin. These people introduced the worship of Odin into Denmark and Sweden (Moore’s Pillar Stones, p. 149; see Traces de Buddhisme en Norvege, par M. C. A. Holmboe; Professeur de Langues Orientales en Universitie Royale de Norvege).”

From the time of the defection of the Ten Tribes under Jeroboam, the kings of Israel seem to have constituted themselves pontiff-kings. They made the priests, and were priests themselves. (See I Kings 13:1, 33) And (whether or not the places be identical) there, in Media, in the exact position assigned to the headquarters of the Ten Tribes (II Esdras 13:43), south of the sources, or ”narrow passages,” of the Euphrates, may be found, in the best modern maps, the district or province of Asgerd, with its capital of the same name, corresponding, as well as can fairly be conceived, with Asgard, the traditional home and palace of Odin, ”near the Euxine and Caspian Seas.”

The position of Asgerd, in the Prussian map which I possess, is about 30 miles north of Lake Van.

In Norway and Denmark, as in Scotland and Ireland, Baal worship flourished – that old mark of Phoenician company, that pet of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab and daughter of Eth-baal, King of Sidon. (I Kings 16:30, 31)

Here also we find almost national the old badge which everywhere we have observed attaching to the Danai, or Danites – the serpent. Numerous Danish families bear it, and it is the most common device in the ancient Danish jewellery.



The old Irish manuscripts, many of which I believe are still untranslated, seem to possess a vast amount of information regarding the Dannans, or Tuatha di Dannan, Tribe of Dannan. At present Keatinge’s, History of Ireland, and Annals of Ireland, by the Four Masters, are I believe the best works. In these histories, compiled from ancient records, the Dannans and Milesians, said to be the same race, are represented as arriving in various batches from Greece, from ”Gothland in the Euxine,” and from ”Scythia near the Euxine and Caspian Seas,” and early Phoenician and Egyptian affinities are likewise noticed. Thus they confirm much of the information regarding the various colonies founded by the Danai, which have been traced out through many historians in this paper.

Keatinge’s History of Ireland states that there were two peoples who arrived in Ireland, the Dannans and Milesians, of whom the Dannans arrived first. At p. 40 he says, ”The Dannans were a people of great learning; they had overmuch gold and silver… they left Greece after a battle with the Assyrians, and, for fear of falling into the hands of the Assyrians, came to Norway and Denmark, and thence passed over to Ireland.”

From Annals of Ireland, by the Four Masters, I extract the following note (p. 121):

”The colony called Tuatha de Dannan conquered the Firbolgs, and became masters of Ireland. It appears that the Dannans were a highly civilized people, far more skilled in arts and sciences than any of the other colonies that settled in Ireland. They ruled in Ireland about two centuries, or 197 years according to the Psalter of Cashel, and were highly skilled in architecture and other arts from their long residence in Greece and intercourse with the Phoenicians.”

Again (p. 123), ”The Dannans ruled about two centuries, until the arrival of the Milesians, which took place 1,000 years before the Christian era.” Thus the date of the arrival of the first colony of the Dannans would be 1200 B.C., or 85 years after Deborah and Barak’s victory, when we are told Dan had ships.

Keatinge observes, at p. 30, that the Milesians were the same race as the Dannans, for when the son of Breogan arrived, the people controversed in the same language. What this language was is proved by the words of the Phoenician or Carthagenian slave in the Poenulus of Plautus being nearly pure Irish, as spoken only last century. It is shown in a pamphlet printed in Dublin in 1772, ”Essay on the Antiquity of the Irish Language.” The Phoenician language was identical with the Hebrew. The same passage in Plautus may be found transliterated into Hebrew in the Transactions Bib. Arch., part ii., 1874.

The Milesians, observes Keatinge, are sometimes called Gadelians, from a leader Gadhol (Hebrew ”great”). At p. 72 he states, ”The most ancient Irish chronicles assert that the Gadelians in general were called Scots, because they came out of Scythia”; and at p. 76 he says, ”Irish records of great antiquity assert that the Gadelians continued in Gothland in the Euxine 150 years,” after leaving their country, and before going, via Spain, into Ireland.

Annals of Ireland, by the Four Masters, note p. 123: ”The Milesians, according to our old annalists, were originally a colony from Scythia, near to the Euxine and Caspian Seas, on the borders of Europe and Asia, and about the country now called the Crimea. From these people, called also Scoti, or Scots, Ireland got the name of Scotia.”

Villaneuva’s Phoenician Ireland, translated by H. O’Brien, p. 184, has the following curious remark accounting for the name Dannan, when endeavoruing to prove them Phoenician:

”I recollect that in the Phoenician language is to be found the word danihain, signifying illustrious, generous, noble, or rather Danirfor, Danani, or Danita, the inhabitants of the city of Dan at the foot of Mount Lebanus, the spot where the Phoenicians (!) worshipped the graven image given to them by Micah, and where Jeroboam erected the golden calf!” (Judges 18:22-31)

It would be endless to attempt to relate all that is said in the Irish records of the Dannans, and that mark of Phoenicia and Israe, Baal worship. The Psalter of Cashel says that the Tower of Tara was built for the preservation of the fire of Baal, and was called Bel Theine. The early connection with Greece, Phoenicia, and Egypt is constantly alluded to throughout the chronicles and records of the Irish Dannans.

I have not observed that the serpent appears among Irish symbols; but Dr. Clarke (Sunday at Home, 1862, p. 678) observes that the freedom of Ireland from serpents was attributed to a talisman astrologically formed under the sign Scorpio. Here may be an occult connection between Ireland and Scorpio - Dan's sign.

The eagle, however, does appear. An ancient coin of Ireland was called ”an eagle,” and the figure of an eagle was impressed upon it. It was current under Edward I’s reign, about 1270 A.D.

The mythical bird, the Phoenix, so characteristic of Tyre, is sometimes met with. It is supposed to expire in flames, and rise young again every cycle of 490 years (70 x 7). Its original place is said to have been Heliopolis, or the city of On, in Egypt, one of the most remarkable cities connected with the history of the Israelites.



Large bodies of Annans crossed over to Scotland, both from Europe and from Ireland, in very early times. Here also we find numerous traces of Baal worship and Bel Theine, as well as Buddhism. The pillar stones generally bear a serpent.

“We see the Phoenician serpent deity with its head surrounded with a nimbus, or half, as of the sun itself, curiously enough reproduced as one of the supporters to the arms of the Highland clan Donnachie.” (Journal Transactions, Victoria Institute, 1875; Lecture by J.S. Phene, Esq., LL.D., F.S.A., on “Pre-historic Traditions and Customs in Connection with Sun and Serpent Worship,” sec. 18)

Coins of Philip of Macedon, and also of the Brutii in Magna Grecia, were found on the estate of Cairnbulg, in Aberdeenshire, in 1824; a gold coin of Alexander the Great at Ecclefechan, Dumfrieshire. A large number of Greek coins were found on the farm of Braco, in the parish of Shotto, Lanarkshire: one of Athens, one of Boethia, and a Parthian coin of Arsaces XI. (New Statist. Art., vol. iv. p. 292, quoted in Wilson’s Pre-historic Annals of Scotland, vol. ii. p. 313)

The subject of the Dannans in Ireland and Scotland cannot be dismissed without a brief notice of THE CORONATION STONE.

“Inis Fail, signifying the Island of Destiny, was the name given to Ireland by the Tuatha-di-Dannans, from a remarkable stone they brought with them into Ireland, which was called the Lia-Fail, or Stone of Destiny, sitting on which the ancient kings, both of the Dannan and Milesian race (being the same people), were for many ages crowned at Tara. This stone was sent to Scotland in the sixth century for the coronation of Fergus, King of Scots, who was descended from the Milesian kings of Ireland, and was used for many centuries at the coronation of the Scottish kings, and kept at the Abbey of Scone, from whence it was taken to England by Edward I when he invaded Scotland, and placed under the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey, where it still remains, though it has been erroneously stated in some modern publications that the large pillar stone, which stands on the mound, or rath, at Tara, is the Stone of Destiny, an assertion opposed by the statements of O’Flaherty, the O’Connors, and all other learned antiquarians.” … “From the ancient Scottish kings of Irish Milesian race were descended the kings of Scotland and royal house of Stewart.” – Note p. 112, by Owen Counellan.

“When our king [Edward I] went forth to see the mountains, and understanding that all was in peace and quiet, he turned to the abbey of Scone, which was of the chanons regular, where he took the stone, called the Regall of Scotland, upon which the kynges of that nation were wont to sit at the time of their coronations for a throne, and sent it to the Abbeie of Westminster. The Scots dreame that this was the stone whereon Jacob slept when he fled into Mesopotamia.” (Hollinshed’s Chronicles, “Britain,” 125)

[i] [MSK’s footnote:] The unknown author of the Holsatian Chronicles (Vetus Chronicon Holsatiæ) (1448) claimed that the Jutes descended from Jews. When looking at the historical context of what the Holsatian Chronicles state about the Jutes, it is, however, clear that the Holsatian Chronicles are not referring to the lost tribes of Israel, but to Jews as we know them today. It is also clear that what they state about the Jutes is not true.

Peter Friderich Suhm wrote on the subject:

“The author of the Holsatian Chronicles, which ends in 1448 [AD], has been very strange, because out of their name Jutes he concludes that they descend from the Jews, and that the land in the era of the great Wanderings to Italy, England, and France, and [in the era] of the wars of those who remained against the Slavs and Saxons, became so depopulated that the emperor therefore sent in Jews to inhabit it. But by skipping all the other strange things in this claim, the date is in every way absolutely wrong, because by the Wanderings mentioned is no doubt meant those that took place in the 9th century. And at that time there are definitely not come any foreign peoples into Jutland to dwell there, except the Frisians maybe. But this writer does not need to be refuted, because it is clear that he has written it out of pure hatred, and that he has believed that he could bring no greater disgrace on the Jutes than by letting them descend from the Jews.” (P.F. Suhm: Critisk Historie af Danmark, Vol. 1 (1774), p. 175, my brackets)


[ii] [MSK’s footnote:] The quote in Gawler’s book reads ”The chronicle of the Swedish kings”, but it is of course The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway, also called Heimskringla, by the Icelandic historian Snorre Sturlasson (1178-1241), which is meant.



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This article in Danish: Dan: Israels Pioner kap. 5: Dannanerne eller danerne i Skandinavien, Irland og Skotland

Dan, The Pioneer of Israel Chap. 1

Dan, The Pioneer of Israel Chap. 2: Danai of Greece are Dannites of Israel

Dan, The Pioneer of Israel Chap. 3: Dan in the Black Sea

Dan, The Pioneer of Israel Chap. 4: Dan among the Scythians