Ancient Roman historian by the name of Cornelius Tacitus wrote a book about the Germans, titeled cleverly Germania less than hundred years from the first Anno Domini – the year of our lord the emperor Augustus. It was his sociopolitical outcry for the Roman nation to hold back to the good old days. His entire idea was to present the Germans as some sort of “noble savages” and to hold them in contrast to the corrupted Romans. His warnings about the Germans being a threat to the Roman empire were somewhat predated, since it took several centuries before the Germans could actually present any real danger to the Empire.

Besides the Germans Tacitus also describes other nations east of Rein and north of Danube. He was not a linguist and presumably never even ventured to these remote areas. Therefore it is quite understandable that he lists the Balts among German nations. However Tacitus was a sound historian who had a comprehension of historical integrity. And alltough his writing is full of his own moral opinions (social morals was his point after all) many of his observations have been confirmed by archaeological data.

Tacitus wrote about Finns, but his description of these people is obviously about nomadic hunter & gatherer people. If we exclude his moral remarks, it is pretty accurate description of the lifestyle of the Saami people .  South of these he describes two tribes or nations one of wich he calls the Suiones who are a primitive tribal agricultural society and a similarly organized group called the Sitones. The Suioni have been long understood, and with good reason, to be the forebears of the Swedes. Sitones, on the other hand have not been eagerly reclaimed by any nation as their ancestors, for the simple reason, that Tacitus the moral “magistrate” tells us the Sithoni are have the lowest possible understanding of morals.

It is my firm opinion however, that these Sitones are the ancestors of my own people the modern day Finns. Their geographical location according to the sources of Tacitus lied north of the Siuones, and archaeological data from burial customs confirms, that the old Norse understanding of North was actually North-East. The lists of Tacitus mention clearly separate and significant groups of people living in different geological areas. It has been surmised that the ancestors of the Modern day Finns in such lists could be grouped together along the Aestes, that have been presumed to be the ancestors of Estonians. That could also be, but then it leaves out the Sitones.  Who were the Sitones, if they were not the Finns? The name could be misderived from Sigtuna, but Sigtuna is part of ancient tribal area of the Swedes. There is no record that it ever was separate from the Suiones. And is it not more prudent to assume that the name Sitones comes from the Finnish word Suomi, than from Sigtuna? For those of you who did not know this, we Finns do not call ourselves Finns, but “suomalaiset” and our native country is not Finland, but Suomi.

What was the immorality practices by the Sitones, that led Tacitus to condemn them to be the lowest among nations? Why have generations of researchers from many nations shunned these people as their own ancestors? Well, the Sitones had women chieftains. It seems this was an abomination beyond excuses in the sight of any Mediterranean culture contemporary to Tacitus, or just about any Indo-European culture almost up to our days, and it seems,  sometimes even today.

Modern archaeological data from Finland has shown that in the iron age Finnish culture, women could have high prestige items such as scales, money and even weapons, for themselves as part of their attire at least when buried. We have no reason to assume these were not part of their personal property in life also. The traditional Finnish poetry – parts of wich have been inherited directly from that iron age culture – tells us that women could be leaders of the highest social ranking. In the traditional Finnish agricultural society the might of womans magic was considered to be very powerfull and most often surpassing, that of the man.

Yes, it is quite likely, that the Sithoni had women rulers and that they were the ancestors of modern day Finns. Is it possible, that this is not the case? Yes, when we are dealing with as old documents as the sciptures of Tacitus, other confirming sources are very hard to come by. But either way, we can only go by the most likeliest propability. To understand the bias of the later research and why male researchers of for example 19th and early 20th century have been willing not to see these “immoral” Sithones as the oldest reference to the nation to wich they were trying to build a separate history and identity. As we know, such an identy easily becomes a self fullfilling prophesy.

Today Finland is a nation that has had female political leaders. The Finnish Lutheran church boasts with women Bishops and the position of women is over all rather good in comparrison to most of the world. We were the second nation in the world to have equal voting rights for women. In my view, this is not mere coincidence, since the ancient and traditional Finnish culture had no trouble with women having power in the society, it was easier for my people to accept such modernizations as rather natural.

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