Spetlon Oinouiri etic Turci Noricon // The Story of the One Man and the Norican Boar

Long before the Regnum Noricum entered the historical record, the Norici were ruled by a king called Uinatos. One year, during the annual offering to the gods at the Sanctuary on the Magdalensberg, he forgot to make his offering to Caruonia. Enraged, She released upon the Norici the most horrid and ferocious boar known to the world. Upon realizing his mistake, Uinatos arranged immediately for a hunting party to slay the beast, led by a local hero named Smertrios. For many days, the party hunted and attacked the beast and for many days the beast repelled them, the party becoming smaller with each encounter. This continued until the beast came upon the walls of the city on the Magdalensberg, where many of the Norici were in hiding. With the hunting party not yet returned, most had forsaken them for dead until Smertrios alone entered view from beyond the horizon. Filled with rage at the beast for threatening His home, and with divine providence, Smertrios alone wrestled the beast and, finally, having conquered it, forced the beast onto its back and hoisted it upon His own shoulders. So great were Smertrios’ acts of lone bravery and valour, that his countrymen’s chants of “Oinouiros! Oinouiros!” (“One man! One man!”) after the slaying of the boar became a nickname for the city at the Magdalensberg. Tales of Smertrios’ legendary victory spread so widely across the land that eventually the city became unrecognizable by any other name, even unto the Latin tongue, as Virunum.


The inspiration for this myth comes from a story attested in the Suda Encyclopedia, beta.265:

For the Noricians are a people, where a divinely-sent monster of a boar was ravaging the land, and everyone who tried to attack it achieved nothing, until a certain man, turning the pig over, put it up on his shoulders, somewhat as the story is also related about Calydon. And the Noricians shouted out ‘One man!’ in their own language — that is, berounous. From this the city was called Berounion.