vikings

Spelling it out in Viking times – a post about runes

Today, I’ve invited Christina Courtenay over to share some information on runes, the Viking way of writing. Up here in Sweden, we have a number of runestones standing like silent sentinels over those that came long before us. These days, we consider them precious remnants of our past, some generations ago, they were viewed with …

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Dragging an obscure Viking boy into the light

Those of you who pop by my blog regularly will know by now that I spend a lot of time in Britain and Spain, mostly in medieval times or in the seventeenth century. Now and then I do dip into Nordic history, but in general those forays are rare. Today, I thought I’d introduce you …

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Bringing God to the Vikings

In those faraway times when the Scandinavian region spawned bellicose Vikings at a horrifying rate, most of Europe was already adequately christened. Not so Norway, Denmark or Sweden, where the ancient religion honouring Odin, Thor and Frey was alive and kicking well into the second millennium. Adam of Bremen, writing in the 11th century, has …

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A king, a famine, an epithet

Back in the good old days, kings were elected rather than born to the ermine. Okay, so I’m talking the really, really good old days, well before our distant ancestors had left their pagan beliefs behind, a time in which being the king was not only a secular but also a religious role. Obviously, being …

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Ragnar and Aslög – the true (?) story

Right, so I thought it about time to set the facts straight – just in case anyone is thinking Vikings is a correct portrayal of dear old Ragnar. (Not that I care, not with Travis Fimmel to rest my eyes on) First of all, I thought it might interest you to know that Ragnar Lodbrok …

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Dying the good death

Us modern people have little exposure to death. Gone are the days when people lived cheek to jowl with their grannies and great.grannies, and so the first exposure most of us get to death is when our parents die. A sort of “wake up and smell the coffee” moment, as it brings home the inevitable …

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The Viking Man – a dreamboat?

Recently, I have come to suspect that many people up here in the cold grey north are overdosing on “Vikings”. For those of you that don’t know, this is a TV series (deliciously full of historical errors) starring Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lodbroke (Ragnar Hairy-Breeches – wonderful name). Now, it is as obvious as the …

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