Christianity in the Viking world

Before the introduction of Christianity, most people in Northern Europe were not part of an organized religion, but practiced some religious traditions that varied greatly from place to place, and changed over time.The faith of the Æsir, Vanir, Jótunn, Elfur, etc. was not organized into a congregation, and there were no priests or books.Introducing a […]

The Greenlanders

The first inhabitants in north-western Greenland were a variety of ethnic groups coming in from north-eastern Canada.  Here they developed unique dialects, essentially new languages, and a culture of their own.  They still consist of a number of separate cultural groups, but as one they are generally known as Inuit.  “Eskimo” is a colonisers term, […]

Vikings came first

In 986 Bjarni Herjólfsson found the coast of Labrador, in present day Canada, making him the first European to discover the American continent. That’s about 500 years before Columbus. While you can claim the British Empire had an unhealthy liking for occupying foreign countries and bringing back jewelry from India, in the years of discovery, […]

How fish can fuck up Carbon 14

Carbon is all around you, and you consume it through the air and your diet. Carbon will leave a mark, and thousands of years after your demise your skeleton will reveal when you lived. But carbon is preserved for a longer time in the ocean – hundreds of years, actually – and whatever a fish […]

Serkland – the Muslim Golden Age

When you look at the present state of affairs it’s hard to imagine religious customs and practice in early mediaeval times.  All the different pagan traditions were pretty laissez-faire about everything, so easy to walk in and out that door as you’d see fit; Christianity was new and exotic, came with a huge package of […]

Fauxfaith in Scandinavia

Talking about Norse mythology, most people think of the Æsir in Asgarðr, but mythology contains much more than Óðin, Þórr and Freyja.Here in Miðgardr there are a large number of creatures that people still talk about, and in many cases say they believe in (fauxfaith = claim to believe, tongue-in-cheek). Trolls are found everywhere in […]

The wrong roots

Some Scottish Islands have inhabitants who believe their ancestors were the victims of Viking Raids. But with modern DNA testing it turns out they are in fact the descendents of Vikings, themselves – villains, not victims. Watch this eight minutes BBC History documentary to get the finer points.

Open arms

If you happened to be an outsider in your community, in the Iron Age, and dreaming about getting the fuck out of there, you could be in luck if Vikings passed through town.On the many long journeys down the Dnieper river the ships would often lose crew members, for a number of reasons, and they […]

Andvari’s Ring

Andvari was a Svartálfr that lived in a cave behind a waterfall, and possessed not only gold and riches in abundance, but also had the power to transform himself into a mighty pike, which served him well —the pool in front of his cave being filled with fish. Another family of Svartálfr lived nearby: Hreiðmarr […]