In this lecture, Professor Williams will be examining depictions of smiths from Norse mythology on Viking Age stones in the British Isles, as well as on rune-stones and picture-stones from Scandinavia.
I believe serious blunders have been made concerning the identification of males and females. It
is simply inadmissable to interpret any figure with open, shoulder-length hair as female when all the evidence for the centuries in question shows females have only been depicted with long hair tied in the Irish ribbon knot.
In his article, ‘What really caused the Viking Age? The social content of raiding and exploration’, Steven P. Ashby, a medieval archaeologist and lecturer at the University of Cambridge, outlines the many factors that would have prompted Norsemen – both the elites and the regular men – to conduct their raids across Europe.
Norse colonists in Orkney contended not only with the islands’ existing occupants, but also with a foreign landscape filled with visible ancient monuments. This paper provides a brief synthesis of the results of research on the landscapes of Viking-Age and Late-Norse Orkney which explored the strategies undertaken by the Norse settlers to re-model their social identities in their adopted environment.
‘Black Men and Malignant-Looking’: The Place of the Indigenous Peoples of North America in the Icelandic World View
Challenges to the mind were popular at the Frankish court at the time of the Rök Stone. Due to the political situation in Scandinavia at that time the stone was made in a combined Swedish and international context. The methods of the stone are clearly influenced by the Frankish renaissance initiated by Alcuin of York.