Today I’m going to talk about the character of the Scandinavian colonization of Orkney, to a degree in comparative perspective, particularly talking about the Isle of Man and Iceland briefly at the end.
In recent years, it has been suggested that the first permanent Scandinavian presence in Orkney was not the result of forcible land-taking by Vikings, but came about instead through gradual penetration
I suspect that the Norse invaders of Orkney and Shetland didn’t just overwhelm’, or ‘submerge’ the native population: I think they killed them.
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.
Vikings settled in, and ruled, many parts of the British Isles and Ireland, but of these areas only the Norse earldom of Orkney has a whole Icelandic saga devoted to its early history.
How and when did Orkney become such a key player in the relations between Norway and Scotland? Were the Earls of Orkney a barrier to war between the nations?
Kali Kolsson, later Rögnvaldr, Earl of Orkney, ca. 1103–1158, is a truly international figure. He was born in Noway. He travelled to England with some traders in his youth. He then came to power in Northern Scotland.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Jarldom of Orkney and Caithness maintained a fine balance between its geographical proximity to the Scottish mainland and its political and cultural proximity to the kingdom of Norway.
The Northern Isles have their own national, or at any rate quasi-national, historical tradition. It is quite separate from that of Scotland, though it is clearly connected to it; and it offers parallels to the nineteenth-century growth in historical consciousness elsewhere in the British Isles.
In its definitive form of a system of local churches serving identifiable districts, usually known as parishes, grouped together under a diocesan bishop, the medieval church cannot be said to have existed in the general area of Scotland until the twelfth century. At this time, and for some three centuries previously, the islands to the north and west, with parts of the adjacent mainland, were under Norse control.
This article will focus mainly on the earliest period of Norse settlement, before the Norse earldom was established.
The account of the consumption and regurgitation by wolves of a murdered man, before he is revived by Saint Magnus, is to be found at the very end of the series of miracles tales which concludes Magnuss saga lengri
A year-long study will begin this fall that will look look at herding economies in the Orkney Isles from the 8th to the 15th century AD.
This paper looks at how Orkney figured in Norwegian royal strategies in the west and presents key examples which show its transition from a tool of war to a forum for peace.
The reconstituted text conventionally known as Orkneyinga saga has many points of interest for Old Icelandic literary history, in addition to any intrinsic literary qualities, and its interest as a source for the history and culture of Scandinavian Scotland.
The present paper is a brief exploration of the application of methods commonly used in the archaeological study of the Pacific and Mediterranean islands to the expansion of the Vikings across the North Atlantic during the ninth to eleventh centuries AD.
The trade of dried fish played an important role in the transformation from the Viking Age to the Middle Ages in Scandinavian polities such as Arctic Norway.
Were the cats utilised specifically for pest control or is there conclusive proof of a creature having been wholly cared for?
A Chieftain in an Old Norse Text: Sveinn Ásleifarson and the Message behind Orkneyinga Saga By Ian Beuermann Confluence. Interdisciplinary Communications 2007/2008, edited…
Scientists and researchers from across northern Europe will gather in Orkney on Thursday to learn how the islands protect their rich archaeological resources…
Shetland and Orkney Island-Names – A Dynamic Group By Peder Gammeltoft Northern Lights, Northern Words. Selected Papers from the FRLSU Conference, Kirkwall 2009,…
Linguistic patterns in the place-names of Norway and the Northern Isles By Berit Sandnes Northern Lights, Northern Words. Selected Papers from the FRLSU…
Interpreting the Viking Age to Medieval Period Transition in Norse Orkney through Cultural Soil and Sediment Analyses By Ian A. Simpson, James H.…