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BOOK REVIEW: The Northern Queen by Kelly Evans

Book: The Northern Queen by Kelly Evans

Kelly Evans’Anglo-Saxon novel centres around the story of Aelfgifu of Northampton (990-1040); from her rise in court and eventual marriage to one of England’s most famous early kings, Cnut the Great (995-1035), to her repudiation, and later life with her sons after Cnut’s passing.

A Journey to the Far North in the Ninth Century

Detail of a map of Scandinavia, created by Abraham Ortelius in the 16th century

The name Ohthere does not usually rank among the great explorers of the Middle Ages, such as Leif Eriksson, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. However, his exploits are very impressive, for he would sail into Arctic Circle over eleven hundred years ago.

The Vikings, their worms, and the diseases they got

Photo by Charles Starrett / Flickr

The Vikings and people of the Norse world would have been predisposed to emphysema and other lung conditions, according to a paper published last week in Nature: Scientific Reports.

Concerning Mass Graves: The use, development and identities within mass graves during the Scandinavian Iron Age and Middle Ages

The mass grave from the Battle of Visby at Korsbetningen, photographed during the 1905 excavation.

In this Master thesis, my aim is to investigate, compare and discuss the practice of dealing with the dead and their war gear during the aftermath of a battle or an armed engagement.

Unknown Europe: The Mapping of the Northern countries by Olaus Magnus in 1539

Carta Marina

Olaus Magnus, a highly educated Swedish priest and scholar, published his geographically and ethnographically remarkable map of the Northern countries, the Carta marina, in Venice in 1539.

The Wolf-Warrior: Animal Symbolism on Weaponry of the 6th and 7th centuries

Beserkers - Vendel era bronze plate found on Öland, Sweden.

Decorative art in Scandinavia during the late Iron Age and Viking Period was largely dominated by animals in stylized forms.

Doors to the dead: The power of doorways and thresholds in Viking Age Scandinavia

Photograph of Þjóðveldisbærinn in Iceland, a reconstruction of the Viking Longhouse Stöng.  Photo by Thomas Ormston / Flickr

It is argued that Viking Age people built ‘doors to the dead’ of various types, such as freestanding portals, causewayed ring-ditches or thresholds to grave mounds; or on occasion even buried their dead in the doorway.

What’s New in Scandinavian Rune Stones

The Vik stone (U 288), Uppland, Sweden. 12th cent. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; photographer: Robin Iversen.

Danielle Turner reports on the papers from the session The World of Images of the Scandinavian Rune Stones

Rich and Powerful: The Image of the Female Deity in Migration Age Scandinavia

Sif (1909) by John Charles Dollman

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.

Scandinavian trade ‘triggered’ the Viking Age, researchers find

Ribe, Denmark in 1588

Archaeologists from the University of York have played a key role in Anglo-Danish research which has suggested the dawn of the Viking Age may have been much earlier – and less violent – than previously believed.

Where would you find the Vikings

find the vikings

We created this short guide to explain all the lands that the Vikings came to – either to raid, trade or settle in – which stretched from Russia to North America.

Choosing Heaven: The Religion of the Vikings

Picture stone with snake motif from Martebo church.

The Viking-age gods stemmed from two races – Aesir and Vanir.

Trolls in the Middle Ages

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Where did trolls come from? What did medieval and early modern people think of trolls? How did the concept of the modern day troll evolve?

Nourishment for the Soul – Nourishment for the Body: Animal Remains in Early Medieval Pomeranian Cemeteries

Medieval depiction of animals

Late medieval sources clearly refer to souls, which in traditional folk beliefs were periodically returning to feed and warm themselves by the fires made by the living. This kind of conception can be merged with Slavic eschatology. There is multiple evidence to confirm that belief some form of spirit or soul was spreading amongst the people, who in the early medieval period, bordered directly with Pomerania.

Corbie in the Carolingian Renaissance

Carolingian Aachen Gospels (c. 820)

This study opens with a historical account of Corbie from its foundation until the reign of Charles the Simple, which clarifies the political importance of the abbey and its relations with rulers and bishops.

The Names of Islands in the Old Norse Faereyinga Saga and Orkeyinga Saga

Picture of King Harald from the 14th century Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbók.

The Names of Islands in the Old Norse Faereyinga Saga and Orkeyinga Saga Hilda Radzin (St. John’s University) Literary Onomastics Studies: Volume 5, Article 7 (1978) Abstract In the Old Norse language the word saga denoted any kind of story or history in prose, whether written or oral. Used in this sense, the word saga […]

The Viking Language of the Highlands and Islands: Reconstructing the Norn Language from Old Norse

Viking carving

The Orkney and Shetland islands of Scotland were at one time colonized by Vikings and belonged firmly within the field of Scandinavian cultural influence. During this time the people of these archipelagos spoke a unique language known as Norn which evolved from the Old Norse language.

The Cults of New Saints and the Christianization of Scandinavia

Murder of Canute the Holy by Christian Albrecht von Benzon, 1843

This research project examines aspects of the cults of local saints that developed in Scandinavia during the latter stages of the Christianization of the region.

Houses and domestic life in the Viking Age and medieval period

Log houses in the farmstead from Østerdal - Kjetil Bjørnsrud

This thesis examines the representations of houses as physical structures in the Íslendingasögur with specific emphasis on the material aspect of housing culture in the Viking Age and medieval period, as well as the interactions between material culture and text.

Signs of Power. Manorial Demesnes in Medieval Iceland

King Eric II Magnusson of Noway & Iceland (1268 - 1299)

An important aspect of medieval Icelandic social organization, namely the manor, has been neglected in previous research, and very little research has been undertaken comparing Icelandic manorial organization with other regions. This article focuses on one aspect of manorial organization, namely the manorial demesne or central farm of the manor.

Money and trade in Viking-Age Scandinavia

Penny from Viking Age Dublin

This paper addresses the question of how money was conceived and used in trade in the Viking Age and before, but starts with some brief reflections on the role of gifts.

Enemy and Ancestor: Viking Identities and Ethnic Boundaries in England and Normandy, c.950 – c.1015

The Bayeux Tapestry and the Vikings

This thesis is a comparison of ethnicity in Viking Age England and Normandy. It focuses on the period c.950-c.1015, which begins several generations after the initial Scandinavian settlements in both regions.

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