The purpose of this study is to examine cultural conceptions of the possible afterlives of suicides in medieval (ca. 1200– 1400) Iceland.
In this article I intend to discuss the role of the malevolent restless dead in medieval Iceland by making a case study of the so-called wonders of Fróðá, the Fróðárundr episode in Eyrbyggja saga.
Florentine writer Brunetto Lattini explains what mermaids are in his Book of Treasures.
Everyone has “that” neighbour on their floor, or street who they’d secretly love to move to Mars and never see again. Well, the Early Modern Swedes had a way of dealing with those kinds of nasty neighbours…
Hundreds of years ago, sailors were terrified by the Kraken, a dreadful sea monster capable of sinking ships and with a taste for human flesh.
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?
Sins of evil black magic, as listed by the medieval theologian Burchard of Worms in the 11th century.
Is a BBQ summer on the cards in 2015? Will farmers make hay next year? And is there a political scandal on the election horizon? Well take a peek out of the window with the University of Reading’s Medieval Weather Forecast guide on the 12 days of Christmas and you’ll find out!
A 1300-year-old onion has been discovered as part of a woman’s grave in Denmark.
In 589, a great flood of the Tiber river sent a torrent of water rushing through the city of Rome
What really happened on June 26, 1284, in the German town of Hamelin?
In the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, particularly between the thirteenth and the sixteenth century, the most common way of eliminating one’s enemy was by poisoning his food or drink at a banquet.
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.
The aim of this paper is to look behind this popular image to consider the archaeological evidence for vampire burials.
This study presents an analysis about the rain-making ritual from Romania, called Paparuda, performed in the spring and in times of severe drought
I will examine the role of the restless dead in sagas by focusing on the individuals who are responsible for banishing the malevolent ghosts, or encounter the benevolent or non-harmful living dead.
And while he was going back along the road heard a terrifying voice yelling far behind him, as if it were on a mountain. A moment later it yelled again but this time nearer. A third time he heard the voice shouting at the crossroads ahead of him, and then he saw a pale horse.
One can imagine three ways to approach a mediaeval Icelandic draugr, a term which is usually glossed as ‘ghost’ in English.
From piles of bones to embalmed hearts, with stories about mass graves and sleeping for hundreds of years, here is our top 10 list of strange things done with the medieval dead.
In Book VIII of this lengthy chronicle of Norman affairs, Orderic paused in his description of the political struggles between the sons of William the Conqueror to tell a ghost story.
This paper examines the changes that were made in the literary telling and retelling of the story of the Pied Piper during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, comparing the folktale “Die Kinder zu Hameln” (1816) by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the poem “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”(1842) by Robert Browning, and the book What Happened in Hamelin (1979), by Gloria Skurzynski.
Saemund Sigfusson is the earliest of the Icelandic wizards. According to the annals he was born in the year 1056. He was educated in France and returned to Iceland in 1076 or 1078.
The Wonders of the East is an author’s attempt to not only introduce readers to strange sights they may never see with their own eyes (since most people did not travel extensively), but also to make sense of some things they might see every day.
Archaeologists working in northwestern Poland have unearthed the remains of man who was buried with a rock jammed into his jaw and a stake driven into his leg.