Ívarr the Not-So-Boneless

Ívarr

Ímar (Old Norse: Ívarr) was King of the Norsemen of all Ireland and Britain. Ímar, or Ívarr or Ivar, was a Viking leader that came to rule Ireland and Scotland in the mid-late ninth century.  He was the founder of the Uí Ímair dynasty (Dynasty of Ivar), whose descendants continued to dominate the Irish Sea region for several centuries. House of Ivar King Ímar is believed by many scholars to be none other than Ivar the Boneless of the Great Heathen Army. The Fragmentary Annals of Ireland identifies Ímar patrilineality as being the son…

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Guthrum and conquest of the Danelaw

Guthrum (Guðrum) was one of the leaders of the Great Heathen Army and later, King of the Danish Vikings in the Danelaw. Before the year 865 AD, most Viking raids were predominately hit and run operations.  But by that year in 865 AD they changed into invasions with the intent to conquer. It is believed that pressure from tyrannous kings in Nordic regions forced them to seek new lands and start new lives. Norsemen were now looking for farm land to settle their families. The legend in the Sagas of Ragnar’s Sons…

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Who the Ælle is King Ælla?

King Ælla (or Ælle, and sometimes Aella) was the ruler of the Kingdom of Northumbria in the middle of the 9th century. Although the dates are questionable because sources on Northumbrian history are extremely limited during this period; it is generally believed that in 862 or 863 AD, Ælla had disposed King Osberht (who was possibly his brother) and placed himself as ruler of Northumbria. The now King Ælla had then seized lands belonging to the Church at Billingham, Ileclif, Wigeclif and Crece.  Little more is known of King Ælla, except that he is described by most…

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Get off my Boat! Jarl Haakon resists Conversion

Harald Bluetooth tried to force covert Jarl Haakon, but he and his men weren’t having anything to do with that. Most of the early Christian conversion attempts on the Norse people were done by means of entire communities converting as a whole rather than individual conversions.  Mass conversions were usually carried out by methods such as demanding conversions through subjugation. The subjects of a leader would be forced to convert.  Typically, the Norse leader or King would convert to Christianity themselves and as an opportunity to solidify their power, they…

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Norse Weapons – The Bow

The Vikings used a bow they called a ‘bogi‘ in Old Norse. Bows were predominately used for hunting, but in many cases they were also used for battle, especially in battles or attacks at sea. Even though nautical battles were not common to the Norse who preferred to fight on land, bows were indeed used in sea battles. They could use their bows to shoot an arrow at an enemy awaiting them on the beach as they tried to land. They used the bow to attack other ships by shooting arrows and…

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Elite Viking Warriors, the Shock Troops used by the Norse

The Vikings also had special troops that would reap fear into the enemy and instill encouragement on the friendly side. One kind of these special warriors were the infamous berserkers. Berserkers were warriors that would work themselves into a battle frenzy so much that they ignored pain and injury. Often, there would be many berserkers formed into groups and would be set loose on the enemy as shock troops. The berserkers believed that the god Odin would personally protect them from harm and so they often wore no armor into…

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Maya Weapons: The Atlatl and Obsidian Dart

The Maya utilized a Stone Age weapon called the Atlatl that matched Spaniard armor. Even though the Maya had and utilized missile technology, such as bows and arrows, the atlatl, blowguns and spear, most combat occurred at close range with hand to hand weapons. Missile weapons were not heavily relied upon because the goal was not to kill your enemy, but capture him if you could (to be later sacrificed to the gods). Weapons that were used by the Maya were crafted mostly from materials such as obsidian and chert, instead…

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Ek Rist Runar. Learning the Runic Alphabet is hard.

Old Norse is hard to learn. It’s hard learning the Runic Alphabet and I’m not counting their actual meaning or even their proper pronunciation. Trying to learn the Runic Alphabet by simply trying to convert a given runic character into a known Latin character that we already understand is hard enough. Especially, because the two alphabets don’t match up. Trying to learn or find the proper words to write in Runes gets even harder. Especially when you have such a wonderfully broad selection to choose from, such as: Elder Futhark,…

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Three things the Ancient Maya and Vikings had in common.

The Norse Vikings and the MesoAmerican Maya were by no means the same. Their cultures were very different and unique from one another.  However, there were a few similarities practiced between the two cultures. 1. Both the Maya and Viking cultures modified their teeth. The Vikings filed their teeth. A Swedish anthropologist analyzed 557 Viking skeletons dating from A.D. 800 to 1050 and discovered that 24 of them bore deep, horizontal grooves across their upper front teeth.  It is believed that they did this to look more fierce to their enemies. Vikings…

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The Viking Spear

The spear was the favored weapon of the Norse all-father and god of war, Odin. Odin had a spear that was made from the World tree Yggdrasil named Gungnir. The Prose Edda says that Odin will carry his spear Gungnir and lead the bravest that had fallen on the battlefield and had been taken to the Halls of Valhalla. These fallen warriors from Valhalla are called the Einherjar and Odin will lead them to the battlefield during the Ragnarok event. The spear held great symbolic importance to the Norse warrior…

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