Homosexuality in the Viking World

The Norse Sagas and poems have absolutely no mentioning of any homosexual relationships whatsoever. But that does not mean that there weren’t any gay or lesbian relationships amongst the people of the North. It also does not mean that gay, lesbian, or bisexual relationships weren’t tolerated either. Christian influence, along with other male dominated cultures that came into the Norse world, frowned greatly upon homosexuality in any shape or form.  This stigma has carried itself into the present day as there continues to be a tendency for people to retain some of their prejudices and attitudes towards…

Read More

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,…

Read More

Muslim Vikings? Northmen in the Islamic World.

There are many documented encounters between the Muslim World and the Viking World. Although recent events has left many Scandinavians with mixed feelings about their relationship with the Islamic world; the relationship between the Nordic world and the Islamic world goes way back further than most would expect. Far enough back that their histories are actually intermingled with one another. In March of 2015, news regarding the discovery of a ring found on a Viking woman in an ancient burial ground with the inscription ‘For/To Allah’ erupted in mainstream media everywhere. The ring itself wasn’t a new…

Read More

What did Vikings do to entertain themselves? Play Hnefatafl!

How did Vikings fight boredom? Well that answer’s easy! They raided, burned villages, half naked women, lots of explosions in the background, ham and bacon sandwiches, and a never ending flow of mead. Okay, maybe not.  That’s Hollywood’s version of Viking life.  Not to mention Hollywood’s obsession for horned helmets and warriors that never took off their armor.  In truth, the Vikings were simply like anyone else and occasionally got bored and played games. The Norse played a variety of tafl or hnefatafl (try pronouncing it: “neffa-taffle”) board games. Tafl games are ancient Germanic and…

Read More

The Norse Metallic Ages – Cultural Evolution through Metal

The Norse “Metallic Ages,” so called because they date the time periods when the Norse people are recorded to have been working with metals such as: copper, bronze, and iron. This Age also includes the Migration Period (the Age of Heroes), because it happened during the time of the Germanic Iron Age when there were great southerly migrations of the Nordic people. The Norse Metallic Ages are: The Nordic Bronze Age 1700 BC –500 BC. The Pre-Roman Iron Age 500 BC – 1 AD. The Roman Iron Age 1 AD…

Read More

Ásatrú Scouting and Guiding

Ásatrúar Scouting and Guiding is composed of multiple small non-aligned Scouting associations, open to both boys and girls at various ages of Ásatrú/Odinist groupings. Several organizations exist, among them “Scout Forn Siðr” in Stavanger, Norway and Malmö, Sweden, as well as a few prospective members in the United Kingdom and Poland, named for Forn Siðr (“Old Northern Tradition” in Old Norse) and the Young Vikings Club in the United States, a separate organization despite the Boy Scouts of America accepting Ásatrú units, e.g. Troop 1239, accepted into the BSA Great…

Read More

Stone Age Norse and the Longhouse

The Norse during the Viking Age were well known for their longhouses and mead halls, but how long have they been building them? A longhouse is a type of long, proportionately narrow, single-room building built by peoples in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America.  Longhouses were a commonly developed technology built by many cultures. In the Northern European region during the period of the Funnelbeaker Culture (Trichterbecherkultur) of around 4300 BC to 2800 BC, people began to live more inland.  They began to build settlements more inland,…

Read More

Old Norse and its influence on Modern Languages

The language used by the Norse people was ‘Old Norse.‘ It was the primary language used in settlements up onto the 14th century when the language eventually developed into the modern North Germanic languages. The transition period of this language transformation is approximate, because Old Norse was still found in written form well into the 15th Century. This was eventually phased out by the church, whom preferred Latin text when writing. Primitive Norse, or Ancient Norse (also called Proto-Norse) was the language of the Scandinavian people prior to the first…

Read More