Norse Trade, more Bang for the Buck

For as long as history can trace, the Norse have been well known as great traders. Their trade reach extended all the way to the Far East, through Russia and the Black Sea, to the Middle East. Regular trade thrived throughout Europe and in the Mediterranean. The Volga trade route along the Volga River connected Norse tradesmen all the way to the southern shores of the Caspian Sea to trade with Muslim countries, sometimes as far as Baghdad through the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers trade routes. The reach of the…

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Norse contact with Native Americans before the Viking Age

When the Vikings reached the New World, they called the native inhabitants (American Indians or Native Americans), “Skræling.” There has been much debate as to what exactly this word or label meant. Some translate it as “skin wearers,” which may be true as to how they described them. The Norse generally wore woolen or linen clothing and North American Natives generally wore animal skins. There was one thing that is puzzling about the Norse describing their interactions or meeting the Skræling. The Viking explorers weren’t curious or baffled by these…

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Weregild – A Slayer’s Debt to the Kindred of the Slain

Weregild was a monetary value placed on every being and every piece of property owned. If property was stolen or someone was injured or killed, the guilty person would have to pay a restitution to the victim’s family or to the owner of the property.  This was called, weregild. Weregild (also wergild, wergeld, weregeld)  means ‘man price’, ‘man-debt’, or ‘man-money’. The noun ‘were-gild’ is composed of ‘were‘, meaning ‘man’; and ‘gild or geld‘, meaning ‘payment or fee.’  Weregild is an amount of money fixed as compensation for the murder or disablement of a person, computed on…

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The Shieldmaiden Lagertha

The story of Lagertha begins when she met Ragnar Sigurdsson. He wasn’t Ragnar Lodbrok (Loðbrók) yet until he betrothed Thora Town-Hart after leaving Lagertha. <Story Here> Lagertha met Ragnar, who was in a battle while avenging his grandfather’s death, King Siward. King Frø of Sweden invaded Norway and killed the Norwegian King Siward. To add insult to injury for public humiliation, King Frø ordered that the surviving women of King Siward’s family be put into a brothel. When Ragnar Sigurdsson (Lodbrok) heard about King Frø’s invasion of Norway, he came with an army to avenge the death…

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Less Commonly Known Viking Weapons – The Atgeir

The Atgeir was a ‘spear-like spear’ that was used before and through the Viking Age. One reference to the atgeir comes from Icelandic Sagas about the Viking hero Gunnar Hámundarson whom used an atgeir in Njál’s Saga that would “sing” by making a ringing sound when it anticipated ‘bloodshed’ when it was used in battle. Gunnar was a great warrior.  He is described as being nearly invincible in combat. According to Njál’s Saga, he was a powerful, athletic man “capable of jumping his own height in full body armor, both back and…

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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…

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Valheim Hof in Denmark, dedicated to Odin and the gods

A new temple dedicated to the Norse god Odin and other gods has opened in Denmark. Is it the first Odin’s temple since the Christianization of Scandinavia, which took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries.  The year 1188 AD marks the triumph of Christianity in Denmark with the canonization of St. Canute (Sankt Knud), the patron saint of Denmark.  Since then, the old ways native to the Danish folk was suppressed for centuries.  Finally, as the old ways become re-embraced into Danish culture, a temple rises to hail the way. It is…

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Draugr, The Viking Walking Dead

The will of the Norse appears to be very strong. Strong enough for them to draw their hugr back to their own body. Reanimating it so they can walk amongst the living again. These are the Walking Dead in Norse folklore. Draug are undead figures from Norse and Icelandic mythology/folklore that appear to retain some semblance of intelligence. They exist either to guard their treasure, wreak havoc on living beings, or torment those who had wronged them in life.  Thorolf Halt-Foot was known to have reincarnated as a draugr and become…

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The Shield used by the Vikings

There is Skaldic poetry that is specifically dedicated to the Norse shield. They are known as the “shield poems.” The shield was as much a part of Norse culture as was the ax. It was well developed and one of the best shields made. The Viking shield was very different from that of the shields used around the World. The shields were made from wood with a metal center and were colorfully painted. Upon first glance, there doesn’t seem to anything special about these shields but you’d be very wrong…

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Reaching out through your Spirit Animal

Have you ever reached out in the World through your Spirit Animal? For most of us, the answer is a simple no.  Many of us have. but only by seeing the World through our spirit animal’s eyes.  That is, our spirit animal took us somewhere to see something they believed we needed to see.  Many try seeing through their spirit animal to spy on someone,  But this is not always successful.  More often than not, when someone is trying to spy on someone, it is because they either have a crush on…

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