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The Viking Age is the period in European history that begins in 793 CE when Norse raiders attacked the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in Northumbria. It is generally described as ending with the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 CE. The Viking Age thus begins and ends in the British Isles, but the Vikings are not generally considered to be British. The term “Viking Age,” by the way, was first introduced by Oscar Montelius, a 19th-century Swedish archaeologist.

Our starting point for understanding the Viking Age should begin with the word “Viking.” The people that modern historians call “Vikings” did not use that word to identify themselves. The word “Viking” does appear in the Norse runes—their form of writing—but it is a verb rather than a noun. Men, and probably also women, would go “a Viking,” meaning that they went on a trading trip or a raid.

The term “Viking” appears three times in the
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle where it is used to mean “robbers” in reference to coastal marauders. In the Irish Annals they were called “gaill” meaning “foreigners.” In other places they were called “Northmanni” or “Dani.”

The term Viking today is generally used to refer to a variety of Scandinavian peoples from the eighth to the twelfth centuries. It should be stressed that the Vikings were not politically nor culturally unified although the written sources at the time—all written by non-Vikings—group them as Norraener menn or Norse men.

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The map above shows the Viking home settlements during the Viking age.

The descriptions of the Vikings which were written by their contemporaries have come to us from the people, primarily monks, who were attacked when the Norse went “a Viking” and these accounts tend to be less than flattering. While there were probably women on the raids, the accounts make no mention of them. Nearly all of our knowledge today about Viking women comes from the archaeological record, primarily grave goods.

The popular images of the Viking Age—those found in movies, on TV, and even in many history books—tend to show it as a male-centered time with men going on raids while the women, if shown at all, are presumed to be home tending to weaving and farming. Gunnar Andersson of the Swedish History Museum, in his book Vikings: Lives Beyond the Legends, writes:

“There are many indications that women during the Viking Age generally had a more equal position in society than they later came to have.”
High status Viking women during the ninth and tenth centuries often wore gilded brooches and colorful beaded embroidery. Oval brooches were generally worn in pairs and were joined by rows of beads. It was not uncommon for them to wear a third brooch below the neck. The brooches were symbols of regional identity: on the island of Gotland, for example, in present-day Sweden, high status Viking women would wear two triangular brooches combined with a box-shaped brooch. The triangular brooches were in the shape of an animal’s head.

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Shown above are brooches from high status graves.

As a farming people, land and family were important to Vikings. Land ownership determined social position and the extended family was the basic community on the farm. With regard to the role of women, the archaeological record suggests that they ruled the households and the farm.

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Shown above are grave goods from a high status woman’s grave in Gotland. The presence of a spindle stick and spindle whorl shows that women served an important function as weavers. The two small weaving tablets, shown on the left next to the spindle whorl, were used when weaving ribbons, laces, or belts. According to Norse mythology, aristocratic women were associated with the Norns—the mystical weavers of fate who could spin or cut off the threads of human life and destiny. High status women were, therefore, felt to have an ability to influence fate.

While not clear in the photograph, the two brooches shown at the top have an animal-head shape. On the lower right is a key which is hanging from a tool brooch with a chain. The key was a visible symbol of the power of the Lady of the House.

On the lower right, next to the key, is a knife and scabbard. This shows that the woman could defend herself if necessary.

Keys are often found in Norse graves and the well-used iron keys show that these were functional tools. In the graves of some women, however, archaeologists have found unused, bronze keys. These keys would have been worn as a symbol of the woman’s power, showing that she was in charge of the household and the farm.

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Shown above are some keys from women’s graves.

Women, and their abilities to predict the future and control destiny, were associated with the mythical Norns—Urdr, Verdandi, and Skuld. These were the Fates who spun and measured a person’s life-thread, and they could also cut it. Women were also associated with the Valkyries, the death goddesses who served Odin in Valhalla. The Valkyries rode into battlefields to choose the men who would die.

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Women’s involvement with weaving is seen in the collection of grave goods shown above. These goods include spindle whorls, loom weights, a weaving sword, and staff. The staff, shown at the top of the picture, is interpreted as belonging to the Völur, shamans associated with prophecy. The Völur used this type of staff when telling her prophecy.

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Shown above are the grave goods from the grave of a young girl in Uppland, Sweden. She was dressed as an adult, and buried with her was a key (lower right), knife (lower left), whetstone pendant (upper left), and bell (upper right). Bells were used as protection against evil forces as well as toys. Also buried with her were a total of 19 glass beads (center). Children were sometimes described as small adults with superhuman powers.

Note: all of the photographs are from a special exhibit on the Vikings at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria.
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Comment Preferences

  •  I also love the Icelandic Sagas especially the (29+ / 0-)

    Laxdæla saga.

    "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

    by LaFeminista on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:27:16 AM PDT

  •  Women (25+ / 0-)

    At least one saga deals with a Woman who was a warrior.  Among other things she fights a draugr (sort of like a balrog, but unpleasant) in single combat, successfully.  The only English translation is by Laurence Gillespie, in a seriously obscure location.  I will doubtless remember her name and the location so soon as I hit post, but I read it some decades ago.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:50:02 AM PDT

  •  The greatest mystery of the Vikings is how they (28+ / 0-)

    got started. Their ancestors were agriculturalists. The Vikings themselves were first and foremost farmers. They acquired the technology for seafaring, perhaps initially primarily for transportation and commerce (and fishing?). Overpopulation (relative to the amount of arable land available) may have then driven them to search for new ecological niches, which led to the discovery of raiding, which in turn caused them to very rapidly perfect that seafaring technology of theirs.

    I think it's widely assumed that agriculturalists are not generally given to raiding. Perhaps that assumption is an oversimplification. Still, it seems like what happened here was an example of incredibly rapid cultural and technological change. Fascinating.

    "I understand, Mr. Spock. The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."

    by brainwave on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:56:43 AM PDT

    •  Things that I wonder about with regards to your (15+ / 0-)


      Over population.
      Perhaps they needed to spread out, its not an unusual reason behind raids and invasions.

      Perhaps the little ice age started sooner than we recorded, or some other ecological issue created problems for agricultural success, leading to the need to raid other peoples in order to gain resources.

      Some other unknown driver.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:20:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Viking trading routes extended into Russia. It's (16+ / 0-)

      possible that the trading got some of them started on the raiding.  

      I suspect the origin of the trading AND the raiding was the development of the Viking boats.  They were so flat-bottomed they could pull into small harbors, and they could go long distances in them.

      •  The name "Russia" (22+ / 0-)

        comes from Rus, Vikings who settled down in Russia, picked up the Slavic language, and decided that Vodka was a good thing.

      •  One of the fundamental questions of history (11+ / 0-)

        Is technology the driving force of it all? Or does technological innovation spring up (and more importantly, become embraced) in response to economic (and political) need? My own tentative answer to that is to always reserve a healthy modicum of skepticism for monocausal explanations.

        "I understand, Mr. Spock. The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."

        by brainwave on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:30:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I'm sure you're right, but I'd bet a lot of (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ojibwa, mayim, brainwave, dewtx, ER Doc

          the raids couldn't have been accomplished without those boats.  (Look at them face on, and you see Thor's hammer).  

          •  The boats could traverse rivers & lakes along (6+ / 0-)

            with seas and oceans. It is amazing how far they ended up going at their peak.

            They had time for this raiding due to the agricultural seasonal cycle of their latitude. Plant seeds in Spring, have a couple months to build & outfit new boats, make weapons & armor, go raiding, then come home for harvest, weddings, etc., and then have rest of the winter free to age mead, build boats, and go raiding some more. The women mostly stayed home whilst the men acquired their booty from foreigners (or traded with them), but there are a few stories of some women going along on the raids.

            The sagas have warriors making quips if they suffered an unanticipated fatal wound, along the lines of, "Ah, I see the Frankish spears are back in style." Dying with courage, confident faith and wry humor, perhaps fitting in a final tweaking of the enemy, was an honorable end, even if done in by a Frankish spear.

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:08:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  seasonal activities (5+ / 0-)

              Basically yes, but I would point out that boats lasted long, and were not quickly or easily built, or at least not when it could be helped. There is something in the sagas about Greenland if I remember correctly, Leif Eriksson or Thorfinn Karlsefni or some other explorer buying an old ship off someone who had sailed with it to Greenland or Vinland many years earlier, proving it seaworthy.

              Some say shipwrights went to such lengths as to bend trees or branches and wait for them to grow into perfect shape.

              The Vikings also had a breed of sheep specifically for the long-fibre wool for their sail-cloth. Apparently you needed to plan many years ahead for a new ship.

              Roskilde museum

              As for weapons and armour, you could try for yourself how long knitting chainmail takes. Even if you don't have to mine and smelt the iron and draw the wire first.

              Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

              by intruder from Old Europe on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 06:35:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Technology factor. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ojibwa, mayim, WisVoter

          I've read that the 793CE raid was the settlement of a grudge, which was made possible by the invention or adoption of masts and sails to boats that had previously been used only for short ventures under oar power.  The reason for the grudge was Charlemagne, who had earlier determined that he should Christianize the peoples on the south shores of the Baltic.  So he sent armies to invade, and in one memorable battle they defeated a large force in today's Germany.  All of their captives were first taken to the river to be baptized, following which they were put to death.  Trouble is, those "natives" who had escaped the roundup witnessed what followed, and carried the story back.  These tribes had confederated tribes located elsewhere in the Baltic region -- Norsemen.  And, while they could do nothing at the time due to their lack of a means of striking back, they kept the memory close.  Then, when the technology shifted, the Norsemen remembered who had slaughtered their cousins and saw an opportunity.  So the story goes, when they first struck in 793, they went to an abbey.  There they took the abbots they captured out to sea and "baptized" them by throwing them overboard.  Then they kept raiding.  Payback, I guess.

          "There is no way to give to honest toil its just reward--its full share of all wealth produced--but by the full application of the single tax. And righteousness and justice require it to be done." --A. Moll, 1897

          by Zwenkau on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:37:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I've been in one! (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ojibwa, ER Doc, mayim, myboo, Ahianne, SGA

        A replica, the one that sailed across the Atlantic none too long back. It was very strange. I kept wondering where the "downstairs" was and how on earth they stored anything in it. It's extremely curved on both ends but a shallow sort of a thing. Flat-bottomed, indeed. I presumed that the curves were to help it traverse the high seas since it really, really wasn't a particularly large boat at all. You would categorically think that it would have or should have been bigger, to stand inside of it.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:23:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And, as Viking graves in Britain have shown, (12+ / 0-)

      in some cases half the Vikings were women -- they settled down and farmed.

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:56:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It might depend on which Scandinavian... (24+ / 0-)

      ... country they came from.  Sweden and Denmark have flat areas or areas with rolling hills that are good for farming.

      Norway, on the other hand, is 90% inaccessible mountains, or mountains that rise straight up out of fjords and there is little land available for farming, owning, or passing on to offspring.  With 10% of the land suitable for farming, that's not enough to sustain a large population.  Droughts or other agricultural disasters, which led to starvation, could wipe out most of an entire community.  Consequently, the eldest son got the land, and other offspring had to fend for themselves.  With a lack of land to raise grains and livestock, the people turned to the sea for food.

      Women wielded quite a lot of power in Scandinavia (they still do).  Those house keys are more than symbolic; they were under her command, and hers only, and heaven help the person who opened her cupboards!  If their husbands went a-viking, or if husbands had occupations that took them away from home, a woman had full control of the household and any servants who worked and lived on the farm.  They had property rights.

      Women/daughters could inherit land, BTW, if the parents died without sons, or if their sons had died or left home.  If she was a widow with land, she might marry a much younger man who was strong enough to work the land and keep a farm and buildings in good repair, and when she died he would inherit the land & buildings, then turn around and marry a woman of appropriate age, or, possibly quite a lot younger, and they'd proceed to have children who would inherit land he'd gotten from the widow or previously old single woman past her childbearing prime with whom he had no children.

      Younger sons didn't have much choice.  To get the means (money) to provide a home for a wife and family, they had to go a-Viking (at least during the summer months between spring planting and fall harvesting), work for neighbors, develop carpentry or logging skills, go fishing (as a crew member or own his own fishing boat), or have a boat that could haul cargo or people to neighboring areas for trade, become a blacksmith (a high status occupation), and the like.  Without money or skills to support a family, women wouldn't marry them.

      The thing that amazed me while doing genealogy research on my ancestors in all three Scandinavian countries is that couples often didn't marry until they were in their early 30s.  They prepared for married life for years, and did not usually marry for love, but as a social contract and a method of joining families for control of more land.

      In the late 1700s when a vaccine for smallpox was discovered, vaccinations were compulsory, and the date they got their smallpox vaccination followed them through the confirmation and marriage records as one of the details recorded (or, in some cases it's noted they had had smallpox, or a natural immunity, before they were old enough to get the vaccination).  With fewer people dying of smallpox, there was a population spike in the early 1800s.  Then came a few bad years of short harvests and many people died. That left more land for the living, finances and living conditions improved without being over-populated, and they were on the way to another population increase ... just about the time Lincoln signed the Homestead Act of 1862..., more and more people emigrated, and by 1880s the Norwegians, in particular, came to America in droves (my Norwegian ancestors, as well as Danish and Swedish ancestors among them).

      Shipping companies were built around a fleet of emigrant feeder ships that served ports in all three of those countries; while a few ships came by direct routes, the usual way was from Scandinavian ports to Hull England where they boarded a train for Liverpool where they got on another ship to come to America.  Some to NY (NOT Ellis Island until after 1892 when it opened), but for those coming to the five inland states, they sailed to Quebec (it's a shorter distance to Quebec than NY, so the fare was cheaper), disembarked, took overland modes of transportation down through porous ports of entry, most often via trains or even oxcarts (look up the Pembina Trail, click on links for other routes).  Fares were paid straight through to the destination listed on ship's emigrant passenger lists in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.

      Minnesota still has the largest number of people with Norwegian ancestors of any state (but WI, IA, SD, ND aren't far behind - altho there are Scandinavian communities in other states, the largest number of Scandinavians came to those five states).

      For Medieval Norwegian history woven into a fictitious story, read the trilogy (preferably in hardcover) Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.  Just by how she uses the names one gets a feel for the patronymic naming system (if a person doesn't understand that for genealogy research, one is hopelessly lost; the farm names were not inherited surnames, but an address, and that changed if a person moved; the patronym for each person never changes and women kept their own names their entire lives).  Undset has a lovely glossary at the end that explains a lot of things, how farmsteads were set up (diagrams included), the forms of government, etc.  Undset is still regarded as the most knowledgeable expert on early Norwegian history (altho she's dead now).  The book ends just as the plagues reached Norway and killed off virtually all their noble families and their royalty ca 1347-49.

      Eeerrrrrrmmmm... yes.  I find the Viking era quite interesting and I've studied it for many years.  Records for genealogy research only go back to the late 1600s or early 1700s, but items found in archaeological digs as well as what historians recorded about them (even if they did get bad press from those who were writing about them) makes for very interesting reading.  Like every culture they were capable of some extraordinary acts ('blood eagle sacrifice' makes me shudder), but then one is immediately confronted with great storytelling which weaves reality with myths and legends..., and there's music, art, wood carving, runes, textiles, embroidery, and OMG, the ships...! Etc....

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 10:48:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Before I post further down (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mayim, Ojibwa, Aunt Pat, dewtx, ER Doc, NonnyO

        Some records only go as far as 'the late 1600s or early 1700s'  Land records were recorded in that time period based on oral history and some other proof of ownership for the many generations before.  That was very dependent upon where the land was located.  

      •  Yes indeed! The great irony of Norway is that (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ojibwa, mayim, Aunt Pat, dewtx, ER Doc, NonnyO, Turbonerd

        for many centuries, it was one of the poorest countries in Europe - and now it is one of the richest in the world.

        "I understand, Mr. Spock. The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."

        by brainwave on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 12:25:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What's more, they're being smart... (8+ / 0-)

          ... about those riches.  Much of it is being saved for people in the future who haven't even been born yet.

          Paid education (K-College) and generous medical care are considered human rights there, not to mention the right of BOTH parents to be at home to bond with and take care of their newborns for an extended period of time via paid parental leave at 80% of their salary.  (ABC's story on Daddy Leave when a baby is born; men are expected to take this leave.)  Sick leave is also paid.  Jobs are waiting for them when they go back to work.  No one goes hungry or loses their homes because of outrageous medical bills owed to medical corporations.

          Oh, and while it's unheard of in the US, they also consider equal access to high speed internet a right, not a privilege to be afforded by only the very wealthy.

          Corporations are expected to pay their fair share of taxes, and no price-gouging or profiteering allowed, and they actually prosecute corporations for such dishonorable, illegal, and bad behavior.  [Abiding by the law; who'da thunk it?]

          They got all their marauding behavior out of their systems during the Viking age, settled down to become farmers, poets, musicians, writers, artists, whatever they choose to be, and became gifted peace-makers.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:38:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you become rich enough, you can buy (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ojibwa, NonnyO, RiveroftheWest

            respectability. While Alfred Nobel was Swedish born, his companies and foundation have many Norwegian ties too. And he, and they, were known as wholesale "Merchants of Death" long before he decided to burnish his image.

            ...and became gifted peace-makers

            "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

            by Bluefin on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:16:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  WOW, what a fascinating comment. (6+ / 0-)

        You're fun to read on this subject!

        The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What's our excuse?
        ~~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

        by smileycreek on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 01:16:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  :-) Thank you.... (5+ / 0-)

          All those years of endless insomnia meant I had lots of time to read to keep my mind occupied..., and history is one of my favorite topics, so my personal library is in sections, one of them being on the Vikings.  The Kelts - European and British - are another favorite, as well as Plantagenet and Tudor England.  When I decided Art History as my minor as a non-traditional student in college, the art from the Paleolithic through the Neolithic became a fascinating topic on its own.  Mostly, those separate topics take up entire sets of bookshelves on their own (then I ran out of space to put bookshelves and started packing my books away in boxes, so my closets are full, too).  I ran out of space for notebooks of genealogy data and started stacking them on the floor.

          I never feel like I know enough, so I keep on reading.  I am definitely a bibliophile.  The only thing that keeps me from being a bibliomaniac is that I actually read the books I have, not just collect them for how great they look on my bookshelves.  ;-)

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:50:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And they were very clean and tidy (10+ / 0-)

        Men in other lands, particularly France as the Vikings were settling there, complained bitterly that the Norsemen had an unfair advantage with local women because they were always bathing and combing their hair and beards and the women seemed to like that.

        And they washed their clothes regularly, too.

        Clearly the Vikings were cheating in the area of romance, lol.

        “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan UID 62713

        by tigerdog on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:24:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Saga's are absolutely filled with references (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ojibwa, ER Doc, mayim, tigerdog, NonnyO, Ahianne

          to the men's hygeine, grooming, and handsomeness. It's striking. I haven't seen it in other literature to this degree. Strangely, little sex in them.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:26:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly...!!! (5+ / 0-)

          Viking cleanliness in a day and age when everyone was dirty was remarked upon by other ancient writers, as was the fact that they brought along a change of clothing, along with their vanity and keeping their hair clean and combed, was peculiar enough and odd enough to be written and remarked upon by contemporary writers.

          That's why the modern History Channel TV series Vikings was such a huge disappointment.  Beards with beads?  I don't think so.  Look at old carvings, drawings, etc.  Lots of beards, even one wooden carving I remember from ages ago had a braid (which is why the old man with the braid down the center of his white beard looked historically accurate)..., no beads..., but women wore beads.  If a man could give his wife or any other women in his household (mother, aunts, daughters, nieces) ornamental beads, it was a status symbol and a reflection on him as a good husband & generous provider.

          Modern bed-head hair-dos, especially for women: No.  Braids, neat hair, kerchiefs to keep hair out of the way while she does housework would have been the norm.  Look at all those antler and bone combs unearthed at various archaeological sites not only in the Scandinavian countries but in Great Britain and Ireland where Vikings (and earlier Anglo-Saxons) were known to have settled.  Dirty faces and hands on men, women, and children: Not as a daily habit.

          Grainy filming techniques that looked like there were never any sunny days in a land where they have midnight suns and the air was clear for lack of modern pollution...?  No.

          Modern horses in Norway?  No.  In the scenes in Great Britain, maybe - the Romans left their horses behind.  But the horses they should have featured were the fjord horses or the Icelandic horses (two extra gaits, very smooth ride, and yes, in racing on ice the people have put little metal booties on the hoofs in this video), and the latter have been isolated for so many centuries that if they leave the country they're not allowed back in for fear of passing on diseases or illnesses that would wipe out the native population of horses.  In both cases the horses have sturdy, compact, muscular bodies that make them ideal for everything from heavy farm work, planting, pulling large loads, to being good to ride. [And, in Iceland in particular, during years of famine they ate horse meat.  I understand they still do.  Well, if faced with the choice to starve or eat horse meat, what would you choose?]

          The first jarring element of that Vikings series was the off-key high-pitched electric guitar note as the Vikings title logo appeared.  They should have used a lur or bukkehorn or something that could have been contemporary to the existence of the Viking age of exploration and conquest.

          Most likely the cleanest of Vikings would be dirty by today's standards, but the History Channel's badly-done historical fiction series was too much to endure without weeping in frustration.

          So, all in all, with just reading the contemporary written sources, not all of the tall tales of Vikings raping, pillaging and plundering are accurate.  Women who appreciated men with clean bodies and clean clothing chose to go to the beds of the Viking men.  The Viking men didn't have to do much in the way of raping women if they had willing partners.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 05:52:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can forgive a lot for the sake of a good story (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ojibwa, NonnyO, RiveroftheWest

            but I just couldn't get past all the inaccuracies in that series.

            Excellent observations here, NonnyO. Thanks.

            “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan UID 62713

            by tigerdog on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 10:58:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Velbekomme... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ojibwa, RiveroftheWest, mayim

              I usually do the "heavier reading" having to do with history, biographies, autobiographies, but for a change of pace, my "light reading" includes historical fiction with settings from my favorite eras.  There are a select few authors who are particularly good at combining real history with fictitious characters.

              Like you, I couldn't get past the things that were wrong with the Vikings series.  It was just too hokey for words.  I couldn't decide it it was bad editing or too much in the way of computer graphics with the gloomy, grainy appearance, for the general ambiance..., but the little details that I knew to be starkly wrong just pissed me off clear back in the first season.  The producers and directors had a great chance to do something good by telling stories after the ancient writers' observations..., and failed - badly - on all counts.

              They certainly did not live up to the ideal of Odin who gave up an eye for wisdom/knowledge - which, perhaps, is the most stark contrast to reconcile with the berserker image of ancient Vikings.  It's the ideal of seeking knowledge and wisdom that has prevailed with the modern descendants of the Vikings.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 12:53:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Many people were. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mayim, Ojibwa, tigerdog, NonnyO, RiveroftheWest

          Consider Roman public baths and such. That is, until early Christians spread the idea that cleanliness was vanity and hence a grave sin. The Vikings were still pagans at the time.

          I so far thought the complaint was recorded in Britain, but who knows, the French may as well have skipped washing at the time as well (or earlier).
          John of Wallingford

          Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

          by intruder from Old Europe on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:18:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You may be right about Britain vs France (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ojibwa, NonnyO, RiveroftheWest

            I wouldn't bet my life on my memory, lol.

            “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ― Carl Sagan UID 62713

            by tigerdog on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 11:02:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Of all things to despise about Xianity... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ojibwa, RiveroftheWest

            ... the spread of learned ignorance, along with acquiring the prejudices connected with trying to shame those with knowledge is among the top five things wrong with it.

            What's the point of having a brain if one can't use it to learn things...?

            There's nothing wrong with being ignorant.  The word only means 'unlearned or untaught,' after all.  It's the Xian brainwashing that makes intelligence a sin that grates on my last shredded nerve.

            The cure for ignorance is knowledge, and most people are born curious and love learning..., at least until it's beaten or brainwashed out of them....

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:02:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  PS: Great Link, thanks! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ojibwa, RiveroftheWest

            In trying to rebuild my links from my previous laptop crashing I had forgotten that I used to have that web site marked; I bookmarked it for this new laptop.  She puts some serious research into her efforts, so it's a worthwhile site to mark and refer to.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 01:05:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I've heard it was due to the centralization (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, ER Doc, mayim

      of power in Norway in particular that caused them to cast out toward Iceland, Greenland, and finally Canada.

      The raiding was perhaps a result of then settling in some very spartan areas like these, where they would have not enough resources.

      That's how it was explained to me at any rate. Might be wrong on some counts, naturally!

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:20:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  opportunity (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim, WB Reeves, RiveroftheWest
      The Vikings themselves were first and foremost farmers.
      They weren't. They had always been heavily dependent on fishing. Also, there had been trade between Scandinavia (or at least Denmark) and Britain since bronze age; amber for tin back then.

      There may have been a breakthrough invention in shipbuilding. Or in navigation. We wouldn't know for lack of records.
      There may have been a cold spell driving farmers off poorer land to seek new land elsewhere. (Unlikely; it must have been quite warm when Greenland was settled.)

      Personally, I would argue Vikings raided when and because they could. They raided Britain when coastal monastaries were undefended, and when and where local kings were weak or busy fighting their neighbours. They did not raid France when Charlemagne defended her, but when his heirs had no clue, they did.
      They came as merchants first, but when the merchants noticed the place would be really easy to raid, then raiders followed.

      Note: Denmark once built a wall across the southern border to keep Saxon raiders out.

      Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

      by intruder from Old Europe on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 06:14:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rumor clarification unaddressed (9+ / 0-)

    I looked through your diary, but nowhere did I see you address a rumor surrounding Viking women, namely associations with spears, magic helmets and having a rabbit shaped face.  Would you please address this in a future update?

  •  Thank you for this (8+ / 0-)

    I haven't looked at the links in your comment, but I will.  I truly enjoyed reading this.

    No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. - Edmund Burke

    by AdirondackForeverWild on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:15:46 AM PDT

  •  The Long Ships (10+ / 0-)

    let me highly recommend for anyone intrigued by Vikings The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson.  Great book.

    Why stop at 1066?  Seems to me they still had some tunes to play.

    The Vikings ended up settling France, the area we know as Normandy; their grand kids conquered England around 1066; and that conquest sort of still stands.

    I always thought you could look at the Crusades partly as more Viking raiding, this time with a bigger God and now with red crosses painted on their chests.

    “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

    by MugWumpBlues on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:32:58 AM PDT

  •  Great diary! (9+ / 0-)

    I look forward to enjoying all the links and more when I have my afternoon cuppa tea.

    (Please FSM, allow me an afternoon cuppa! Man. I have been busy lately)

    Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

    by high uintas on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:34:35 AM PDT

  •  I'm wondering about the importance of weaving. (10+ / 0-)

    For example, did this mean that the Vikings were particularly well dressed? I can see the importance of that, hailing from so far North as they do.

    Are there any museums with collections of Viking fabrics and/or garments? Have any survived?  

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by LeftOfYou on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:57:51 AM PDT

    •  The special exhibit at the Royal BC (13+ / 0-)

      museum featured clothing as well as the Viking sails (this was also cloth woven by Viking women).

      •  Ojibwa you do really great Diaries. Always (13+ / 0-)

        enjoyable and informative.

        The Better Half and I went to Iceland in April and along with the dramatic geology the Viking heritage and legacy was pronounced thru out the culture. Treasure and rich grave sites were not much in evidence of course, the Icelanders sometimes fought bloody feuds over drift wood. They put up a fierce struggle to survive on their strange beautiful island and early on abolished slavery because cooperation worked better than top down authority when forming a society in such a challenging environment.

        They are even more obsessed with genealogy and saga than other Scandinavian cultures since there are so few of them and they are not completely genetically Viking even tho Norway was home to most of the original settlers, they married the freed Scots and Irish who had been the islands slaves.

        Because they were occupied by Britain after the German invasion of Denmark, they were illegible for the Marshall Plan after the WWII. That and the American free spending during the war, lifted the nation out of poverty and they went form being Europe's poorest nation to one of the richest if you count education, health, wellbeing, and shared prosperity as wealth.

        The Scandinavian ethic that no one is better than anyone else, unless they prove they're worse, helped Iceland's Vikings and former slaves to maximize any advantages that came their way.

        Yay Vikings.

    •  Yes, some remnants have survived (10+ / 0-)

      I saw a few at the Viking Exhibition (put on in conjunction with the Smithsonian) at the Science Museum of Minnesota a few years ago, including replicas based on the remnants..., as well as beads, jewelry caskets, etc.  In trying to get close enough to see, I left my nose print on the glass of some of the cases.  I just literally could not get enough of staring at the craftsmanship!


      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 11:01:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also a Viking Exhibit is at British Museum now (7+ / 0-)

      There is a lovely temporary exhibit on the Vikings at the British Museum in London with fabrics, jewels, coins and technology including a long ship conserved/rebuilt and one replica ship that sailed from Roskilde in Denmark to the British Isles. I'm pretty sure we over-stayed our 2 hour time slot in that exhibit!

    •  Bits and pieces have survived. (5+ / 0-)

      In northern Europe, soil conditions don't generally favor textile preservation. Bits survive in burials where they're in contact with metal, as the metal corrosion salts inhibit decay. Peat bogs preserve animal fibers but eat away plant fibers. Dry a/o cold locations are best for preservation, but hard to come by in inhabited parts of the Viking world.

      Last year I acquired a copy of Woven into the Earth, which describes textile finds from Greenland. While these are post Viking age, they include quite a few entire garments as well as fragments of others. The most exciting moment in reading it was when I came across a piece of diamond twill that looked exactly like cloth I'd used for an underdress; in the SCA my persona is the Irish widow of a Dublin Viking, sometimes dressed in Norse style.

      Cogito, ergo Democrata.

      by Ahianne on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 12:02:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You can see some of them at (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, mayim, Gwennedd, Ahianne

      the National Museum of Iceland. I wouldn't quite call it a collection, but they do have looms and lots of discussion of weaving in general, and also, a bit about knitting (which arose much later). They had a coarse fabric suited for the climate. The museum contains no full garments of any real age -- to my knowledge -- but many pieces of textile and some things like gloves that are from the earlier Viking period and are quite interesting. They used different dyes in different areas as well.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:30:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so they dont all look like that blonde babe in the (9+ / 0-)

    TV show . . . ?  ;)

    Some photos from my visit to the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway:

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 10:18:53 AM PDT

  •  Love those Viking women (5+ / 0-)

    I married one

  •  If you have time for videos... (12+ / 0-)

    Read the books Ojibwe recommended, and the videos will make more sense.  In this five-part series Blood Of The Vikings it shows the little Buddha statue found in Sweden, which was once a large trading center.

    Blood Of The Vikings - Part 1 - First Blood

    Blood of the Vikings - Part 2 - Invasion

    Blood of the Vikings - Part 3 - The Sea Road

    Blood of the Vikings - Part 4 - Rulers

    Blood of the Vikings - Part 5 - Last of the Vikings

    The Lost Vikings

    Barbarians - The Vikings

    Vikings: Journey to New Worlds (2004)
     It's Hulu, so there are ads.  The same show broken down to nearly 10 minute segments is on YouTube (minus ads), if you want to watch it that way.  The name Leif is mispronounced.  It is pronounced to rhyme with 'safe' - according to one of the people on the genealogy list I belong to, and she's from Norway and a linguist.  Other words are mispronounced, too, but Leif is the one that is most noticeable.  Saga should be pronounced similar to 'sahgah' (no long English a).
    The wood used in the longest Viking ship found at Roskilde harbor in Denmark was from Ireland, according to dendrochronological dating.

    1362 The Kensington Runestone (in Minnesota)
    [Whoever put this online has bad grammar in the 'About' section, and misplaces the Kensington Runestone in Wisconsin.  It was found by a Swedish immigrant farmer while he was clearing land near Kensington, Douglas County, Minnesota.  The Kensington Runestone is currently at the Runestone Museum in Alexandria, Minnesota.]

    The Strangest Viking Documentary (Ivar the Boneless)

    The Viking Sagas (1995) Full Movie (Eng Subs)

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 11:18:54 AM PDT

  •  Peter Hammill: Viking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, mayim, Aunt Pat

  •  Great diary and commenting! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, Ojibwa, Aunt Pat, antirove, Gwennedd

    "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards UID 194838

    by Santa Susanna Kid on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 12:03:11 PM PDT

  •  No mention of the television series? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, dougymi, tigerdog

    No mention of the awesome television series "Vikings" on History Channel? Not sure how accurate it is, it's certainly romantized I presume but it's an amazingly high quality  series (especially season 2) and the role of women is also very strong in this TV series.

    Card-carrying member of the Illuminati.

    by DarkOmnius on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 12:07:25 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful diary! Thank you! (12+ / 0-)

    Many of the Sagas have women acting as warriors and as equals to the men.  

    The extent of the Viking trading and settlement went from North America to present day Turkey where there is Viking Runic graffiti in the Hagia Sophia.  From the far north of Europe, to founding the city of Dublin, to Northern Africa where they traded with people in present day Morocco.

    My paternal grandfather’s family is from Gotland and the joke about women in the family was that they were in charge of the house so were the one who made all decisions except about the land.  That is except for my Great Aunt Mary who was a Laplander and she insisted on being equal to any man in any way.

    Thank you also for the pictures of grave goods from Gotland.  My dad’s family is from there and my grandfather was born and lived there into his 20’s.  We still have family there living on the family farm.  Family farm is a bit of a misstatement.  We have solid written by the church land records going back to 1663.  In 1692 the local priest recorded the family oral history of the land records of all who lived in the area.  He recorded each name of everyone who lived on the farm and who inherited the farm.  We did some extrapolation with the help of a genealogist and a professor of history in Stockholm.  Conservative estimate is that the family farm has been in family since about 1334.  In the 1980’s my how ever # removed cousin Stur needed to expand the summer kitchen at the farm.  When digging out for a foundation by law they had to have archeologists examine anything found; the buried timbers found by the construction crew were from ~750 C.E. so it is a pretty good bet that the family has lived on that same piece of ground for 13+ centuries.  They also found some small pieces of silver and bronze but were just like little lumps so no value in dating anything but still a good indication of the status of the family in the mid-8th century.

    Gotland being an island in the middle of the Viking lands was a key trading location and the people there were more likely to be wealthy than in other places.

    •  In the Hagia Sofia, it says "Halfdan" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, mayim, Ahianne

      Upper-right balcony, on the railing, not that far from the large mosaic of Christ. Looking down upon what would have been the Ottoman Emperor. Looks like someone got bored! It's not well-marked, but it's very cool to see. On the other side of the balcony, to the Left, there's a ton of 14th century graffiti from Italian merchants with ships and names and crosses carved in, plus dated in spots. I must have spent four hours just looking at the graffiti in the Hagia Sofia, it was so intriguing to me!

      But for Halfdan, which I knew was there (I'm probably misspelling his name now), I had to ask a guard to show it to me which involved an amazingly funny pantomime since my Turkish is limited to ordering food.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 02:35:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know it's a cheesy movie, but (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, mayim, Aunt Pat, Lenny Flank, dewtx, Ahianne

    I still love The 13th Warrior.

    It's good fun despite having enough historical inaccuracies to sail a Viking longship through.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 12:34:49 PM PDT

    •  Eaters of the Dead (6+ / 0-)

      The movie I agree was not so good but the book on which it is based Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton is GREAT.  One of my all time favorites.  Different and better even than The Long Ships.

      There is also a series of books I read as a kid by Henry Treece with the first one called the Road to Miklegard, where these vikings set of from Norway to visit Miklegard, there name for Constantinople.  In the last book I read, they end up stranded in North America.

      “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

      by MugWumpBlues on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 01:18:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read the book years ago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ojibwa, dewtx

        I should probably read it again because I hardly remember it.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 01:46:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I like "13th Warrior" too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, dewtx

      It is actually a retelling of the story of Beowulf, rewritten so it sounds plausibly realistic.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 01:27:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Valhalla Rising? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa, RiveroftheWest

      Not that I'd recommend that one; it's crappy and lives entirely off on Mads Mikkelsen owing the director a favour it seems, but talking about Viking movies, has anyone seen that?

      Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

      by intruder from Old Europe on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:46:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In Iceland there was a women's general strike (8+ / 0-)

    at the national level (regardless of company of employment) back in 1975 (there've been a couple less significant ones since). It coincided with an outdoor equal rights rally attended by about a quarter of all women in Iceland.

    Its effectiveness is still debated, but at the very least it sure got a lot of attention to the discontent about issues like equal pay , gender discrimination, sexual violence, etc.

    The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

    by Rei on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 12:53:23 PM PDT

  •  I studied Icelandic myths in college and (4+ / 0-)

    in that society marriages were more or less business arrangements, with differentiation in tasks, but not necessarily a sense of ownership or dominance from either party.

  •  Baltic countries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, WB Reeves, RiveroftheWest
    The map above shows the Viking home settlements during the Viking age.
    That includes all of today's Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), doesn't it, on this map?

    Are you sure those were Viking home countries back then? If so, how come people there nowadays speak Baltic or Finno-Ugric languages, not Norse ones? They would have to have switched back later on, assimilating the Vikings or driving them out?

    Or if there were just a few Scandianvian trading posts / settlements over there at the time, then why not list parts of Russia and Ukraine also, Ireland, Normandy, Scotland (Orkneys)? Faroe Islands at least, or can we be certain no raid ever set out from there?

    Nearly all of our knowledge today about Viking women comes from the archaeological record, primarily grave goods.
    Aren't quite a lot of women mentioned in sagas and in tables of kings? Perhaps even in law texts, concerning rights such as inheritance, suing, divorce, recompensation for insult and injury? Those would be quite telling I imagine.

    Reagarding graves, bone analysis could be interesting: Did women eat as men of the same household/village did, or were they restricted to poorer fare?

    On the lower right, next to the key, is a knife and scabbard. This shows that the woman could defend herself if necessary.
    Erm. I would argue the knife rather proves she could cut onions, or perhaps eat steak. As you wrote yourself (Vinland Vikings), axe or sword and shield can make a difference, a knife not so much.

    Freedom is not just a word. 'Freedom' is a noun.

    by intruder from Old Europe on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 05:42:38 PM PDT

  •  First use of "viking" from Old English poem (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, Ojibwa, WisVoter, RiveroftheWest

    "Widsith" is a 144 line poem in the Exeter Book. The scop, or gleoman, claims to have traveled all over the known world and brags about the peoples he encountered and often affiliates himself with their heroes and leaders.

    At line 59 of "Widsith," the term wicingas is used in a list of bands, clans, tribes, and peoples. Here from 2-column Old and Modern English is the context:

    Ic wæs mid Hunum ond mid Hreðgotum,
     mid Sweom ond mid Geatum ond mid Suþdenum.
     Mid Wenlum ic wæs ond mid Wærnum ond mid wicingum.

    I was with the Huns and the glorious Goths,
    with the Swedes and with the Geats and with the South-Danes.
    I was with the Wenlas, the Waerne and the Wicingas.
    "Widsith was composed in the late 5th century or the very early 6th century, probably a 100 or 150 years before the Viking Age.

    The word here is a noun, a tribe of Scandinavians, very likely from the geographic area "Vik" or "Viken."

    A Norwegian explanation traces the etymology and takes a try at a specific location on the south coast of Norway. Etymologisk tolkning av "viking".
    Hva betyr "viking" og "vik" opprinnelig?
    Av Jørn Olav Løset

    Here is a Google translation of the key paragraph:

    I therefore believe the word "Viken" comes from the coastline in this area makes a bend - ie forming a large "bay". For the earliest mariners should this area have been an important and absolutely reliable navigational reference, since here they had to change course in relation to solar time. To pass all Viken must change course along with about 100 degrees. One such area was therefore early name set. This also explains why Viken stretching as far as from Sandefjord in Vestfold Uddevalla in Bohuslän. These are the limits for the major arc coastline makes throughout this area. The Mariners and settled in the area has so begun to call this area "Vic" and later "Viken". The same relationship is also evident in the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea.

    We're all just working for Pharaoh.

    by whl on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 06:15:07 PM PDT

  •  Check out Tacitus' Germania (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The work is largely cribbed from other writers, but he talks about the women going to war with their husbands. However, I wouldn't down play the vital role women would play in raiding by running the farm. After all, it's easier for nomads like the old Germans to raid and trade with their women folk when they are nomadic. There used to be a farm sitting service that ran an add saying "Dead Farmers don't take vacations." You can't just up and go raiding if you have animals.

    Cracker(krăk´ẽr ) Someone, usually but not exclusively white, whose world view is primarily formed by consensual validation as opposed to observed fact, hence “cracker” for someone brittle, insubstantial and lacking in nutritive value.

    by outis2 on Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 11:44:04 PM PDT

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