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Scandinavia-lnks – 2/15/04


A set of web links to information on medieval Scandinavia by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: Norse-msg, pst-Vik-Norse-msg, Norway-msg, fd-Norse-msg, cl-Norse-msg, Russia-msg, books-Norse-msg, Norse-crafts-bib, Norse-food-art, Vikg-n-Irelnd-art, Norse-women-bib, N-drink-trad-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that

I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some

messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with

separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes

extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs  were

removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I

make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information given  by the

individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these

messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is unclear  at this

time. If  information  is  published  from  these messages, please give

credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Lis <liontamr at ptd.net>

Date: Wed Dec 10, 2003 9:19:35 PM US/Central

To: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Links: Medieval Scandanavia


Greetings readers! This week I am covering Medieval Scandinavia. I have

tried to approach the subject from varying directions so as to find some

sources you may or may not have seen in this column before.


At any rate, please enjoy this list as you are wont to do, and pass it

along to those who would also enjoy it, using it to update your own webpages

as you see fit.






Medieval and Prehistoric Northern Europe


A List of Links


European Middle Ages: The Norse


(Site excerpt) The last great waves of European migrations began in the

eighth century and picked up dramatically in the ninth and tenth centuries.

This time it was a group of relatively sedentary Germanic tribes in the

northernmost reaches of Europe, the Norsemen. These were really not one

ethnic group, but an entire spectrum of peoples speaking many different

languages. For all that, the principal Norsemen that raided and emigrated

out of Northern Europe were Norwegians and Danish. Again, however, these are

not single ethnic groups-the Danes, for instance, were an entire set of

different peoples.


Medieval Scandanavia


(Site Excerpt) The tiny wooden temples called Stave Churches, of which a

sketch of Rollag Stave Church of Numedal can be seen above, have survived

here for nearly 900 years. This kind of churches were once a common sight

all over Northern Europe, but for some reason only a few made it into our

time. Constructed of Pine, using a technique left by the Vikings, these

relics are indeed a "must see" to everyone who visit us.


Telling Time without a Clock: Scandinavian Daymarks


(Site Excerpt) One simple way to tell time was to divide the daylight time

and the night time into segments. Many cultures did this, using different

numbers of segments. For example, the Chinese divided one sun-cycle into 12

sections and the Hindus into 60. Very early on, the Egyptians divided the

period between sunrise and sunset into 10 sections, and then added two more

sections for the periods of twilight at dawn and nightfall—making 12

sections of daylight time.


Viking Fighting Notes from 23 Sagas


(Site Excerpt) This article is a collection of quotations on the use of arms

and armor during the Viking period. Its purpose is to provide students of

historical armed combat quick access to information from 23 Sagas without

having to read through over 1600 pages to find it. These sagas cover the 9th

through the 12th century, and these versions were written down during the

12th through 14th century.


Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power


A Book for Sale


Medieval Castles in Finland


(Site Excerpt) In Finnish history, the prehistoric era is generally

considered to end and the Middle Ages to begin in the 1150s, when, according

to a Swedish chronicle, King Erik of Sweden and English-born Bishop Henry

undertook a crusade to the southwestern parts of Finland. The chronicle's

claim that the Bishop 'baptized' the Finns has later been modified.

Archaeological finds have shown that Christianity had reached the Finns as

early as the eleventh century, and the main purpose of the crusade was thus

to establish Swedish dominion in Finland and organize a bishopric there.


Medieval Society and Economy in Finland


(Site Excerpt) The economy of medieval Finland was based on agriculture, but

the brevity of the growing season, coupled with the paucity of good soil,

required that farming be supplemented by hunting, fishing, trapping, and

gathering. All but a small portion of the Finnish population earned their

livelihood in this way


Viking Age in Finland


(Site Excerpt) The Finns lived mainly in the southern part of the Finnish

mainland, along the seacoast and on the shores of inland lakes. To the east

and north lived hunters and fishers who may either have been ancestors of

the Saami (Lapps) or of some other branch, of the widespread Finno-Ugrians.

Before the Slavs migrated to the north, vast areas of northern Europe formed

the hunting and fishing territories of Finnish tribes, many of which, in

contrast to the Finns in Finland, became extinct through assimilation with

other peoples.


Medieval Sourcebook:

King Harald Harfager of Norway (r. 860-930):

Laws for Land Property


(Site Excerpt) King Harald made this law over all the lands he conquered,

that all the udal (allodial) property should belong to him; and that the

bondes, both great and small, should pay him land dues for their



Architecture in Norway


(Site Excerpt) Timber was always available just about everywhere and to

everyone. With fairly simple means, small but sufficiently warm dwellings

could be built. In our climate, stone houses were a mark of the wealthy. It

takes the efforts of many people to cut stone, and unless one can afford a

great deal of fuel, the stone house is cold and uncomfortable. This is why

stone has been reserved for the largest and the smallest projects; churches

and fortresses on the one hand, modest hunters' cabins and fishermen's huts,

on the other.


Viking and Medieval Combs from the island of Gotland, Sweden




Hammer in the North: Mjollnir in Medieval Scandinavia

Dan Bray

Sydney University


(Site Excerpt) In the archaeological record of tenth century Scandinavia,

there is evidence for the proliferation of small metal amulets representing

Mjollnir, the magical hammer of the god Thor. Thor's hammer is recognised as

one of the most distinctive religious symbols of the heathen Norse, and for

a time was the chief rival of the Christian cross among the peoples of

Medieval Scandinavia and Iceland. It was celebrated in Scandinavian

mythology as the primary defence of gods and men against destruction at the

hands of the fearsome frost-giants.


The Medieval Centre Experimental Museum


(Site Excerpt) We are now entering the realm of Queen Margrethe the First.

In the village the smith, the shoemaker, and the sewers operate, and on the

hill at the harbour the Dyer lives.  On market days the villagers are

teeming around the stalls  with local and foreign goods, and now and then

artists, musicians harlots and riff raff arrive at the village to stay a

while. Henrik Svane, the noble Knight, is training with the horses and

weapons in magnificiant  knight tournaments.


Living words & luminous pictures

12 medieval manuscripts in The Royal Library - Copenhagen


(Site Excerpt) The exhibition, which was open to the public from September

15 to December 30, 1999 in the library's new building "The Black Diamond",

showed 150 manuscripts and books, made in the period from the 9th Century up

to the end of the Middle Ages.


Medieval Sourcebook:

Waldemar the Victorious of Denmark:

Grant of Market Privileges to Men of Lbeck, 1203


(Site Excerpt) Waldemar the Victorious, King of Denmark, who controlled much

of the Baltic lands by reason of his conquests, was able to grant privileges

in southern Sweden, the center of the herring trade, to Lbeck, since Scania

formed a part of the Danish dominions. Thus the trade of Lbeck expanded in

the direction of the North Sea as well as in other directions.


Medieval Beer Mug with Blown Handle (AD 1500, Denmark)


Image and Text


Museums in Denmark


A List of Links


Medieval Mechanical Artillery


(Site Excerpt) The design is a simplification and development of that of an

engine built in Denmark in 1989. Differences can be found in the joinery,

the trigger mechanism, the addition of a winch and a "counterweight propping

beam", and a less complex tower and ground frame structure. In addition,

medieval woodworking methods and tools have been used as far as possible.


The Institute for the Study of Illuminated Manuscripts in Denmark


(Site Excerpt) This collection of notes on Books of Hours in Danish

Collections is intended for students and scholars already specialized

in the analysis of medieval manuscripts.


Medieval North European Spindles and Whorls

1995, 1999, 2000 Carolyn Priest-Dorman


(Site Excerpt) Each of six major published works assembles a number of

spindle whorls from medieval Scandinavia and areas of Scandinavian

influence. Eva Andersson analyzes over 230 Scanian whorls from fifth through

eleventh century Sweden. Jan Petersen refers to 450 whorls and five spindles

from Viking Age Norway. Ingvild ye carefully analyzes 410 whorls and 31

spindles from twelfth through fifteenth century Bergen, Norway.




(Site Excerpt) ver the past centuries, remains of many hundreds of

people--men, women, and children--have come to light during peat cutting

activities in northwestern Europe, especially in Ireland, Great Britain, the

Netherlands, northern Germany, and Denmark. These are the "bog bodies." The

individual bog bodies show a great degree of variation in their state of

preservation, from skeletons, to well-preserved complete bodies, to isolated

heads and limbs. They range in date from 8000 B.C. to the early medieval

period. Most date from the centuries around the beginning of our era. We do

not know exactly how many bog bodies have been found--many have disappeared

since their discovery.



Frescoes in Danish Churches


(Site Excerpt) THERE IS A STONE IN JUTLAND, AT JELLING, on which is written

in the ancient Danish runic alphabet that it was set up by Harold Blue

Tooth, "who made the Danes Christian." It was not as simple or as quick as

that, but certainly the Danish Vikings had decided that they had had enough

of being pirates on the edge of civilisation. They wanted to come out of the

cold and to embrace civilisation as it then was in Europe. This was

Christendom, and they became Christians.


The 92 medieval churches of Gotland


Click on the map to see images of the churches


Medieval Sourcebook:


Life of Anskar, the Apostle of the North, 801-865


(Site Excerpt) When one of Anskar's followers suggested to him that he could

work miracles he replied, " Were I worthy of such a favour from my God, I

would ask that He would grant to me this one miracle, that by His grace He

would make of me a good man." No one can read the "Life" written by Rimbert

his disciple and successor which, after being lost for five hundred years,

was fortunately rediscovered, without feeling moved to thank God for the

accomplishment of the miracle for which Anskar had prayed. He was a good man

in the best and truest sense of the term. In the character presented to us

by his biographer we have a singularly attractive combination of transparent

humility, unflinching courage, complete self devotion, and unwavering belief

in a loving and overruling providence


Dear Viking Answer Lady:

I'd like to learn more about the Viking trade center at Birka. Can you help?

by Christie Ward


(Site Excerpt) Birka sits upon the island of Bjrk at the entrance of the

Mlar Sea (sometimes called Lake Mlar), not far from the site of modern

Stockholm.  Birka therefore acted as the trade center and gateway for all of

Central Sweden.  The major east-west trade route passed along the southern

Swedish coastline, through Bornholm, Oland, and Gotland, but Birka was the

richest trade center of all.   Traders came to Birka from Frisia,

Anglo-Saxon England, Germany, the Baltic countries, Greeks from Byzantium,

and Orientals. (See also her pages dedicated to: General Viking Age

Information and History, Daily Life In Viking Age Scandinavia, Science,

Engineering and Technology In Viking Age Scandinavia, Viking Age

Agriculture, Farming, and Animal Husbandry

Warfare and Combat in the Viking Age, Art and Literature In Viking Age

Scandinavia, Mythology and Religion In Viking Age Scandinavia, Viking

Expansion, Raids, Trade, and Settlements in the Viking Age, Books, Articles,

and Other Resources Dealing with the Viking Age).



or The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway

The Ynglinga Saga,

or The Story of the Yngling Family from Odin to Halfdan the Black

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #15b


(Site Excerpt) It is said that the earth's circle which the human race


is torn across into many bights, so that great seas run into the

land from the out-ocean. Thus it is known that a great sea goes

in at Narvesund (1), and up to the land of Jerusalem.  From the

same sea a long sea-bight stretches towards the north-east, and

is called the Black Sea, and divides the three parts of the

earth; of which the eastern part is called Asia, and the western

is called by some Europa, by some Enea.


An Archaeological Guide to Viking Men's Clothing


(Site Excerpt) Only by playing the part of a Viking from a specific time and

place can one bring to the status of an SCA Viking its appropriate glory and

respect. It is a sad fact that no one really respects generic Vikings. But

hang a date and a locale on your persona, and be able to demonstrate it in

your choice of clothing, and poof! Instant respect! This pamphlet is

designed to help you design Viking clothing ensembles that look like they

come from a particular time and/or place. By dint of assiduous documenting,

it is also designed to help guide those who are interested in further



Resources for Viking Women's Clothing


A Listof Sites and resources


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org