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pst-Vik-Norse-msg - 1/10/00


Post Viking Norse. Sources.


NOTE: See also the files: TEIO-Vikings-art, Norse-food-art, amber-buying-art, Norse-games-art, V-Arts-and-A-art, Finland-msg, Finland-hist-art, Iceland-msg, Norse-msg.





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: Thomas Ireland-Delfs <fridrikr at redsuspenders.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: post-Viking Norwegian sources

Date: 10 Jul 97 12:46:01 GMT


morphis at niuhep.physics.niu.edu writes: > Hello,

>       I am considering a personna out of Norway from about 1200-1550

> but most of the Nordic sources are for the Viking period, with what

> appears to be a sprinkling of Danish sources.  Does anybody have

> sources for this time period?  How well does late Viking clothing

> translate for this time period?


> Robert


> Morphis at physics.niu.edu


Just my two cents here:


Two sources (I'm a Norse persona from ~1200 myself) that are immediately

at hand:


1) Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.  Although it's a fictional account of

early-mid 14th century Norway, the historical accuracy is pretty damned good.

It's generally available in paperback (in 3 volumes) ISBN # for Volume 1 is 0-394-75299-6


2) From Viking to Crusader: Scandanavia & Europe 800-1200. Published by Rizzoli Books.  This is fairly pricey (~ $50) but beautiful.  It is an expanded catalog of a museum display which traveled in Europe in 1992. Of course, you want to be careful to look at the later period pieces.


In general, the clothing styles don't seem to change drastically in the 200 years or so after Viking period ended (~1100).  And most folk will call you a Viking, no matter how late in period you go, until you start into the 15th century or so.





From: mmy at fp.co.nz (mmy)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: post-Viking Norwegian sources

Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 08:16:01 GMT


On 9 Jul 1997 21:10:40 GMT, "Joe Pinegar" <pinegarj at swbell.net> wrote:

>You might have luck with sources if you orient your search towards Church

>documents, trade and commerce records  (there are lots of those,

>particulary covering trade between England and Norway, and Iceland trade

>that was all going through Norway by that time), or accounts of northern

>Eurpoe that would describe the Scandinavian impact on the societies of

>other areas.  Or look for stuff on the royal families - I *think* the Vasas

>were starting in Sweden by 1550, and there may be material on the Norwegian

>and Danish royal houses as well.  


Gustav Vasa was an interesting character, and it's particularly

interesting to see how many elements his flight have in common with

stories about Alfred the Great and his plight. However, I digress.

For earlier stuff there are sources as well - although I'm not sure

about availability in English. Look for books about the big events of

the time: they should have some background information for you. The

Battle of Visby happened as a result of the Hansa Union's dominance in

the Baltic, and the growing strength of the Danish royal house under

Valdemar Atterdag. Speaking of whom, his daughter had a rather big

influence on the nordic countries; I haven't seen anyone mention the

Kalmar Union.

With the recent 600th anniversary of that document, the Danish

National Museum put out a special exhibition with artefacts from all

nordic countries. We're talking 1300-s here, with the background for

the event, but the exhibition covered trade, politics, dress, daily

life, church - very inclusive, very good. I was lucky enough to see it

purely by chance. They put out a multi-lingual catalogue of the

exhibition, and it was for sale in the bookshop at the museum. I

didn't have enough cash after the British Museum/Library trip, so I

didn't get it then, but the Natmus has a website, do a search for it

on the web if you're interested.


Items displayed included the golden 'kirtle' of queen Margarethe I,

brought down from Uppsala along with the replica. They had to drag me






* MMY             *               Maggie.Mulvaney at fp.co.nz *

* Maggie Mulvaney * http://www.fpnet.co.nz/users/m/maggiem *




From: Sharon Palmer <palmer.74 at osu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: post-Viking Norwegian sources

Date: Sat, 12 Jul 1997 01:40:50 -0500

Organization: WOSU


morphis at niuhep.physics.niu.edu wrote:

>         I am considering a personna out of Norway from about 1200-1550

> but most of the Nordic sources are for the Viking period, with what

> appears to be a sprinkling of Danish sources.  Does anybody have

> sources for this time period?  How well does late Viking clothing

> translate for this time period?


_Medieval Scandinavia - From Conversion to Reformation, circa 800-1500_

Birgit and Peter Sawyer, The Nordic Series, Vol. 17, Univ. of Minnesota Press

ISBN 0-8166-1739-2,  1993.

a smallish scholarly paper back, mostly dealing with political and social

issues.  I don't remember much discussion of clothing or artifacts.

The 11 page "Works Cited" might be useful.


Pg.  208 shows small B&W portraits of Ivar Axelsson and his wife


"These are the earliest known Scandinavian portraits and were originally

part of an altar screen.  They were painted in about 1475, prob. on

Gotland which was then held by Ivar."

They are definately  NOT wearing "Viking" clothing.

He wears a loose robe with fur trim and very nice all over embroidery.

The sleeves were so long that they are pushed back into folds.

His lady wears a full robe with what must be an under tunic showing

at the cuffs and what looks like a cuffed stocking hat of light cloth

with the tail draped across her neckline like a necklace.

If anyone wants me to, I will scan and Email the portraits


Ranvaig   mka Sharon Palmer

palmer.74 at osu.edu



From: Mari L J Voipio <mvoipio at cc.helsinki.fi>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: post-Viking Norwegian sources

Date: 10 Jul 1997 14:09:04 GMT

Organization: University of Helsinki


morphis at niuhep.physics.niu.edu wrote:

:       I am considering a personna out of Norway from about 1200-1550

: but most of the Nordic sources are for the Viking period, with what

: appears to be a sprinkling of Danish sources.  Does anybody have

: sources for this time period?  How well does late Viking clothing

: translate for this time period?

I am myself thinking about a Norwegian pre-plague (but Christian)

persona, but alas, I'm in the very beginning of my research. I also read

Norwegian fluently, but some of the literature is surely available in



If Norway 1300-1350 sounds good to you, start with Sigrid Undset's novel

in three parts about Kristin Lavransdatter (don't ask me, what it is in

English.  But search for Sigrid Undset, she even got the Nobel prize

before WWII, I think).  Undset did very thorough research for her books

and though we know more about medieval Norway now than then, the facts

found in her books are still valid and many of the descriptions

are very useful. You could also look for books written _about_

the novels.



Norwegian history 1200-1550 has roughly two periods:

1) 1200-1350 (before the Black Death)

2) 1350-1540 (after the Black Death, before the Reformation)


During the first period Norway was an independent kingdom which got

richer all the time towards 1350 (this is one of the reasons

I consider the same period than when Undset's novels happen). The hansa

added to the economical (and cultural) well-being with Bergen as it's

main port in Norway while Nidaros (today called Trondheim or sometimes

Trondhjem) with the relics of Saint Olav was very popular among

Scandinavian and even other European pilgrims.


The second period (and a long time after it all the way until 18th

century) was not a good time for Norway. The plague decimated the people

and was especially hard on priests and so there were very few learned

persons left afterwards. The nobles were also few and could not

defend the country which got under Danish rule before the end of the

14th century. Nominally it was a personal union (i.e. the Norwegians

chose to have the same king than Danes) but in practice Norwegians went

under Danish rule and got mostly the worse part. The plague had caused

an agricultural crisis and stopped the economical growth (and I think

the climate also got colder). Because there were few priests and

scribes, more were imported from Denmark and so Danish naturally

replaced Norwegian (the differences were not very great by that

time) as the administrative language.



Disclaimer: I am at work on the moment (and supposed to be editing a

file with several thousand Norwegian words...) and wrote this outline as

I remember things, it might be that something is wrong.  I haven't done

very extensive research yet so my thinking and likings maybe a bit



A lot of this story is probably told in books about _Danish_ medieval

history, but there are also some books about Norwegian history at least

in Norwegian. The medieval history has been in during recent years, both

Oslo and Trondheim (and very probably also Bergen) have very good

museums that tell about their Middle Ages. This year the city of

Trondheim celebrates its 1000th year.


As to the garb, we are supposed to be gentles, and that garb was pretty

much like elsewhere in Northern Europe.  Viking garb might just do for

the beginning of your period (you can always say that you live far from

the cities and don't follow latest fashions), but very probably not

later.  If you don't find anything about Norwegian garb, search Denmark

and Germany as that's where most of the impulses (and some of the finer

fabrics) came from.  If you have any chance, try to get to see Kristin

Lavransdatter's latest film version (by Liv Ullman 1995 or 1996, also on

video), it has very nice garb, which look good enought to me.  I got to

see the film here sponsored by the Norwegian embassy in Finland and at

least that version had English text.  You can always try...


I'm afraid I cannot help your more on the moment, but feel free to email

me and ask whatever you want and that will even spur my own research

a bit more!


In Your Service and in Service of the Dream,


                Johanna (no more names yet!),

                in the canton of Hucca in the Barony of Aarnimetsa (Finland)

                in the Kindom of Drachenwald


                mundanely: Mari Voipio, Mari.Voipio at helsinki.fi



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bq676 at torfree.net (Kristine E. Maitland)

Subject: Re: post-Viking Norwegian sources

Organization: Toronto Free-Net

Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 21:44:08 GMT


morphis at niuhep.physics.niu.edu writes:

>     I am considering a personna out of Norway from about 1200-1550

> but most of the Nordic sources are for the Viking period, with what

> appears to be a sprinkling of Danish sources.  Does anybody have

> sources for this time period?  How well does late Viking clothing

> translate for this time period?


        I can't help you with primary sources but I can recommend a

pretty good journal that you may want to take a look at. It's called:


_Scandinavian Studies: the journal for the Society for the Advancement of

Scandinavian Study_  


Communications about subscriptions should be addressed to the

Secretary-Treasurer, SASS, 3005 JKHB, Brigham Young University, Provo,

UT, 84602.  (it's quarterly and costs $35 a year)


Hope this is useful (I don't do Nordic personae but I am currently doing

some research on the portrayal of blacks in norse literature due to an

article I saw in SS -- way cool).



Inez Rosanera                           Kristine Maitland

Greater York                            Toronto, ON, Canada

Barony of Septentria

Principality of Ealdormere



Date: Tue, 25 Aug 1998 22:17:22 -0500

From: "I. Marc Carlson" <LIB_IMC at centum.utulsa.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: RE: Post-Viking Costume


<Grace Morris <gmorris at cs14.pds.charlotte.nc.us>>

>Now that I have moved back to a kingdom that actually has a winter, I

>want to return to this long abandonded search.  Does anyone have sources for

>Scandinavian costume, post-Viking?  English preferred, but not necessary.

>Art sources greatly appreciated.


How are you defining "post-Viking"?  If you are interested in, say 1200-1400

era clothes, you might take a look at



It's not perfect, but it may be of a little use.





From: mmy at iconz.co.nz (Maggie Forest)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: persona documents could you give me a good site to make a viking persona

Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 20:00:20 GMT

Organization: ICONZ - The Internet Company of New Zealand


On 29 Sep 1999 14:55:12 GMT, Mari L J Voipio <mvoipio at cc.helsinki.fi>


>Actually, it is very easy if you are sitting here, near Scandinavia, but

>I can sympathise with you - can't be easy to find if you are on the

>other side of the Atlantic and don't read the Scandinavian languages.


One really useful book I've found was the museum catalogue for the

Nordic exhibition about Margrethe I that ran a couple of years ago.

It's a big sucker, was published in an English edition, and consists

of a number of essays (fairly brief, but a very good starting point)

on topics ranging from coins to clothes to the extent of the plague,

all written by people who are experts in their particular area. The

rest of the book is the actual catalogue, liberally peppered with

pictures. If you can still get hold of it (and I acknowledge that it

may be hard now) you should be able to get it from the Danish National

Museum, www.natmus.dk


Although I read the Scandinavian languages, I bought this one in

English, since our household members don't and it's a great book to

give them an idea of what they need to know.


Johanna - I'd really appreciate some more ideas in Scandinavian

languages if you have them? I do Danish, around 1365 or so. Although I

read the languages, just finding the literature from this far away can

be challenging!


/marienna jensdatter



Date: Thu, 23 Dec 1999 09:24:36 -0500 (EST)

From: Grace Morris <gmorris at cs14.pds.charlotte.nc.us>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: was Merovingian/now Swedish nuns


For anyone following this who likes the "strange and unusual" I found my

picture of the "skunk nuns".  The picture is entitled "The Translation of

St. Birgitta from Rome to Vadstena" and is a fresco or ceiling painting

(not clear) for the Village Church of Tensta, Uppland. The date is 1437

(later than I remembered) so it is possible that the dress was

regularized before then.  I have a xerox, but I believe that it was black

and white in the book. The veil is black (?) with either a white lining or

a white veil underneath;  the stripe is more like 3-4 inches.  Also worn

is a black cloak lined in white, and a darker than white (beige? gray?)

gown underneath. Oh, and a white veil around the neck and face.


If you like things Scandinavian, but POST VIKING (a period usually

neglected in the SCA!) this is a good source:


Kusch, Eugen.  "Ancient Art in Scandinavia". Nurnberg:  Hans Carl, 1964


also look at:


Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History, and Antiquities. " Medieval

Wooden Sculpture in Sweden". Stockholm:  Almquits and Wiskell, 1964




<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