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Stefan's Florilegium


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Vikng-Persona-wsh - 12/21/01

A Viking Persona worksheet by Gunnora Hallakarva.

NOTE: See also the files: Norse-msg, persona-msg, books-Norse-msg, Easy-
Persona-art, names-Norse-msg, Persona-Build-art, Inquisitn-Gme-art, pst-Vik-


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
seperate 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 orignator(s).

Thank you,
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
mark.s.harris@motorola.com stefan@florilegium.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] Persona Worksheet for Vikings
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 11:15:26 -0500
From: "Christie Ward" <val_org@hotmail.com>
To: ansteorra@ansteorra.org

To continue the thread on persona development worksheets, here is one I use
in Viking persona workshops:

The following questions are provided as suggestions for persona development
and study. It is not necessary for you to have elaborate answers, or even
rudimentary answers, for any or all of these to have a Viking persona.
Knowing this information will provide you with background for conversations
and persona play to help make your persona have depth and interest.

(1) Where does your persona originate? Country, district, town, name of

(2) What year was your persona born? Figure this to start with using
current date-keeping terminology. The advanced version is figuring out how
your persona would reckon the date. Note that the Viking Age dates from
793AD to 1066AD also you may wish to research what dates a given location
were first settled. Another consideration is to figure out the exact date
when Christianity was introduced, pagan personas will want to be before that
date, Christians after or just slightly before.

(3) What is your persona's name? To get a good name takes more than
going to the sagas and plucking one out of the Glossary of Proper names. We
have pretty good evidence for a bunch of names as to where they were most
common and when they were current not all Viking names were in vogue
throughout Scandinavia. West Scandinavia (Norway, Iceland and points west)
tended to have a slightly different dialect and name choices, while East
Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden) in turn had their own practices. You may
wish to consult with the Academy of St. Gabriel (http://www.s-gabriel.org/)
to find an accurate name for your place/time.

(4) What are the names of your parents? In part you will probably already
know some of this in answering #3, since the most common name usage in the
Viking Age was a personal name plus a patronymic. To learn more about how
names were selected and how one's name may reflect the names of one's
parents and grandparents, see: http://www.vikinganswerlady.org/ONNames.htm

(5) What are the names of your grandparents and other near relatives?
Again, as in #4, the most usual naming pattern in the Viking Age was to name
children after a recently deceased relative, often grandparents or
great-grandparents, though aunts and uncles and great-aunts and great-uncles
on either side of the family were also possible name sources.

(6) What is your occupation? Do you have a trade? What are your every
day duties? What tools would you use in your daily work? Where would these
tools come from? What raw materials does your trade require, and where do
they come from? Do you sell what you produce, and if so to whom and for
what value? How did you learn to do this work who taught you, what was
the learning process like, what problems did you have in learning it?

(7) What is your daily life like as an adult? What time do you awaken?
What do you eat and when? What do you do throughout the typical day? Do these
activities vary seasonally, and if so, why?

(8) What was your daily life like as a child? What tasks were you set
to do? What were you expected to learn, and how did you learn it?

(9) Are you married? What is the name of your spouse and your spouse's
near relatives? Is this your first spouse? If not, did the spouse die, or are
you divorced, and what were the circumstances? For a lot of general
information about weddings, courtships, and divorces, see

(10) What is your religion? Viking Age peoples might follow the pagan Norse
gods, they might have a special relationship with one god, they might be
Christian, or they might choose to follow no gods at all, relying only on
their own strength. What are your persona's religious beliefs and why does
your persona believe that way?

(11) What would your persona have worn for clothing? Although the SCA has
lots of "generic Vikings" there are actually fairly well-defined styles that
vary by location and by time. This may influence or be influenced by #1 and
#2 above.

(12) What superstitions and beliefs about the occult or otherworld would
your persona have had? It's interesting but true that many times a person's
superstitions and irrational beliefs define them as much as any other
factor. What frightened your persona and why?

(13) Has your persona ever traveled and if so, where? While a lot of people
in the Viking Age and early Middle Ages never saw more than the few miles
surrounding their home village or farm, some were amazingly well-traveled
even by modern standards. Where did you travel? Why did you go there?
What did you see? What stories would you tell about your travels when you
got back home, and how would the folks back home receive these stories?

(14) What foods would your persona have eaten? Which did your persona
like/dislike and why? Were there special foods at various times of year?
Why were they special, and why were they served at that time? For some
basics on this topic, see: http://www.vikinganswerlady.org/food.htm

(15) What celebrations and festivals were observed? When did these occur,
and what did they celebrate? Where did they occur, and did you have to
travel to attend or were they held nearby?

These are just suggestions, and there are many, many more details you can


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