Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

winter-travel-msg - 1/20/09


Winter travel in Medieval times. Skis, snowshoes, ice skates.


NOTE: See also the files: travel-msg, Dog-Carts-art, On-the-Road-art, Horn-Working-art, bone-msg, wood-bending-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



Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 02:03:38 -0500

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

Subject: Re: [SCA-AS] skis?

To: Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>


Deborah McBean wrote:

<<< Would someone be so kind as to suggest where online I might find

information about winter travel in medieval Europe?  Specifically, I

want to know if skis or snowshoes were used.  I know that the French in

Canada were using snowshoes fashioned after those of the First Nation

people in the 1700s, but it is the early medieval era that I am

interested in.


Deborah >>>



three volumes) London. 1996 & 1998. The Hakluyt Society.; No. 182, 187

and 188 in the Second series, edited by Peter Foote with annotation

derived from the Commentary by John Granlund. Volume I: XCIII, (2), 288

PP with 2 tables, 2 maps and 141 woodcuts. Volume II: (6), 289-770 PP

with 194 woodcuts. Volume III: V, 771-1248 PP with 139 woodcuts. Cloth

cover, gilt device on front cover, gilt title on spine, dj. 22.2 x 14.2.

ISBN: 0904180 433 / 581 / 59X


There are a number of articles on the use of canon bones (metacarpals

and metacarsals (front and back legs) of cattle, etc. They can

frequently be found in books on the Vikings including from Viking

to Crusader (as can a couple of skis if I recall correctly). The

method of use was to strap them to your feet and Olaus Magnus

shows the method of using them on ice, with an iron pointed pole

between your legs pushing backwards. It's been a while since I

looked at Viking Artefacts by James Graham-Campbell (kind of rare)

and I don't recall if there are any in it.


For the far north I would suggest Manker, Ernst:

People of Eight Seasons: the Story of the Lapps.

Svenska Forlags Ab Nordbok, Gothenburg, Sweden/ 1975. Color

photos and b/w illustrations. Hardbound. There are various

editions of this thing but it is not terribly sought after

- although it is not documented as to time of most of the

objects. Likely the time didn't matter as much as the function

in the environment. It released about the time of, and similar

to, The Viking by Greta Almgren (which was better documented).

There are many illustrations of skis, sleds, etc. in it.


There is probably a bibliography of mine (I update them from

time to time on Bone or bonework or boneworking in the

http://www.florilegium.org">http://www.florilegium.org if you are interested in pursuing

the skates. The bottoms were scraped / drawknived flat and

the holes in the back and front vary from article to article.


Magnus, OL [SCA], Manx, Regia Anglorum, GDH



Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 22:43:44 -0800

From: "Arthur Slaughter" <fion at cuttingedge.net>

Subject: Re: [SCA-AS] skis?

To: "Arts and Sciences in the SCA"

        <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>


Check out the Norsefolk_2 files [a Yahoo group], I believe Halvgrimr has some pictures there of Norse skis from in period.




<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