This is much more than just solid, factual information about Odin and the people whose deity he was, for Odin was the god of the Einheriar, of the Germanic and Viking mannerbunde, the furor Teutonicus and the war bands of the great folk wandering that shaped so much of the map of Europe as we know today. Here we have a broad and fascinating account of the Germanic ancestor cult, of the Wild Hunt, the eye in the well, wolf-men and werewolves, dragon-slayers, demon riders and Harlequin, Valhalla and Ragnorak. Odin/Wodan is presented to us as a divinity who was central to a warrior society the ramifications of which went far beyond the revered One-Eyed God of battle and knowledge. Organized into three sections, we are carried in the last of these far beyond Germany to find parallel institutions surviving amongst the wider Aryan kindred - among the Celts, Romans, Slavs and ancient Greeks, and still further, to the Indo-Aryans of Iran and the distant lands beyond the Indus, all sharing elements of a once common ancestral origin.
Runes are quite frequently mentioned in modern writings - usually imprecisely - as a source of mystic knowledge, power or insight. This book sets the record straight. It shows runes working as a practical script for a variety of purposes in early English times, among both indigenous Anglo-Saxons and incoming Vikings. In a scholarly yet readable way it examines the introduction of the runic alphabet (the "futhorc") to England in the fifth and sixth centuries, the forms and values of its letters, and the ways in which it developed, up until its decline at the end of the Anglo-Saxon period. It discusses how runes were used for informal and day-to-day purposes, on formal monuments, as decorative letters in prestigious manuscripts, for owners' or makers' names on everyday objects, perhaps even in private letters. For the first time, the book presents, together with earlier finds, the many runic objects discovered over the last 20 years, with a range of inscriptions on bone, metal and stone, even including tourists' scratched signatures found on the pilgrimage routes through Italy. It gives an idea of the immense range of information on language and social history contained in these unique documents.
By the first century A D historical records reveal peoples settled from the shores of the Atlantic to India all speaking languages closely related to one another. These are the Indo-European languages whose origins can be traced back to a common ancestor that was spoken in Eurasia some 6,000 years ago. We call the people who spoke this ancestral language the Indo-Europeans or Proto-IndoEuropeans. But although we can give them a name, they are unlike almost any other ancient people we are likely to encounter.
We are glad to welcome the readers of our almanac.
The “Warha” almanac has been published in Russia since 2015 and the latest issues are published once a year, summing up all the best texts about pagan traditionalism, as well as presenting fresh translations, interviews and original texts to the public. This fall will be the sixth issue.
The first English-language issue of the “Warha” almanac was released in 2017 and it was a trial attempt. And now, two years later, we are ripe for the second volume in English. This issue comes out in a difficult time of general fragmentation, fake-news and shameless propaganda from all sides. We conceived our almanac as a kind of bridge or a space of acquaintance, dialogue and exchange of opinions and skills between Russian-speaking pagans and traditionalists on the one hand, and Europeans and Americans on the other. We are different, the traditions of our peoples and in our lands sometimes differ very much. And there is nothing wrong with that. Nevertheless, we are all pagans, which means that we have something in common in the depths of our philosophy and mystical experience. And historically we have faced with similar threats, for example, with globalization and its iron pace of regional identity destruction. First globalization by the name of the Cross, then by the name of Technology, Market and Media. Therefore it seems to us that any platforms where are an opportunity to look at other pagans and see the general, see the grounds for dialogue, are already make sense.
This book considers evidence for Germanic goddesses in England and on the Continent, and argues on the basis of linguistic and onomastic evidence that modern scholarship has tended to focus too heavily on the notion of divine functions or spheres of activity, such as fertility or warfare, rather than considering the extent to which goddesses are rooted in localities and social structures. Such local religious manifestations are, it is suggested, more important to Germanic paganisms than is often supposed, and should caution us against assumptions of pan-Germanic traditional beliefs. Linguistic and onomastic evidence is not always well integrated into discussions of historical developments in the early Middle Ages, and this book provides both an introduction to the models and methods employed throughout, and a model for further research into the linguistic evidence for traditional beliefs among the Germanic-speaking communities of early medieval Europe.
The Livs are among the indigenous inhabitantsThe Livs are among the indigenous inhabitantsof Latvia, with an ancient and unusual culture anda complicated history. They belong to the Finnicgroup of peoples and Liv is included in the southerngroup of Finnic languages. The ethnic origin of theLivs has not yet been established with certainty,and there is still no consensus among researcherson the origins of the Livs and their descendants,the available evidence being contradictory.
We can speak more specifically of Liv culturaldevelopment from the 10th century onwards, whennew sites, unknown in previous periods andconnected with the Livs, appear on the lowerDaugava. Archaeological data does not support theview put forward by some authors regarding thelocal origin of the Daugava and Gauja Livs.Written sources provide information about theLivs from the 11th century onwards, where theyare mentioned in Scandinavian runes.
Iron Age Myth and Materiality: an Archaeology of Scandinavia AD 400-1000 considers the relationship between myth and materiality in Scandinavia from the beginning of the post-Roman era and the European Migrations up until the coming of Christianity. It pursues an interdisciplinary interpretation of text and material culture and examines how the documentation of an oral past relates to its material embodiment. While the material evidence is from the Iron Age, most Old Norse texts were written down in the thirteenth century or even later.
Begleitband zur Ausstellung "Odin, Thor und Freyja. Skandinavische Kultplatze des 1. Jahrtausends n. Chr." / "Odin, Thor and Freyja. Scandinavian Cult Sites of the 1st Millennium AD and the Frankish Realm," 11.02.-06.06.2017, Archaologisches Museum Frankfurt Neueste Forschungen zur altskandinavischen Religion und Kultpraxis.
The paper explores time measurements and perception of time by the ancient Slavs in the pre-Migration Period and Slavic settlement of Central and Southern Europe. It attempts to reconstruct a year, seasonal, month-like division and naming, as well as lunar and solar time measurement. Moreover, it explores and attempts to reconstruct what were the common Slavic month names that, is before 5th–7th centuries. It also, discusses the issue of adoption of Julian calendar across the Slavdom in the period between the 9th–11th centuries. The research is based on scarce limited written historical records as it explores the times before writing came to the Slavs. Hence to a large degree it relies on abundant ethnographic sources, as well as on linguistics. Therefore, in principle it employs a comparative methodology and often draws from Indo-European examples.
There are unique ethnographical collections in the Irkutsk's Museum of Regional Studies. These collections are the result of fieldwork of many generations of scientists. Peoples represented through these collections live in the Asiatic part of Russia. It is a vast territory: from the River Yenisey in the West to the Pacific Ocean in the East, from the Arctic Ocean in the North to China and the Central Asia in the South. The collections that represent the peoples indigenous to Lake Baikal's region (the Buryats, the Evenks, the Tofalars) are of paramount importance. These collections belong to the golden fund of our museum and they are the golden fund of world's culture as well. There are no collections of this kind in other museums of our country or abroad.
The most exotic and picturesque things in our collections are attires belonging to Shamans of different Siberian peoples.
The bulk of the legends and other texts in this book represent rural oral traditions and folk beliefs of preindustrial Scandinavia. Most were collected from oral sources between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The final chapter, however, contains samples of narratives that are told in Scandinavia today, demonstrating the continuity of tradition as well as the changes wrought by the industrialization and urbanization of Scandinavian society.
The information presented in this book is mostly based on field materials collected among the Nanai (Manchu-Tungus group, which belongs to the smallest of three subfamilies of the Altaic language family).
This paper introduces a comparative analysis combined with a historical source overview concerning a particular Slavic god: Triglav. The aim of this paper is to verify the hypothesis that Triglav was, in the cosmological perspective, a deity connecting the structured layers of the world. Numerous indications from various written and archaeological sources may be drawn upon in the forming of a comprehensive picture of competences of this deity.
The Russian Primary Chronicle under 945 refers to the murder of Kievan Prince Igor by his tributary Drevljans and the revenge performed by his widow, Princess Olga. First, she ordered that the embassy from the Drevljans who arrived in Kiev be buried alive; then her servants set fire to the bathhouse where the Drevljan ‘best men’ washed themselves, so that they were burnt alive; and finally, the princess went to the place where her husband was buried and, during a funeral banquet, ordered the massacre of thousands of Drevljans. Each of the acts is interpreted as a ritual connected with the death of the Kievan prince. The three rituals form three stages of the princely funeral ceremony, which was determined by the idea of tripartite structure of the universe. The mythological picture seems to be spread among the Rus ́ and the Slavs of the ten-century Kiev. The story of Princess Olga ended with the expedition of her army to the Drevljan country in the next year, 946. After the long-time besiege of the Drevljan capital, Iskorosten, the city was burned with the help of incendiary pigeons and sparrows. Investigating the origins of the story of incendiary birds among the medieval mythological and literary narratives, the author supposes that it depicts a purifying ritual in the story of Princess Olga. The four disclosed rituals were converted into the historical episodes during the transition of them from oral tradition to the written narrative of the Primary Chronicle. In the origin of the historical narrative one can find the traces of Indo-European mythology and Scandinavian cultural influence.
This bibliography has been put together for the guidance of students studying the paper ‘Scandinavian history in the Viking age’ in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge. Its model and inspiration was the bibliography of the history of Anglo-Saxon England compiled by Professor Simon Keynes, and like its predecessor this bibliography also makes no claim to be anything other than an informal and ephemeral document, in this case providing a bibliographical guide to the sources of, and major themes in, Viking history.
The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy is a book of religious history and archaeology by the English historian Ronald Hutton, first published by Blackwell in 1991. It was the first published study of pre-Christian religion in the British Isles, dealing with the subject during the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman occupation and Anglo-Saxon period. It then proceeds to make a brief examination of their influence on folklore and contemporary Paganism.
The Vikings have long conjured up images either of ruthless pirates ravaging the coasts of Europe or of heroic pagan warriors dedicated to Odin, god of ecstasy, poetry, and battle. These images, well attested in the medieval sources, are only part of the story of the impact of the Scandinavians on early medieval civilization. The first 12 lectures of this course deal with the evolution of a distinct civilization in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) on the eve of the Viking Age (790–1100). In 790, Scandinavians still worshiped the ancient Germanic gods and, thus, were divided from their kin in Germany or the former Roman provinces of Gaul and Britain who had adopted Christianity and Roman institutions. Breakthroughs in shipbuilding and the emergence of a warrior ethos celebrated in Eddaic and later skaldic verse turned Scandinavians from merchants into Vikings at the end of the 8th century.
The second set of 12 lectures deals with the course and impact of the Viking raids between the late 8th through the early 11th centuries. Danish and Norwegian raiders profoundly altered the political balance of Western Europe. Danes conquered and settled eastern and northern England, a region known as the Danelaw. They compelled King Alfred the Great of Wessex (r. 870–899) and his successors to forge an effective monarchy. In France, Vikings under Rollo embraced Christianity and settled the fief of Normandy in 911, thereby founding one of the most formidable feudal states of Europe. Norwegian Vikings settled in the main towns of Ireland and braved the North Atlantic, settling the Faeroes, Iceland, and Greenland, as well as an ephemeral colony at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. In Eastern Europe, Swedes developed a major trade route from the Baltic to the Caspian, laying the foundations for the Russian principalities.
The last 12 lectures explain the passing of the Viking Age. Over two centuries of overseas raids, trade, and settlement altered Scandinavian civilization. Scandinavians accepted Christianity and gained the high culture of Latin Christendom. Christian Danish and Norwegian kings in the 10th century first harnessed the Viking spirit to establish monarchies. Cnut the Great (r. 1014–1035), king of Denmark, England, and Norway, briefly turned the North Sea into a Scandinavian lake. His institutions and example inspired the formation of Christian kingdoms in Scandinavia and turned Vikings into Crusaders. Yet perhaps the most enduring of achievements of the Viking Age were the sagas and verse of Iceland that immortalized pagan heroes and Christian kings, Norse gods and indomitable settlers of the remote island.
This book offers a new approach to the problem of Slavic ethnicity in southeastern Europe between c. 500 and c. 700. The author shows how Byzantine authors "invented" the Slavs, in order to make sense of political and military developments taking place in the Balkans. Making extensive use of archaeology to show that such developments resulted in the rise of powerful leaders, responsible for creating group identities and mobilizing warriors for successful raids across the frontier. The author rejects the idea of Slavic migration, and shows that "the Slavs" were the product of the frontier.
If we consider the fact of the Russian attack on Constantinople in 860 as an isolated phenomenon detached from contemporary events in other parts of Europe, it seems at first sight a very simple, even insignificant, story: the Russians attacked Constantinople and its environs, pillaged and devastated the latter, were routed, and returned home. But such an approach would be absolutely unhistorical. The attack of 860 is indissolubly connected with the general course of European events in the ninth century, and cannot be detached from the main European movement of that period.
Dissertation in Viking and Medieval Nordic Culture
Submitted in candidacy for the degree of Master of Philosophy
By Roman Zakharii
Centre for Viking and Medieval Studies
The Faculty of Arts The University of Oslo, Autumn 2002