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Who Were the Danish Vikings?

We often talk about “the Vikings”, but the people that we think of today as Vikings were not in fact a homogenous group. They were northern Europeans from present-day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden whose culture thrived between the 8th and 11th centuries. They also shared a seafaring culture of exploration, trade, and also pillaging. They…

History

Viking Compasses

One of the incredible things about the Vikings is how much of the world they discovered, more than 500 years before Christopher Columbus landed in America while looking for India – someone took a major wrong turn on the way! Meanwhile, the Vikings not only raided across mainland Europe by land and sea, but they…

News Norse Mythology

Is Santa Claus Odin?

I have heard quite a few people suggest that the image of Santa Claus, an important character in the Christain Christmas festival, is based on Odin, the All-Father and principal Viking god. They make a good point. If you look at traditions surrounding Santa Claus, especially before Coca-Cola reimagined him for their brand in the…

History

How Big Were the Vikings?

In modern stories of the Vikings, Norse warriors tend to be presented as enormous and towering over their European neighbors. But were the Vikings really taller and stronger than other people living in Europe at that time? The short answer is actually yes! When the Vikings first landed in England at the end of the…

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