Norse Mythology

Idun: Goddess of Youth

Of the many gods and goddesses in the Norse pantheon that receive little popular attention, Idun is among the most fascinating. She is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, her role and purpose suggest that the Vikings did not believe their gods to be immortal in an absolute sense. Secondly, she clearly demonstrates that Norse beliefs…

Norse Mythology

Bifrost Bridge

Norse mythology describes the universe as a fascinating cosmos with many intriguing worlds. But one of the most interesting elements of the Norse cosmos is not a world at all, but the Rainbow Bifrost Bridge. An enchanted bridge created by the gods, it connects the worlds of the Aesir gods and men, allowing the gods…

History

Gunnar Hamumdarson

Gunnar Hamundarson is one of the most famous Icelandic Viking heroes. His life story is recorded in the Njals Saga. But, while Gunnar was most likely a real person, his character is used in the saga to tell a moral story. While Gunnar is described as a warrior without equal, unlike the bloodthirsty warriors of…

History

Famous Viking Women

It is a sad truth that until recent generations, most women have been obscured from history. In patriarchal societies with histories written by men about men, we often lose sight of the roles of women, grand and humble. This is also true of Viking history. Even the stories of the goddesses are lost. For example,…

History

Egill Skallagrimsson

It is well known that the Viking sagas tell the stories of the most impressive Viking heroes, but are they all to be taken seriously? The saga of the infamous Viking poet and warrior Egill Skallagrimsson reads more like Monty Python’s Life of Brian than like the story of a true Viking hero. The saga…

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