Svartedauden: The Black Death in Norway

In the Summer of 1349, Magnus Eriksson, King of Norway and Sweden, wrote to his subjects appealing to them to offer prayers, to fast, and to pay a penny to … Continue reading

March 10, 2018 · Leave a comment


Rosemåling, with its distinctive stylized depictions of flowers, scroll forms, lining, and geometric elements, is Norway’s best known decorative folk art form. Its origins lie in eastern Norway during the … Continue reading

March 3, 2018 · Leave a comment


Depending on the source consulted, sheep were first domesticated 8,000, 9,000, 10,000, or 11,000 years ago in either the ancient Levant, Mesopotamia, the Fertile Crescent, or Southwest Asia. Testament perhaps to the … Continue reading

April 5, 2016 · Leave a comment

Góða Ólavsøka

“On the one side of Kalf Arnason stood his two relations, Olaf and Kalf, with many other brave and stout men. Kalf was a son of Arnfin Arnmodson, and a … Continue reading

February 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

Beer, Bans, and Brennivin: Prohibition in Iceland

Late at night on May 10, 1988, and a dozen joyful Icelanders flash victory signs outside the Alþingi as the upper house votes to bring an end to a year long … Continue reading

October 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Móðuharðinðin – “The Hardship of the Fog”: The Human and Environmental Disaster of the Laki Eruption, 1783-4

On 8 June 1873 the Laki mountain in the Grímsvötn volcanic system of southern Iceland was ripped apart by a volcanic eruption that opened a massive fissure and scores of craters. Over a … Continue reading

May 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

The First Cod War

London, 1883, and the respected biologist Thomas Huxley rose to address the assembled delegates at the International Fisheries Exhibition government. Since 1858 Huxley had been closely involved with the British … Continue reading

May 6, 2015 · Leave a comment