Europeenses

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 · 1 Comment

Fårikål

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

‘Iceland’s Pompeii’: Þjóðveldisbærinn Stöng

In 1104 Iceland’s most famous volcano Hekla erupted, covering the local area with tephra and destroying an entire district of farm complexes in the Þjórsárdalur valley. Among them was the farmhouse named … Continue reading

April 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Anglo-Saxon Easter

Easter, as for all Christians, was the most important ceremony in the Anglo-Saxon liturgical year. For monastic communities abstinence and penitential repentance began on Septuagesima, the ninth Sunday before Easter … Continue reading

April 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

Hic:Est:Wadard

I am perhaps absurdly pleased by the fact that there is a link between the Bayeux Tapestry and my home town of Swindon in Wiltshire, England. The knight Wadard appears … Continue reading

April 12, 2014 · 1 Comment

The ætheling Æthelstan’s deathbed will of 1014

On the Friday after the feast of midsummer in 1014 Ælfgar, the son of Æffa, brought the reply of King Æthelred Unræd to his son, the ætheling Æthelstan. The ailing prince … Continue reading

April 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

Skuldelev 3: Viking merchant shipping in the 11th Century

At some point between 1070 and 1090 AD, five ships were loaded with stones and scuttled to form a defensive barrier in the Peberrenden channel of Roskilde Fjord.  These medieval … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · 3 Comments

Hanse

The ‘Steel-yard’ at London, now the site of Cannon Street Station, was once the western terminal of the Hanseatic trading system that linked England with Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia, and … Continue reading

March 29, 2014 · 1 Comment

Sild: Herring fisheries in the medieval Baltic

Let all the fish that swim in the sea, Salmon and turbot and cod and ling, Bow down the head and bend the knee, To herring their king – to … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · 4 Comments

Wendenkreuzzug: The Wendish Crusade of 1147

Between 1140 and 1143 some dozen noble Saxon families from the county of Holstein began a process of subjugation of the neighbouring Wends as they pushed into Wagria, establishing themselves … Continue reading

March 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

Revolution: A short history of Prague

“I shall now set forth our plan for all to admire. Ultimate goal: overthrow Austria. First step: take Prague. Modus operandi: seize the citadel and lookout point on the promontory … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

Husité, part 2

The Hussites quickly united on a programme that in effect were the conditions for their acceptance of Sigismund. They called for the lay chalice to be authorized, for simony (the … Continue reading

January 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

Husité, part 1

On July 6, 1415, Jan Hus was led to the stake having been found guilty of charges of heresy by the Council of Constance against the doctrines of the Catholic … Continue reading

January 14, 2014 · 2 Comments

On the nature of things

Encyclopaedia n. a book or set of books giving information on many subjects or many aspects of one subject, typically arranged alphabetically.” Concise OED, 11th edition, 470. Derived from the Greek … Continue reading

December 29, 2013 · Leave a comment

Rhine

Der Rhein rises in two headstreams in the Swiss Alps, the Vorderrhein and the Hinterrhein, which meet at Reichenau above Chur. The river in its various guises as the Rhein, … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Europeenses

Aachen is the disputed birthplace and favoured winter residence of Karl der Grosse (c. 747 – 814), more popularly known as Charlemagne in the English speaking world, whose kingdom at … Continue reading

December 13, 2013 · 2 Comments

Noordzee: Vikings in Frisia

The entry for the year 800 in the Annales Regni Francorum tells us that Charlemagne built a fleet on the Gallic (North) Sea which was infested with pirates. Though not … Continue reading

December 9, 2013 · 1 Comment

Nordzee: The Seafarer

The Seafarer is an Anglo-Saxon poem that is preserved in a single copy in the Exeter Book or Codex Exonienis, a tenth century anthology of Anglo-Saxon poetry donated to Exeter … Continue reading

December 7, 2013 · 1 Comment