Early Medieval Europe Archaeology Blog
Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe from the
Archaeology in Europe
Monday, 30 January 2017
How Much Viking Lore Is True?
Archaeologists have confirmed key details in Norse oral histories (but not the dragons, elves, and trolls).
In TV series from
Game of Thrones
, the icy wastes of the north provide the backdrop to dramatic, often violent, stories of kings and warriors, dragons and trolls. The source for many of these dramas is the Icelandic sagas. In her new book,
Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas
Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough
explores the world of the sagas, teasing fact from fiction to show that there was much more to the Norse peoples than rape and pillage. (Find out whether the
Vikings deserved their terrible reputation
Speaking from her home in Durham, England, she explains how the United States should really celebrate
Leif the Lucky, not Columbus
, why the Soviets hated the idea that Russia had been founded by the Vikings, and how the gruesome Viking torture known as the Blood Eagle may have been more poetic conceit than historical practice. (Did
Vikings make the modern world possible
Read the rest of this article...
David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot
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