The Wooden Churches of Medieval Norway

Heddal Stave Church (Creative Commons) These historic churches feature elaborate carvings that mix Christian and Viking symbols. By Jennifer Billock / 11.14.2017 Starting in the Middle Ages, when Norway became a Christian country, former Vikings-turn-Christians built immense cathedrals and churches to honor the new religion—all made entirely from wood rather than the typical stone construction[…]

Trading between Muslims and the Sámi in Medieval Norway

Nordic Sámi (Saami) people in Sapmi (Lapland) in front of two Lavvo Tents / Photo by Granbergs Nya Aktiebolag, Wikimedia Commons Examining the interrelationship of trading, religious missions, and Crusading based mainly on Scandinavian sagas and chronicles. By Dr. Bjørn Bandlien Professor of Viking Age and Medieval History and Historiography Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge Introduction In[…]

Lost Norse of Greenland Fueled the Medieval Ivory Trade

New DNA analysis reveals that, before their mysterious disappearance, the Norse colonies of Greenland had a “near monopoly” on Europe’s walrus ivory supply. An overreliance on this trade may have contributed to Norse Greenland’s collapse when the medieval market declined. 08.08.2018 The Icelandic Sagas tell of Erik the Red: exiled for murder in the late[…]

The Enduring Appeal of Norse Gods

The stuff of legend. Shutterstock Norse mythology is having a moment as a leading author re-tells the tales for a new generation. By Dr. Carolyne Larrington / 02.21.2017 Professor and Tutorial Fellow in English St. John’s College University of Oxford The Norse gods are back and ready for a new generation in acclaimed fantasy author Neil Gaiman’s newly published book Norse Mythology. Yet the truth is[…]