Gothiscandza — From Gotland to Aujum

January 7, 2020 — Aujum was the name of a Gothic realm in ancient Scythia near the Black Sea (in modern Ukraine) that existed from the early 200s AD to about 400 AD.

Northern Goths began emigrating from Gotland (and possibly nearby coastal areas) in south-eastern Scandinavia in the early 100s and first established colonies in northern Poland (known in archeological circles as the Wielbark culture or Gothiscandza.) Several generations after the first Goths left Scandinavia, Filimer, a Gothic Reiks (the equivalent of a King), led his people to settle in Aujum in the region, which many historians call Minor Scythia. Read More →

Sónargǫltr — Sacrifice of the Wild Boar

December 7, 2019 — The midwinter festivities of ancient Europe are often called Yule or Yuletide. Ritual celebrations were important and essential components in old times, especially in the Norse cultures because of the long dark winters in Scandinavia and Finland. The Norsemen held great feasts to venerate their ancestors, swear oaths, for fertility, and to celebrate seasonal shifts in nature.

Towards the end of the year, Vikings in western Scandinavia (and Varangians in the east) welcomed the new year through great feasting. These Yuletide celebrations hailed from a distant past, perhaps further back than the Bronze Age, and had thus been a recurring tradition since long before the Viking Age. Read More →

Wild Boar

A wild boar looking for food in southern Norway.

Four-horned Manx Loaghtan

Manx Loaghtan sheep in the living museum of Cregneash village on the Isle of Man

The Four-Horned Goats and Sheep of the Vikings

December 2, 2019 — The Manx Loaghtan sheep was introduced to the Isle of Man by the Vikings some 1100 years ago. It is one of the last breeds of sturdy, small, and independent sheep that can grow two, four, and even six horns. These wooly animals belong to the “Northern Short Tail” group of sheep.

Similar sheep were common in Iron and Viking Age Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea region, and in parts of Finland. Their ancestor mammals likely originated in nomadic pastoral societies of the vast Eurasian steppes thousands of years ago. Read More →

Særkland and the Khazar Khaganate

November 16, 2019 — Included on Draugablíkk’s recently released EP, the song “To Særkland and Back Again” is inspired by real events that took place in the Eastern lands of Særkland in the Viking Age. Historical sources describe how Varangian Rus’ (eastern Vikings) met betrayal, massacre, tragedy, and death on the Caspian Sea.

In the early 900s, Scandinavian Varangians ruled Kievan Rus’, the predecessor to modern Russia. People in the Viking Age knew the eastern Rus’ lands as “Garðaríki” (the Realm of Fortified Towns) and “Sviþjóð hin mikla” (Greater Sweden). The Varangians and the Rus’ primarily hailed from ancient Sviþjóð (Sweden), Eystra Gautland (Eastern Götaland, a “kingdom” separate from Sweden in the Viking Age), and the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Read More →

Excavation of Atil, Khazaria

Excavation of Atil/Khazaran.

The Nine Runes of the Oseberg Viking Ship

October 23, 2019 — This picture, taken in 1904 by Norwegian photographer Olaf Væring, shows the Oseberg Viking ship excavation in Norway. The placename Oseberg literally translates to “Ásmountain” which in this context means “Burial Mound of the Æsir.” The Oseberg Viking ship is famous for many reasons, such as its beautifully carved ornamentation and possible connection to the mythological (but widely attested) Yngling dynasty. Read More →

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