Political power and military potential in Roman period Norway

Written by Frans Stylegar. Archeolog and director of Varanger Museum In Norway, at Hvergelmir International.

The court site (tunanlegg, ringformet tun) – i.e. a number of houses placed side by side in a circle (or circle segment), each of the buildings featuring an entrance in the short wall facing the open courtyard in the centre – is a well-known type of site in Norwegian Iron Age archaeology. More than 20 court sites dating from the Early Roman period and later are found along the Norwegian coast from Agder in the Southeast to Troms in the North. In the following text, I put forward some arguments for interpreting these monuments as being integral to military organisation in Roman period Norway, and suggest a connection with the so-called ‘Illerup horizon’ in the Danish bog offerings.

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Weapon graves in Iron Age Norway (1-550 AD)

Written by Frans Stylegar, Archeolog and director of Varanger Museum In Norway, at Hvergelmir International

The present paper deals with a minority of burials in Roman (B-C) and Migration period (D) Norway, namely the ones containing weapons. Its aim is two-folded: 1) to present an overview of this material to non-Norwegian colleagues, and 2) to discuss the significance of the weapon burial rite in its Scandinavian and North European context. Regarding the first, I intend to focus on the chronology, regional distribution and typology of burials with weapons. As for the latter, the emphasis will be on weapon graves as evidence both of the militarisation of barbarian society in general and more specific of warlike relations between the Roman Empire and the northern Germans, particularly the question of Scandinavian auxiliaries in the Roman army.

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Wyrd, the Will and the Choice

By George Herda, Vitki of Hvergelmir International, shared with permission

“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

— Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)

Does it seem odd, that I start a discussion on Wyrd with a quote from a work of fiction? And yet, what comprises lore? Fiction — stories — comprise lore. To say otherwise, would infer that Non-fiction — references — comprise lore. It would lead to largely unsupported claims, such as claiming that mythology contains falsifiable facts as well as poetic truth.

And, what comprises scholarship on Wyrd? I daresay, lore comprises much of it. And J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the above quote, researched some of it. At least, he researched some Anglo-Saxon aspects of it, and this discussion carries an Anglo-Saxon bias.

I found a webpage early in research for this discussion, and speaking honestly, it provides basic insights for those with basic questions about Wyrd.

Read it, consider it, and if it satisfies your questions about Wyrd, then you need not persue this discussion further.

For those with further questions, read on…

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Óðinn – or Sky-daddy and the world of grievous bodily harm.

A speculation upon the malformation of a deity.

Written by Einar V. Bj. Maack, of Hvergelmir International

Óðinn is a popular god among Heathens and people that adhere to Germanic culture or religion.
Even so much that that there are people that treat Óðinn as some sort of replacement Jehova or cling to him only, ignoring the rest of the Germanic pantheon.

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Honest cheesemongering (or the perils of shopping for knowledge).

Written by Einar V. Bj. Maack skáld of Hvergelmir International

Today’s society is far different from what it was a millennium ago, a century ago or even just a couple of decades ago.

The free flow of information has made it easier for us all to share our thoughts and knowledge at the flick of a finger.

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Going to the land of the dead

Lēoht Steren, Þyle of Hvergelmir International

A lot of people have made the mistake of thinking that Valhalla (Valhöll – “Hall of the battle-slain” – in Old Norse) is a kind of “Heathen Heaven”, with Odin as a benevolent father-figure to those who come to his door. This is far from what we can discern from the extant lore and, to try and shift perceptions, we offer a short story of one who does not end up in the home of the Einherjar (nor, indeed, should we want them to!):

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