In this episode we conclude the Mother of Kings series by exploring several stories of royal mothers in Old Norse literature. We then bring things to close, tracing Gunnhild's fall from power and her mysterious fate.
For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out the website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/i-honor-with-words
In this supplemental episode, we explore a complex and fascinating set of characters found in several Sagas - the Maiden Kings.
For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/maiden-kings
In this episode, we follow Gunnhild konungamóðir as her sons ascend to the Norwegian throne and she finally acquires her famous title. We will then examine the significant authority which Gunnhild enjoyed at this time, as well as how Icelandic authors chose to depict her use of power.
Along the way we'll discuss ambitious young Icelanders, hygienic giantesses and the complex portrayal of women, sex and power in the Sagas.
For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/mother-of-kings/
In this episode, we return to the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir, exploring her time in exile in Denmark and her son's eventual return to power in Norway. We then turn our attention to the broader topic of women, power and magic in the Sagas.
Along the way we discuss goat-illusions, magical yarn and cat-skin gloves as we explore several fantastic tales of magically-inclined Saga women.
For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/i-lay-this-curse
Check out our collaboration on the Going Viking Podcast: https://going-viking.com/2019/04/02/who-was-crowned-the-ultimate-viking-in-march-madness/
Noah Tetzner's excellent new The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Edda-Study-Guide-ebook/dp/B07N7NMJPB/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=poetic+edda+a+study+guide&qid=1554758088&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull
In this episode, we continue to discuss the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir, tracing her path from Norway to Northern England and finally Denmark as her status was rapidly transformed from Royal to Refugee and back again.
Along the way we encounter and discuss shapeshifters, scorn poles, unruly noblemen and treacherous kings. To wrap things up, we explore the presence and influence of households headed by independent woman in the Norse world, studying the life of Auð the Deepminded and seeing what runestones have to tell us about powerful woman in the Viking Age.
For an excellent exploration of Runes and Runestones, please checkout the Rune Cast: http://www.runforum.nordiska.uu.se/runecast/
For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/a-woman-of-great-dignity
In this episode, we set off on a new mini-series exploring the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir - Mother of Kings - and other powerful women in Old Norse Literature.
This first installment doesn't touch too much on Gunnhild herself, but instead sets up some background information. Specifically, today we focus on the way gender is described and depicted in Sagas and Law codes, exploring some fascinating prose and poetry along the way.
I hope you enjoy.
For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/the-threshold
In this episode we are going to explore the rise of a major center of political, economic and religious life in the land of the Svear - the magnate's residence at Gamla Uppsala.
Along the way, we'll discuss monumental burial mounds, systems of iron age land-rights and the deaths of many, many kings.
I hope you enjoy.
More information and a full list of sources used in this episode can be found on our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/gamla-uppsala/
The 6th Century was a period of unrest and reorganization throughout Scandinavia. In this episode we are going to explore the evidence we have for these dynamic years and what may have caused this unrest. Ultimately, we want to discover how this era may have led to the establishment of powerful ruling dynasties like those who constructed Gamla Uppsala.
Along the way we'll talk about the sun going dark, explore the benefits of burying your wealth and the discuss the possible origins of a truly monstrous winter.
For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, please visit our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/catastrophe-and-opportunity/
In this episode we explore the mythical history of the Svear, as it is related to us by the ever-entertaining Snorri Sturluson. Along the way we discuss Divine Kings, Deadly Vats of Meads and even a Half-Giant-Magical-Oxen-Son plough-team. Believe it or not, these fantastical, fictional tales lead us to some rather more concrete evidence about life and politics in the land of the Svear in the years leading up to the Viking Age.
For more information, maps and a full list of sources used for this episode, visit our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/gods-and-kings/
In this episode we begin our exploration of the Baltic Sea region by examining two very different sources of evidence which point to early Viking activities in the Eastern Baltic. First we discuss a dramatic tale which has come down to us from the pen of everyone's favorite Icelandic author, Snorri Sturluson. This story centers around a certain Yngvarr, King of the Svear, and traces his dramatic demise at the hands of the Eistr.
We then step out of the world of literature and into the dirt to explore a remarkable archeological find which was recently uncovered on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. We talk monumental graves, ancient ships, informative skeletons and even discuss how we really are what we eat.
If you enjoyed this episode, you'll probably enjoy these other wonderful Viking Podcasts:
For more information on this episode and a full list of sources check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/the-eastern-way
In this episode we conclude our series on Iceland by discussing the rapid changes which shook the Icelandic political system in the 1200s.
We discuss the likely causes of these changes, explore the life and times of our good friend Snorri Sturluson and examine the impact that this time period may have had for our own understanding of Icelandic history.
For more information and a full list of sources, checkout our website at: http://vikingagepodcast.com/snorri-sturluson
In this episode, we explore poets and poetry in the Norse world, focusing particularly on the role they played in preserving history, myth and legend.
Along the way we see what happens when you eat a fish's head, unlock the meaning of confounding Skaldic verses and hear what Snorri Sturluson had to say about poets and their role in preserving history.
For more information and a full list of sources, see our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/poetry-and-remembrance/
In this episode we are going to discuss the first hundred years or so of the Christianization process in Iceland. We will discuss Chieftains, Priests, Churches and the aspirations of one particularly ambitious Icelandic family.
More information and a full list of sources can be found on our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/christianization-of-iceland
In this episode we dive headfirst into an event still which profoundly colors and shapes our understanding of the Norse world today. That's right - it's time to discuss the Conversion of the Icelanders which took place at the Althing of 999 or 1000CE.
In this episode we explore the early history of Christianity in Iceland. Along the way we talk about kings, prophets, prominent Christian settlers, and missionary methods employed in the Early Middle Ages. Finally we will introduce Thangbrand - the mildly-homicidal missionary sent to Iceland by the Norwegian King Olaf Tryggvason.
This week's recommended reading is Power and Conversion by Alexandra Sanmark. In this excellent book Professor Sanmark provides a detailed, readable and fascinating account of the conversion of Scandinavia. Even more interestingly, she also explores the similarities and differences between the Scandinavian conversions and those of Anglo Saxon England and Saxony. Plus - Professor Sanmark has provided a PDF of this excellent work for free online!
For more information and a full list of sources please visit our website at: https://vikingagepodcast.com/christ-comes-to-iceland
In this episode we conclude our discussion on Pagan practice in Iceland by exploring the close connections between the law and pagan beliefs. Along the way we talk about oath rings, the assemblies of the gods and a rather nasty conflict revolving around excrement.
Our recommended reading for this week is Viking Law and Order by Alexandra Sanmark. In this readable and beautifully illustrated book, Professor Sanmark reviews the latest archeological evidence for þing-sites throughout Scandinavia. This book highlights the similarities and differences of these sites and provides an excellent guide to these important locations. You should pick it up.
For more information and a full list of sources see our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/law-and-belief-in-pagan-iceland
In this episode we explore what our sources have to tell us about sacrifice and ritual in Pagan Iceland. Along the way we discuss the method and purpose of sacrifice and the how this may have impacted Icelandic society.
Our recommended reading for this week is A Piece of Horse Liver by Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson. A collection of essays concerning Myth, Ritual and Folklore this book includes some excellent and very readable breakdowns of the most important information we have about Pagan practice in Iceland. Highly recommended.
For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/ritual-and-sacrifice-pagan-iceland
In this episode we continue our exploration of Pagan Practice in Iceland by taking a look at religious roles and responsibilities held by some of the first Icelandic settlers and how these roles translated to their new home.
Our recommended reading for this episode is the excellent The Viking Diaspora by Judith Jesch. This has been one of my major sources for the entire Children of Ash series and now seems like a good time to introduce it. An essential resource for information about the Icelandic Free State and the ongoing connections between the Norse colonies throughout the North Atlantic.
For more information and a full list of sources check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/bringing-thor-to-iceland
In this episode we begin to explore Pagan practice in Iceland, focusing on the religious roles of the goðar. In this first episode we will be discussing:
- The role played by the goðar in the conversion of Iceland.
- A rune stone attesting to an early Danish goðar.
- A remarkable cult building at Uppkåra in South Western Sweden.
- The close ties between political and religious power in Viking Age Scandinavia.
Recommended reading for this episode is Pre-Christian cult at aristocratic residences and settlement complexes in Southern Scandinavia in the 3rd – 10th centuries AD by Lars Jørgensen. It provides an excellent overview of major Scandinavian Central Places and possible cult activities which took place at them. There are also some fantastic illustrations.
For more information and a full accounting of sources check out the website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/chieftains-and-temples
In this episode we continue to explore the dynamics of power, violence and law in Viking Age Iceland. We will do so by discussing many of the conflicts found in Saga of the People of Eyri. Along the way we will cover:
For more information, resources and a map please visit: http://vikingagepodcast.com/the-people-of-eyri
I hope you enjoy.