Publicada por Arith Härger / 8:20 PM /
For hundreds of years historians have seen the Vikings through the eyes of the medieval Irish christians priests who met these people and suffered the terror they brought to their lands. But the first 10 years of the XXI century brought new interesting discoveries from the Viking period, and what was once myth, is now reality. The Vikings have been often regarded as ruthless pillagers, but they are also known as outstanding mariners.
New discoveries and interpretations of a medieval compass, suggest that the Vikings may have skillfully used the sun to operate this object even when the sun had set, and even before rising again.
The remains of the supposed compass known as the Uunartoq disc, found in Greenland in 1948 in an 11th century convent, led some researchers to argued it was simply a decorative object. Other researchers have suggested the disc was an important navigational tool that the Vikings would have used in their roughly 1,600-mile-long (2,500 kilometers) trek from Norway to Greenland. Though only half of the wooden disc remains, it is estimated to have been roughly 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) in diameter with a now-lost central pin that would have cast a shadow from the sun indicative of a cardinal direction.
Researchers from a University in Hungary have studied the fragment in detail. It was concluded that although the disc could have functioned as a single entity, it was more likely used in conjunction with other tools, including a pair of crystals and a flat, wooden slab to help navigate when the sun was low in the sky or even below the horizon.
When the sun is low above the horizon, the shadow of a small item can fall off the board, and such situations are frequent in the northern seas, as Balázs Bernáth says.
To help solve this shadow problem, the Vikings may have used an object in the middle of the compass to create a wider, shorter shadow. A wide hole within the center of the disk, which was previously thought to be the place to grip the compass, could have served as a holding sport for the object that would solve the problem.
The researchers think that, to locate the sun after sunset, the Vikings could have used a pair of crystals known as sunstones, which are calcite stones that produce patterns when they're exposed to the polarization of UV rays within sunlight. When the crystals are held up to the sky, the orientation of these patterns cast within the stone can help pinpoint the position of the sun below the horizon.
Once the Vikings had determined the position of the hidden sun, they could have used a specially designed wooden slab called a shadow stick to simulate the shadow of the gnomon based on the angle at which the hidden sun would hit it. The location of the outer edge of that imaginary shadow could then have been used to determine their cardinal direction.
Field tests were held by the researchers, to estimate the plausible accuracy of this twilight compass. They have found that this would have worked with only 4 degrees of error, which is way better than other forms of celestial navigation. It is estimated that this compass would have functioned for as long as 50 minutes after the sun was down the horizontal line, around the spring equinox, when the Vikings are thought to have used this compass based on etchings in the wood.
No shadow sticks or sunstones have been found in conjunction with the disc, but evidence of both exist in medieval written records, suggesting they would have been available to the Vikings.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 4:52 PM /
Viking Invasions in the Iberian Peninsula
ATTENTION! Read the description below. This is NOT Fiction. This is my final work after 6 months of research, from historical books and documentation as my source of study.
As you can see in this map that I have made, the red area are the territories where the Vikings have been. Between the IX and XI centuries the Vikings invaded the Iberian Peninsula. They did not only raid territories, but also made settlements, colonies, winter camps and also made a living. More than 200 years of Viking presence in the land, documented in that time by the peoples that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula. Lots of raids, battles, colonisations, invasions, and so on, have been registered, but I'm certain that the Vikings went further inland, because they used the rivers as their routes to spread all over the land. Note that in these 200 years, the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula and their boundaries changed a lot. Territories have been conquered and lost, the christian kingdoms of the North against the Muslim kingdom of the South. The christian kingdoms of the North belonged to the Germanic descendants of the Iberian Peninsula who made the first Christian Kingdoms of the land, after the decline of the Roman Empire. The kingdoms were formed around the V century C.E. by the Swabians, Vandals, Goths and Visigoths, all germanic peoples from nowadays Germany, Norway and Lower Sweden respectively. In the beginning of the VIII century C.E. the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Muslims, who pushed the germanic territories to the north, thus ending the germanic nations of the Iberian lands. Between the IX and XI centuries, the Vikings invaded these lands, and fought against the descendants of their ancestors and also against the Muslims of the south. Many battles were recorded, on both land and sea. But the Vikings also colonised territories, such as modern Povoa de Varzim in northern Portugal, and left many decendents in other places. Archaeology helps digging up the truth, and we are still finding a lot of Norse evidence in the land. We also know that defeated Vikings couldn't return home, and they ended up living all over the landscape, such is the case of the city of Cordova in modern southern Spain. Most Vikings raided during Summer, and they didn't return home to pass the Winter, they just built winter camps along the coast and near the main rivers, waiting to raid again when the warmer seasons started.
The christian kingdoms of the north conquered many territories to the Muslims, and the christian faith was spreading all over Europe, and would soon came to Northern Europe. The crusades were formed, and after these 200 years of Viking raids in the Iberian Peninsula, the Vikings (now christianized) helped the Kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula, to defeat and drive away the Muslims from the land. There are thousands of documents about this and also paintings that depict these events, Viking longboats side by side with the boats of the soon-to-be Portuguese, invading Nowadays Lisbon for example, and taking back the land, battling and making siege against the Muslims. The Kingdom of Portugal (and also the other Kingdoms of Spain) rewarded the Norse men for their help against the Muslims, and gave them lands to inhabit. Once in a while we find and dig their graves and watch the modern people of those lands and see their descendants, wearing the glimpse of their Norse ancestors.
Not many historians talk about the Norse peoples of the Iberian Peninsula (modern Portugal and Spain), so I have made this map to show that these countries, not only have a rich germanic history, but also a very rich Norse history, as well as Celtic and Roman. Once again I must point out, that this map is NOT the source of Fiction, it is the final work of 6 months of research. I hope you all like it.
Made with watercolor and gel pen.
Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing of the Viking Invasions in the Iberian Peninsula, made by me. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger
Note2: If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me at http://ask.fm/ArithHarger
Publicada por Arith Härger / 9:28 PM /
In the Hungarian Capital, while construction workers were building the new bridge over the Danube River in Budapest, they have unearthed an amazing 5th century sepulchre. The analysis of the monument revealed to be the burial chamber of a hunnic leader of great importance, most likely of King Attila himself.
Many horse skeletons were found in the burial, as well as various weapons and other artefacts, all traditionally associated with the Huns. There was also a large sword made of meteoric iron, probably Attila's legendary “Holy War Sword of the Scythians”, allegedly given to him by the god Mars himself.
Attila was so named “the scourge of God” by Roman historians, he was the ruler of the Huns. A nomadic people originating possibly from Central Asia.
Attila ruled from 434 A.D., until his death in 453 after a feast celebrating his latest marriage to a beautiful and young gothic princess known as Ildico. He led many military raids on both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires provoking what has become known as the Barbarian Invasions or the Great Migration, a large movement of germanic populations that greatly accelerated the fall of Rome and the advent of the Middle Ages in Europe. Attila his considered by most Hungarians, as the founder of the country.
The discovery of this burial site could bring many clarifications concerning the origins and identity of the hunnic people and of Attila himself, which have both been sources of debate for centuries. The analysis of pieces of pottery and jewelry found on the site, should bring a new light on their cultural origins and trade networks, and help scientists better understand this poorly documented people.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 10:04 PM /
Velleda was a priestess, prophet and seer of the Bructeri, a Germanic tribe. She was whom prophesied and presided over a tribal European insurrection against the Roman rule between the years of 69-70 CE. Velleda seems to be a Germanic Title and not her own name. She and Aurinia are mentioned in Tacitus' book "Germania" and that was where I first found a bit of history about these women and did a little research after.
"They think that in them* there is something sacred and prophetic, as such, they do not despise their counsels, nor turn away their answers. In the time of divine Vespasian we saw Velleda praised as a deity by many for a long time; and previously they also worshiped Aurinia and many others, but not by flattery, nor by considering them goddesses. "[Tacitus, Germania, 8]
*Germanic Women in general.
Germanic women were revered and protected as much as possible by the Germanic Peoples. They were seen as being magical in nature, linked to the deities. Even when men were wounded, the first thing they did was to show their wounds to the women of their tribe or own family, so they could heal them and take care of them.
In the case of Velleda and Aurinia, if we take a close look, these are Völvur, the practitioners of the Norse/Germanic spiritual/shamanic arts, such as Seidr.
Such as the Druids in the Celtic culture, these Germanic Women had an important role in the Norse/Germanic Societies, especially the tribes from central Europe. Even in war affairs, their opinions always counted. There are archaeological evidence that germanic women helped in the defence of the borders in the Rhine, the natural border between the Germanic tribes and the Roman Empire.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask me anything at http://ask.fm/ArithHarger
Note: The artwork to illustrate this post is a drawing entitled "Velleda und Aurinia" made by me. If you have any questions for me or if you want to see my artistic works, check out my Facebook page and make a Like if you can by following this link --> http://www.facebook.com/ArithHarger
Publicada por Arith Härger / 9:39 PM /
A great hoard of gold and silver dating back to the late Roman times in a German forest, was found by an amateur treasure hunter, the kind of people that used to be the top enemy of an archaeologist. Fortunately, nowadays people gain more by calling the experts to the field, instead of hiding the findings and keep it for their own, and sell it later.
This finding has prompted speculation that it could actually be the legendary Nibelung treasure.
The unnamed treasure seeker came across the buried treasure, estimated to be worth more than €1 million, while searching a wooded area in southern Rhineland-Palatinate.
The treasure includes numerous leaf-shaped solid gold brooches, which are thought to have formed part of the decorations from a coat of a Roman ruler, as well as a solid silver bowl set with gold and stones set within it, and a set of gold and silver plated statuettes which formed part of a military commander’s portable chair.
Some of the treasure appears to be Eastern European in style, and experts say that it was probably buried around 1500 years ago, about the same time when the Germanic Teutons were plundering and pillaging throughout the ruinous and crumbling Roman Empire.
In chronological and geographical terms, the treasure fits into the epoch of the Nibelung legend, stated the chief archaeologist, Axel von Berg. But for now, it isn't clear if it really belonged to the Nibelung treasure, but whoever owned it, lived very well and could actually be a prince, stated von Berg.
The Legend of the Nibelungs is the most famous Epic saga in Norse/Germanic mythology and is said to be based on the Royal family of Burgundy. The story begins when a treasure of the Burgundians falls into the hands of Siegfried.
Whether the treasure is the famous treasure of the Nibelungs or not, it seems to have been buried in haste by its owner(s) or by robbers in around 406-407 AD, when the Roman Empire was falling apart in the area along the Rhine, which was actually the natural border between the Empire and the Germanic tribes.
Prosecutors have begun an inquiry into the hobbyist who discovered the treasure because they suspect he may have sold some of it, possibly to a buyer abroad, as it is to be expected.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 1:10 PM /
On the 3rd of July of the year 1035, William the Conqueror became the Duke of Normandy.
William the I, usually known as William the Conqueror was the very first Norman King of England, and his reign went from the year 1066 to his death in 1087. He was a descendant of the Vikings who raided northern France and Settled there, becoming the Normans. William had been duke of Normandy since 1035 under the name of William II. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, and he launched the Norman conquest of England in 1066. William built a large fleet and invaded England, decisively defeating and killing the powerful English Earl, Harold Godwinson. After further military efforts William was crowned king on the Christmas Day of 1066, in London. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, but by 1075 William's hold in England was secure, allowing him to spend the majority of the rest of his reign in the continent. The conquest of William had a profound impact in England, such as changes in the Church, aristocracy, culture and of course, the language of the country persisted into modern times.
Publicada por Arith Härger / 11:22 PM /
Dear friends and followers of this blog, I've just created an Ask.fm
I'm not really familiar with it, yet, but I will get the hang of it. I do get a lot of questions, especially at my facebook page, so I decided to creat an Ask.fm to concentrate all the questions in one place. There are many questions that I receive about the same subjects, it seems there are a lot of people with the same doubts and the same interests, seeking for an answer, seeking knowledge that I might provide. So the Ask.fm is actually a good thing because you can ask me whatever you want even in anonymous, and people seeking the same answers from my part, might take a look. It's a kind of shared information and I am the one who provides de answers, kind of wierd but also very funny. So.. if you want to ask me anything, just go to --> http://ask.fm/ArithHarger
Farewell friends and take care!