Broddetorpaltar. Gilded copper altar (c. 1150) Ascension Source: Stat. Hist. Mus., Stockholm

Ascension of Christ

Luke tells us that Christ ascended into Heaven after Easter. From the 4th century, a feast was celebrated, while artists began to depict the Ascension….

Gymnicher Ritt in 2023-© Manfred Schnuis

Christ’s Ascension in Gymnich

Each year, on the Ascension of Christ, the traditional “Gymnicher Ritt” takes place in the Gymnich in Nord-Rhein-Westphalia in Germany ca. 13 km outside Cologne…

Edouard Jerome Paupion Les Rogations. Wikipedia

What are the Rogation Days?

Rogationtide was an early medieval ritual invented in the 5th century to perform the communal character of the Christian congregation. The obligatory participation literally conformed the congregation by staging three days of processions and communal fasts

Harold's Coronation. From The Bayeux Tapestry 1066-1080. Source: Wikipedia/myrabella

Medieval Kings and Kingship


What were medieval kings and kingship? And how might their history shed light upon the upcoming coronation in Westminster in May 2023? Read more

Stone of Destiny © Historic Environment Scotland

A Great Stone, on which the Kings of Scotland Used to be Crowned


The Stone of Destiny, also known as the Stone of Scone, is an ancient symbol of Scotland’s monarchy, probably used since the 10th century in the inauguration of its kings. As such, the stone is unique owing its preservation to Edward I, who seized the symbolically charged Scottish symbol in 1296. Read more

God the father resting. The Egteron genesis 14th century. BL: Egerton MS 1894, fol 1v

The Medieval Landscape as a Pastoral Christian Cosmos


The essence of the medieval Christian landscape was encapsulated in the idea of the beloved place of pleasure, Paradise Read more

Lien by Slettestrand at Jammerbugten in Denmark © Schousboe 2021

The Frightening Landscape in Northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages


During the first millennium, northern and eastern Europe was sparsely populated and devoid of anything but wilderness. How did it feel to live in this medieval world? Read more

The Atalantic Coast west of Lisboa © Schousboe 2015

Medieval Europe in a Physiographical Sense


Turning the map of Europe upside down, we see a peculiar peninsula on either side surrounded by the Mediterranean and the Baltic, from where it struts into the Atlantic Ocean. Read more

Kongelunden - a salt meadow in Denmark, Source: Wikipedia/Jens Cederskjold 3.0

Medieval Landscapes – Two Points of View


How did people in the Middle Ages view their surroundings? What was their idea of a livable world? Which part was sacred? What profane? And what was wilderness? Did they even think of their world inside these dichotomies? Read more

Sheep grazing in Iceland. © Pisit Rapuitpunt/Dreamstime 122080619

Viking Women Spinning the Yarn of History


In the Old Norse poem “Darraðarljoð” from Njál’s Saga we hear of the Valkyries—Óðin’s female warrior spirits—weaving the cloth of history and deciding the fates of men and nations. New book explores the very real and practical role of women played in the North Atlantic culture and economy  Read more

Box brooch from Gotland worn by Harold Blutooth's Sorceress © National Museum of Denmark/Arnold Mikkelsen CCBYSA

The Völva – The Norse Sorceress


Old Norse literature offers us a handful of strange and disturbing poems. One of these, the Völuspa, continues to haunt even modern-day readers by lifting the veil to a strange world where women held their own. A new book out in May explores this world in depth Read more

Norwegian Fjordhest ©Visit Nordfjord

Horses and dogs accompanied the Vikings on their raids to England in the 9th century.


Strontium analyses of cremated remains of a Viking and his hound and horse demonstrate he arrived from Norway or Sweden accompanied by his animals. Read more

Viking Exhibition with objects from the post-Viking Age. Copenhagen 2021 © Schousboe

What to do with the Vikings?


A review of two major new Viking exhibitions in Stockholm and Copenhagen, raises the question of how to impart knowledge of the Viking Age to the interested public. Read more

Fenrir on the Tullatorpstone c. 1000 © Sven Rosborn CC

The Wolf and the Vargr in Early Medieval Scandinavia

When did the war on wolves commence? Only in the later Middle Ages, it appears. On the contrary, poetry, sagas, onomastics, and pictorial art were rich in the motif of the wolf and the man and their myriad metamorphoses

Wild Animals attacking domestic animals from Stuttgarter Psalter c. 840, Cod Bib 23, f 117c. CCO

Why was the Medieval Wolf Hunted to Near Extinction?

Roman and Germanic people revered the wolf in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. So why did a pernicious hate of one of Europe’s few remaining predators supersede the veneration in the Early Middle Ages?

European Wolf. Source Hippopx CC0

Hunting Wolves? Or Run with Wolves in the Ancient Norse Manner?

This January, more than 200 hunters from Sweden, Denmark and Norway went on a blood-curling wolf hunt in the Swedish Forests. Might we be inspired by old and new literature to rethink?

Gotlands Rus. Source: Wikipedia

Animals and Animated Objects in the Early Middle Ages


Animals played a large role in Early Medieval Northern and Central Europe animating all from art to religious thinking. Upcoming book tells about burial customs, gravegoods, ornamental art styles and shapeshifting Read more

Wolves from the Rochester Bestiary © British Library Royal MS 12 F. xiii, f. 29 (CC)

Beowolf and other Wolves in Old English Texts


In the Middle Ages, two views of the wolf – as the emblem of the heroic warrior or the embodiment of the devil – fought over people’s minds. A new book explores this complex set of narratives as it unfolds in Early Medieval Literature in England. Read more

Drawing of the Ramsund carving from c. 1030, illustrating the Völsunga saga on a rock in Sweden. Source: Wikipedia

Werewolves – a Key to understand the Old Norse World of Wilderness?


The Old Norse idea of wilderness, landscapes and human beings differed radically from that of Latin and Christian Europe. A new study of ten narratives about wolves in the Old Norse-Icelandic poems, sagas and other texts offers valuable insights into this half-forgotten and complex world Read more

Gerald of Wales: Topographia Hibernia Fron: Royal MS 13 B VIII, fol 17 © British Library

Werewolf Histories


Werewolves are not a distinct species nor a common European literary motif. Rather the idea of the werewolf constitutes a collection of histories or genres differing through time and space. Read more

New Research

Five golden Bracteates from the Migration Period found at Råde in Østfold. Østfold Fylkesmuseum/Marte Bek

Bracteates as Part of Rituals


Bracteates were thin golden sheets stamped with North West Germanic motifs. A recent overview shows how they were included in various rituals in Northwestern Europe ca. 400-600. Read more

Bracteate from Vindelev with Odin Inscription c. Ad 450-490 © Vejlemuseerne

The Oldest Odin Inscription in the World Discovered among the Vindelev Gold


In December 2020, an impressive hoard of gold bracteates, pendants and a scabbard mount was discovered. Dated to c. AD 335-540, the hoard is unique. Recently, the Runic inscription on one of the bracteates was deciphered, presenting us with the earliest Odin inscription. Read more

New Research about Mikulčice in Greater Moravia


Mikulčice was a Slavic settlement from the 9th century. With the remains of fortifications, a palace, twelve churches, a huge acropolis and extensive suburbs, it continues to yield new insights into the early history of Moravia Read more

Daursky Nature Reserve in the southern part of the Zabaykalsky Krai in Siberia, Russia, close to the border with Mongolia. SOPURCE: Wikipedia/Nnjjkk11

How can we Hide from Climate Changes?


What Happens During Rapid Climate Changes? What can we learn from History? Read more

Minor News

Bayeux Tapestry Scene by Scene


NEWS: Discover the entire Bayeux Tapestry scene by scene and follow online the 70 meter-long embroidered canvas which tells the story of the conquest of England in 1066. Read more

Volcano. Source: Wikipedia

Environmental Change in the Middle Ages Project Receives a Considerable Grant


How resilient are people when met with sudden and terrifying climatic changes? New project at Durham University aims to carry out groundbreaking research into the resilience – or lack thereof – in the Mediterranean Early Middle Ages Read more

The reconstructed medieval chruch in Söndra Råda in Wärmland in Sweden © Mimmi Göllas

Medieval Church in Södra Råda in Sweden Rebuilt


This Whitsun, Södra Råda Church in Värmland in Sweden will be re-inaugurated. The aim of the reconstruction of the burnt-down medieval treasure was to learn how a church was built in the 14th century. Read more

Winchester Cathedral © Visit Winchester

Winchester Town and Cathedral


The history of Winchester reaches back into prehistory. From an Iron Age oppidum, it changed into the Roman town. Later, it turned into one of the most important cities in Anglo Saxon and Early Medieval England Read more

New Books

Icelandic horses posing in front of a volcano spewing ash. © Sugurdur Brynjarsson/Dreamstime

Climate Upheavals and a Transformed Earth


Hurdling along the abyss, humanity in the Anthropocene seems to be reaching the point of no return. A new book tells our global history from the beginning to the foreseeable collapse. The questions asked are: How did we get there? And what mistakes did we make on the way? Read more

Reindeer in Finland. Dreamstime/Moori

Norse-Saami Relations in the Medieval Period


Who were the Saami? And what was the dynamic character of the relationship between the Saami and the Norse Peoples? New book aims to decolonise the perspective.  Read more

The Earth Transformed – An Untold Story


We live at a time when climate and nature feel like staging a cataclysmic revenge. In this groundbreaking book, Peter Frankopan, tells the hitherto untold story of how mankind was always in a cosmic battle most of us were doomed to lose Read more

Networking in Late Medieval Central Europe


Late Medieval Society buzzed with entanglements between merchants, religious people, students, artists, and diplomats. What role did kinship, friendship and coupling play for networks? New Book explores letters, account books and other sources Read more

River ferry © Deutsches Schiffartsmuseum

How did People in the Middle Ages Cross Major Rivers?


How to cross a major river? Do you look for at ford? Or do you negotiate with the local ferryman? And who regulates their business? New books seeks to answer these questions as regards the German rivers, Neckar and Main.  Read more

Drawing of the Ramsund carving from c. 1030, illustrating the Völsunga saga on a rock in Sweden. Source: Wikipedia

Werewolves – a Key to understand the Old Norse World of Wilderness?


The Old Norse idea of wilderness, landscapes and human beings differed radically from that of Latin and Christian Europe. A new study of ten narratives about wolves in the Old Norse-Icelandic poems, sagas and other texts offers valuable insights into this half-forgotten and complex world Read more

Sir Gawain from the only manuscript with the poem, Cotton Nero A x. © British Library, Open Domain

Who wrote Sir Gawain and the Green Knight?


The famous chivalric romance of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight continue to capture our imagination with its stories of a hero on a famous quest. New book claims to identify the author. Read more

The opening of William of Malmesbury’s Gesta Regum Anglorum (Deeds of the Kings of the English), British Library, Cotton MS Claudius C IX, f. 18r © British Library

The Diversity of Historical Writing in the Long Twelfth Century


Medieval Chronicles in the twelfth Century held texts representing a wide variety of literary forms. A new book explores the diversity of historical writing produced and copied during the long twelfth Century Read more


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