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Negotiating with Death: Special Agreements for the Afterlife Around the World

Death as an entity appears in many cultures across the globe. In the West, this entity is known as the Grim Reaper. In Japan, Death is represented by Shinigami, the Gods of Death. A lesser-known element of stories involving Death is t...

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New Interpretation of the Runestone Inscription Changes View of Viking Age

The Rök Runestone, erected in the late 800s in the Swedish province of Östergötland, is the world's most well-known runestone. Its long inscription has seemed impossible to understand, despite the fact that it is relatively easy to re...

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Who was Boudica — A Legendary Warrior Queen?

Boudica (also written as Boadicea) was a Celtic queen who led a revolt against Roman rule in ancient Britain in A.D. 60 or 61.

As all of the existing information about her comes from Roman scholars, particularly Tacitus and Cas...

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Before Nazis Hijacked the Swastika, It Was Revered as a Symbol of Luck and Charm all over the World

It has long been known amongst historians and anthropologists that humans’ evil actions give meanings or reshape the perceptions of even the most peaceful of the notions and symbols.


Nowhere this fact is more evident ...

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The Secret Lore of London

I love books about the mysteries, myths and magic of London (there’s an alliteration for you). I’ve got quite a collection and I frequently use them to get ideas for places to visit and for things to blog about.

Sometimes I loo...

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Legendary sea monsters of the past may not be myth after al

According to Scandinavian mythology, the Kraken was a giant sea creature (said to be 1 mile long) believed to eat whales and devour entire ships, and generally described as being similar to an octopus or squid. It was first mentioned ...

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The Origins of Norse Elves

Santa Claus, Keebler cookies, and overloaded shelves. If a person speaks of elves, the brain frequently goes to those who work for Santa or Keebler, or those that hide from small kids in the middle of night. All these are their roles ...

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It's Not Just Valhalla Where The Fallen Vikings Go

Folkvangr (interpreted from Old Norse to mean 'field of the people', 'field of the warriors', or 'field of the hosts') is among a few places where the deceased could go to their afterlife in Norse mythology. This area or meadow is tho...

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THE RELIGION OF THE PAGAN ANGLO-SAXONS AND VIKINGS

Introduction

It is difficult to say with any precision what the pagan Anglo-Saxons and Vikings believed during this period. This is due to the lack of contemporary written material. Many people are now familiar with the g...

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What Was Life Like for Women in the Viking Age?

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the role that women played in the Viking Age. Were they warriors, wielding shields and swords alongside the men? Did they go along on the famous Viking voyages, sailing to places as far...

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Archaeologists unearth huge Neolithic ‘Stonehenge’

Another ‘Stone Henge’ even bigger than the world famous heritage site and dating back nearly 5,500 years has been discovered by archaeologists.

First hint of the Neolithic site was unearthed three years ago during construction f...

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Giant Viking Swords are Raised in Memory of a Battle that United Norway

Sverd i fjell (English: Swords in Rock) is a commemorative monument located in the Hafrsfjord neighborhood of Madla, a borough of the city of Stavanger in Rogaland county, Norway. They commemorate the historic Battle of Hafrsfjord tha...

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There’s A Drone Hunting For The Loch Ness Monster

An underwater research drone has discovered a massive creature lurking at the bottom of Loch Ness, rumored home of Scotland’s mythical monster. Unfortunately, it’s just a movie prop.

The Loch Ness monster made a brief appearance...

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A Retired Carpenter Solves a 3000-Year-Old Architectural Mystery

Want to build your own Stonehenge? This retired carpenter has done it, without machinery.

Through the ages, Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England has proven to be a mystery. Many experts have descended upon the architectural masterpi...

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A Saint's Revenge - Edmund of the East Angles

What was it like at the time the story was set?

Life in Anglo Saxon times was often hard and brutal. The area that is now England used to be split up into many smaller kingdoms. The kingdoms were often at war with each o...

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Islamic Ring Found in Viking Grave Sheds New Light on Ancient Ties

The finger ring discovered in a 9th-century Swedish grave, inscribed with Arabic Kufic writing, interpreted as reading “il-la-lah”, i.e. “For/to Allah,” sheds a new light on the ties between the Vikings and the Islamic world....

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Selkies: The Loving Mothers Of Northern Seas

Amorous, affectionate and affable, Selkies are the hidden gems of sea mythology. Gentle spirits who prefer dance in the moonlight over luring sailors to their death, Selkies are usually overlooked by mythological fans for the more ent...

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Witches, Druids and King Arthur by Ronald Hutton

In the first few pages of this book, we learn that the "traditional" Scots kilt was invented by an Englishman in the 1730s, the first "ancient" clan tartans by two English brothers in 1822, and that the Welsh female national costume w...

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The Legend Of The Morbach Werewolf

According to legend, the Rhineland town of Wittlich is said to be the last place in Germany where a werewolf had been killed.

Thomas Johannes Baptist Schwytzer, a supposed deserter from Napoleon’s army and a veteran of the disas...

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Uprooted: On the Trail of the Green Man review: Mythology, sex cults and the triumph of nature

The temple at Hatra in Iraq, destroyed last year, featured a carved figure with an acanthus-leaf beard, a possible prototype of the Green Man. On corbels and ceiling bosses and misericords closer to home, the Green Man appears as eith...

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Can Sweden's Ancient Forest Language be Saved?

Campaigners are pushing for an ancient Viking tongue to be officially recognized as a language in Sweden in the hope that it could help preserve it for future generations.

Elfdalian (Övdalian or Älvdalska) is a North Germanic va...

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Ancient Lore and Magic of Crows and Ravens

Although crows and ravens are part of the same family (Corvus), they’re not exactly the same bird. Typically, ravens are quite a bit bigger than crows, and they tend to be a bit shaggier looking. The raven actually has more in common ...

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Valheim Hof in Denmark, Dedicated to Odin and the Gods

A new temple dedicated to the Norse god Odin and other gods has opened in Denmark.

Is it the first Odin’s temple since the Christianization of Scandinavia, which took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. The year 1188 ...

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Bluetooth: Why Modern Tech is Named After Powerful King of Denmark and Norway

Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson was a King of Denmark and Norway who lived during the 10th century AD. He was responsible for the unification of Denmark. Following this feat, Harald set his sights beyond the borders of his own kingdom, and ...

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