guthbrand:

birenza:

Beowulf, everyone’s favourite Geat. (I know Grendel’s arm should be hanging from the ceiling, but whatever. Artistic licence).

Maybe it was just ripped off. Before it was nailed up.

Cool! Though shouldn’t Beowulf have his armor off? Though as noted, it is a bit up in the air exactly when this takes place—maybe he has gotten dressed again. Gorgeous pic in any case, and now I’m imagining what the rest of Grendel would look like in this interpretation…

guthbrand:

birenza:

Beowulf, everyone’s favourite Geat. (I know Grendel’s arm should be hanging from the ceiling, but whatever. Artistic licence).

Maybe it was just ripped off. Before it was nailed up.

Cool! Though shouldn’t Beowulf have his armor off? Though as noted, it is a bit up in the air exactly when this takes place—maybe he has gotten dressed again. Gorgeous pic in any case, and now I’m imagining what the rest of Grendel would look like in this interpretation…

Got this idea while chatting with a friend about a mutual friend who is studying like crazy for some sort of med school entrance exam in Korea (not sure if that’s exactly what it is, or if it’s a bit different), and had to do it—a bit sloppy (esp. that monstrosity of a desk and those crooked books), but if people like it enough I may put together a more polished version to sell as a card on Redbubble—meanwhile you can click through the pic to DeviantArt, where it is already available as a card and some other things. And yeah, I know, not really accurate with the huge leather desk and chair and lack of a computer—it’s more an idealized portrait, eh? ;P 
Did some very tiny adjustments to this today—had to get my mind off of all the horribleness in the news, from children being beheaded in Iraq to Robin Williams’ death. I’m grateful that life goes on here and now for me, but am also keeping in prayer those for whom that is not the case. 

Got this idea while chatting with a friend about a mutual friend who is studying like crazy for some sort of med school entrance exam in Korea (not sure if that’s exactly what it is, or if it’s a bit different), and had to do it—a bit sloppy (esp. that monstrosity of a desk and those crooked books), but if people like it enough I may put together a more polished version to sell as a card on Redbubble—meanwhile you can click through the pic to DeviantArt, where it is already available as a card and some other things. And yeah, I know, not really accurate with the huge leather desk and chair and lack of a computer—it’s more an idealized portrait, eh? ;P 

Did some very tiny adjustments to this today—had to get my mind off of all the horribleness in the news, from children being beheaded in Iraq to Robin Williams’ death. I’m grateful that life goes on here and now for me, but am also keeping in prayer those for whom that is not the case. 

by bookwyrmbound:

The (Tarnished) Silmarillion

Full-leather fine binding of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion. The Two Trees are surface-gilt on the cover in metals that will tarnish, so over time the book will literally reenact their destruction. However the one fruit and flower that became the sun and moon are surface-gilt in gold and palladium, and will stay bright.

The edge decoration, sprinkled gilt and palladium over gouache, depicts the fate of the silmarils: “one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.”

The titling is done in palladium with finishing tools that I made myself, because I couldn’t pass up the chance to use Feanorean letters to title the book where Feanor is one of the central characters.

(longer post about the binding here, written when I originally bound it)

I love this. Bookbinding as not only craft, but intermedial art, with the materiality itself of the piece a part of how it represents one of the central parts of the narrative. 

(via medievalistsnet)

Tove Jansson at 100

Tove Jansson at 100

IMG_2951The great Finnish children’s writer (and illustrator/artist) Tove Jansson was born 100 years ago today! I first ran across her work when finishing up a final semester of undergrad in Lund, Sweden, and have been a fan ever since. As a “finlandssvensk” she wrote in Swedish, but of course her work is available in all sorts of crazy languages.

IMG_2952I was hoping to do an illustration of my own, but I just…

View On WordPress

guthbrand:

Unless Háafell farm in Iceland can make $90K by the end of the month, all of their goats will be slaughtered. That’s half of the Icelandic Goats on Earth! Support them here! Don’t make Ragnar cry!

Was just about to repost this myself, but Guthbrand got to it ahead of me—save the Viking goats! Pass this along to your friends who like Vikings and/or Game of Thrones! (since these goats were apparently featured in the latter). Also, I assume this is the same breed of goat we see occasionally in the Iceland move The Outlaw

scienceyoucanlove:

Who Were the Ancient Bog Mummies? Surprising New Clues

Ongoing research suggests at least two 2,000-year-old corpses had traveled before their deaths.

Christine Dell’Amore in Copenhagen

National Geographic

PUBLISHED JULY 18, 2014

Cast into northern European wetlands, bog bodies have long appeared as opaque to archaeologists as their dark and watery graves. But new clues are coming in the centuries-old mystery of their origins.

Over 500 Iron Age bog bodies and skeletons dating to between 800 B.C. and A.D. 200 have been discovered in Denmark alone, with more unearthed in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. (Read “Tales From the Bog” in National Geographic magazine.)

Much of the bodies’ skin, hair, clothes, and stomach contents have been remarkably well preserved, thanks to the acidic, oxygen-poor conditions of peat bogs, which are made up of accumulated layers of dead moss.

Tollund Man, for example, found in 1950 on Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula and perhaps the most famous bog body in the world, still “has this three-day beard—you feel he will open his eyes and talk to you. It’s something that not even Tutankhamun could make you feel,” said Karin Margarita Frei, a research scientist who studies bog bodies at the National Museum of Denmark.

In Denmark, about 30 of these naturally mummified corpses are housed in museums, where scientists have worked for decades to figure out who these people were and why they died.

Because some bear horrific wounds, such as slashed throats, and were buried instead of cremated like most others in their communities, scientists have suggested the bodies had been sacrificed as criminals, slaves, or simply commoners. The Roman historian Tacitus started this idea in the first century A.D. by suggesting they were deserters and criminals. (See National Geographic’s pictures of bog bodies.)

But ongoing research is uncovering an entirely new dimension: When alive, these people of the bog may have instead been special members of their villages, which in the early Iron Age were loosely scattered across Denmark.

New chemical analyses applied to two of the Danish bog bodies,Huldremose Woman and Haraldskær Woman, show that they had traveled long distances before their deaths. What’s more, some of their clothing had been made in foreign lands and was more elaborate than previously thought.

"You sacrifice something that is meaningful and has a lot of value. So maybe people who [had] traveled had a lot of value," Frei told National Geographic at the Euroscience Open Forum in Copenhagen in June.

Supernatural Portal?

For Europeans dating as far back as the Neolithic period 6,000 years ago, bogs were both resources and possibly ominous supernatural portals, according to Ulla Mannering, an expert in ancient textiles at the National Museum of Denmark.

The bogs’ peat, which could be burned for heating homes, was valuable in tree-scarce Denmark, and an ore called bog iron was made into tools and weapons.

Among prehistoric people, “when you take things, you also offer things,” said Mannering.

This may be why the Danish villagers would deposit “gifts” of clothes, old shoes, slaughtered animals, battered weapons, and, for a period of 500 years, people into the black abyss of the bogs. (Related:"Medieval Christian Book Discovered in Ireland Bog.")

Danish Iron Age cultures left no written records, so their religious beliefs are unknown, Mannering noted.

"Very Fine Lady"

When peat harvesters began accidentally unearthing bog bodies in the mid to late 1800s, many were discovered without clothing, solidifying the view that they had been simple people, Frei said. (Watch a National Geographic Channel video about bog mummies.)

Tollund Man, for instance, was found with a belt but no clothes. “It doesn’t make sense to be naked and have a belt,” Frei pointed out.

Frei wondered, then, if some of the bog bodies’ clothing had dissolved in the bogs over the centuries. So she decided to examine Huldremose Woman, a mummy discovered in 1879 wearing a checkered skirt and scarf, both made of sheep’s wool, and two leather capes.

Using microscopes, she discovered that tiny plant fibers were stuck to the 2,300-year-old woman’s skin—remnants of ancient underwear, which later analyses revealed were likely made of flax.

Next, Frei performed a first-of-its-kind analysis of the strontium isotope contained in the flax and in the wool from the skirt and scarf.

Researchers analyzed the isotopes, or different varieties, of atoms in the strontium preserved in the flax and wool fibers. These atoms provide a chemical insight into the geology of the region where the plant and sheep lived.

The results show that the plant fibers taken from threads of the underwear grew on terrains geologically older than those of Denmark—those typical of northern Scandinavia, such as Norway or Sweden—suggesting that Huldremose Woman may have come from somewhere else, according to research published in 2009 in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Frei also did an analysis of strontium isotopes in Huldremose Woman’s skin. Humans absorb strontium through food and water, and it’s especially prevalent in our teeth and bones—though many bog bodies are found without teeth and bones because of the acidic conditions.

read more from Nat Geo

Nice article on bog bodies—I’m reblogging (almost wrote rebogging) so that I can also mention Karin Sander’s book Bodies in the Bog, which is more about the reception of Bog Bodies in contemporary culture. Which is certainly not to say that thinking about the original status of particular bog bodies is impossible or uninteresting, but their history didn’t end with the bog-burial/sacrifice—they continue to be fascinating in terms of the wake they leave in our contemporary culture and the way they figure into our figurations of our past. Karin was on my dissertation committee, and it was actually in a grad seminar with her on the topic of Word and Image (heavy on interart theory or intermedial theory) that I first wrote on the topic that would become my dissertation (as well as several different conference papers, which I should finally turn into articles…), the Viking age shield poems. My analysis was more exclusively focused on the Viking age past, though… and didn’t have any bog bodies in it.

(via guthbrand)

An Unnatural History of Trolls

An Unnatural History of Trolls

IMG_2833This is sort of a belated review, but John Lindow’s book Trolls: An Unnatural History is out now, and EVERYONE SHOULD BUY IT!!! Seriously, this book, while a solid overview of the topic from a leading scholar in the field of Norse mythology and Scandinavian Folklore, is super accessible (well, as much so as a book can be while still remaining academic in nature). John has always been very at home…

View On WordPress

medievalpoc:

sourcedumal:

note-a-bear:

ooooooh

OOOH LOOK AT THAT HISTORICAL ACCURACY THO

In which fantasy fiction with characters of color is subjected to the “historical accuracy” test and comes out on top once again…

(fyi this is the author of The Throne of the Crescent Moon, which has been featured for Fiction Week previously)

image

Seeing as this has to do with Vikings, I suppose I’m morally obligated to reblog this—plus, in the pop-culture perception of the Vikings, people really tend to play-down the extensive contacts with the Muslim world (I mean, OK, there is 13th Warrior, but I think that’s kind of a complicated and still orientalizing portrayal of things…). Hm, and now that I think about it—Thomas DuBois has a great book on the multi-faith milieu of the Viking age North, in which he primarily covers the interrelationships of Norse, Saami, and Christian beliefs (emphasizing the fact that no culture lives in a vacuum)—can’t remember whether he mentions Islam at all, but it would be interesting to learn more about that. Apart from the issues with our own colonial/post-colonial context, I would imagine that the fact that the main texts we use to study Old Norse mythology were written in the West (Iceland), while it’s the Eastern Vikings from Sweden (the Rus in many sources) who would have had more contact with Islam… (and of course, let’s remember that the word “Viking” is technically not originally an ethnic marker).

(Source: everythingrhymeswithalcohol)

persiannomad:

Asbyrgi (Vatnajokulsthjodgardur National Park, North Iceland)- According to legend, Sleipnir, the Norse god Odin’s eight-legged horse, put one of his hooves down as the god rode by creating the horseshoe-shaped canyon Asbyrgi.

I’ve been here—super beautiful! Though my pics are mostly of a particular moss covered rock that I thought was pretty incredible. 

(via guthbrand)

REBLOG IF YOU’RE AN ARTIST!!!

mommashaus:

scott-ruggels:

ask-raven-the-rabbit:

Professional or not, no matter what art style, I wanna see how many artists are out there.

Yo!

Hi there!

I guess I am supposed to reblog this…