historical-nonfiction:

Meet Snorri Sturluson, a renowned 13th century Icelander.
he was born a commoner, but raised by a relative of the Norwegian family
Snorri received a good education and when the time was right married into a cheftainship and estate
by this time, he had gained some renown as a gifted poet
Snorri  was elected lawspeaker for the Althing, the only public office in Iceland — and a position with considerable respect
by royal invitation, Snorri traveled to Norway. King Haakon piled the man with gifts,  and Snorri thanked him by writing poems glorifying the young king’s reign
when he returned he was re-elected lawspeaker, mainly due to his fame as a poet
King Haakon wanted to join with Iceland, and as a chieftain Snorri initially favored the idea. But he changed his mind, famously telling Hakon “I will go home”
Snorri’s“Heimskringla” the best-known of the Old Norse sagas, tells the stories of Norwegian kings and in the 1900s became seen in Norway as establishing an ancient national identity

Snorri a commoner? WTF? As another reblogger has pointed out, he came from one of the most powerful families in Iceland (certainly aristocratic, even if not related to a, let’s be clear, still foreign king). Those interested in a more thorough academic discussion of this guy, whom we on the one hand tend to imagine as a disinterested scholar, but who is on the other hand portrayed as a pretty cutthroat politician (and who died hiding in a cellar), ought to check out Kevin Wanner’s book on Snorri. I’m pretty fascinated with Snorri myself (my dissertation and much of my later work has revolved around his Edda to some degree), but I really appreciate how Wanner is able to flesh him out as more of a real person, complicated and embedded as a self-interested figure within his own political context, just like the rest of us. Be warned, there is a bit of theory (most centrally Bourdieu’s work) involved…

historical-nonfiction:

Meet Snorri Sturluson, a renowned 13th century Icelander.

  • he was born a commoner, but raised by a relative of the Norwegian family
  • Snorri received a good education and when the time was right married into a cheftainship and estate
  • by this time, he had gained some renown as a gifted poet
  • Snorri  was elected lawspeaker for the Althing, the only public office in Iceland — and a position with considerable respect
  • by royal invitation, Snorri traveled to Norway. King Haakon piled the man with gifts,  and Snorri thanked him by writing poems glorifying the young king’s reign
  • when he returned he was re-elected lawspeaker, mainly due to his fame as a poet
  • King Haakon wanted to join with Iceland, and as a chieftain Snorri initially favored the idea. But he changed his mind, famously telling Hakon “I will go home”
  • Snorri’s“Heimskringla” the best-known of the Old Norse sagas, tells the stories of Norwegian kings and in the 1900s became seen in Norway as establishing an ancient national identity

Snorri a commoner? WTF? As another reblogger has pointed out, he came from one of the most powerful families in Iceland (certainly aristocratic, even if not related to a, let’s be clear, still foreign king). Those interested in a more thorough academic discussion of this guy, whom we on the one hand tend to imagine as a disinterested scholar, but who is on the other hand portrayed as a pretty cutthroat politician (and who died hiding in a cellar), ought to check out Kevin Wanner’s book on Snorri. I’m pretty fascinated with Snorri myself (my dissertation and much of my later work has revolved around his Edda to some degree), but I really appreciate how Wanner is able to flesh him out as more of a real person, complicated and embedded as a self-interested figure within his own political context, just like the rest of us. Be warned, there is a bit of theory (most centrally Bourdieu’s work) involved…

(via guthbrand)

lauradaman:

Gamla Uppsala and Eriksleden

A little north of the city centre of Uppsala there is a site with ancient burial mounds and a tiny old church.

This was actually the original location of the medieval Uppsala, until they decided to move it 6km further in the 13th century, on the river bank. Or when St Erik was slayed here and his decapitated head supposedly rolled 6 km further to the site of the Uppsala cathedral. And for centuries after that they walked all the way to this tiny church every year with the relics of St Erik along a path that still exists today. 

I came to watch the burial mounds: there are three massive ones and then a few dozen smaller ones. They only know they came from the viking era and some important people were buried there, but most of them were never excavated. It is a pretty mighty sight though. 

I walked the St Eriks trail back to the city centre. The first half is in beautiful green landscapes with a whole lot of running, biking and pram-pushing Swedes along it. The second half leads through the outskirts of the city along the river to the cathedral. But I lost my way as soon as I got between the houses. Orientation… But in the end I made it to the centre and rewarded me with a little cheap dinner by the water side before taking my train back. 

Gamla Uppsala is quite a special place and the trail only took me about 40 minutes, so it’s a great walk to make if you’re there!

Pre-Viking era, actually (age of Migration or whatever you want to call it), but yeah, I love seeing the burial mounds whenever I’m in town (and I LOVE the Odinsborg restaurant there—they’ve got some great mead, and it’s always really empty when I visit). Alas, I haven’t been in Sweden for ages now—going to have to get back there soon, somehow…

(via guthbrand)

guthbrand:

The word viking does not mean pirate: from Old Norse víkingr, from vík ‘creek’ or Old English wīc ‘camp, dwelling place’.
‘Vig’ in danish is the inlet where the viking ships gathered. I’m danish, so I should know. ;)

Well davidbeatnick, I never said Viking just means pirate, that was someone I…

Since I assume it is my blog post that is being referred to here, let me clarify that “viking” meaning pirate is in reference to the way the word “víkingr" is used in Old Norse texts, or more specifically, Old West Norse texts from Iceland and Norway round about the 1200s and 1300s, including places where the Latin pirata (pirate) and related words were explicitly glossed as equivalent to víkingr. The origin of the word is still debated, which was one of the points of my blog post (which in turn was loosely related to some of my work when I was a grad student around 2006 or so—at the time I wrote the blog post I was revisiting an old conference paper for my current work on Cultural Memory theory and Old Norse literature). While the “creek” or “camp” suggestions certainly have a lot going for them, there are some other ideas out there too—I particularly like Eldar Heide’s idea, which I reference at the end of the blog post. (also, I’m assuming davidbeatnick’s comment “I’m danish, so I should know…” refers to knowing the modern Danish definition of “vig”, rather than implying that being Danish grants magical insight into proto-/Old Norse or Old English…)

All that said, it is a bit unfair of me to just say “VIKING MEANS PIRATE” as though that were the only authentic meaning throughout history—the question of origins highlights precisely the fact that different meanings have been dominant throughout history, and in fact may be complicated by non-Scandi origins, as the potential Old English origin for the word suggests. “Viking” as “Viking age Scandinavian” is as valid for the contemporary English speaker as “Pirate” was for the 13th century scribe. I say “Viking = Pirate” primarily as a way to highlight the fact the fact that, while for English speaking countries the word tends to be used to mean ALL Viking age Scandinavians, it had a much more specific referent in Scandinavian languages of the time—though I confess that my research focused on the literary West Norse of the Middle Ages, and didn’t really work much with the evidence from older rune stones or older skaldic verse (most surviving rune stones and skaldic verse are medieval rather than Viking age, but the older stuff is great!). I think the picture is potentially different there, but I had a more particular thesis relating to the sagas that I was focused on, and all this is stuff that I haven’t had time to really think about for a while now, so I’m afraid I don’t have details for ya’ll at the moment… would like to return to it one day though.

 

Science Fiction and Progress

I’ve just run across Neal Stephenson’s Hieroglyphs project, and it sounds pretty cool to me. The project page is…

Talk like a Viking day! Here is my post from a couple years back on my other blog. And remember, the word Viking means Pirate in Old Norse

Moving to LA
Hey folks, sorry for the lack of posts lately—earlier in the month I got a last-minute one-year position at UCLA teaching Swedish and a few other things for this year, and I’ve been pretty taken up with trying to get ahead on this translation so that I have less to stress about when I get down there and start teaching.
EDIT EDIT EDIT: Oh man, I totally accidentally wrote 2012 on the side instead of 2014. Not sure how that happened… I will correct it ASAP, but gotta run for now!  NEW EDIT: OK NOW IT IS FIXED!!!

Moving to LA

Hey folks, sorry for the lack of posts lately—earlier in the month I got a last-minute one-year position at UCLA teaching Swedish and a few other things for this year, and I’ve been pretty taken up with trying to get ahead on this translation so that I have less to stress about when I get down there and start teaching.

EDIT EDIT EDIT: Oh man, I totally accidentally wrote 2012 on the side instead of 2014. Not sure how that happened… I will correct it ASAP, but gotta run for now!  NEW EDIT: OK NOW IT IS FIXED!!!

victoriaying:

And caught up! #7daysofcolor green #fashionillustration #art

More Green!!! Oh man, I like this color too much (and the artwork is good too). 

victoriaying:

And caught up! #7daysofcolor green #fashionillustration #art

More Green!!! Oh man, I like this color too much (and the artwork is good too). 

Quick sketch to de-stress on Saturday during a very stressful day. Like, 2 minutes? Five minutes? I just have no idea with these quick n dirty sketches. Oh well. This is on the back of a program, not in a moleskine, but I did use my handy-dandy pen brush! 
So I may do a more formal announcement at my wordpress blog at some point, but I just got a last-minute offer (which I accepted) to teach at UCLA for the year (Swedish plus some other random courses, like Norse mythology this Fall), so I have had NO TIME for anything except working like crazy to finish this translation and figuring out the move and where I’ll live and what I need to teach and all, so you probably can’t expect much art from my for a bit… that said, I think I’m realizing just how much art helps me de-stress, so maybe I’ll find some time for some quick stuff like this! 

Quick sketch to de-stress on Saturday during a very stressful day. Like, 2 minutes? Five minutes? I just have no idea with these quick n dirty sketches. Oh well. This is on the back of a program, not in a moleskine, but I did use my handy-dandy pen brush! 

So I may do a more formal announcement at my wordpress blog at some point, but I just got a last-minute offer (which I accepted) to teach at UCLA for the year (Swedish plus some other random courses, like Norse mythology this Fall), so I have had NO TIME for anything except working like crazy to finish this translation and figuring out the move and where I’ll live and what I need to teach and all, so you probably can’t expect much art from my for a bit… that said, I think I’m realizing just how much art helps me de-stress, so maybe I’ll find some time for some quick stuff like this! 

victoriaying:

#7daysofcolor day 4, green!

And here is her other Green pic. GREEN I LOVE GREEN!!!

victoriaying:

#7daysofcolor day 4, green!

And here is her other Green pic. GREEN I LOVE GREEN!!!

victoriaying:

#7daysofcolor #green I’ve been reading/ watching outlander and wanted to do something inspired by it

I’ve been enjoying Victoria’s 7 days of color pieces—I meant to reblog her previous “green” entry, since it is my FAVORITE color and it was a really cute one, but was in a rush and didn’t—still in a rush, but here is this one! 
And sorry I haven’t had time to do any new pics on my own—lots of big developments professionally lately, so I’ll have to post about that later…

victoriaying:

#7daysofcolor #green I’ve been reading/ watching outlander and wanted to do something inspired by it

I’ve been enjoying Victoria’s 7 days of color pieces—I meant to reblog her previous “green” entry, since it is my FAVORITE color and it was a really cute one, but was in a rush and didn’t—still in a rush, but here is this one! 

And sorry I haven’t had time to do any new pics on my own—lots of big developments professionally lately, so I’ll have to post about that later…