Tag Archives: History

Viking Stuff – Two New Updates in One Week!

The iamintellectuallypromiscuous.com web nerd found TWO Viking-stuff updates in the news this week. Excerpts below, with links to the original awesomeness. Check ’em out!

Norsemen voyages

Territories and Voyages of the Norsemen
photo from Wikipedia Creative Commons

Heavener Runestone

One believer transformed a local curiosity into proof of Vikings on the Great Plains


 Not everyone, however, is convinced Norsemen sailed up the Arkansas River to the Great Plains nearly 500 years before Columbus came to America. Others speculate that the runestone was carved by someone on the French explorer La Salle’s expedition in the 17th century, or by a Swedish captain during a period of 18th-century French colonization. Still others believe the rock may be a hoax created by a 19th-century Scandinavian farmer. Skeptics point out that there are no other remaining artifacts of Vikings in Oklahoma, although similar runestones have been found in Poteau, Shawnee, and Tulsa.

Image by www.mightyheaton.com

Image by www.mightyheaton.com
Heavener Runestone Inscription

Old Arabic texts describe dirty Vikings

Arabs who encountered Scandinavians who had journeyed eastward depicted them as handsome people but filthy and barbaric.


They are the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures: they do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food.

The Arab writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan noted the above after meeting Viking travellers around a thousand years ago.

The Icelandic historian Thorir Jonsson Hraundal has studied comments about what we call Vikings in original texts by Arab historians and geographers. The texts described Arab encounters with Scandinavians in areas around the Caspian Sea and the Volga River.

Their depictions differ radically from images of fearsome Viking conquerors handed down from the British Isles and France in the same era.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

The Polish painter Henryk Siemiradzki painted the funeral ritual of Vikings in what is now Russia, in accordance with descriptions by Ahmad ibn Fadlan. New analyses show that his and other Arabs’ texts are excellent sources of cultural knowledge about the Vikings who ventured eastward. (Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons)



Boxing Day 12/26. What the Heck is Boxing Day?

Mental Floss explains the whys and wherefores of Boxing Day, December 26.


Boxing Day

Relax, Hallmark conspiracy theorists. Boxing Day isn’t some prank to confuse America—it’s a real holiday! Here’s how the world celebrates.

Boxing Day is observed every year on December 26. Before it took on its feistier name, the holiday was known as St. Stephen’s Day.
Many historians think the holiday’s name is derived from the church practice of opening alms boxes the day after Christmas and distributing money to the poor.
Historically, British employers followed the church’s lead by sliding workers and servants gifts or cash on December 26. Merchants tossed servants a few coins, too, for bringing in a household’s business.
Read the full text here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/157828#ixzz2GEHohyLS
–brought to you by mental_floss!