Confirmation that bones found in a tomb in Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany, are of a Saxon princess, the oldest English royal remains to be found. The bones are part of the body of the Saxon princess Eadgyth, the granddaughter of King Alfred the Great, who died more than 1,000 years ago.
The tomb where they were found was first investigated in 2009, but it was then believed the bones had been moved. Two years ago German archaeologists opened the tomb, expecting it to be empty, but found it contained a lead box with the inscription, “The remains of Queen Eadgyth are in this sarcophagus”. The bones were inside, wrapped in silk.
The latest techniques have been used by experts from the University of Mainz and the University of Bristol to analyze the bones and some teeth found in the upper jaw. It was discovered they belonged to a female who died aged between…
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While historians of Christianity have generally acknowledged some degree of Germanic influence in the development of early medieval Christianity, Russell goes further, arguing for a fundamental Germanic reinterpretation of Christianity. This first full-scale treatment of the subject follows a truly interdisciplinary approach, applying to the early medieval period a sociohistorical method similar to that which has already proven fruitful in explicating the history of Early Christianity and Late Antiquity. The encounter of the Germanic peoples with Christianity is studied from within the larger context of the encounter of a predominantly “world-accepting” Indo-European folk-religiosity with predominantly “world-rejecting” religious movements. While the first part of the book develops a general model of religious transformation for such encounters, the second part applies this model to the Germano-Christian scenario. Russell shows how a Christian missionary policy of temporary accommodation inadvertently contributed to a reciprocal Germanization of Christianity.
Norway today is a very Christian country. The king sits at the head of a national church, supported by the state, and most Norwegians–although they might not attend every Sunday service–will be baptised, confirmed, married, and buried under its aegis. At the same time, however, contemporary Norwegian society remains not only aware, but also proud of its pre-Christian forebears, the pagan warriors and seafarers who populate the saga literature and skaldic verse. These legacies–Christian and pagan–have played an enduring role in the shaping of a Norwegian national identity, and point to the importance of the Middle Ages to the texture of Scandinavian history.
The Middle Ages itself, and the 10th-13th centuries in particular, were a time of great change in northern Europe, as previously pagan lands began the slow process of Christianisation and adopted cultural norms from the Christian heartlands. In the area which would become Norway, exposure to Christianity…
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In 1903 a farmer close to the Norwegian city of Tønsberg – a large city in the Viking age – stumbled over part of a Viking ship from around 834. The ship was used in a burial and was almost in one piece when it was found. Two women were buried there and speculations have run wild as to whom these two women were. There is no doubt that they – or at least one of them – were rich since they`ve eaten plenty of meat all their lives. Poorer people ate more fish.
Woman from the Middle East?
There is a bit of debate about one of the women and whether she was old and rich as well or if she was younger and possibly a slave. I think the latest research has concluded that both women were older and rich. An interesting side-story is how one test showed…
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I suppose this qualifies as one of my occasional ‘non-Scottish’ blogposts as it doesn’t deal with places or events in Scotland. There is, however, a slight Scottish connection, because the main event referred to here marked a significant milestone in the career of Oswiu, king of Bernicia, whose realm included parts of what are now Lothian and the Borders.
We begin with the words of an Englishman, the Venerable Bede, writing c.730 at the Northumbrian monastery of Jarrow. In Book 3, Chapter 14 of his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Bede tells us that two northern English kings prepared to do battle with one another in the summer of 651. One was Oswine, ruler of Deira, a kingdom roughly coterminous with the pre-1974 county of Yorkshire. The other was Oswiu of Bernicia, whose territory lay north of the River Tees and whose chief citadel lay on the imposing…
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Today we came across a new-to-us website, which looks of great interest to those interested in King Harold II, the last Anglo Saxon King of England. It is called Secrets of the Norman Invasion, and is all about a suggested alternative Sussex site of the Norman invasion and battlesite. It says:-
“This blog is to keep people up to date with what is happening at the investigations that are taking place in Crowhurst and at Upper Wilting Farm, where the Normans landed and fought the most famous battle in history. This unique heritage site is World Heritage Site potential, now under threat again from the development of the A259 link road.
Archaeological investigation is taking place at the site, and a large number of artefacts have been found. The site is threatened by a proposed road development. There is also a book called The Secrets Of The Norman…
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