Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
Bavarian Raven

The Vikings (TV series)

201 posts in this topic

Well hey, for now you are our go to guy... Hail to Jenkins!!!

So now you must tell us of Viking sacrifices. What do you know?

Yes, there were human sacrifices committed by the Vikings at least according to the famous literary account written by Adam of Bremen in 1070 who gathered this information from second hand sources, it is this account that served as the very basis of the depiction in the television series. Here is what Adam of Bremen wrote: These people have a celebrated sanctuary called Uppsala, not very far from Sigtuna and Birka. In this temple, entirely covered with gold, are three idols which the people worship: Thor, as the mightiest god, has his throne in the centre of the hall, and Odin and Frey are on either side of him. Their fields of actions are the following: Thor, it is said, rules the air - thunder, lightning, storm, rain, fine weather, and the crops. The second, Odin, is the god of war, who inspires men with courage to fight their enemies. The third is Frey, who gives mankind peace and sensuous pleasures. His idol, therefore, they endow with a mighty phallus. Odin is represented as armed, in the fashion of Mars; the sceptred Thor resembles Jupiter. Sometimes these people also elevate men to the status of deities, and endow them with immortality as a tribute to some great achievement of theirs - the reward, according to St Ansgar's biography, which was bestowed upon King Eric. Attached to the gods are priests who offer the people's sacrifices. If sickness or famine threaten they sacrifice to the idol Thor; if war, to Odin; and if a wedding is to be celebrated they sacrifice to Frey. There is also a festival at Uppsala ever nine years, common to all the provinces of Sweden. Attendance at this event is compulsory and it is the universal practice for kings and peoples and everyone to send offerings to Uppsala and - a cruel thing - those who have become Christians may secure exemption on payment of a fine. The sacrifice on this occassion involves the slaughter of nine males of every creature, with whose blood the gods are placated. The bodies are hung in a grove near the temple, a sanctuary so holy that each tree is regarded as itself divine, in consequence of the death and decay of the victims. Dogs and horses hang there beside human beings, and a Christian has told me that he has seen as many as seventy-two carcasses hanging there side by side. By the way, it is said that the songs sung during the ceremony are numerous and obscene, so that it is better to say nothing about them.According to Johannes Brondsted (whose book The Vikings was last revised in 1965 I beleive) and still considered one of many leading authorities on Vikings today states archeaological and literary sources provide some information yet still little is known about the forms of worship of these deities or about their temples. Edited by B Jenkins
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot comment yet ,as I have only watched the first episode . The rest are waiting for me.

If no one has caught any of the details ,Gustav Skarsgard ,brother of Alexander Skarsgard,is the main characters brother (I don't know all their names yet) ,and the show is the brain child of the guy that brought us The Tudors and The Borgias .

And I agree. The wife is very cool .

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot comment yet ,as I have only watched the first episode . The rest are waiting for me.

If no one has caught any of the details ,Gustav Skarsgard ,brother of Alexander Skarsgard,is the main characters brother (I don't know all their names yet) ,and the show is the brain child of the guy that brought us The Tudors and The Borgias .

And I agree. The wife is very cool .

Welcome to the fold and catch up quick as I don't think there are enough of us to do the spoiler thing, although I certainly will if you want us to.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the site is as slow as molasses in January. So I have been reduced to mostly lurking.

Anyways, Adam of Bremen and his second hand sources have to be taken with a healthy dose of scepticism. But all of the viking books I own when I looked into the index under sacrifices all cite Adam of Bremen's account of human sacrifice by the vikings as their singular textual source. Was this abit of Christian blood libel against the vikes or is there genuine truth?

But it is evident the very same source the series used.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the site is as slow as molasses in January. So I have been reduced to mostly lurking.

Anyways, Adam of Bremen and his second hand sources have to be taken with a healthy dose of scepticism. But all of the viking books I own when I looked into the index under sacrifices all cite Adam of Bremen's account of human sacrifice by the vikings as their singular textual source. Was this abit of Christian blood libel against the vikes or is there genuine truth?

But it is evident the very same source the series used.

The site is fine on my router. Possibly you have a malware problem or some other issue. Feel free to PM me and I'll try and help as I am pretty good with the computer stuff.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The site is fine on my router. Possibly you have a malware problem or some other issue. Feel free to PM me and I'll try and help as I am pretty good with the computer stuff.

Thanks, I'll shoot you a PM shortly.

Back to the topic at hand, two 10th Century Arab ambassadors and chroniclers wrote about Rus (traders of Swedish origin) funeral rites involving human sacrifices, this first account occurred on the river Volga in 922 AD:

§ 87. I heard that at the deaths of their chief personages they did many things, of which the least was cremation, and I was interested to learn more. At last I was told of the death of one of their outstanding men. They placed him in a grave and put a roof over it for ten days, while they cut and sewed garments for him.

If the deceased is a poor man they make a little boat, which they lay him in and burn. If he is rich, they collect his goods and divide them into three parts, one for his family, another to pay for his clothing, and a third for making intoxicating drink, which they drink until the day when his female slave will kill herself and be burned with her master. They stupify themselves by drinking this beer night and day; sometimes one of them dies cup in hand.

Alt: They burn him in this fashion: they leave him for the first ten days in a grave. His possessions they divide into three parts: one part for his daughters and wives; another for garments to clothe the corpse; another part covers the cost of the intoxicating drink which they consume in the course of ten days, uniting sexually with women and playing musical instruments. Meanwhile, the slave girl who gives herself to be burned with him, in these ten days drinks and indulges in pleasure; she decks her head and her person with all sorts of ornaments and fine dress and so arrayed gives herself to the men.

When a great personage dies, the people of his family ask his young women and men slaves, "Who among you will die with him?" One answers, "I." Once he or she has said that, the thing is obligatory: there is no backing out of it. Usually it is one of the girl slaves who do this.

§ 88. When the man of whom I have spoken died, his girl slaves were asked, "Who will die with him?" One answered, "I." She was then put in the care of two young women, who watched over her and accompanied her everywhere, to the point that they occasionally washed her feet with their own hands. Garments were being made for the deceased and all else was being readied of which he had need. Meanwhile the slave drinks every day and sings, giving herself over to pleasure.

§ 89. When the day arrived on which the man was to be cremated and the girl with him, I went to the river on which was his ship. I saw that they had drawn the ship onto the shore, and that they had erected four posts of birch wood and other wood, and that around the ship was made a structure like great ship's tents out of wood. Then they pulled the ship up until it was on this wooden construction. Then they began to come and go and to speak words which I did not understand, while the man was still in his grave and had not yet been brought out. The tenth day, having drawn the ship up onto the river bank, they guarded it. In the middle of the ship they prepared a dome or pavillion of wood and covered this with various sorts of fabrics. Then they brought a couch and put it on the ship and covered it with a mattress of Greek brocade. Then came an old woman whom they call the Angel of Death, and she spread upon the couch the furnishings mentioned. It is she who has charge of the clothes-making and arranging all things, and it is she who kills the girl slave. I saw that she was a strapping old woman, fat and louring.

When they came to the grave they removed the earth from above the wood, then the wood, and took out the dead man clad in the garments in which he had died. I saw that he had grown black from the cold of the country. They put intoxicating drink, fruit, and a stringed instrument in the grave with him. They removed all that. The dead man did not smell bad, and only his color had changed. They dressed him in trousers, stockings, boots, a tunic, and caftan of brocade with gold buttons. They put a hat of brocade and fur on him. Then they carried him into the pavillion on the ship. They seated him on the mattress and propped him up with cushions. They brought intoxicating drink, fruits, and fragrant plants, which they put with him, then bread, meat, and onions, which they placed before him. Then they brought a dog, which they cut in two and put in the ship. Then they brought his weapons and placed them by his side. Then they took two horses, ran them until they sweated, then cut them to pieces with a sword and put them in the ship. Next they killed a rooster and a hen and threw them in. The girl slave who wished to be killed went here and there and into each of their tents, and the master of each tent had sexual intercourse with her and said, "Tell your lord I have done this out of love for him."

§ 90. Friday afternoon they led the slave girl to a thing that they had made which resembled a door frame. She placed her feet on the palms of the men and they raised her up to overlook this frame. She spoke some words and they lowered her again. A second time they rasied her up and she did again what she had done; then they lowered her. They raised her a third time and she did as she had done the two times before. Then they brought her a hen; she cut off the head, which she threw away, and then they took the hen and put it in the ship. I asked the interpreter what she had done. He answered, "The first time they raised her she said, 'Behold, I see my father and mother.' The second time she said, 'I see all my dead relatives seated.' The third time she said, 'I see my master seated in Paradise and Paradise is beautiful and green; with him are men and boy servants. He calls me. Take me to him.' " Now they took her to the ship. She took off the two bracelets she was wearing and gave them both to the old woman called the Angel of Death, who was to kill her; then she took off the two finger rings which she was wearing and gave them to the two girls who had served her and were the daughters of the woman called the Angel of Death. Then they raised her onto the ship but they did not make her enter the pavillion.

Alt. After that, the group of men who have cohabitated with the slave girl make of their hands a sort of paved way whereby the girl, placing her feet on the palms of their hands, mounts onto the ship.

The men came with shields and sticks. She was given a cup of intoxicating drink; she sang at taking it and drank. The interpreter told me that she in this fashion bade farewell to all her girl companions. Then she was given another cup; she took it and sang for a long time while the old woman incited her to drink up and go into the pavillion where her master lay. I saw that she was distracted; she wanted to enter the pavillion but put her head between it and the boat. Then the old woman siezed her head and made her enter the pavillion and entered with her. Thereupon the men began to strike with the sticks on the shields so that her cries could not be heard and the other slave girls would not seek to escape death with their masters. Then six men went into the pavillion and each had intercourse with the girl. Then they laid her at the side of her master; two held her feet and two her hands; the old woman known as the Angel of Death re-entered and looped a cord around her neck and gave the crossed ends to the two men for them to pull. Then she approached her with a broad-bladed dagger, which she plunged between her ribs repeatedly, and the men strangled her with the cord until she was dead.

§ 91. Then the closest relative of the dead man, after they had placed the girl whom they have killed beside her master, came, took a piece of wood which he lighted at a fire, and walked backwards with the back of his head toward the boat and his face turned toward the people, with one hand holding the kindled stick and the other covering his anus, being completely naked, for the purpose of setting fire to the wood that had been made ready beneath the ship. Then the people came up with tinder and other fire wood, each holding a piece of wood of which he had set fire to an end and which he put into the pile of wood beneath the ship. Thereupon the flames engulfed the wood, then the ship, the pavillion, the man, the girl, and everything in the ship. A powerful, fearful wind began to blow so that the flames became fiercer and more intense.

Alt: After the girl is slain, two relatives of the dead take brands and set the ship on fire, so that the dead man and the ship are shortly burned to ashes. If in this moment a wind blows and the fire is strengthened and the ashes are dispersed, the man is accordingly one who belongs in Paradise; otherwise they take the dead to be one unwelcome at the threshold of bliss or even to be condemned. When two people among them quarrel and the dissention is prolonged and the king is unable to reconcile them, he commands that they fight with swords; he who wins is right.

Ibn Fadlan

The second account was by an Arab writer:

When one of their notables dies, they make a grave like a large house and put him inside it. With him they put his clothes and gold armlets he wore and, moreover, an abundance of food, drinking bowels, and coins. They also put his favourite wife in with him, still alive. Then the grave door is sealed and she dies there.

Ibn Rustah

Archaeological evidence found at the Birka (eastern Sweden) grave sites and the grave mounds of Chernigov (northeast of Kiev) lend support to these accounts.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the director of one of the most iconic action films ever, Die Hard, comes this Viking adventure film that mixes abit of Ibn Fadlan with the Beowulf legend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFLwCNH-eRs

Note: Mods feel free to delete if copyrights are an issue.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the site is as slow as molasses in January. So I have been reduced to mostly lurking.

Anyways, Adam of Bremen and his second hand sources have to be taken with a healthy dose of scepticism. But all of the viking books I own when I looked into the index under sacrifices all cite Adam of Bremen's account of human sacrifice by the vikings as their singular textual source. Was this abit of Christian blood libel against the vikes or is there genuine truth?

But it is evident the very same source the series used.

That's a good point. The same kind of thing might hold true for the first chronicles of invading Germanic tribes from the continent. Was Gildas the first Briton to record their entry into England? He may or may not have exaggerated their alleged behavior, but it's possible that he embellished barbaric acts.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot comment yet ,as I have only watched the first episode . The rest are waiting for me.

If no one has caught any of the details ,Gustav Skarsgard ,brother of Alexander Skarsgard,is the main characters brother (I don't know all their names yet) ,and the show is the brain child of the guy that brought us The Tudors and The Borgias .

And I agree. The wife is very cool .

I didn't know that. I watched both "The Borgias" and "The Tudors", and I watched the first two seasons of "True Blood". Alexander Skarsgard makes a great vampire. He was a Viking when he was turned into a blood-drinker.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished episode 5 .

THIS SHOW KICKS ASS !

It's a conundrum dealing with the plundering ,and still rooting for them ,but you just do. Love Rollo and the priest ,and the plot is very cool so far. First two episodes sort of warm you up,and then its full steam ahead .

Don't spoil yet ,I'm catching up !

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang the Norse had amazing pregnacy tests it seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spoilers...

...I like how Ragnar's brother has turned tail in the latest episode :D anyone else think it's for real (or part of a plot Ragnar set up before hand?). Eitherway, cool episode. Was it the season final?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spoilers...

...I like how Ragnar's brother has turned tail in the latest episode :D anyone else think it's for real (or part of a plot Ragnar set up before hand?). Eitherway, cool episode. Was it the season final?

Good point. Considered that myself. It could be Ragnor setting him up just like he played the English king. Ragnor knows that his bro is jealous of him and he's obviously no fool but his bro has said some shady stuff to the old jarls wife about Ragnor. It's a tough call.

And yes, season finale and will return in 2014 hopefully with more episodes. The history channel really turned to crap with the MTV model of ditching what the channel was made for in favor of stupid reality shows. Hopefully with the success of quality shows like this and the bible series H.C.'s future will be quality shows based on history.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read that the Vikings were shorter than modern European men. They were between 5'6 and 5'8. Yet, contemporary chroniclers from Mediterranean areas wrote that they were beautiful physical specimens as tall as trees. People, in the rest of the known world, must have been incredibly short!

This is true according to the remains found of the Norwegians and Danes. However, the Swedes were a different story according to Johannes Brondsted:

The Swedish material (skeletons) is too insignificant to permit any general conclusions, but it appears that the Swedish Vikings were taller than the west Norse ones - a difference which can still be seen in Scandinavians today, and which confirms Arabic statements about the exceptional height of the Rus.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is true according to the remains found of the Norwegians and Danes. However, the Swedes were a different story according to Johannes Brondsted:

The Swedish material (skeletons) is too insignificant to permit any general conclusions, but it appears that the Swedish Vikings were taller than the west Norse ones - a difference which can still be seen in Scandinavians today, and which confirms Arabic statements about the exceptional height of the Rus.

The Swedes must have been the giants of their time. I never read that they were taller than the Danes and the other northern Europeans, so your information was new to me. The Frisians were extremely tall, for the times, too. I read that ordinary "barbarians" were appreciably taller than Romans.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloody finale. Just when it was getting great. Damn it. :no: Ok, I have something to look forward to while the Bills head for 2 and 14 this season.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloody finale. Just when it was getting great. Damn it. :no: Ok, I have something to look forward to while the Bills head for 2 and 14 this season.

Episode 9 is the finale ?

That's all I see ...

Check it :

, On April 5, 2013, History renewed Vikings for a ten-episode second season.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Episode 9 is the finale ?

That's all I see ...

Check it :

, On April 5, 2013, History renewed Vikings for a ten-episode second season.

Yes, Episode 9 was the finale. :tu:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only 9: episodes....wtf . I think Psych did the same thing ...wwahfhhhhhhhfffrr....

And I must make a correction. I thought the character Rollo was Gustav Skarsgard .

Serious faux pas. Floki is Gustav Skarsgard .

These Skarsgard boys are in everything .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only 9: episodes....wtf . I think Psych did the same thing ...wwahfhhhhhhhfffrr....

And I must make a correction. I thought the character Rollo was Gustav Skarsgard .

Serious faux pas. Floki is Gustav Skarsgard .

These Skarsgard boys are in everything .

Floki is one of my favorites as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only 9: episodes....wtf . I think Psych did the same thing ...wwahfhhhhhhhfffrr....

And I must make a correction. I thought the character Rollo was Gustav Skarsgard .

Serious faux pas. Floki is Gustav Skarsgard .

These Skarsgard boys are in everything .

I mistakenly thought that the actor in "King Arthur" was one of the Skarsgard boys. I thought that Sweden had their own version of the Baldwins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mistakenly thought that the actor in "King Arthur" was one of the Skarsgard boys. I thought that Sweden had their own version of the Baldwins.

No, you are right Stellan Skarsgard (King Arthur fame) is the father of Gustav Skarsgard. Gustav has a few brothers that have broken into the film industry too.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, you are right Stellan Skarsgard (King Arthur fame) is the father of Gustav Skarsgard. Gustav has a few brothers that have broken into the film industry too.

Skellan has been acting for decades. He didn't seem to get his big Hollywood break until Pirates of the Carribean . Now he's in Thor Marvel series.

Alexander is in True Blood of course ,but I'm hearing he may die off this season . Gustav s now Floki ,and John is in Hemlock Grove .

I think that's it for the Skarsgards that act,and they are much much cooler than the Baldwin's .

.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

No, you are right Stellan Skarsgard (King Arthur fame) is the father of Gustav Skarsgard. Gustav has a few brothers that have broken into the film industry too.

Thanks for the information! Sweden has their own Bridges or Fondas. Is he related to the man who stars in "True Blood"? If so, that's quite a Scandinavian dynasty of thespians.

ETA: My question was answered. I posted this before I read Simbi's message.

Edited by Detective Mystery 2013
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to see this show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.