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12

Interesting question. Firstly, it's impossible to know for certain how the traditional round shield was used, but we can make a number of assumptions based on evidence from literature (the sagas), the archaeology of construction and wounds suffered in battle and by looking at later fight books such as MS I.33, Talhoffer's duelling shields etc. Taking the ...


10

I found at least one source that advances the notion that Crichton is referencing a source who had an agenda, and may have exaggerated for effect. Ahmad ibn Fadlan wrote about his visit to the Rus: § 84. Every day they must wash their faces and heads and this they do in the dirtiest and filthiest fashion possible: to wit, every morning a girl ...


8

I passed the question to Cathy Raymond. Although she does not earn her living in either history or in textiles (due, I suspect, to her preference for a non-gruel based diet), I've read her research for a couple of years, and I've come to trust her opinion. One of the reasons I place faith in her opinion is that after answering the question, she offered the ...


7

This is a complex matter (some authors like Delbruck thought that the classical numbers are very inflated) but one may point out to logistics - classical states were much better able to extract and stockpile resources (human and material) than high medieval polities with their fragmented political authority and erratic currency. As for the Romans' ...


7

There have been several travels in boats reconstructed from the relevant times. One that I can find good records of is the boat known is Aifur. It travelled in 1994 from Sigtuna in Sweden to Novgorod. This took 41 days. In 1994, the Aifur crossed the Baltic Sea and sailed up the rivers Neva and Volkhov to Novgorod. Distance covered was 1382 km. The ...


4

There is only one account of Vikings tying boats together in battle, and that is in the battle of Svolder. The boats were not burned, so there are no records of this Vikings burning a "ship island". That's the actual answer. The rest here is a somewhat speculative expansion: Tying your ships together is a defensive tactic, used because you can in practice ...


3

Supposedly he is based on Ragnar Logbrock, a ruler mentioned in several works of Old Norse poetry and Sagas. You can think of him as sort of a Viking King Aurthur figure. I won't go into any of his supposed exploits, so as to not potentially "spoil" the future show for you. However, if you want you can read up on it on the wiki page I linked. The original ...


3

There is some various "evidence", but all of it is of such low quality or shaky provenence that they are generally considered fakes. For example, we have the Heavener Runestone, in Oklahoma. The writing scheme employed, Elder Futhark runes, were used far before the other Viking excursions into North America, and two of the runes are incorrect. There are a ...


3

I have attempted to do research on the history of Kubb, and although there are claims of people having played games called Kubb before 1990, sometimes as far back as the early 20th century, none of these can be verified, and certainly no description of such a game and it's rules survive. The first commercial Kubb games appeared on Gotland in the late 1980's ...


2

Óengus Olmucaid was a high king of Ireland who also conquered and ruled Scotland in approximately 1000 BC. Around the time of Jesus there was a large emmigration to Albion (Western Scotland) at which time the kingdom of the Dal Riata was firmly established. Later Scottish rulers invariably descend at least in part from this kingdom, the Kings of the Dal ...


2

The ritual bowl is not uncommon in Germanic tribal culture. Even in modern settings communal washing bowl would not be considered disgusting (participated myself in Iraq) Most of us are more unnerved by the nose blowing etc. I have seen it suggested that Ahmad ibn Fadlan, might not of seen them emptying the bowl. Regardless, Arabs of the time only ...



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