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Red runes carved from wood on the ground. There are 24 runes in the Elder Futhark.

Futhark: Mysterious Ancient Runic Alphabet of Northern Europe

Runes are the characters of the earliest written alphabet used by the Germanic peoples of Europe called Futhark. The runic alphabet was used within Germanic languages but primarily in Nordic...
Victory over the Muslims at the Battle of Tours marked the furthest Muslim advance and enabled Frankish domination of Europe for the next century. Source: Bender235 / Public Domain.

The Franks, Charlemagne, and the Forging of Europe

The earliest histories of many European nations are firmly rooted in the ancient periods of migrations – when all sorts of tribes traveled from their homes in search of new grounds for settlement...
The legendary Kobolds

Don’t Cross the Kobolds: Mischievous Spirits of European Folklore

In ancient folklore, the kobold is a small, pointy-eared, goblin-like creature with a short-temper and a mischievous spirit. While generally described as well-intentioned, angering a kobold is said...
A fight between a Roman and a Germanic warrior.

Raiders of Hispania: Unravelling the Secrets of the Suebi

In the 5th century AD, the reign of the Roman Empire in the west came crashing down with a series of barbarian invasions. Visigoths, Franks , and other groups laid waste to the villas and cities of...
Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Over the past two centuries, Europe has become increasingly secular. Scholars in fact no longer talk of the Christian West when they speak of Modern Europe and North America, but of the Secular West...
Remains of 82 individuals have be recovered from the Alken Enge site.

Finds from Alken Enge Provide New Perspective on ‘Barbaric’ Germanic Tribes

Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark have made a remarkable discovery concerning the human remains of Alken Enge, Jutland. A study published by PNAS that the size of barbarian armies in Iron...
Burnt skeletons found at excavations in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Three Burnt Skeletons: Gruesome Evidence of Gothic Fires that Razed a 3rd Century Bulgarian City

Everywhere they turned they saw flames. The two adults didn’t know where to seek safety…if not for themselves at least for the three-year-old child they desperately wanted to protect. Yelling,...
Artist's rendering of the hof, a pagan temple, in Uppsala, Sweden.

The Heathen Hof: Resurrecting a Germanic Pagan Temple

A heathen hof, also referred to as a Germanic pagan temple, is the name given to a place of worship in the Germanic religion. These were pre-Christian temples found in various parts of Northern...
The engraved whetstone found in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Karen Langsholt Holmqvist/NIKU

Puzzling Medieval Runes Found on Stone in Norway

A rare find of a stone bearing engravings of runes that date back to the Middle Ages has been unearthed recently at an excavation near Oslo. The relic is a whetstone which was a tool used for...
Sack of Rome’ by Karl Briullov. (1833-1836) in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. This painting is showing the Vandal king Gaiseric sacking Rome

Va-Va-Vandal: The Life and Times of Gaiseric, the Vandal King of North Africa

Meet one of the most important late antiquity kings you’ve never heard of: Gaiseric (a.k.a. Genseric), a Germanic kinglet who transformed his tribal affiliations into a massive realm in the 5th...
‘Meadow Elves’ (1850) by Nils Blommér.

The Diverse Nature of Elves in Norse Myth: Beings of Light or Darkness?

Santa Claus, Keebler cookies, and overloaded shelves. When one speaks of elves, the mind most often goes to those who work for Santa or Keebler, or those which hide from little children in the middle...
The Exceptional Story of the Kovel Spearhead, Who Made it and Where is it Today?

The Exceptional Story of the Kovel Spearhead, Who Made it and Where is it Today?

In 1858, a farmer plowing a field near Kovel in the old administrative unit Volhynia (what is now Ukraine), discovered an iron spearhead with an intriguing inscription and lavish ornamentation. Soon...
Were the Merovingians Descended from a Monster? Meet the Quinotaur

Were the Merovingians Descended from a Monster? Meet the Quinotaur

You’ve probably heard of a Minotaur (half-man, half-bull), but what about a Quinotaur? In early Frankish history, there was a “beast of Neptune,” which was said to look like a creature called a...
On the Origins of the Runes - Symbols, Mysteries and Magico-religious Concepts

On the Origins of the Runes - Symbols, Mysteries and Magico-religious Concepts

One of the most shrouded mysteries of the rune alphabet is its early history. As a matter of fact, no-one really knows how the Elder Futhark came to be. We know that the runes exist and were used by...
A view of Lindholm Høje.

Buried for One Thousand Years: The Eerie Graveyard of the Vikings

Lindholm Hoje is an ancient graveyard of the Vikings that had been lost for one thousand years, buried beneath thousands of tons of sand. As many as 700 burials, along with the remains of settlements...
The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age

The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age

The existence of mystery schools in the Viking Age (800-1200 CE) is deduced from myth and folklore. The poems of the Edda display the structure and content of cultic texts used within the framework...

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