History and future history

I have spent the better half of the day/night/whole weekend working on a paper for my history class. The topic is Crusaders VS  invaders or, The Vikings vs Charlemagne AND why The Vikings were seen as more or less savages that liked to steal land and why Charlemagne and The Franks were seen as some sort of  great hero. In reality both sides did much of the same things-good and bad. The Vikings though, had the disadvantage of not writing their shit down.

Of course, this meant I had to research The Vikings even more than The Franks who were plenty ready to tell me their side of the story. I found later that The Franks didn’t stop there, they wrote down The Vikings side too, which with a somewhat unfair overly judgey quality to it.  (Kind of like kindergarten–but  real weapons were involved instead of supersoakers).

The were several different groups of Vikings but the all originated from the same area: Scandinavia AKA Denmark, Norway and Sweden.  (You probably already know this). Most of what is known about them is either written by another group of people (like The Franks) or is because of artifacts that have been found in contemporary times. Of course, The Vikings spread out (otherwise they wouldn’t have been branded “Viking” which comes from the term “i viking” which means “the man who went plundering”) Some went to Iceland and later Greenland (shouldn’t have killed those men Red) while others went to what is know today as the UK (Sorry, Anglo Saxons–you just can’t seem to stop being taken over.)

BUT as I was doing all this wonderful research, I came across the Met’s website (http://www.metmuseum.org/), and found some  interesting photos of Norse people in 1885–86 who appear to be working on the river. It’s history after history! I love this. It’s so fun to compare early history with later history.  How had they changed since the days of  The Vikings (around a thousand years ago from their time, give or take a few hundred years), How are they the same?

Here a few of my favorite pictures:



medieval terminology I wish I could put into use

I am reading Le Morte D’Arthur for a book report in my history class which of course means I need a dictionary of medieval terminology. This is, of course just as interesting as the book itself. Some of the terms I can’t even imagine needed to use, like Nowed for example, which means Knotted; often applied to snakes or the tails of beasts when tied in a knot.  WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO TIE A BEAST’S  TAIL IN A KNOT? Here are a few more I found highly amusing:

Gorged – Used of an animal wearing a collar, which may be a plain collar or also a wreath or a crown. The unicorn of Scotland is gorged with a crown.

Jamb – The leg of a beast.

Regaurdant – Used of a creature looking back over its shoulder.

Love-day (Dies amoris) – Opportunity given litigants to reconcile differences.