Robin Hood’s Thyng

Topographical and magnetometry surveys are being completed today at a site in Sherwood Forest which a 200 year old document identified several years ago to be the ancient Thyng assembly site known as Thynghowe. References to Thynghowe go back to the 1200s in Nottinghamshire but its location was uncertain. The site is crowned on Hanger Hill by three standing stones, and may also be a bronze age burial site. The survey is a first step to doing archaeology work on the site, so it should be interesting to watch.

I can only imagine the fun re-enactor living near by a site like this could have.

New Tolkien book

Fans of JRR Tolkien already know that his love of language led him to seek the roots of his native English in Anglo Saxon verse and Norse saga. Many of his scholarly investigations were published. As someone who loves ancient history, works like Tolkien’s ‘Beowulf and the Finnesburg Fragment‘ 1940, and ‘Beowulf: The Monsters and The Critics’, 1939 are of special interest to me. Tolkien was known to be a perfectionist who would constantly tweak and rewrite sections of whatever he was working on (a publishers nightmare), and as a result, a considerable amount of work remained scattered about his office in an unfinished state at the time of his death in 1973.
Continue reading “New Tolkien book”

We still worship Odin on the Yule

Although most Christians are really only comfortable with the story that Santa Claus was really ‘St. Nicholas’ (of Turkey), it seems obvious to me that the current mythology behind Santa Claus is at least in part a survival of the pagan Viking belief in Odin. This doesn’t fit well with Santa’s arrival near Christmas, and so, has been fairly well disguised over the years. Odin, the ‘AllFather’ of the Viking (Norse) pantheon would occasionally take human form and leave his comfortable abode in Asgard to mingle with men (and women) in Midgard (the land of men) often as a grey bearded old man. On the Jule (Yule) or the Winter Solstice which is the longest night of the year, he would ride his 8 legged horse Sleipnir across the sky in a great hunt. Children would leave their boots out filled with carrots and straw for Sleipnir to eat, and Odin would reward the children for their kindness by replacing the offerings with gifts or candy.

Odin on Sleipnir
Odin on Sleipnir
From the 18th century Icelandic manuscript NKS 1867 4 now in the care of the Danish Royal Library.
Continue reading “We still worship Odin on the Yule”

Animated Bayeux Tapestry

I have a nice copy of the Tapestries in book form and have always enjoyed reading through them, but they never came to life for me quite like this. Brilliant work!

Did you catch all the sound effects from Warcraft in there?