Norse culture is famously shrouded in mystery, where loose ends lay everywhere, and the archeological world is beyond curious about finding the truth behind their daily and religious practices. There must be a distinct understanding of what it meant to be a Norseman and what other civilizations influenced and molded their culture. They existed as a group of people settling from their migrations as Germanic tribes up into the creeks and mountains of Scandinavia.
Let us take you back in time for a minute. The era is roughly between 500 and 800 C.E., called the Scandinavian Iron Age, and Roman influences are leaving a mark on these Scandinavian tribes that had migrated north from Germanic regions. The trading, warring, and interaction with these Romans passed on the beliefs and myths of their Roman pantheon to the Northmen, thus evolving over the centuries into the Norse gods we know today.
Then, between 800 and 1100 C.E., the Viking Age was in full throttle. Ships were built, warriors were made, trades were finalized, and slaves were sold. The seas were the roads to new worlds, to riches, to new languages, and to a new god. Christian influence started taking hold both within Scandinavian kingdoms, introducing politics and economy, and within the many Viking settlements, it also affected social and religious life.
The truth is that Norse history is a Sudoku puzzle. Bits and pieces try to fit into place in historians’ minds, but it’s almost impossible due to our obvious lack of context. That makes the incredible mystery even more intriguing as there is so much more to learn and discover each time!
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