I’ve spent my fair share in churches in different seasons and watched as sunlight touched the windows and fell inside. Sometimes, I would squint my eyes as the beam reflected on the white walls of a modern church. At others, I’d watch the dust specks frolick around in the soft light of the beam falling on ancient walls and flagstones. Here’s a fine read on medievalists.net about the architecture and location of churches – especially in Eastern Europe – related to the use of sunlight!
Here’s a question: can anyone draw me a Viking driving a bike with a helmet? Or better yet, a Viking with a bicycle helmet on? This idea popped in my head after watching an advertisement by the Danish Road Safety Council. This is really a fantastic and hilarious short film!
There is a new article with an overview of studies into the Viking Age from the past decades. It is non-exhaustive, but gives a fine general overview how new discoveries or insights have helped to expanding existing knowledge about Vikings and their place within the early medieval world. The article is in Open Access and can be read here: J. Lund, S.M. Sindbæk, ‘Crossing the Maelstrom: New Departures in Viking Archaeology.’ In: Journal of Archaeological Research (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10814-021-09163-3. There is also a summary on Medieval Histories.
Get goin’! The Galloway hoard is finally on display at the National Museum in Edinburgh! Of course, mind any Covid-19 regulations still in place. But at least, we can visit museums in person again! Read more about the Galloway hoard on The Viking Age Archive.
Here is a small and enjoyable piece based on The Orkneyinga Saga‘s Sweyn Asliefsson who apparently lived in Lambaborg in Caithness, Scotland. This tale might be devoid of any facts whatsoever, but don’t let that deter you to simply enjoy a good story! 🙂 Read The John O’Groat Journal and Caithness Courier.
Here’s a story about a fifteenth century illuminated prayer book. These books were very popular among the elite at the time and there several exquisite examples survive until today. One particular example was commissioned by a duchess and included her portrait. She gave it to her daughter, but when the daughter and her child died, the husband inherited the book. And what the Duke of Brittany did then… he must have thought ‘never waste a good book’. Detective work with infrared has revealed that the portrait in the book was repainted with the image of his new wife, Isabella Stuart! Read more on LiveScience and see the book on Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.