Mapping Viking DNA in Normandy


Vikings Invading Normandy

The Vikings invaded and colonized Normandy and now scientists are looking for DNA traces. (Photo illustration: «Vikings», History Channel)

British scientists have started to collect DNA samples from Frenchmen to learn more about Viking colonization of Normandy.

– The aim is to learn more about the intensity of the Scandinavian colonization in the 9th and 10th centuries, says Richard Jones, senior history lecturer at the University of Leicester to

The team is also searching for Viking roots amongst residents in three areas of Britain.

Norwegian Vikings

The British researchers collect DNA from a hundred volunteers on the Cotentin Peninsula, also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, in Normandy.

Historians believe many Norwegian Vikings settled down in the area, although most Vikings in Normandy were Danish.

According to, the French volunteers have been chosen because they have surnames that are of Scandinavian origin or that have been present in…

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Serves: 4-6
  • 1 1/3 pounds ground beef (I used 85/15)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 8 slices bacon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and set an oven proof rack over the top of the foil. This helps the grease drip away from the meatloaf.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire, and McCormick Smokehouse Maple seasoning. Mix (with hands) until well combined. Shape into a loaf and set on top of the wire rack.
  4. In a small bowl, combine ketchup and brown sugar. Spoon over the top of the meatloaf.
  5. Lay the bacon out in a lattice pattern on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, and then flip it over onto the top of the meatloaf, tucking the sides under.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then slice and serve.

Thanks to Julie at Lovely Little Kitchen.

Why (did) the Vikings call Jesus, the White Christ?

The term for “White Christ” (White Christ) or  Hvítakristr  . entered into currency among the heathen pagan Icelanders in time and Christian religions were in conflict with each other  a direct reference is made ​​to this in  Flateyjarbók  : ”  without your Thann Sid hafa, taka nafn af Theim Gudi, er their will Trua, er heitr Hvítakristr.  “
That the Christian God was called  Hvítakristr  it was originally probably due to the fact that the newly baptized converts were required to wear white clothes (  i hvítaváðum  ) during the first week after baptism.
The adjective  hvítr  when applied to Christ was not to describe their physical appearance. At a time in the development of Old Norse, the term was used of both sexes to designate someone who was blond and / or pale-complected.
However, the Viking Age, the term  hvítr  had acquired a pejorative connotation. To call a man  hvítr  was say he was cowardly, effeminate, and guilty of  ArgR  . (See article on homosexuality among the Vikings for more information on the term  ArgR  and how it was related to the concept of cowardice by the Vikings). A related phrase was saying, “Your liver is white,” meaning once again, a coward … that is almost identical to modern English usage, “coward” with the same meaning. (Modern usage also uses “yellow” in this sense.)
In contrast to the peace-loving  Hvítakristr  , which was considered by a pagan warrior culture to be effeminate or cowardly, the Vikings revered his manly, virile god Red Thórr, red not only for its red beard and flashing red eyes, but also for blood pouring a warrior.

The conflict between pagan and Christian views crystallized around the dichotomy  Hvítakristr  and Red Thórr, becoming a recurring theme in events saga near the time of conversion, as in this poem

contempt for Steinunnn, mother Chorus Gestasson, describing how Thórr sank the ship from a Christian priest, Thangbrand, showing Steinunn Christ thus was the weakest God:

Þórr Bra Þvinnils dýri
Þangbrands or Stad Longu,
hristi Bord beysti ok
ok bards Laust við Jordu;
munat skid hum SAE Sidan
sundfært Atals grundar,
hregg því in hart Tok leggja,
hanum kennt, í Spânu.
[Thórr altered the course of Thangbrand
horse long Thvinnil   1  ,
he threw and hit
the board bow   2  and broke
it to solid ground;
the Atall bedding ski   3
shall not be later floating in the sea
as the gale disastrous caused by it all chipped in kindling.
Braut fyrir bjollu gæti
(bond Raku val strandar)
mogfellandi mellu
móstalls vísund allan;
hlífðit Kristr, Tha er kneyfði
knorr, málfeta varrar;
Litt hygg ek in Gud Gaetti
hreins Gylfa in einu.
The killer’s relatives’ ogresses   4
sprayed completely bison mew perch-   5
bell Guardian   6
(the gods chased the stallion chain   7  )
Christ did not take care of step sea tile   8
when the cargo-boat disintegrated;
I think God -kept
reindeer Gylfi   9  at all.
  1. long horse Thvinnil  = ship Thangbrand
  2. Plank bow  of the ship =
  3. floor Atall  = sea,  sea ski  = ship
  4. kin ‘ogresses  = giant,  giant-killer  = Thórr
  5. mew-perch  = sea,  bison March  = ship
  6. guardian bell  = the priest, ie Thangbrandr
  7. steed shed  ship =
  8. tile step-sea  ship =
  9. Reindeer Gylfi  = ship

It was during this period of conflict between religions that Thórr hammer amulets, Mjollnir, the increase in popularity as ornaments, perhaps in response to Christians weraing the symbol of the cross. Jewellers were still hedging their bets by making foundry molds crosses and Thórr hammer simultaneously, as shown by this mold soapstone tenth century, found in Trendgården, Jutland, Denmark.

Other amulets were hybrids representing the cross and the hammer simultaneously as the silver pendant, found near Fossi Iceland, shown below.
The pejorative sense that was connected to  hvitr  was not associated with other words meaning white, including  bjartr , “brilliant”,  bleikr,  “wan, pale” or  ljóss  , “light”.
This is a post from Celtic-Viking

Honey Mead/Wine

Midsummer is rapidly coming upon us.  It’s a nice time of year to enjoy some homemade mead.  I have never made any flavor of mead before but I understand this is an easy recipe to follow.

Basic Mead

Yield: Makes about five gallons, which should fill 53 twelve-ounce bottles.


  • 12 to 18 pounds of grade-A honey
  • 4 1/2 gallons of tap or bottled water
  • 8 grams (1/4 ounce) of freeze-dried wine, champagne, or dedicated mead yeast


Note on equipment:

Making mead requires essentially the same basic kit necessary to brew beer at home: primary and secondary plastic-bucket fermenters with air locks and spigots, transfer hosing, a bottle-filler tube, heavy bottles, bottle caps, bottle capper, and a bottle brush and washer. You should be able to find these items for approximately $70 total (excluding the bottles) through a home-brewing supplier, such as The Home Brewery. Bottles cost from $6 to $20 per dozen, depending on style. You might instead buy a couple of cases of beer in returnable bottles, drink the beer, and  — after sanitizing them!  — reuse those bottles, for the cost of the deposit.

All your equipment must be sanitized or sterilized before use. Ordinary unscented household bleach does the job fine. Put all the equipment (including the lid and stirring spoons) into the fermentation bucket, fill with water, and add 2 teaspoons of unscented bleach. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Drain the water through the spigot, rinse everything in hot water, and allow to air-dry.

For the entire recipe visit EPICURIOUS.

Pirogues With Jarlsberg Cheese And Ham / Norske Piroger



For the dough:

150 ml /5 fl. oz. lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar
7 g / ¼ oz. sachet fast-action dried yeast
450 g / 1 lb. plain flour, plus extra for dusting
170 ml / 6 fl. oz. milk
2 tsp. salt
35 g / 1¼ oz. butter, melted
1 free-range egg
1 tbsp. oil, for greasing the tray
1 egg, beaten, for glazing and sealing
For the filling:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200 g / 7 oz. boiled, smoked ham, chopped
100 g / 3½ oz. Jarlsberg cheese, grated
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. caraway seeds
flaked sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

First make your starter mixture for the dough. Pour the lukewarm water into a bowl, add the sugar and yeast, then stir in 100 g / 3½ oz. of the flour. Mix well and leave the mixture to rise for 2–3 hours.

[2] Add the milk, salt, the rest of the flour, and the butter and egg then knead the mixture into a relatively firm dough. Leave it to rise for 2 hours.

[3] Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook gently for about five minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another two minutes. Stir in the ham, cheese, parsley and caraway seeds, then season to taste and set aside to cool.

[4] Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F/ Gas 6.

[5] Roll out the dough thinly on a floured surface and cut out 12 small circles. Use a glass if you don’t have a pastry cutter. Place a spoonful of filling on to one half of a pastry circle, then brush the edges with the beaten egg, and fold the pastry over to enclose the filling. Squeeze the edges together and brush again with the beaten egg. Fill the rest of the circles in the same way.

[6] Place the pirogues on a greased baking tray and bake them for 12–15 minutes until golden.

Thanks to The Hairy Bikers at recipereminiscing.

Happy Lindisfarne Day!


June 8, 793
Viking raiders sack Lindisfarne Abbey

On June 8th, 793 CE, Viking raiders sacked and pillaged the monastery on the isle of Lindisfarne, an act that historians mark as the “official” start of the Viking Age. There had actually been a few raids in the years prior to this act but some scholars believe that this raid was unique because it may have been an act of revenge for Charlemagne’s brutal campaign of genocide and forced conversion in Frisia. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has this to say about the raid:

“In this year dire forewarnings came over the land of the Northumbrians, and miserably terrified the people: these were extraordinary whirlwinds and lightnings, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air. A great famine soon followed these omens; and soon after that, in the same year, on the sixth of the ides of Ianr, the havoc of heathen men miserably destroyed God’s church on Lindisfarne, through rapine and slaughter.”

So hoist a drink high and drink to the memory of the brave adventurers who would terrify Europe for nearly 300 years as they changed the world forever!

Nice posting at  An Ásatrú Blog by 



The Norsemen were well known in northwestern Europe as peaceful and respectable traders, at least for several hundred years prior to 800AD. But in the late 700’s this peaceful activity evolved into plundering raids instead. The Vikings started to attack and plunder monasteries, towns and areas along coastlines. In the year 793 they attacked the Lindisfarne monastery and in the following year the Jarrow monastery.
Many theories have been launched concerning why the Vikings started with the plundering raids. Since the 1930’s, recommended books studying this question have maintained that over population was responsible for this activity. Later, this theory was supplemented with an explanation to the effect that there was also a spirit of adventure and a need for discovery.

Torgrim Titlestad, while discussing the issue in a book (Titlestad, Kampen om Nordvegen, 1996) , has suggested an alternative explanation. He has maintained that the Vikings were not beset by vulgarity, brutality or voracity; thereby becoming brutal murderers and rapists – so called “galloping coarseness”. First, he shows that The Vikings did not surpass their contemporaries in Europe in vulgarity and brutality. If anything, it was to the contrary. For example, The French king, Charlamange (Karl the Greate) (747 – 814 AD), cut off the heads of 4500 Saxons in one day. He first had them baptized, so their souls could find salvation before being decapitated. (These Saxons were executed because they didn’t accept the Christian faith).

Read the rest of this interesting article written by Bryan at Ásatrú World.


Rite of Night

Gods of Asgard! I call to you at this day’s end! Custodians of the ancient mysteries! Mighty in your dwelling! Guardians of Midgard! Hail to thee whose beneficial spirits instruct and direct our folk!

Consecrated from the higher realms, many are your manifestations! Divine in your essence! Grant me now the power of your presence! Bestow upon me dreams of meaning and the memory to recall them!

Release me of all malice and ill intent! Strike down all evil thought that would work its powers against me! Grant me strength and endurance to do thy work and that work which is for the better good of our folk and Nature! Safeguard my home and family until daylight’s rebirth!

May tomorrow, by your grace, find me wiser and my joy in the universe still greater! Wipe free my brow of all worry and discontent! Circle your deep powers to protect me! By these words I pledge myself unto your divine trust and to no other gods!

(from the book “Temple of Wotan”, written by Ron McVan )

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Balsamic, and Parmesan


Roasting brings out amazing flavors in fresh green beans and mushrooms!

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Balsamic, and Parmesan

(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced in 1/2 inch slices (I used brown crimini mushrooms, but any mushrooms will work)
1 lb. fresh green beans, preferably thin French style beans
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 T finely grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450F/230C. Wash mushrooms and let drain (or spin dry in salad spinner, which is what I did.) While mushrooms are drying, trim ends of beans and cut beans in half so you have bite-sized pieces. (An easy way to trim them is to gather a small handful of beans, stand them up on cutting board, holding loosely so they will fall down and have ends ends aligned, then trim. Repeat with other end.) Cut mushrooms into slices 1/2 inch thick.

Put cut beans and mushrooms into a Ziploc bag or plastic bowl. Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar and pour over, then squeeze bag or stir so all the beans and mushrooms are lightly coated with the mixture. Arrange on large cookie sheet, spreading them out well so beans and mushrooms are not crowded. Roast 20-30 minutes, starting to check for doneness after 20 minutes. Cook until beans are tender-crisp, mushrooms are cooked, and all liquid on the pan from mushrooms has evaporated. Season beans to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper, then sprinkle with finely grated parmesan. Serve hot.

Thanks to Kalyn Denny over at Kalyn’s Kitchen.