|Norwegian Vikings on the Isle of Man|
Though in theory the rulers of Man owed allegiance to the kings in Norway, this
was more often than not a very 'loose' arrangement and, to all intents and
purposes, Man was an independent kingdom.
On 5th July, Tynwald Day, the quiet, rustic scene is transformed into one of colour and pageantry as Manx residents and visiting tourists alike join together at St. John's to celebrate the Island's national day. The word Tynwald stems from the Norse Thing-Vollr meaning an assembly field. It has counterparts throughout the Scandinavian world and the lands which they settled. There were two grades of "Thing", an Al-thing being a meeting of a whole nation and a Hus-thing being an assembly of a town or community. The Icelandic assembly has the name Althing and the place where it originated is called Thingvellir. In the Faeroes it is known as the Lagting, or Law Assembly. The Norwegian parliament is the Storting, and the Danish parliament is the Folketing (People's Assembly). The town of Dingwall on the Moray Firth in Scotland has the same origin as Tynwald.
Two races -- the Celts and the Vikings -- have been the defining elements in the forging of the Manx identity. The well-preserved historical landscape of the Isle of Man still contains many of their relics, and provides a constant reminder of the antecedents of the Manx national character.
At the end of the eighth century the first of the raiders from Scandinavia came to the Irish Sea. Despite almost 500 years of Scandinavian trade and migration, Norse influence did not entirely prevail. The Celtic language survived, and the Viking invaders were converted to Christianity. The Viking Heritage throughout Isle of Man is very extensive.
The Isle of Man was part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland. The isle came under the British crown in 1765. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language. Isle of Man is a British crown dependency, but is not part of the United Kingdom. At the occasion of the Norwegian king Olav V's visit to Isle of Man in 1970, and the Norwegian stamp exhibition NORWEX '80 in 1980, the ancient links between the two nations were renewed by the issuance of the below souvenir sheet of two stamps. showing King Olav, and a model of the Viking ship "Odin's Raven".
Other than the Norwegian Coat of Arms, the emblem of the Isle of Man "The Three Legs of Mann" is shown in two varieties on the sheet: the official emblem in the Coat of Arms, and a more "graphic" rendering on the ship's sail.
Although the Manx people loathe to admit the fact, it does seem that Sicily had the Three Legs at a much earlier period than did the Isle of Man. The Sicilian legs were always naked and often had the head of Medusa at the central point. They usually had wings attached to the heels and this would link them with the god Mercury or Hermes. The Manx legs are normally encased in armour and have spurs on the heels. Read more about the emblem on the link given below.
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|Copyrighted © 14th January 2007. All Rights Reserved
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