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In Norway the gravitation is just as perceptible as the natural forces wind,
fire and ice, and strongly felt when driving along the roads in the Bergen area,
where the roads are constructed directly into the steep cliffs that fall
vertically down into the deep and narrow fiords, with only tiny spots of arable
land here and there. So, if nothing else, for topographic reasons it is easy to
understand why Norwegians have always been attracted to the open sea. About 1200 years ago the first Vikings set out from these fiords and similar landings
with a wild, pagan energy, driving them to exploration, colonization and trade
in lands beyond the horizon.
The period of their time was in itself brutal, and the Vikings were wild
warriors and brutal to an extent that the Christian monks in foreign lands
(notably the British Isles and Ireland) -- maybe not unjustified -- considered
them devils from the sea. Nordic Viking Life is vividly described in the Norse
Ballads by the American poet and linguist, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who
learned the Scandinavian and Old Norse languages, and translated the original
ballads into modern English.
|Over time the Vikings have been glorified by Scandinavians,
and banned by other peoples for their brutality and cruelty;
linguistically they have been abused by demagogues promoting the ideology
of Arian Superiority. Football clubs, hooligans and other mobs have used them as mascots.
Although today the helmet with horns is synonymous with the Vikings, it is
a fact that their historical helmets did not have horns.
Norway 1942. A fleet of Viking ships on sea. The Norwegian text in the
top says: "Broad Sails Go Over the North Sea", referring to the
first line of a poem "Olav Tryggvason" (1861), by the Norwegian
poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, and music by the Norwegian composer Rikard
As an aside, Rikard Nordraak was a close friend of the Norwegian composer
Edvard Grieg, and was also the composer of the Norwegian national anthem
"Ja, vi elsker dette landet" with lyrics by his cousin,
||Norwegian Viking history is vividly described on Norwegian stamps 1930
"The Death of Olav the Holy at the Battle of Stiklestad" in 1030 [Olav
is the Patron Saint of Norway] (Scott 153), and in a set of six stamps 1941,
featuring the poet Snorre Sturlason (1178-1241) and the "The Chronicle of
the Kings of Norway". (Scott 240-245).
- Norway 1930. King Olaf's death at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030,
after a painting by Peter Nicolai Arbo. Scott 153.
The life of King Olav and The Battle of Stiklestad is determined as the end of the Norwegian Viking
era, and the introduction of Christianity in Norway. The Norwegian cathedral
"Nidaros" was later built in Trondheim, very close to the place where
the Battle of Stiklestad took place, and has since been used as the Coronation
Church of Norwegian kings, and used by the Norwegian royal family for weddings,
baptism of their children, and royal funerals.
Other than the Battle of Stiklestad, there are practically no
Norwegian stamps about viking
life in Norway.
The Aland Islands is a group of 6.554 small islands at the
mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia, between Finland and Sweden. It is a province of Finland,
awarded to the latter by the League of Nations in 1921.
The patron saint of Aland is Saint
Olaf, who is also the patron saint of Norway and the Faroe
Islands, and who introduced Christianity in all three countries. St.
Olaf is also known as Olaf Haraldson. For further information,
please follow the links quoted below.
St Olaf plays an important part in the Norwegian
Viking Saga "The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway"
vividly told by the poet and writer Snorri Sturlason in a collection
of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway during the period
Aland 2000. Saint Olaf, Viking Navigator who
introduced Christianity in the Aland Islands. In the background an
ancient map of the Nordic Countries (Finland on the far right), and
Aland Islands located in the Gulf of Bothnia, slightly northeast of
Stockholm. The stamp is engraved by Martin Mörck.
||Anyone familiar with the Nordic literature has at some
point maybe come across Snorri Sturlason's chronicle of the Viking
Age, the "Heimskringla" from 1225 AD. In the "King
Olaf Trygvason's Saga" the Norwegian king Olaf at one point
chooses his crew for his pride ship "The Long
Hlodver Lange from Saltvik was handpicked as one of the king's
closest men and bodyguards. "The
Long Serpent" is featured on a set of Faeroese stamps 2006,
see Faeroe Islands.
- Aland 2000. Hlodver den Lange [Louis the Tall]. Compare his
impressive height with the normal-sized person on his
The saga of the Norwegian Vikings in
Norway Faeroe Islands
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