Posts Tagged ‘Vikings’

Denmark to pillage refugees’ personal belongings

December 11, 2015

Why didn’t Donald Trump think of this?

Denmark has just passed a new law to deal with refugees who seek asylum. All their personal belongings can now be legally confiscated to help defer their living costs during the asylum process. In a splurge of hospitality and generosity these refugees will be allowed to retain their cell phones, their watches, their wedding rings and currency worth about $440. Any other jewellry or valuable belongings can be legally looted and liquidated. Not unlike pillage of old. But this time by the State.

It has been a thousand years since the Vikings considered “success” at rape and pillage as a sign of status.

Swedish Radio:

A cell phone, a watch, a wedding ring and cash up to a value of 3,000 Danish crowns. That is what asylum seekers may retain with the Danish law to confiscate valuables from asylum seekers takes concrete shape. 

In Denmark, police will confiscate valuables from asylum seekers to finance the asylum process. It is part of the migration deal between the political parties that was completed on Monday. And now comes the first information on how much a refugee may retain and what authorities get to impound.

The Danish newspaper Politiken has studied the documents showing how the Immigration and Integration Ministry will interpret the wording of the political settlement. In addition to a cell phone, watch and cash up to 3000 DKK asylum seekers may also keep valuables that are considered personal, such as a wedding ring. Any remaining valuables will be confiscated and sold and the proceeds taken as payment for the asylum seekers living costs during the asylum process.

I suppose there is some logic in getting asylum seekers who come in carrying suitcases full of diamonds to help pay their living costs. But to create a liability for asylum seekers to pay costs over some reasonable time is one thing — but State looting and pillage is something else.

What Donald Trump now needs to do is to use the Danish example. He could now suggest that all would-be Muslim immigrants be housed in special camps while they are thoroughly screened, and their belongings confiscated to pay for the security checks and their living costs while their fate is being decided.

1200 years after the Vikings invented krykket, cricket comes of age in Sweden

June 1, 2015

The theory is that cricket was actually first invented, not by the Saxons or even the Normans, but by the Vikings in Britain about 1200 years ago. It is said that as they raided, injured Vikings started whiling away their time by using their crutches (krykka) in a game to knock the skulls of their victims around. It was played on the beach where the injured Vikings were left to guard their ships. Perhaps it was markings on their ships which provided the first “wickets” and the notion of “guarding your wicket” originated there. For Viking warriors it was a game only for the weak and the crippled. The practice ceased as Vikings started to settle in Britain and playing with the skulls of victims became politically incorrect. The krykket games sank into disrepute and into the subconscious, only to surface again in the 16th century in England, and the rest is history. The game of skulls and crutches was never taken back home by the Vikings for want of non-Viking victims’ skulls. (Viking victims were sent off to Valhalla, with their bodies intact, on their burning ships).

(It is worth noting that Viking raids – on average – planned for 5 day forays inland, limited by the provisions they had to carry. So possibly the beached Vikings ensured that their games were completed within 5 days before the raiders returned – and somehow this time limitation has survived the centuries!)

The Swedish Cricket Federation was founded in 1990 and now at 25 years of age was accepted into the Swedish Sports Federation on 30th May.

There are some 3,000 active cricketers in Sweden in 55 clubs, with 42 clubs participating in a national league. The clubs are located all over Sweden with the northernmost club probably being the Skellefteå Cricket Club. The Skillinge Ladies & Gentlemen’s Cricket Club is one of many holding fort in the south.

The SCF became a member of the International Cricket Council in 1990 and played its first international match in 1999 against Portugal. In May 2011, Sweden won the ICC Europe Division 3 tournament and participated in the ICC Division 2 Europe 20/ 20 tournament.In 2012 Sweden participated in the European Division 2, 20/20. Sweden finished in 2nd place in the tournament and advanced to ICC Europe Division 1. In 2013, the Swedish national team traveled to England where it took part in ICC Europe Division 1 and competed against teams like Italy, Germany, Belgium, Guernsey, and Norway.

The Swedish Cricket Federation now becomes the 71st member of the the Swedish Sports Federation (Riksidrottsförbundet).

SCF comes of age

SCF comes of age


“Filthy” Vikings were plagued by gut parasites

January 5, 2015

The observations of a 10th century Arab traveller, Ahmad ibn Fadlān ibn al-Abbās ibn Rāšid ibn Hammād, about the hygiene of the Vikings more than a thousand years ago, are being confirmed by new DNA analyses. Ibn Fadlan describes the Eastern Vikings while the new DNA studies are about the Western Vikings, but their living conditions and habits would have been very similar. ScienceNordic reports that a new DNA study “conducted on thousand-year-old parasite eggs recovered from Viking faeces, shows that both the Vikings and their domestic animals were plagued by parasites — which most likely enjoyed excellent living conditions in a dirty world in which domestic animals and humans lived in unhygienically close proximity to each other”.

The paper is published in the Journal of Parasitology:

Going East the Vikings were seen as “handsome but filthy”

July 18, 2013

ScienceNordic reports on a new doctoral thesis by an Icelandic historian:

The Icelandic historian Thorir Jonsson Hraundal has studied comments about what we call Vikings in original texts by Arab historians and geographers. The texts described Arab encounters with Scandinavians in areas around the Caspian Sea and the Volga River. 

Their depictions differ radically from images of fearsome Viking conquerors handed down from the British Isles and France in the same era. 

“A major difference between the Scandinavians who travelled eastwards and those who sailed west was that in the East they were far more subordinated in societies they came to,” says Jonsson Hraundal.

He recently presented his doctoral dissertation at the University of Bergen about the so-called Rus ― Scandinavian merchants and warriors who travelled to Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.

“The Scandinavians appear to have been versatile people who were really good at adapting to diverse regions and participating in various power structures,” he says. …

…. For a number of reasons, the East-bound Vikings have been neglected by scholars in comparison to those who headed west. Political problems hampered Western archaeologists for decades. During much of the 20th century it was hard for West European researchers to access artefacts collected behind the Iron Curtain.

“We have a lot more source information from the West because of the linguistic and writing culture that dominated there,” adds Archaeology Professor Jan Bill of the University of Oslo.

“This doesn’t mean that the contact in the East was unimportant, but perhaps we haven’t had as much opportunity to study it.”

There are exceptions and Bill mentions that Arab silver coins and other artefacts from Kazakhstan and neighbouring areas have been found at Heimdalsjordet, a former marketplace not far from the Gokstad Viking Ship Mound in Sandefjord, southwest of Oslo.

“They come from the Silk Road and show that the Vikings definitely had contact with Islamic areas,” he says.

He draws on and analyses the writings of Ahmad ibn Fadlān ibn al-Abbās ibn Rāšid ibn Hammād.

He was a 10th-centuryArab traveler, famous for his account of his travels as a member of an embassy of the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars. His account is most known for providing a description of the Volga Vikings, including an eyewitness account of a ship burial.

File:Ibn Fadhlan manuscript.jpg

Ibn Fadhlan manuscript

Elements of Ibn Fadlān’s account are used in the novel Eaters of the Dead  by Michael Crichton (adapted to film in The 13th Warrior with Antonio Banderas as Ibn Fadlan), in which the Arab ambassador is taken even further north and is involved in adventures inspired by the Old English epic Beowulf.

Some excerpts from Ahmad ibn Fadlān:

They are the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures: they do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food.

I have never seen more perfect physical specimens, tall as date palms, blond and ruddy; they wear neither tunics nor kaftans, but the men wear a garment which covers one side of the body and leaves a hand free. Each man has an axe, a sword, and aknife, and keeps each by him at all times. Each woman wears on either breast a box of iron, silver,copper, or gold; the value of the box indicates the wealth of the husband. Each box has a ring from which depends a knife. The women wear neck-rings of gold and silver. Their most prized ornaments are green glass beads. They string them as necklaces for their women.

In the case of a rich man, they gather together his possessions and divide them into three portions, one third for his household, one third with which to cut funeral garments for him, and one third with which they ferment alcohol which they drink on the day when his slave-girl kills herself and is burned together with her master.

“Wiglesdor” found: Gateway to the Viking Empire

August 29, 2010

The Danevirke is a system of Danish fortifications inSchleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany). This important linear defensive earthwork was constructed across the neck of the Cimbrian peninsula during Denmark’s Viking Age.
The Danevirke (shown in red) on the 16th-century Carta Marina

For a century, archeologists have been looking for a gate ( the “Woiglesdor”) through a wall built by the Vikings in northern Europe. This summer, it was found. Researchers now believe the extensive barrier was built to protect an important trading route.

Archeologists have now taken a closer look at part of the construction — a three-meter-thick (10 feet) wall from the 8th century near Hedeby (known as Haithabu in German). It is constructed entirely out of stones collected from the surrounding region. Some of them are only as big as a fist, while others weigh as much as 100 kilograms (220 pounds). “The Vikings collected millions of rocks,” says archeologist Astrid Tummuscheit, who works for the state archeology office of Schleswig-Holstein.

A Customs Station, an Inn and a Bordello


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