ヴィンランド・サガ: Vikings in Manga & Anime

Fjorn's Hall

Although the Vikings never quite made it to Japan (as far as we know), their culture still managed to find its way there hundreds of years after the Viking Age. But the impact has been…minimal, to say the least. After all, whenever a curious wanderer searches for バイキング (that’s ‘Viking’ in Japanese) on Google, they soon encounter a sea of images relating to food. It’ll look something like this:

So yeah, they’ve used the word for a type of buffet-style dining experience known as Smörgåsbord, which originated in Sweden. Of course, aspects of Norse culture have appeared elsewhere in Japan; a popular example might be the game-world of ALfheim Online from Sword Art Online. There are even a handful of Norse/Viking reenactment groups and associations, such as 日本ヴァイキング協会 (or, the Japan Viking Association). But the true feature of this post is a manga by Makoto Yukimura called ヴィンランド・サガ

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The Celtic Saints of Britain: Saints Cuthbert and Chad – CSB 062119

British Christian History

Sven Longshanks and Florian Geyer host the final episode, looking at a Celtic Saint who united both the Danes and the Saxons.

Alfred the Great was encouraged in his struggle against the Danes by a vision of Cuthbert who then became associated with the House of Wessex, as the country showed the first stirrings of being a united nation.

The Celtic missionaries were incredibly humble and converted people through their actions, rather than by their words.

Chad even refused to ride a horse, at one point being forced to by the king, who lifted him onto one.

At this time, there were no Bishops at all in the country from Rome, they were all Celtic, yet hardly anyone today knows this or the primary role that Britain played in the early church.

Music by Halindir

Presented by Sven Longshanks and Florian Geyer

The Celtic Saints of Britain: Saints Cuthbert and…

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For ALL our communities

As the leaves return to the trees and memories of winter cold slowly vanish, on May 6 we celebrated the Romani spring festival “Ederlezi” and, more specifically, the wonderful song dedicated to the changing of the seasons.

Taking place roughly forty days after the spring equinox, “Ederlezi” is the Romanes name for the Bulgarian and Serbian Feast of Saint George (Đurđevdan) and is much the same as Turkish “Hidrellez” which also heralds the beginning of spring.

In older times when the Roma would travel across the land, the long and cold winters would prevent them from travelling. So, the spring and the changing of the seasons would re-invigorate a culture every year.

The opportunity to travel re-appeared with the better spring weather and, to thank God, Roma would throw flowers into the rivers and seas. This was and remains also a tradition in India where the…

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Thor’s Oak and First Contact with Christianity

Throwback Thorsday

The above illustration of Bonifacius, née Winfrid of Wessex, now known as St. Boniface, was made by Carl Emil Doepler for Walhall: Die Götterwelt der Germanen (Valhalla: Gods of the Teutons) by Wilhelm Ranisch.

In about the year CE 724, Boniface, a Christian missionary bishop sent to improve missionary efforts in the region of Hesse, proclaimed that he would fell a great oak tree of Thor’s. He then proceeded to do so, in full view of the converted, lapsed, and pagan alike, in order to show the power of his god over the most powerful of the pagan gods.

While this was hardly the first interaction between Christians and the Germanic pagan peoples, it is one of the most notable events of an era when Christianity didn’t yet have a firm grasp on political power and the pagan North had yet to realize that the visitors from the South had…

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Battledown, (and the Battle of Aclea)

The stuff around us in north Hampshire...

img_1287.jpg Quiet fields between Basingstoke & Oakley – Now… © Nigel Smith

Close to where I live now in Oakley Hampshire, the railway divides in 2 directions, at Battledown Flyover, for the South and the West Country. Battledown has been well known to train buffs for over century. But what of the name, and could Battledown be a plausable site for the ancient The Battle of Aclea?

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes a battle in 851 between invading Vikings landing around the Thames, against Beorhtwulf The King of Mercia, and then King Aethelwulf of the West Saxons. The West Saxons whilst coming to the aid of their saxon ‘Brothers’ strengthened their own influence with their victory against the Danes at Aclea . (Aethelwulf’s son Alfred, would later galvinise the saxons further leading the first recognisable ‘English’ kingdom as we know it, with his capital at Winchester Hampshire.

There has been much specution…

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Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Lent — Laetare Sunday — Year C

Churchmouse Campanologist

March 30, 2019 is Laetare Sunday, which is Mothering Sunday here in the UK.

To all the British mums reading this, I wish you a very happy day with family. (Commiserations on the move to British Summer Time.)

Laetare Sunday was the day that Britons and others in Anglophone countries worshipped at their ‘mother’ church. Afterwards, the congregation gathered round the church and held hands to ‘clip’ it, showing their love for and solidarity with it.

Servants were given time to make a Simnel cake ahead of time to give to their mothers that day. Nowadays, Simnel cake is more often served at Easter. Its 12 marzipan balls symbolise Christ and his faithful 11 Apostles.

Celebrants in the Catholic and Anglican traditions often wore a pink vestment on Laetare Sunday, as it is the one joyful day of worship during Lent.

It is so called for the ancient Introit, which…

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871: The battle for Wessex, or how Alfred the Great came to the throne.

A H Gray

Since Ivarr the Boneless and his brothers landed in East Anglia in 865 the Anglo-saxon kingdoms of Britain knew no peace. By 875 only ten years later, East Anglia, Northumbria, Mercia and even Wessex all had new rulers. All but one of these kings had been set up at the instigation of the Danish invaders. The exception of course being Alfred the Great, one of the most famous kings in English history.

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