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Vikings and Early Christianity 

I have been interested in whether I could find any reference to Outlaw's in Norway and that brought me to looking at the history of early Christianity in Scandinavia .  So I found Utla River which also has one of the earliest Stave Christian churches in Norway . It turns out they were "Gothic" Christians, and this form of Christianity had been around in Norway and Scandinavia  for hundreds of years even during the viking times. I came across this article [  Varg Vikernes - The Viking Age And Christianity In Norway ]which seemed strange to me but after checking out the history it does seem to bare out.  It is interesting that Ulfilas   Wulfila; Little Wolf  turns up in studying the Outlaw family.

311 – 383 - Ulfilas Wulfila; Little Wolf - translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language. For this he devised the Gothic alphabet based on the Getae's alphabet - Ulfilas converted many among the Goths, preaching an Arian Christianity, which, when they reached the western Mediterranean, set them apart from their Orthodox neighbors and subjects.

325 - 400 A.D. The Goths are converted to Arian Christianity. Ulfias writes his translation of the New Testament, the only surviving work of written Gothic.

410 A.D. - Alaric, king of the Visigoths, conquers Rome.

493-553 - Ostrogothic Kingdom - was established by the King Theodoric the Great - Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas. Gothic Arian Christians

700~1000AD - Útlagi placed this stone in memory of Sveinn -Rune sm103 - Småland, Sweden 

772 - Charlemagne is repeatedly described as ordering the destruction of the chief seat of their religion, an Irminsul.

782 - Massacre of Verden, in which Charlemagne ordered 4,500 imprisoned Saxons massacred

866 -  Harald made the first of a series of conquests over the many petty kingdoms which would compose all of Norway, including Värmland in Sweden, which had sworn allegiance to the Swedish king Erik Eymundsson. 

872 -  after a great victory at Hafrsfjord near Stavanger, Harald FairHair of Norway found himself king over the whole country. His realm was, however, threatened by dangers from without, as large numbers of his opponents had taken refuge, not only in Iceland, then recently discovered; but also in the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Hebrides Islands, Faroe Islands and the northern European mainland. 

920 - 961 - Haakon I of Norway - (c. 920–961), given the byname the Good, was the third king of Norway and the youngest son of Harald I of Norway and Thora Mosterstang  - King Harald determined to remove his youngest son out of harm's way and accordingly sent him to the court friend, King Athelstan of England. Haakon was fostered by King Athelstan, as part of a peace agreement made by his father, for which reason Haakon was nicknamed Adalsteinfostre.[2] The English king brought him up in the Christian religion. On the news of his father's death King Athelstan provided Haakon with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Eirik Bloodaxe, who had been proclaimed king.

957 - Outlawe(s) Banished for political offences to Ireland by King Edwy - St. Dunstan Banished
 - Outlawe(s) Return to England "with many wolves heads" under King Edgar reigns - St. Dunstan returns  -  1613 Visitation Legend
 - King Edgar general pardon in return  for a certain number of wolves' tongues from each criminal

990~1010AD - Utlage raised this stone in memory of Öjvind, a very good thegn Rune vg62 - Ballstorp, Västergötland, Sweden

1112 - The first cloisters in Iceland were established at ~ingeyrar (Southwest) in 1112, ~vera (Northwest) in 1155, and in Hitardalur in 1166-soon followed by the short lived monasteries on Flatey island (1172-1184), about which little is known, and in 1181, the long-lasting, influential and literary-productive Helgafell monastery. The last two mentioned monasteries were situated near Hitardalur to the north.

920 - 961 - Haakon I of Norway - (c. 920–961), given the byname the Good, was the third king of Norway and the youngest son of Harald I of Norway and Thora Mosterstang  - King Harald determined to remove his youngest son out of harm's way and accordingly sent him to the court friend, King Athelstan of England. Haakon was fostered by King Athelstan, as part of a peace agreement made by his father, for which reason Haakon was nicknamed Adalsteinfostre.[2] The English king brought him up in the Christian religion. On the news of his father's death King Athelstan provided Haakon with ships and men for an expedition against his half-brother Eirik Bloodaxe, who had been proclaimed king.
Haakon I was frequently successful in everything he undertook except in his attempt to introduce Christianity, which aroused an opposition he did not feel strong enough to face. So entirely did even his immediate circle ignore his religion that Eyvindr Skáldaspillir, his court poet, composed a poem, Hákonarmál, on his death representing his welcome by his ancestors' gods into Valhalla.

Eyvindr Skáldaspillir - was a 10th century Norwegian skald. He was the court poet of king Hákon the Good and earl Hákon of Hlaðir. His son Hárekr later became a prominent chieftain in Norway.

His preserved works are:

Eyvindr drew heavily on earlier poetry in his works. The cognomen skáldaspillir means literally "spoiler of poets" and is sometimes translated as "plagiarist", though it might also mean that he was better than any other poet. He's mentioned in the second verse of the Norwegian national anthem.


Varg Vikernes - The Viking Age And Christianity In Norway

The Viking Age began as a result of certain actions by Charlemagne, the king of France, in year 772, when he chopped down Irminsûl, the holy column or tree of the Saxons. He had assassinated approximately 5.000 Saxon noblemen, in cowardly ambushes, and crushed the ability of the Saxons to resist his armies any longer. This was the moment the northern brethren of the Saxons, the Scandinavians, finally ceased all hostilities against each other on a national level and instead started to wage war on Christianity. This was a war that started the age we know as the Viking Age. In 772 the kings of Norway were actually allied to Charlemagne in a war against the Danes, but they broke this pact when he cut down Irminsûl and assassinated the Saxon lords, and instead they too went to war against Charlemagne. 

 the reason why Europe suddenly saw a stream of settlers from ScandInitially the Scandinavians attacked all the cloisters and burned all the churches in Scandinavia, in their own home countries, and this isinavia in the Viking Age. Historians have long wondered why so many Scandinavians all of a sudden emigrated, and have for some reason failed to see the obvious reason why. The simple fact is that the civil war in Scandinavia forced many of them to flee and look for other places to live. 

When the Christians in Scandinavia had been killed or were forced to flee the Pagans attacked the monasteries that had sent the missionaries to Scandinavia in the first place.
In Norway's case that was first and foremost the monastery on Lindisfarne, the Holy Island, in England. This attack is the first recorded Viking attack in history and took place the 6th of June in 793. 

The vast majority of the Viking attacks were naturally attacks on France, though, as we already know from the official history, because Charlemagne was seen as the main enemy, but also other parts of the Holy Roman Empire fell victim to such attacks as well as other Christian countries in Europe. 

Those who argue that the Vikings were first and foremost traders seem to forget that the Scandinavians had been traders before the Viking Age too, and even in the Bronze Age, about 4.000 years ago and 3.000 years before the Viking Age, we sailed along the coast as far as to what today is Scotland and traded with the tribes that became later known to the Romans as the Picts ("The Painted Ones"). Trade across the North Sea itself began possibly as early as in the IVth or Vth century, when the earliest versions of the long boats used by the Vikings were developed. In other words, the Scandinavian trade with the rest of Europe existed before, during and after the Viking Age, so it has really nothing to do with any of this. What makes the Viking Age special is the Pagan attacks on Christian targets, first in Scandinavia and then in the rest of Europe, attacks that began after Charlemagne had made his intentions clear to everybody. When the proud Saxons finally fell to his might, Scandinavia was under threat. Until then the few Christian missionaries in Scandinavia and their converts had been tolerated. The Christian missionaries had arrived in Scandinavia hundreds of years earlier, probably as early as in the Vth or VIth century, but until the Viking Age began we had been foolish enough to tolerate them. 

The Viking Age is often looked upon with pride by most Scandinavians, but it was a desperate time of strife, cultural decline and civil war. It was a two hundred year long war against the Christian realms of western, central and southern Europe. People fled to Iceland, Ireland, Scotland or other parts of Europe (and even America) to get away from the trouble, or they were forced to leave for different reasons, and they didn't colonize these parts of the world because they wanted to, because our forefathers were such great adventures and explorers, like many like to think. Scandinavians are not and have never been any more adventurous or curious than other Europeans. We didn't even bother to colonize America, even though we knew where it was as early as the Xth or XIth century. And I may add that the only reason the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch (and later other Europeans too) began to explore the world in the XVth century was petty greed, nothing else. They had no noble motives for doing so, that's for sure. When the Americas and other parts of the world were finally colonized by Europeans they were populated with religious deviants who fled from religious persecution, men who wouldn't inherit their family properties in Europe because they had older brothers, and so forth. They were rarely, if ever, "adventurous explorers" who left Europe because they sought adventure, like people in the USA like to believe. There is a reason why there is so much "white trash", greed, ignorance and crime, and so many religious fanatics - and 8 million Jews - in the USA in the first place.


This Christianization process in Scandinavia began in the Vth or VIth century, but as we know they had little success until the IXth century in Denmark, the XIth century in Norway and the XIIth century in Sweden, when the respective populations were officially converted to Christianity, by force and deceit I may add. However, Norway (and the parts of Sweden that until the XVIth or XVIIth century was a part of Norway [Jämtland, Härjedalen, Bohuslän, Idre and Särne]1) wasn't converted to what we normally think of when we say Christianity (id est the Catholic or Greek/Russian Orthodox church), until the XVth century, when Norway became a part of Catholic Denmark. Before that the Norwegians were so-called Celtic-Christians, and had a Gnostic faith similar to that of the Templars. When the Norwegian kings from 1030 to 1450 canonized people and gave people bishop titles on their own the pope was naturally furious, as this was seen as his task, but why should the Norwegian kings care? They weren't Catholics and didn't answer to the pope anyhow. Norwegian priests were further expected to get married and have children, something that was unheard of in the Catholic world. We even had a female saint; a princess from the British Isles as far as I remember, called saint Sunniva ("Sun Gift", from Anglo-Saxon and Norse "sunn-gifa"). 

The Celtic church and its Gnostic faith was soon defeated and replaced by Catholicism on the British Isles, but only after they had successfully converted Norway, and for several hundred years Norway was the only so-called Celtic-Christian country in the world! But then most of the Gnostic clergy was killed by the so-called pestilence we know as the Black Death in 1349 and the following years, as they were involved in the treatment of the sick, and because of that were more exposed to the mysterious Black Death than others, and were replaced by Danish Catholic priests when the two countries united in 1450

This pretty unknown so-called Celtic Christianity explains why you only find stave churches in Norway and parts of Sweden, and only stave churches built before 1349. The Catholics didn't build stave churches. These stave churches were Gnostic churches, built to honour the dragon, the serpent in the garden of Eden, that in the Gnostic Christianity was seen as a symbol of Jesus/Lucifer rebelling against the tyrant we know as Jehovah (or Allah or Yahweh or "God"), the demiurge. The true "God" in their point of view was Abraxas. For that reason the architecture of these churches was so different from Catholic churches; the roofs of the stave churches were covered with something that looked like the skin of a dragon, the crosses were Celtic crosses instead of Catholic crosses, and the stave churches were decorated with serpent-heads! They were temples of the dragon! 

The British missionaries in the Viking Age didn't talk about Jesus Christ, but called him "Kvitekrist" ("White Christ"), because they linked him to the "White" disc (the Sun) on the firmament, that they amazingly claimed had the number 666 (like many occultists still claim). To them 666 was the number of the Sun and Jesus! It was this Sun that woke up the serpents (the dragon) in the spring, and when Norway was Christianized the ancient Sun worship merged with the Gnostic faith, and remained the official religion in Norway for more than four hundred years! 

I can mention, that when the Templars were persecuted as "devil worshippers" in Europe - amongst other things because they painted 666 on the forehead of skulls and placed them on the altars - beginning in 1189 as far as I remember, mainly in France and England, many Templars fled to Norway, where they found a safe haven and continued to practice their Gnostic faith. The Norwegian kings didn't care what the Catholic pope or any other Catholics said, as they were Gnostics, so the Templars faced no persecution in Norway, and because of that some of the youngest Templar graves in the world can be found in Norway, recognized by the placement of the legs of the dead person in the grave (the legs of the dead are crossed to make up a crucifix). Like the Gnostic priests the knights in the order of the Templars were probably wiped out as a result of the Black Death, as they too were involved in medical care2. 

Now, one might wonder why the Catholic Europe didn't force Norway to convert to Catholicism, like they did on the British Isles (including Ireland), but they actually tried to. The Catholic and well-known Adam of Bremen called a Norwegian king, saint Olav, "crow-bone" and claimed he practiced sorcery, which of course he did, as the occult Gnosticism in Norway had merged with ancient Pagan practices. Also, everybody in Norway knows about the conflict between the so-called Birkebeinerne and Bragglerne, which was actually an armed conflict between supporters of the Catholic pope and supporters of the Gnostic king. For some reason unknown to me the Gnostics prevailed, and the thing that finally crushed them was, like I have already said, the Black Death and the incorporation of Norway into Catholic Denmark. 

I may add that Norway might have been too poor and primitive for the pope to even bother to continue the fight at that time. Norway lies in the periphery of Europe, it was a very poor area with hardly any infrastructure, industry or wealth - and with hardly any power in Europe at all. "Norway" is the name of the only "way" to get around in Norway at the time: by boat or ship along the coast, the "north-way". It was not easy to get around inland. Besides, it was scarcely populated, so why bother? With a bit of humour I can say that the only reason it took the Germans a whole month to make Norway surrender in 1940, was the fact that it took them a whole month to walk through the boggy mountains and forests and finally reach their objectives - while it took them a couple of hours to drive across civilized Denmark in motorized vehicles and make them surrender. It is not like we offered them any armed resistance worth mentioning, as our "heroic" (Danish) king and left-wing labour government was too busy running away to London to even order a general mobilization of the Norwegian army.


When Norway became a part of Denmark in 1450 we too became officially Catholics, but the Danes had to send Danish priests to Norway, because there were no Norwegian Catholics. According to the records of history these Danish priests, and other Danish officials, did not have an easy job. They described the Norwegians as "wild" people, and especially the people living in the mountains were "hostile", "unchristian" and "dangerous". One of our inland counties still carries the name "Hedmark", that translates as "The Land of the Pagans". The Danish sheriffs and priests were regularly beaten to death by the Norwegian peasants, and some men even competed against each other, trying to be the one who had killed the most Danish priests and sheriffs. One story from Telemark ("The Land of Thule", another mostly inland county in Norway) tells us that a young man refused to stop until he had killed "at least as many priests as my father killed". This was in the XVIth century! They have also found archeological evidence that some places people made (animal) sacrifices in ancient holy lakes continuously from the Stone or Bronze age and all the way to the XVIIth century! 

The explanations of this is of course the fact that Norway was actually never Christianized, as we understand the term. In 1030 they had officially been converted to a faith that was a mix of Pagan beliefs, including Sun worship and a Gnostic form of Christianity. When they met the Danish Catholic priests in the XVth century, who tried to convert them to Catholicism, many of them reacted with violence. 

What saved the situation, to some extent, was the Reformation in the early XVIth century. It was more acceptable for the difficult and narrow-minded Norwegians to convert to Protestantism, rather than to the religion of their "oppressors", the Danes. As we know Denmark-Norway became Protestant, and finally most of the "wild" people were slowly Christianized, as we understand the term. 

The interesting thing about this, is that the Norwegian people and parts of the Swedish people have never been Catholic! Norway is the only country in Europe that has been neither Greek/Russian-Orthodox nor Catholic. Also, old Pagan religious practices were common as late as the XVIIth and possibly the XVIIIth century. That is quite amazing, and it helps people understand the mentality of the modern Norwegian, and why only 3% of the Norwegian population goes to church (and most of these few church-goers are very old people too, who already have one foot in the grave). 

The next time You wonder why there are so many Black Metal bands in Norway, of all countries, and the next time You wonder why it all began in Norway, think about what I have told You in this article... (Dissection is from Bohuslän in Sweden, by the way, so they could easily be called Norwegian too). 

If You ever ask any Norwegian about this he or she will probably know nothing about it though, because this is occult history, kept hidden from us for hundreds of years! Official history claims we were Catholics and our Norwegian kings were just a bit cross and individualistic, and that's why they opposed the popes. They just love to make up lies about the past, and do whatever they can to make history place them in a good light. They have no respect for the truth whatsoever, just like the other rulers in our modern world. So enjoy this rare insight into the past. If it had not been for "Nazi-pigs" like me You would have never even heard about these things. Think about that for a minute or two. 

Thank You for the attention, and for drinking with me from the Well of Mímir ("Memory").


1 In 1994, when Sweden unfortunately became a part of the EU while Norway wisely voted against an EU membership ( ), a lot of Swedes living in these areas wanted them to be returned to Norway. 

2 We do have some "Templars" in Norway even today, though, who claim their order has existed continuously since the Age of the Crusaders. I actually met one of them in prison, or rather I met a "fallen" Templar. He was thrown out of the order when they found out he was a criminal. He enthusiastically told me about their rituals and beliefs (so much for "vows of secrecy"), and I think they can best be described as some sort of Freemasons. 
Varg "The Wild" Vikernes
November and December 2004

782 - The Massacre of Verden, in which Charlemagne ordered 4,500 imprisoned Saxons massacred

Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae (Latin "Ordinances concerning Saxony") was a legal code issued by Charlemagne and promulgated amongst the Saxons during the Saxon Wars in 785 AD. The laws of the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae prescribe death for various Saxon infringements, including refusing to convert from their native Germanic paganism to Christianity, and fines for actions deemed lesser violations. Despite the laws, some Saxons continued to reject Charlemagne's rule and attempts at Christianization, with some continuing to rebel even after Charlemagne's death (such as the Stellinga uprising).

Many of the laws of Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae are focused on the Christianization of the pagan Saxons, including a sentence of death for Saxons who refuse to convert to Christianity:

8. If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to remain a pagan, let him be punished by death.[1]

Scholar Pierre Riché refers to the code as a "terror capitulary" and notes that the Massacre of Verden, in which Charlemagne ordered 4,500 imprisoned Saxons massacred in 782, may be seen as a preface to the legal code.

Gothic Bible -  or Wulfila Bible is the Christian Bible as translated by Wulfila in the fourth century into the Gothic language spoken by the Eastern Germanic, or Gothic Tribes.

Surviving fragments of the Wulfila Bible consist of codices from the 6th to 8th century containing a large part of the New Testament and some parts of the Old Testament, largely written in Italy. These are the Codex Argenteus, which is kept in Uppsala, the Codex Ambrosianus A through Codex Ambrosianus E containing the epistles Skeireins, Nehemiah 5–7), the Codex Carolinus (Romans 11–14), the Codex Vaticanus Latinus 5750 (Skeireins), the Codex Gissensis (fragments of the Gospel of Luke) and the Fragmenta Pannonica, fragments of a 1 mm thick metal plate with verses of the Gospel of John.

During the third century, the Goths lived on the northeast border of the Roman Empire, in what is now Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania. During the fourth century, the Goths were converted to Christianity, largely through the efforts of Bishop Wulfila, who invented the Gothic alphabet and translated the Bible into the Gothic language in Nicopolis ad Istrum in today's northern Bulgaria. Portions of this translation survive, affording the main surviving text written in the Gothic language.

Gothic Christianity differed from Catholic doctrine as to the divinity of Jesus, with the Gothic Christians maintaining that Jesus was of a lesser creation than God. The Goths rejected the Holy Trinity (see Arianism).

During the fifth century, the Goths overran parts of the Western Roman Empire, including Italy, southern France, and Spain. Gothic Christianity reigned in these areas for two centuries, before the re-establishment of the Catholic Church, and, in Spain, the advent of Islam.

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Codex Argenteus - Silver Book", is a 6th-century manuscript, originally containing bishop Ulfilas's 4th century translation of the Bible into the Gothic language. Of the original 336 folios, 188—including the Speyer fragment discovered in 1970—have been preserved, containing the translation of the greater part of the four gospels. A part of it is on permanent display at the Carolina Rediviva library in Uppsala, Sweden


The tribes we consider Gothic were nominally Arians during the period of time when Ulfilas translated the Christian bible into Gothic, meaning that they followed the teachings of Arius about the person and nature of Jesus Christ. The "Silver Bible" was probably written for the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great, either at his royal seat in Ravenna, or in the Po valley or at Brescia. It was made as a special and impressive book written with gold and silver ink on high-quality thin vellum stained a regal purple, with an ornate treasure binding. After Theodoric's death in 526 the Silver Bible is not mentioned in inventories or book lists for a thousand years.

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Bischop Ulfilas explains the Gospels to the Goths.

Ulfilas - , (GothicWulfila; Little Wolf), also Ulphilas, Orphila[1] (ca. 311 – 383;[2]), bishop, missionary, and Bible translator, was a Goth or half-Goth and half-Greek from Cappadocia who had spent time inside the Roman Empire at the peak of the Arian controversy. Ulfilas was ordained a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work as a missionary. In 348, to escape religious persecution by a Gothic chief, probably Athanaric[3] he obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum in modern northern Bulgaria. There, Ulfilas translated the Bible from Greek into the Gothic language. For this he devised the Gothic alphabet.[4] Fragments of his translation have survived, notably the Codex Argenteus held since 1648 in the University Library of Uppsala in Sweden. A parchment page of this Bible was found in 1971 in the Speyer Cathedral.[5] According to Karl Lund (see Carolus Lundius, Zamolxis, Primus Getarum Legislator, Upsala 1687), Ulfilas created the Gothic alphabet based on the Getae's alphabet, with minor alterations. Karl Lund is quoting Bonaventura Vulcanius' book, De literis et lingua Getarum sive Gothorum, (Lyon, 1597) and Johannes Magnus, Gothus, Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sueonumque regibus, Roma, 1554, a book in which it has been published, for the first time, both the Getic alphabet, and the laws of the Getae legislator Zamolxis.

Ulfilas parents were of non-Gothic Anatolian origin, likely Cappadocian, but had been enslaved by Goths and Ulfilas may have been born into captivity or made captive when young.[6] Raised as a Goth, he later became proficient in the Greek and Latin languages.[6] Ulfilas converted many among the Goths, preaching an Arian Christianity, which, when they reached the western Mediterranean, set them apart from their Orthodox neighbors and subjects.


Arianism - is the theological teaching attributed to Arius (ca. AD 250–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of God the Father to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Arius asserted that the Son of God was a subordinate entity to God the Father. Deemed a heretic by the Ecumenical First Council of Nicaea of 325, Arius was later exonerated in 335 at the regional First Synod of Tyre,[1] and then, after his death, pronounced a heretic again at the Ecumenical First Council of Constantinople of 381.[2] The Roman Emperors Constantius II (337–361) and Valens (364–378) were Arians or Semi-Arians.

The Arian concept of Christ is that the Son of God did not always exist, but was created by—and is therefore distinct from—God the Father. This belief is grounded in the Gospel of John (14:28)[3] passage: "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."

See also Colossians 1:15—"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;"; also, Revelation 3:14—"These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God"; and Proverbs 8:22–29.

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Theoderic the Great - (454 – August 30, 526), often referred to as Theodoric, was king of the Germanic Ostrogoths (475–526),[1] ruler of Italy (493–526), regent of the Visigoths (511–526), and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire. His Gothic name Þiudareiks translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people".[2] Theoderic was born in Pannonia in 454, after his people had defeated the Huns at the Battle of Nedao. His father was King Theodemir, a Germanic Amali nobleman, and his mother was Ereleuva. Theoderic grew up as a hostage in Constantinople, receiving a privileged education, and he succeeded his father as leader of the Pannonian Ostrogoths in 473.[3] Settling his people in lower Moesia, Theoderic came into conflict with Thracian Ostrogoths led by Theodoric Strabo, whom he eventually supplanted, uniting the peoples in 484.

Byzantine Emperor Zeno subsequently gave him the title of Patrician and the office of Magister militum (master of the soldiers), and even appointed him as Roman Consul. Seeking further gains, Theoderic frequently ravaged the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire, eventually threatening Constantinople itself. In 488, Emperor Zeno ordered Theoderic to overthrow the German Foederatus Odoacer, who had likewise been made patrician and even King of Italy, but who had since betrayed Zeno, supporting the rebellious Leontius. After a victorious three-year war, Theoderic killed Odoacer with his own hands, settled his 100,000 to 200,000 people in Italy, and founded an Ostrogothic Kingdom based in Ravenna. While he promoted separation between the Arian Ostrogoths and the Roman population, Theoderic stressed the importance of racial harmony, though intermarriage was outlawed.[4] Seeking to restore the glory of Ancient Rome, he ruled Italy in its most peaceful and prosperous period since Valentinian, until his death in 526. Memories of his reign made him a hero of German legend as Dietrich von Bern.

Ostrogothic Kingdom - was established by the Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas from 493 to 553.

In Italy the Ostrogoths, led by Theoderic the Great, killed and replaced Odoacer, a Germanic soldier, erstwhile-leader of the foederati in northern Italy, and the de facto ruler of Italy, who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, in 476. Under Theoderic, its first king, the Ostrogothic kingdom reached its zenith, stretching from modern France in the west into modern Serbia in the southeast. Most of the social institutions of the late Western Roman Empire were preserved during his rule.

Starting in 535, the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) invaded Italy under Justinian I. The Ostrogothic ruler at that time, Witiges, could not defend successfully and was finally captured when the capital Ravenna fell. The Ostrogoths rallied around a new leader, Totila, and largely managed to reverse the conquest, but were eventually defeated. The last king of the Ostrogothic Kingdom was Teia.


The Goths were settled mostly in northern Italy, and kept themselves largely apart from the Roman population, a tendency reinforced by their different faiths: the Goths were mostly Arians, while the people they ruled over were following Chalcedonian Christianity. Nevertheless, and unlike the Visigoths or the Vandals, there was considerable religious tolerance, which was also extended towards Jews

Irminsul - (Old Saxon, probably "great/mighty pillar" or "arising pillar") was a kind of pillar which is attested as playing an important role in the Germanic paganism of the Saxon people. The oldest chronicle describing an Irminsul refers to it as a tree trunk erected in the open air.[1] The purpose of the Irminsuls and the implications thereof have been the subject of considerable scholarly discourse and speculation for hundreds of years.

A Germanic god Irmin, inferred from the name Irminsul and the tribal name Irminones, is sometimes presumed to have been the national god or demi-god of the Saxons.[2] It has been suggested that Irmin was more probably an aspect or epithet of some other deity – most likely Wodan (Odin). Irmin might also have been an epithet of the god Ziu (Tyr) in early Germanic times, only later transferred to Odin, as certain scholars subscribe to the idea that Odin replaced Tyr as the chief Germanic deity at the onset of the Migration Period. This was the favored view of early 20th century Nordicist writers,[3] but it is not generally considered likely in modern times.[4]

The Old Norse form of Irmin is Jörmunr, which just like Yggr was one of the names of Odin. Yggdrasil ("Yggr's horse") was the yew or ash tree from which Odin sacrificed himself, and which connected the nine worlds. Jakob Grimm connects the name Irmin with Old Norse terms like iörmungrund ("great ground", i.e. the Earth) or iörmungandr ("great snake", i.e. the Midgard serpent).


According to the Royal Frankish Annals (772AD), during the Saxon wars, Charlemagne is repeatedly described as ordering the destruction of the chief seat of their religion, an Irminsul.[6] The Irminsul is described as not being far from Heresburg (now Obermarsberg), Germany.[6] Jacob Grimm states that "strong reasons" point to the actual location of the Irminsul as being approximately 15 miles (24 km) away, in the Teutoburg Forest and states that the original name for the region "Osning" may have meant "Holy Wood."

Donar's Oak - Jove's Oak (interpretatio romana for Donar's Oak and therefore sometimes referred to as Thor's Oak) was a sacred tree of the Germanic pagans located in an unclear location around what is now the region of Hesse, Germany. According to the 8th century Vita Bonifatii auctore Willibaldi, the Anglo-Saxon missionary Saint Boniface and his retinue cut down the tree earlier the same century. Wood from the oak was then reportedly used to build a church at the site dedicated to Saint Peter. Sacred trees and sacred groves were widely venerated by the Germanic peoples and scholars have linked this oak and others to the world tree in Norse mythology, Yggdrasil.

Germanic tree and grove veneration

Veneration of sacred groves and sacred trees is found throughout the history of the Germanic peoples and were targeted for destruction by Christian missionaries during the Christianization of the Germanic peoples. Ken Dowden notes that behind this great oak dedicated to Donar, the Irminsul (also felled by Christian missionaries in the 8th century), and the Sacred tree at Uppsala (described by Adam of Bremen in the 11th century), stands a mythic prototype of an immense world tree, described in Norse mythology as Yggdrasil.[5]

Yggdrasil - from Old Norse Yggdrasill, pronounced [ˈyɡːˌdrasilː]) is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology, in connection to which the nine worlds exist.

Yggdrasil is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is central and considered very holy. The gods go to Yggdrasil daily to assemble at their things. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations; one to the well Urðarbrunnr in the heavens, one to the spring Hvergelmir, and another to the well Mímisbrunnr. Creatures live within Yggdrasil, including the wyrm (dragon) Níðhöggr, an unnamed eagle, and the stags Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr and Duraþrór.

Conflicting scholarly theories have been proposed about the etymology of the name Yggdrasill, the possibility that the tree is of another species than ash, the relation to tree lore and to Eurasian shamanic lore, the possible relation to the trees Mímameiðr and Læraðr, Hoddmímis holt, the sacred tree at Uppsala, and the fate of Yggdrasil during the events of Ragnarök.

325 - 400 A.D. The Goths are converted to Arian Christianity. Ulfias writes his translation of the New Testament, the only surviving work of written Gothic.

410 A.D. - Alaric, king of the Visigoths, conquers Rome.

Interesting - Utla river the only Outlaw reference I have found in Norway... 

Utladalen -  (or Utladal) is a valley in the municipality of Årdal in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It stretches north from Øvre Årdal into the neighboring municipality of Luster. The Avdalen and Fardalen valleys branch off of the main Utladalen valley.[1]

Utladalen is Norway's deepest valley. The main valley, when measuring from Øvre Årdal is 25 kilometres (16 mi) long and is surrounded by dozens of mountain peaks that are all more than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in height. From Øvre Årdal, a comfortable walking road has been constructed, funded by voluntary contributions. The road passes through Vetti and crosses the Utla river on four spectacular bridges. The walking path ends at one of Norway's tallest waterfalls, Vettisfossen.[2]

Since Utladalen is considered to be unique in Norway and internationally, the Utladalen Landscape Protection Area was established along with the adjacent Jotunheim National Park in 1980 and covers about 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi). It includes both the valley and areas that extend both westward and northward to Jotunheim National Park, and eastward to lake Tyin.

The official form on maps is Utledalen. The first element is the genitive of the river name Utla and the last element is the finite form of dal which means "dale" or "valley". The river name is probably derived form the verb utle which means "drift" or "fly"—the many waterfalls of the river creates a mist in the bottom of the valley.


Årdal -  a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is located at the end of the Årdalsfjorden in the traditional district of Sogn. The village of Årdalstangen is the administrative center of the municipality. The other main village is Øvre Årdal. The municipality of Årdal was created in 1860 when it was separated from the municipality of Lærdal.

Årdal is a modern industrial community, with ties to the old society of farming and fishing. It is surrounded by dramatic nature with high mountains and waterfalls. The climate is rather mild and with less rain than normal in the west part of Norway. Årdal is a good starting point to explore the wild nature of Jotunheimen National Park, and with summer and winter activities within its boundaries. The Vettisfossen waterfall (highest in Norway) is located within the municipality

The Old Norse form of the name was Árdalr. The first element is the genitive case of á which means "river" (referring to the Utla river) and the last element is dalr which means "valley" or "dale". Until 1921, the name was written Aardal

There are two urban areas in Årdal: Årdalstangen and Øvre Årdal, with a total population of approximately 5,700. There are also smaller village areas throughout the municipality: Naddvik (Vikadalen), Nundalen, Indre Offerdal, Ytre Offerdal, Seimsdalen, Fardalen, Avdalen, Utladalen, Vetti, and Vettismorki.[2]

Årdal is bordered to the north and west by the municipality of Luster, to the east by Vang (in Oppland county), and to the south by Lærdal.


The Vettisfossen waterfall was given protected status in 1924. With a free fall of 275 metres (902 ft), it is the highest waterfall in Northern Europe.

The Vetti Gard og Turiststasjon, a farm rich in tradition dating from around 1120, is set in dramatic natural surroundings. The farm has been involved in tourism ever since the early 19th century and now serves as a café and tourist information office in the summer. The Vettismorki mountain farm is located nearby.

The Utladalen Landscape Protection Area (314 square kilometres or 121 square miles) was established in conjunction with the Jotunheimen National Park. It comprises large parts of the Utladalen valey and adjoining side valleys. The area contains several old farms and mountain pasture farmsteads of historical interest.

Utladalen Naturhus is a nature center situated at Skåri, an old farm. Farming here ceased in the early 1970s. In 1996 work commenced on the restoration of the old cultural landscape, and the Utladalen Naturhus center was opened in May 1998. Run by the Utladalen Naturhus foundation, the aim of the centre is to inform visitors about the natural and cultural history of Utladalen and Western Jotunheimen. The centre also includes the Slingsby Museum.[2]


Vetti Gard og Turiststasjon - or Vetti Gard) is an old farm area in the Utladalen valley in the municipality of Årdal in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It located northeast of Øvre Årdal, along the Utla river and has likely been inhabited since 1120. From Vetti, there are two walking paths into the Utladalen Landscape Protection Area and the Jotunheimen National Park. One path goes to the waterfall Vettisfossen and the other one goes to old mountain farm, Vettismorki, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the north.[

Vettisfossen -  World Waterfall Database - With a sheer plunge of 902 feet, Vettisfossen is among the tallest free-falling waterfalls on the planet. Flowing from a marshy, tundra like valley on the Jotunheimen plateau, the Morka-Koldedøla (also known as the Morkaelvi) accelerates across the lip of the valley and hurtles into a huge semi-circular amphitheater with sheer thousand-foot tall cliffs lining all sides and moss coating just about every surface it can grab hold of. The river is fed largely by meltwater from three glaciers (two of which are fairly insignificant), which ensures a consistent volume throughout the year. But during the spring and early summer months when the winter snowpack is melting, the added water gives the falls quite a bit more oomph. When we surveyed the falls in June of 2011, the plume of mist rising from the base of the falls could be seen from over a kilometer away drifting out of the amphitheater and rising to elevations nearly above the top of the falls, essentially creating its own clouds.

Vettisfossen is often claimed to be the tallest waterfall in Europe, the tallest unregulated waterfall in Norway and sometimes even the tallest free-falling waterfall on the planet. None of these are accurate claims, but there is merit to such ideas. Further survey work will have to be done to validate these ideas, but the most likely scenario is that Vettisfossen may be the tallest waterfall in Norway which consists of only one drop, that is entirely free-falling, is not regulated and flows with a considerable volume (this last stipulation is necessary because there is at least one free-falling waterfall which is taller, but dries out during the later summer months).

The Utladalen is said to harbor Norway's highest quantity of waterfalls which have not fallen victim to development for hydroelectric generation. Unfortunately more than half of the major waterfalls in the valley are quite difficult to access thanks to the lack of trails. Visitors who make the trek to see Vettisfossen will surely forgive such an oversight however, as the awe-inspiring cataract is without question one of the finest on earth. Were it the only waterfall of any size present in the area, it would be worth hiking twice as far to see all by itself. If you only have time to see one waterfall when visiting Norway, Vettisfossen should immediately become one of the top candidates.

Vettisfossen is usually the destination of choice in the Utladalen area near Jotunheimen National Park. Take Route 53 to Øvre Årdal, then turn north onto Route 301, following signs pointing to Vettisfossen. here is room for maybe 20 cars at the end of the road, while a larger parking area is found just before Hjellefossen further back down the road if the smaller one is full. 

The first five kilometers of the trail follows a single-track gravel road to the Vetti farm, which is used as a bed and breakfast during the summer months. Once at the farm, follow the road to its very end at a barn marked with a sign reading "Vetti". Walk past the barn then make a hard left on a narrow path towards one of the farm houses then very shortly after head uphill and to the right, looking for a sign marking the trail to Vettisfossen. From this point the trail becomes much narrower, rocky, root-filled, muddy and steep. The trail drops back down to the Utla River and follows along the rocky bank for another kilometer to the outwash plain at the base of the falls, just over 6km from the parking area. The trail basically ends when it encounters the river below the falls. The majority of the falls can be easily seen from here. Better views of the falls might be possible from the opposite side of the Morka-Koldedøla, but under no circumstances should attempts be made to cross the river outside of the absolute lowest flow periods.

Panoramio - Photo of Utla River in Utladalen National Park

Jotunheimen - The name "Jotunheimen" has its roots in Norse mythology, and literally means "The home of the giants" (the mountain range was previously referred to as "Giant Mountains"). Jotunheimen is part of a long, virtually continuous line of mountains separating East Norway from coastal and fjord districts of Middle Norway and West Norway, Hardangervidda and Dovrefjell are other important parts of this great barrier. The western most part of Jotunheimen sits at the intersection with the great Sognefjord and the fjord's adjacent valleys


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Sogn og Fjordane - is a county in western Norway, bordering Møre og Romsdal, Oppland, Buskerud, and Hordaland. The county administration is in the village of Hermansverk in Leikanger municipality. The largest town in the municipality is Førde.

Although Sogn og Fjordane has some industry, predominantly hydroelectricity and aluminium, it is predominantly an agricultural area. Sogn og Fjordane is also home to the Urnes Stave Church and the Nærøyfjord, which are both listed by UNESCO as world heritage sites.


Urnes Stave Church  - (Norwegian: Urnes stavkyrkje) is a 12th-century stave church at Ornes, along the Lustrafjorden in the municipality of Luster in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It sits on the eastern side of the fjord, directly across the fjord from the village of Solvorn and about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of the village of Hafslo.

It has been owned by Fortidsminneforeningen (Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments) since 1881. In 1979, the Urnes Stave Church was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


The church was built around 1130 or shortly thereafter, and still stands in its original location; it is believed to be the oldest of its kind. It provides a link between Christian architecture and the architecture and artforms of the Viking Age with typical animal-ornamentation, the so-called "Urnes style" of animal-art.

Archaeological investigations have discovered the remains of one, or possibly two, churches on the site prior to the current building. The excavations uncovered holes in the ground from earth-bound posts which had belonged to an early post church, a type of church with walls supported by short sills inserted between free-standing posts. It is not known if this church had a raised roof above the central space of the nave like the present church. The earliest possible dating of this church is the early eleventh century.


There have been numerous attempts to interpret the decoration (iconography) of the church's most remarkable part, the old portal in the northern wall. The images are generally considered to represent a snake curling upwards. At the lower end there is an animal with four feet biting the snake.

A common interpretation of this scene is that it portrays the eternal fight between good and evil. The animal is widely believed to be a stylised lion. In Christian iconography the lion is a symbol of Christ, fighting the evil symbolized by the snake, a common representation of Satan.

On the other hand, it is possible that the decoration of the earlier church featured some scenes from Norse mythology, a likely reason for its premature reconstruction in the 12th century. In this context, the animal may be interpreted as Níðhöggr eating the roots of Yggdrasil. "The intertwined snakes and dragons represent the end of the world according to the Norse legend of Ragnarök


The Viking Farm at Ytre Moa

The Viking farm at Ytre Moa is the most comprehensive farm complex we know in Norway from the Viking Age (800 – 1050 AD). The farm dates from the 9th century when much land was cleared for cultivation. For some unknown reason the farm was deserted, most likely towards the end of the 10th century. In the excavations from 1964 to 1966 six house sites and about 20 burial mounds were found.

Ytre Moa is a gravel and sand terrace located about 100 metres above sea level at the foot of the steep mountainside of Moakamben at Øvre Årdal. The blue smoke is emissions from the aluminium plant below.

Ytre Moa

Ytre Moa is located on a gravel and sand terrace about 100 metres above sea level, at the foot of the extremely steep southwest mountainside of Moakamben at Øvre Årdal. The flat terrace slopes steeply down to the river Utla to the west and the river Tya to the east. The terrace once covered an area of between eight and nine hectares (about 17 acres), but throughout the years the rivers have cut deeply into the terrace base and thereby reduced the area. The farmyard is located on the eastern part of the terrace which has the best soil.



The most important farm implements of the farmer in the Viking Age were ridging plough (ard), hoe, sickle, scythe and lopping knife (snidel). In the material found at Ytre Moa all these farm implements are represented with the exception of lopping knife. Knives and whetstones were also found. The find of a hand millstone indicates that grain was ground. With the mill from the Oseberg find the millstone from Ytre Moa is an important "document" in the story of the hand mill in this country.


The burial mounds

Only a few of the eight burial mounds excavated revealed any finds. The biggest mound was number 16 which turned out to be a fire grave without any significant finds. A possible reason could be that the mound had once been plundered. At the edge of the terrace excavations were carried out on an area paved with stones and shaped like a boat. On this site archaeologists found boat seam, celt (a type of axe), fire steel, some beads, burned bones and coal. This could have been a woman's grave.

Saga-Book VII

By PROFESSOR ALLEN MAWER", M.A., Vice-President.

T H E earliest mention of the appearance of Viking raiders in Northumbria is that found under the
year 793
in MSS. D, E and F of the Chronicle, where, after stating the marvellous portents seen in
Northumbria in that year, the entry runs in E:- 

" And a little later in the same year, on the 8th of January, the church of God on the island of Lindisfarne
was grievous!:, destroyed by the ravages of the heathen men, with rohbery and slaying of men

In the next year, 794, we read of further incursions into Northumhria, when the monastery of St.
Paul at Jarrow, founded by Ecgfrith, King of Northumbria, at the junction of the Don and Tyne, was
Vengeance was, however, close at hand, for one of their leaders was slain, several of their ships
were wrecked in a great storm so that many of the crews were drowned, while others escaped by swimming
ashore. This disaster was regarded by the pious as a judgment on them for the sack at Lindisfarne, while
the close connection of the two disasters is brought out in an interesting reference found in the letters of
Alcuin, once head of the monastic school at York, and now in the service of Charlemagne

Writing from abroad to the monks of Wearmouth and Jarrow when news reached him of the sack of Lindisfarne, he had 
warned them that their turn might come next, because they dwelt close to the sea-coast whence these plagues
first take their rise. '


Also of note in terms of an Odin cult connection is the fact that during the Viking Age it was believed that Odin himself was the creator and keeper of the runes and their magic, and the runes themselves were the key he could use to make words and make mankind speak, write, read and obey. The runes were to be feared and respected. He who kept and could write the runes also had the power of them (Råsled 2005, p.9).



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