The wonder of the gods
The Norns spinning the thread of Destiny (by Arthur Rackham)
The Norns in Norse mythology are Goddesses who rule the destiny of Gods and men. The Norns spin the threads of fate at the foot of Yggdrasil, the tree of the world. Whereas the origin of the name norn is uncertain, it may derive from a word meaning “to twine” and which would refer to their twining the thread of fate. The Pagan Poppet
Viking Dogs: Part I
REFERENCE: shields of the Polish warriors (woje). Timeline - c. 10th-12th centuries: the early Piast Dynasty state (the first historically well-documented ruling dynasty of Poland).
All the drawings above are based on the archaeological finds, depictions found on historical / archaeological artifacts and descriptions from the medieval chronicles. The few pictures collected above put a stronger focus on the various mandel-shaped shields, commonly depicted on e.g. old Polish coins, seals or reliefs. Many examples of iron-reinforced shields of rectangular shape (see pic 8 above) were also documented, but are often overlooked by the Polish reenactors. The round shields were also commonly in use and unearthed frequently in the archaeological sites in Poland, some confirmed Viking but most of them simply influenced by the Nordic (Viking) school of war (the ones gripped in the center with an iron boss). Apart from the many territorial wars, Slavs and Vikings had bonded strong ties based on the trade and general goods exchange, it is also noteworthy that many of the West Slavic warriors were also influenced or inspired by the well-known Viking combat techniques - in Polish language these Slavs are called Chąśnicy (by definition: West Slavic warriors battling in the Viking manner or even joining the Viking ranks - if anyone’s interested I might prepare a separated post about them in the future). The first well-documented Polish ruler Mieszko I was even keeping a hired company of either Vikings or Chąśnicy (it’s still disputed by the historians) in his military forces and with their help he had formed the first united Polish state.
Pic 2: a fragment of the famous Gniezno Doors).
Pic 3: coin of Bolesław II Szczodry / Śmiały (Bolesław II the Generous / the Bold), King of Poland from 1076 to 1079; coin of Bolesław IV Kędzierzawy (Bolesław IV the Curly), high Duke of Poland from 1146 until his death in 1173; coin of Własdysław II Wygnaniec (Władysław II the Exiled), a High Duke of Poland and Duke of Silesia from 1138 until his expulsion in 1146; coin of Lestek (Leszek) Bolesławowic, Duke of Masovia and Kuyavia from 1173 until his death in 1186; seal of Henryk I Brodaty (Henry I the Bearded), high duke of Poland from 1232 until his death in 1238; coin of Mieszko III, high Duke of Poland from 1173 until his death in 1202,.
Pic 10: the most well-preserved mandel-shaped shield discovered so far, unearthed in Szczecin, Poland. Color reconstruction.
Polish warrior (woj) of Mieszko I; timeline: 10th century / battle of Cedynia.
Polish warrior (woj) of Bolesław Chrobry; timeline: turn of the 10th/11th centuries. Drawing by Jarosław Gryguć.
In Norse mythology, the Great Norns are three female divine beings who spin the threads of fate and weave each human’s destiny.
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