Posts Tagged ‘history’

They Were Not Witches — They Are Our Martyrs

This is the memorial created in 1992 for the victims of the Salem trials in Salem, Mass. Each “bench” contains the name of an accused person: “Margaret Scott. Hanged. September 22, 1692.” Walk there, and you know that it has become a shrine. Then you realize that you are walking on their words, their pleas […]

Viking Hoodoo — Who Knew?

Who knew the old Norse were into runic candle magic? Not me. All right, you should not judge a museum exhibit by what is in the gift shop. It’s just that the designers of the Vikings: Beyond the Legend traveling exhibit, chiefly from the Swedish History Museum, if I understand correctly, took great pains to […]

Jared Diamond Was Wrong—The Greenland Norse Adapted

A new article in the journal Science refutes Jared Diamond’s claim that the 400-year-old Norse colony in Greenland failed because its habitants failed to adapt to the land. Diamond’s thesis in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed was that the Norse made bad ecological decisions. As one reviewer summarizes, The problem with […]

The Viking “Blood Eagle” Never Happened, Says Historian

A Swedish archaeologist reviews a new book, Anders Winroth’s The Age of the Vikings, and makes this observation: Myself, I was intrigued to learn that the infamous, messy and impractical “blood eagle” murder method may just be the fruit of High Medieval writers misunderstanding one of the countless references in Viking Period poetry to carrion birds […]

Around the Blogosphere, 17 July 2014

¶ Tanya Luhrman compares the cultural differences in “hearing voices” in the United States, Ghana, and India. Plus, a Dutch psychiatrist who encourages it in his patients! ¶ You have read Ethan Doyle White’s interview with Ronald Hutton, right? If not, here it is. ¶ Two from Sarah Veale at Invocatio: • A PhD dissertation […]

How the Neighborhood Has Changed

Hardscrabble Creek is a real place, and every now and then, I like to post a photo or two from home. I found the first photo while researching something else, and I took the second one today. In both of these photos, Hardscrabble Creek runs behind the buildings farthest from the camera. About half a […]

Tarot Cards — They Are for Catholics Too

Thomas L. McDonald, Patheos’ “Technology | Culture | Catholicism” blogger has a five-part series on the history of the Tarot cards. It starts here. The real history of the Tarot, however, begins in the early 15th century in Italy, and their story is an important part of gaming and cultural history that was lost for […]

Robin of Kent (and His Merry Men)

A British historian argues that Robin Hood was based on a guerrilla bowman nicknamed Willikin of the Weald, although he might have passed through Sherwood Forest. (A snippet of the longer article from History Today) That puts him fighting for “bad King John” (a minus) but against the French (always a plus for an English […]

The Green Man: A Symbol of Ethnic Resistance?

Green man masks are a staple seller on Merchants’ Row at any Pagan festival. I found a weather-resistant example at Beltania a couple of years ago, and now it hangs by the front door. As Paul Kingsnorth writes in Aeon: There are plenty of hypotheses [about his origin], and it depends on whom you talk […]

Two Items Involving Ronald Hutton

First, an interview by Ethan Doyle White with British scholar of esotericism Dave Evans, who did his doctorate with Hutton at Bristol and speaks well of him: Having a conversation with Ronald is a delight, and I had him to myself every 3 weeks or so, for a precious half an hour, for almost 3 […]