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Helen of Troy
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy (sometimes called Helen of Sparta) is a figure from Greek mythology whose elopement with (or abduction by) the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the Trojan War. Helen, considered the most beautiful woman in the world, was the...
Kingdom of Mercia
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Kingdom of Mercia

The Kingdom of Mercia (c. 527-879 CE) was an Anglo-Saxon political entity located in the midlands of present-day Britain and bordered on the south by the Kingdom of Wessex, on the west by Wales, north by Northumbria, and on the east by East...
Ivar the Boneless
Definition by Emma Groeneveld

Ivar the Boneless

Ivar the Boneless (Old Norse Ívarr hinn Beinlausi) is known from Old Norse and medieval Latin sources as the son of the legendary Viking king Ragnar Lothbrok, in these stories raiding alongside his father and brothers and becoming...
Menelaus
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Menelaus

Menelaus (also Menelaos) is a figure from ancient Greek mythology and literature who was the king of Sparta and the husband of beautiful Helen, whose abduction by the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the legendary Trojan War. The story...
Aethelwulf of Wessex
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Aethelwulf of Wessex

Aethelwulf (r. 839-858 CE) was King of Wessex, a region in modern-day Britain, son and successor to Egbert of Wessex (r. 802-839 CE) who had unified and expanded his kingdom with Aethelwulf's assistance. Aethelwulf fought at the Battle of...
Norse Ghosts & Funerary Rites
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Norse Ghosts & Funerary Rites

In Norse belief, the soul of the deceased might wind up in any one of a number of afterlife realms. There was Valhalla, the realm of Odin where the dead warriors drank, fought, and told stories, Folkvangr ('the Field of the People'), the...
Norse Pets in the Viking Age
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Norse Pets in the Viking Age

Pets were as important to the Norse of the Viking Age (c. 790-1100 CE) as they were to any other culture, past or present. The Vikings kept dogs and cats as pets and both feature in Norse religious iconography and literature. The Norse also...
King Egbert of Wessex
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

King Egbert of Wessex

Egbert of Wessex (l. c. 770-839 CE, r. 802-839 CE; also given as Ecgberht, Ecbert) was the most powerful and influential king of Wessex prior to the reign of Alfred the Great (r. 871-899 CE). Egbert came to the throne at a time when the neighboring...
Gisela of France
Definition by Martine Mussies

Gisela of France

Gisela of France was a legendary 10th-century CE Francian princess, who, according to tradition, was married off to Viking leader Rollo of Normandy. Her name, Gisela or Gisla, comes from an Old German word meaning "to pledge", the...
Ten Legendary Female Viking Warriors
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Ten Legendary Female Viking Warriors

In 2017 CE, Uppsala University archaeologist Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson published her study of a Viking grave discovered in Birka, Sweden in the 1800's CE which she and her team had revisited. She claimed that what was formerly understood...