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Vendel period

Thought that I would add to the thread a new realisation of a commission for Shield II from the Valsgarde 7 boat grave.


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Mmm I'm afraid the posting of the picsdidn't come out to well.....better imagaes can be seen here


Re: Vendel period
David Huggins wrote:

Thought that I would add to the thread a new realisation of a commission for Shield II from the Valsgarde 7 boat grave.



that is amazing.
David, WOW!! That is REALLY nice. It looks even better than the one on his website.
That is stunning!!! now I want to make myself one of those.
You flash git Huggins!

Thanks for the compliments, of course it should be hats of to Thorkil, his is the skill..and Matt..it takes one to know one :lol:

But seriously, the recreations do have a serious purpose behind them, and we hope that they perhaps go a little way in disproving the commonly held belief that this was anything but a post -roman 'Dark Age' , but was an age of dynamic cultural changes, which can be seen through the artistic expression displyed on these artifacts.

i was wondering if anyone had any info what so ever on what style of tent would have been used in the Vendel period.

i know the typical "Viking tent" is based of the Oseberg find which is around the 8-9th C so i was wondering if there was any evidence of them earlier then that time

also the "Anglo Saxon tent" i do no know much about. what is it based on and what time period is it also.

and is there any other style of tent that would suit the vendel period more and what evidence backs it up?

if no one knows anything on the subject i might just get a "viking tent" and add some Vendel period decorations to it, but i would love to be able to base the tent on something from the period

I was under the impression that tents were not nessesarly the norm.

As the upper classes would have kicked out any locals and slept in their houses. and the rank and file would have wrapped themselves in their cloaks.

There are severel different A-S words for cloak, from short cloak to long-sleepy-cloak.

I may have made that up.

R Lister wrote:

There are severel different A-S words for cloak, from short cloak to long-sleepy-cloak.

By any chance, is there a word for "Well, looks like I'll have to chew my own arm off so I don't wake her up"?
Wouldn't shock me. If it's like the case of Old Norse, there's specific terms for all sorts of stuff. Stroinn, for instance, being the pereterite participle of the verb strea, and means "to be in the sexually recieving end by another man".

Now that was a fine bit of awkward off-topic if ever I've seen it.

Perhaps you would like to give an answer to the question....er, not the receiving nocturnal favours one, the tent one!

I would also be interested in any information of tents from Vendel period, even if my new big tent should be ready very soon, it's a typical "trading" tent.
Hi Mick

As far as I am aware there is no direct archeological or other evidence at present for tentage from Scandinavia prior to the Viking Age Gokstad and Oseberg tent frames, and the later written Icelandic Sagas makes which references temporary shelters.

Of course this does not mean that tents were unknown, most cultures have some form of temporary shelter, some built in situ from local resources perhaps and some portable.

Prior to the Viking Age given the areas contacts with the Roman military since the Marcomannic Wars it would suprise me if they were not aware of campaign tents of some description or form, and I think it reasonable that shelter from the enviroment would be a required necessity for a ship-bourne raiding party if beaching/berthing and overnighting was needed, traders, shepards and swineherds would also need some form of shelter too, perhaps even something like this would have sufficed with some small bushcraft knowledge http://www.enslin.com/rae/gypsy/bender.htm

This raises the question of what form of tentage may have been known and I think that you have pretty much provided your own answer.

Given the lack of direct evidence at present any attempt at a 'Vendel Age' tent is going to be a compromise in both construction and material used.

We know of the Viking Age 'A' frame but we are not sure how the 'cover' was attached, and it is possible that wool was used but this is not entirely certain.

The so called Anglo-Saxon 'Geteld' appears in a number of Codex and Psalter illustrations within a military and ecclesiastial context and in general is regarded by re-enactors and others to be dated to the manufacture of the earlier well known Psalter illustrations at about the 9th C. Some of the illustrations show quite large tents.

However Matt had drawn my attention to an earlier ridge tent illustration very similair in appearance to the 'geteld' and this was why I was hoping he would answer because I can not recall the source.

Again these illustrations show us how they looked but not how they were truly constructed or what materials they were made from, and like the Viking Age 'A' frame tents several differing methods have been re-created.

I think that it comes down to a personal preferance wether you use the 'geteld' or 'A' frame as a model and you have hit the nail on the spot with your intention to decorate any aspect with the tent with Vendel Style decorative elements which vary considerably from the Viking Age and this does lend an aspect of a 'period' feel.

Here is one of my favourite tent-makers http://tentorium.pl/

Thanks for the Reply David. that is what i suspected. i didnt think there was much evidence with tents, was just putting the feelers out just in case.

yes i think i will go with a oseberg style tent and stylise it with vendel period decorations

thanks again for the info mate

David Huggins wrote:

However Matt had drawn my attention to an earlier ridge tent illustration very similair in appearance to the 'geteld' and this was why I was hoping he would answer because I can not recall the source.

Sorry old boy, missed this.
If anyone's still interested, the source that Dave is referring to is the Vienna Genesis, a 6th century Byzantine manuscript. It clearly shows a couple of three pole ridge tents very similar in form to the usual geteld.

'Viking'/Oseberg 'A' frames are really deck awnings aren't they, not tents at all?
Re: Vendelperiod Clothing and armour
Anders Nilsson wrote:

Im trying to recreate a "Vring" from the Vendelperiod. Hes supposed to be a "halfdane" that has been to byzans as a mercenary. I have done a kit that Im pleased with, but it feels a bit to "Viking".
Im searching for what could make the kit more Vendelperiod.
Im searching for information on Vendelperiod clothing, arms, and armour. (Ca 550-800)
Im especially interested in cultures around the baltic. Im also interested in the connection with the anglosaxons. The shield from Sutton Hoo is probably of scandinavian origin so there was trade. Could be a nice touch in the kit.

Not the best pics, but you get the point. Its a quite basic shirt, tunic and trousers. Shoes of mooseskin to get a local touch. Saex, bearded axe, a spear and a sling as weapons.
I wanted the kit to be a "Vring" returning from service in byzans. Its not to be a chieftain but rather a Huscarl.

Im thinking of adding splints for arms and legs and perhaps a Danish axe.

Book, links and tips would be appreciated.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

unless someone else has info otherwise,
the varangians began from the rus in the 9th-10th century,
anglo saxon, danish and other scandinavians began to form part of the guards membership around the end of the 10th century.
or are you refering to another body of mercenaries?

i am meeting up with my fellow guard reenacters and i will put the question to them.
The first mention of a west-norse Varangian in Norse sources is Bolli Bollison in the early 11th century. Though the source for this is a later saga, at least people were under the impression that he was the first from western-norse territories, something that is very likely to have made a great impression in ass-end-of-nowhere late Viking Iceland.

Still it is of course not to say that the ON term Vringi was invented the minute some expat. Scandinavians set foot in the emperor's chamber. The identification of Varangians as royal guardsmen is perhaps secondary, though seemingly strong once it had occured. Vringjar, if derived from ON "vrar", should mean "those who are oath-sworn" could perhaps be connected with them as being primarily mercenary bands to begin with.
The term Vringi is probably confusing in regard to the period under discussion, as most associate this with the later Viking Age oath sworn warrior retinues in the employ of the Byzantine Emperors and Russ rulers.

It is believed that there where interactions with the Roman Empire prior to the Vendel period, perhaps both fighting for and against!

I agree, though there is a lot of speculation Illerup has been suggested to reflect this, as fellow boarders might be aware of.

Also, it often seems as if people tend to think the viking age marks a sudden shift where contact with the continental powers was reestablished. I don't really think the period would be possible in such a form if this was entirely true. Take the Rk runestone (c. 800) as an example - as it sometimes is taken to reflect that matters on the continent were followed closely by Scandinavian eyes. I doubt that it much different in the Vendel period.
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