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First off, of course I know Vikings didn't have horns on their helmets, but in Scandinavia it's common to use horn-helmets for silly goofy cartoons, and no-horn-helmets for serious Viking things.

Anyway, the transition from the Norse religion to Christianity was very gradual and fairly gentle compared to most other countries. For a very long time Scandinavians believed in both. To them the Christian cross looked like Thor's hammer when turned upside down, so they wore it like that as an amulet that provided both Jesus and Thor's protection.


11th November 2015

Tagged in Norway Denmark


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354 Comments:
 
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2 years ago #9422343        
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Finns didn't welcome Christianity with open arms at first. Back in the day Finland was part of Sweden and the Swedish crown sent many holy men for crusades across Finland to convert ordinary folk to Christianity. There's a famous legend about peasant named Lalli who got angry and killed one of these swedish bishops. Lalli is often referred as a freedom fighter and a hero, not a murderous pagan, as you might think. In fact he is so popular in his home town that they have a statue of him. :D

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1 year ago #9484888        
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Jesus and Thor's protection? Well, I know what I need for Christmas!

2 years ago #9422690        
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and with 'gentle' you mean that heathen priests were slowly drowned and horribly tortured.

One more reason why christan churches should be banned.

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Kiwiaka

20 F
2 years ago #9423071        
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Uuuuuhm.. What?!
From what I have learned, the Scandinavians did NOT gradually and gently transition from Aesir to Christianity. Quite the contrary! The Christians pretty much waged war on the Vikings and there was a lot of killing going on. Even after the Scandinavians succumbed and became Christians, anyone who showed any signs of believing in the "pagan" gods were executed/punished.

I've never heard of anyone turning the cross upside down to resemble Tor's hammer, but if that is true then I'd like some sources please! :P
(Tried to look it up myself but all I get is Christian symbolism)

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2 years ago #9426936        
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In fact Odin-worship survived well into the 1500s in Dalarna (Dalecarlia) and Småland (Smalandia) where they worshiped a horse known as a valgud which means warrior god, which is also an old name for the Allfather (which was also the god of war) the horse thing is clearly Sleipner, Odin's eight-legged horse. Few people of the time propably knew of the link to the old pagan god but it is understandable as the common folk had Little to no understanding of the old beliefs godly World.

Dalarna today is still known for their small decorated wooden horses (Dalahäst/dala horse) which is a last remnant of the old Odin worship still alive today.
Horses has in general been considered very holy in various indo-euorpean Cultures. It has ancient roots which probably goes back to the proto-aryan Lifestyle on the eastern-european steppes.

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jakobdam

34 M
2 years ago #9422320        
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I am protected by the lightning wrath of the Thunder God Thor, and the holy might of the Son of the One God. What was that? Contradictory? I do not know such long words, alas now I must hack you to pieces with my ax."

2 years ago #9422307        
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And thus TRUE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL was bjorn!

2 years ago #9422290        
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Despite Christianization, our old pre-Christian faith never really left our minds. For instance, the days of the week are still named after Norse gods (for the most part) in the Scandinavian languages:

Mandag (Máni's Day), Tirsdag (Týr's Day), Onsdag (Odin's Day), Torsdag (Thor's Day), Fredag (Frigg's Day) and Søndag (Sól's Day).

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1 year ago #9475591        
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No, Norway's transition into Christianity was not a gradual or peaceful thing. It was a bloody war that waged for many years, led by King Olav the Holy. Norway was one of the last countries in Europe to succumb to it.

As for the upside down Tor cross? Never heard of it.

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Sirsir

21 M
2 years ago #9466564        
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I'm so happy for these descriptions, without them most of these would go right over my head. In this case I would think Satanic over Norse...

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