Links to more information on the Viking board game Hnefatafl.
Danish museums about the Viking Age:
Other Nordic museums:
Some societies and sites interested in history, Vikings and the board game Hnefatafl:
Papers on Saami Tablut.
John C. Ashton in USA did an interesting analysis directly from one of the historic sources, the Latin diary of Carl von Linné from his excursion to Lapland in Sweden, 1732, where Linné found and described the Lappish board game called Tablut, a descendant of the at that time lost Viking game Hnefatafl. Ashton suspected the Hnefatafl game rules in Anglo-American countries to be erroneous due to a chain of translation errors and misunderstandings. Therefore Ashton started over again with a fresh translation of the Latin text of Linné.
The research paper and findings of John C. Ashton were published in the journal The Heroic Age,
read the paper, Linnaeus's Game of Tablut and its Relationship to the Ancient Viking Game Hnefatafl, here.
John C. Ashton's paper was demanded reduced to half length before publication in the games magazine. The original, full paper is much more informative and can be found here, with Ashton's kind permission.
Nicolas Cartier, France, wrote this paper on Tablut in French and permitted it to be published here.
The tablut rules deducted by Nicolas Cartier, translated into English.
Jonas Lööf ("conanlibrarian"), a Swede in Germany, translated the Linné tablut rules from Latin here.
The Finnish linguist Olli Salmi translated the Linné tablut rules from Latin here.
Aage Nielsen placed the four translations of Salmi, Ashton, Cartier and Troilius side by side for comparing:
Hnefatafl World Championship, Fetlar.
Fetlar 2008 video.
Radio interview on Hnefatafl, Boston, USA, 2013.
Dr. René Gralla wrote this feature on the annual Hnefatafl world championships on the Shetland island Fetlar on ChessBase News (in German).
Hnefatafl in Berlin.
28th of November 2013 in Berlin there was a hnefatafl demonstration match between a Norwegian chess player and a German hnefatafl player.
See blog article about the event here.
Also Damian Walker wrote about it here.
- And not least: Rene Gralla's report from the day with photos!
19.12.2013 Rene Gralla sent this information about a recent column in the Norwegian chess magazine Verdens Gang:
THE NEWS: Norwegian people have now learned that chess may not be a product from India (BTW, the author of the column nonchalantly talks of "Persia" in this context) but that chess may be a pure Scandinavian brand in the first place ... since the the roots of the Chess of the Vikings, that famous "Hnefatafl", that date back to LATRUNCULI which was the ancient strategic game of the Roman soldiers and which was much older than the proto-chess Chaturanga from India.
The foregoing fact has been the leitmotiv of a column on chess that has been published by Simen Agdestein in the No. 2 (!!) of the tabloids of Norway - called VG (that means: "Verdens Gang") - on last Wednesday, December 11th, 2013.
The chess columnist Simen Agdestein - who is very close to the new World Champion Magnus Carlsen - reports on his first own experiences with Hnefatafl ... and then adds some information on the "8th International Ladies Chess Gala" that had been organised by the German daily "neues deutschland" at Berlin on November 28th, 2013; as part of the program of the event Norway's WIM Silje Bjerke had played an exhibition game of Hnefatafl.
- And here a scan of the column.
Hat tip: Rene Gralla.
Interview with Silje Bjerke, Damian Walker's blog.
Hnefatafl at Tromsø - article in German media.
The German weekly "Schleswig-Holstein am Sonntag" has published on Sunday, November 3rd, 2013, an interview with Frank Prohl, the organizer of the Hnefatafl tournament at Tromsø in Norway 2014.
See the article here: Wikingerschlacht in Miniatur.
19.5.2014 Rene Gralla sent this article from the Germanan newspaper FLENSBORG AVIS:
great news today, there is some extra promotion for HNEFATAFL at the Chess Olympiad 2014 in media of the border region ... since the FLENSBORG AVIS that publishes articles both in Danish (!) and German, has now published my German-language version of the interview with Frank Prohl who wants to bring back the Chess of the Vikings to the Norwegian people!
- See the article here.
Hat tip: Rene Gralla.
On the Viking longship Sea Stallion:|
The Sea Stallion is an accurate copy of a 30 metres Viking longship with 60 oars and 65 men. In 2007 the ship sailed from Roskilde in Denmark to Dublin in Ireland, and in 2008 the ship returned to Roskilde. The crew on board came from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, UK, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Canada and New Zealand.
Here are photos from the arrival of the Sea Stallion to Roskilde after a voyage of 4800 kilometers.
Videos on YouTube.
Some events in Denmark July 2015.
The Saga Oseberg viking ship.
July 2015 the magnificent replica of the Oseberg Viking Ship visited Roskilde on its first longer voyage from Norway, to do a week of sailing testing and experimenting in the Roskilde Fjord.
The ship was built 820 in Norway, put in the burial mound in Tønsberg 834 and was found and excavated 1903-1905.
1987 a replica of the ship was built, which on its very first trial run sailed itself straight to the bottom of the sea after 20 seconds in water! Fortunately all crew survived. After that experience, many scientists were of the opinion that the ship was built for ceremonial use only, and not for real use at sea.
However, the original ship found in the mound did show very distinct traces of heavy use, so in 2004 a new project for reviewing the ship all over from scratch was started up with a Norwegian team from Tønsberg in collaboration with a Danish team from the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum. Every piece of wood from the original find, and every piece of documentary note from the excavatation was restudied very carefully, and it turned out that grave errors had been done with the 1987 replica. Each and every centimeter and detail everywhere in the ship counts and can be crucial.
A new replica was built, this time extremely carefully, using viking tools only, and everything exactly as found in the original. Planks were even lashed together with baleens as they were in the original. And while they were at it, all carvings and ornamentations were done most accurately; even a Viking sailor's grafitti carving under a board, depicting a wolf, horses and a ship's bow, was done on the replica as found in the original.
2012 the new replica was launched, and this time certainly without sinking. This time it doesn't sail itself down the water but elegantly lifts its bow at some speed. July 2015 the ship went on its first longer voyage, to Roskilde, Denmark, for the scientists to do a week's testing and experimenting in the Roskilde Fjord with the ship and sailing techniques. In the first trial runs it appeared a bit heavy in the beat, but after 500 kg ballast was moved from the back to the middle of the ship, it beat up against the wind like a dream.
The captain told a visitor that they beat up to 65 degrees against the wind, and always at full speed. As the ship has no side drift keel, speed is what keeps the course against the wind.
Nyborg Medieval Market.
Nyborg Medieval Market photos.
Trelleborg Viking Market.
Trelleborg Viking Market photos.
Land of Legends, Viking Market.
Land of Legends photos.
Many legends tell of Danish kings in prehistoric times seated in a location called Hleithr, the prehistoric capital of Denmark from before year 500 until about year 1000 when the town Roskilde was founded as the king's new seat. (About 1450 the king's seat moved on to Copenhagen). In addition to Danish prehistoric legends, Lejre is also mentioned in historical sources abroad.
The legends point towards a location 9 km from Roskilde today called Lejre, and as it happens, in Lejre is found one of Scandinavia's largest ship settings, 83 metres long. Yet it was for a long time fashion among Danish archaeologists to write off the legends and Lejre as pure myths. Until 1997, that is, when a 48 x 11 metres king's hall from about year 550 was found in Lejre, and later it turned out to be one in a complex of several large buildings. 2009 also a fine silver figurine made about year 900 and depicting Odin on his throne with his two ravens was found in Lejre.
In Lejre continued to be a magnate's seat with names like Lejregård, today Ledreborg and looking like this:
In the very landscape of the legendary kings was 1964 founded the Centre for Historical-Archaeological Research, today called Land of Legends. There you find fx. an authentically reconstructed iron age village, inhabited by volunteers, and a reconstruction of the Lejre ship setting, built authentically by manual power. In near future also a reconstruction of the found Lejre king's hall will be built there.
Year 500-1000; so Hleithr has seen a lot of Hnefatafl played!
By the way, experimental historical research has much to do with the work the tafl players' community does on this site, besides enjoying the games. I once wrote a forum note about that:
Køge Medieval Market.
Køge Medieval Market photos.