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Ever wanted to become a Viking, raid, explore, and loot everything from the distant lands where you and your crew could set ashore? Well, now this can be possible in a certain way. If you planned to learn more about the Vikings, then Norway is definitely the right place.
A Norwegian high school offers the opportunity to learn all there is about the Norsemen, discovering thus their culture, traditions, and crafts. The students will be taught (among other thing) how to forge and wield a sword as well as how to make authentic Viking Age jewellery.
The apprentice Viking courses will be held at the Seljord Folkehøgskule (Seljord Folk High School), located in the Seljord municipality from Telemark county in southern Norway, 150 kilometres west of the capital city Oslo.
Once there, students will be able of celebrating Norse rituals and ceremonies so as to better understand the Norsemen’s way of living. However, the myth of the bloodthirstiness of the Viking Age will be put to rest as there will be no violence during the classes, given the fact that ‘rape and pillage are not part of the curriculum’, said Mr. Jeppe Nordmann Garly, the 36 year old Danish director of the Scandinavian course.
Many of the students who had shown interest in this course were attracted to learn more about the Norse culture from TV shows or computer games. So it is that the public opinion has been visibly interested in the Norsemen and their culture for some time. In this particular respect, various television series with greater audiences such as the Irish-Canadian production ‘Vikings’ from History Channel or ‘Game of Thrones’ as well as a wide range of video games contributed to this massive public interest.
The Irish-Canadian co-production ‘Vikings’ depicts the adventures of a legendary Norse chieftain by the name Ragnar Lothbrok during the early Viking period (which is officially documented to have commenced at the end of the 8th century when a group of Norwegian Vikings raided the Catholic abbey of Lindisfarne, situated less than one mile off the northeastern coast of England).
The TV series ‘Vikings’ has been integrally filmed in Ireland and as of 2015 comprises three seasons (which mostly met with positive reviews, despite the fact that the serial is not as historically accurate as others would expect).
With respect to historical achievements, the Norsemen were brilliant explorers, seafarers, warriors, traders, and blacksmiths. They were indeed feared throughout much of Europe during the early Middle Ages because of the frequency of the Viking raids in many places ranging from England, France, or the Low Countries (just to name a few), but many myths surround their era, and in terms of scientific accuracy most of them aren’t real at all.
During this time, the Norsemen also settled the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland, and travelled to exotic places that most Europeans of the early Middle Ages could not even dream of, such as the Caspian Sea or Vinland (Newfoundland, modern day Canada).
This article was originally posted in The Dockyards.