The Spirituality of the Vikings

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What sort of spirituality do you normally associate with Vikings?

Maybe the ancient myths of Valhalla come to mind? Tales of Odin, Thor and Freyr?

Yesterday we saw a different side to Viking spirituality as my family and I explored the Vikings – Beyond the Legend exhibition currently showing at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

In this photo you can see, not only a celtic cross, but also a miniture Buddha that was recovered from Viking ruins. It was the Buddha that particularly surprised me. I was aware that Viking trading was extensive, stretching as far as Byzanteum. But to think of Vikings as being influenced, however obscurely, by Buddhism, was new to me.

Far more prominently were the Pagan and Christian influences on Viking Religion, with statues of Loki and Jesus all provoking my interest. Following are a few more photos I took on the day. See if you can guess who’s who.

Viking exhibition 2

Viking exhibition 3

Thor hammer

Viking exhibition 1

Runes

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