Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota
Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota
Researching Swedes and Swedish Immigration Worldwide

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Life and Death: the thoughts of the Viking warrior on the afterlife
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Life and Death: the thoughts of the Viking warrior on the afterlife  (Programs)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Annual meeting - Live Hybrid Webinar (Recorded)

What were the beliefs of the Viking-age people about what happened to them after their death?

William R. Short and Reynir A. Óskarson will discuss their beliefs, including: Valhöll (Valhalla) the realm of Óðinn; Freyja and her field for the slain at Fólksvangr; the walking dead roaming with their battle wounds; Orðstírr (word glory) the essence of a man that continued long after death.

In this presentation, these topics and many more will be discussed, based on the research they conducted for their most recent book, Men of Terror: A Comprehensive Analysis of Viking Combat. They will discuss what is known about the Viking belief in life after death based on mythological sources, along with archaeological, pictorial, and literary sources, such as law codes and runestones.

Dr. William R. Short was awarded a Doctor of Science degree from MIT and spent many years in research in fields related to acoustics and audio, receiving dozens of patents, and sharing the IPO Inventor of the Year award in 1987. After reading a few sagas and taking a summer course at the University of Iceland, Dr. Short pivoted to a full-time study of Viking-related topics, focusing on combat. He is the manager of the New England-based organization Hurstwic and leads their research. He was a research fellow at Higgins Armory Museum. He is the co-author (with Reynir) of Men of Terror: A Comprehensive Analysis of Viking Combat (Westholme 2021) and author of several other books on Viking topics.

Reynir A. Óskarson grew up in Iceland, a land steeped in Viking history where the sagas are required reading in school. Starting at an early age, Reynir received extensive martial arts training in many forms of combat. He holds instructor’s degrees in a number of combative arts, and he has been teaching, giving seminars, and competing both domestically and abroad. Reynir’s research in glíma, the Viking-age empty-hand combat that evolved into Iceland’s national sport has received accolades from current and past chairmen and champions at Glímusamband Íslands, the wrestling association of Iceland.

Location and Hybrid Participation Options

This will be our annual meeting, followed by a live virtual webinar, starting at 10am Central Standard Time. This will be a hybrid program, with the following options available for participating.
  1. In-person attendance - our programs are held at the Minnesota Genealogy Center, 1385 Mendota Heights Road Suite 100 in Mendota Heights, MN.
  2. Virtual – The Zoom link will be emailed to all members before the program.
  3. A recording will be available if you can’t attend in-person or virtually.
No registration is required.