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Category  10 -  Olaus Magnus - History of the Nordic Peoples (from 1555) - Illustrations with comments - Page 4

Illustrationer med förklaringar till Olaus Magnus "Historia om de nordiska folken" (utgiven år 1555)


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Book 4, Ch. 4. On the Five Languages Spoken in the Nordic Countries.

To the left a Muscovite showing a false coin. Next a Swede, armed with  broadaxe, bow and arrow and sword. Next a Lap in fur coat and with bow and arrow. To the right a Geat with a crossbow.
1300 x 600 px.

Book 4 Ch. 5. On Trade Without Using Money.

We see barter between Nordic people (to the left) and Russians (to the right). The Nordic people is offering dried pike fish, flour, axes, knives, scissors, cloth etc. The Russians offer skins, butter (?), arrows and bows etc.
 1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 6. On Marketplaces on the Ice.

This is a scene from River Fyrisån in Uppsala. It is winter, the full moon shines on the dark sky. Traders are seen on the ice with their merchandise. We can see a crossbow, axe, knife, tongs, scissors and other tools, barrels, a metal jug etc.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 7. On Marriages among the Laps that Becomes Confirmed by Fire.

A marriage is confirmed in presence of parents and relatives by stroking steel and flint stone together. This ritual is executed by the man to the left. The wedding meal is being prepared. Fires are burning and fishes are ready to be fried. A large jug and drinking vessels are s
een. 1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 8. On Dances that is Executed During Lamentations.

Three women and three men dance to the music from a bagpipe and a string instrument played with bow.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 9. On the Activities of the People at Moonlight.

This scene takes place in Lapland. The full moon in the sky symbolizes midwinter. At the left a man is out hunting. To the right an official (birkarl) is riding on a reindeer. Below a man is sewing together sinews from reindeers outside a house.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 10. On Boats that are put Together with Sinews and Tree Roots.

Three men are building a boat. The man to the left is sewing together two boards on the port side. The man in the foreground forms other boards with an axe. The man behind mounts the last board on the starboard side. A rowing boat is seen in the water.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 11. On Instruction in Archery.

The woodcut shows four Laps of different ages practising archery. Behind them their tents. The 3rd person from the left wears a bear skin with the bear’s head as a hood. Some birds are flying in the sky.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 12 On Hunting Tours of the Laps.

The picture shows three hunters with skis. You can see a sporting dog in the foreground and fleeing reindeers in the background.
1300 x 600 px
Book 4, Ch. 13. On Horses Mode of Travel over Snowy Mountains.

The woodcut shows a merchant who travels with his packhorse over the mountains between Sweden and Norway. Both the horse and the man wear snow shoes. A disc with similar function is fitted on the man’s staff.
1300 x 600 px

Book 4, Ch. 14. On Dangerous Journeys in the Mountains (Fjells).

To the left four men armed with crossbows. Two travellers are seen in this wild country. The one in the middle leads a packhorse, the one to the right rides. Note that they travel unarmed. A reindeer and a bird are seen among the high mountains (fjell).
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 15. On the Law of Killing of Ravens.

A scene from Iceland. In old times there existed a law that granted rewards for killing of ravens and other pests. To the left a raven is attacking a pig. In the middle a hunter with a crossbow that shows raven heads to the sheriff to the right. The sheriff has money in his hand.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 16. On Attention to Old People.

An old man wants to get down a steep snowy mountain side. He is placed on a bear skin pulled by a horse. A son or a servant holds the horse.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch.17. On Christening of Children among the Forrest Dwellers.

A Lap and his with skis on their feet approaches a church where the Christening will take place. They are dressed in coats of fur. On their backs they carry baskets with two children each. The baskets probably also contains gifts to the priest
1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 18. On the Conversion of the Northern and Eastern Finland and the great Hospitality of the Inhabitants.

To the left of the woodcut two travellers which are greeted welcome by the
host in the middle. A table is made ready to the right and a man in the doorway is carrying a jug. The tree without twigs means “welcome”. 1300 x 600 px.
Book 4, Ch. 20. On the Way to Win the Heathens for the True Religion and Keep Them into the Same.

The symbol in the middle could be an ear (grain), used as a votive gift to Saint Erik. In this chapter Olaus Magnus praises his brother Johannes Magnus, earlier Archbishop of Sweden. When this is written, however, Sweden had converted to the Lutheran faith, a fact that the author naturally condemns.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 1. On Giants.

The woodcut shows three warriors in suits of armour. All three carry a sword. The on in the middle has also a halberd and the one to the right a mace.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 2. On the Difference between Giants and Warriors.

To the left the giant Hartben who was said to be nine “alnar” tall, over 5 metres. He once lived in the Swedish province of Hälsingland. He is here armed with a mace and a sword. In the middle a warrior dressed in a suit of armour and with sword and pike. To the right a similar warrior but with another type of helmet (“stormhatt”) on his head. 1300 x 600 px.

Book 5, Ch. 3. On the Sobriety of Giants and Warriors.

The woodcut illustrates the simple food and drinking habits of Nordic fighters. The man in the middle is the host who fills his guests’ cups with mead. Two of the men hold steaks in their hands. Bread is lying on the table. Note simple design of the table.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 4. On the Virtues of the Hero Starkater.

Starkater, the man on the woodcut, was a Nordic brave and never defeated giant who lived around year 0 AD. He lived as long as three ordinary men together. At his foot a lion. On the rune staffs are written in Latin “Starcaterus pugil Suctius”.
600 x 800 px.

Book 5, Ch. 5. On the Defence of the oppressed.

Starkater is standing to the left with a broadsword over his shoulder. Behind him a heavily armed army. The woodcut illustrates the story tale how Starkater helped the Norwegian king Helge to fight against nine unjust fighters. 1300 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 6. On the Martial Exercises of Starkater.

Starkater is on his way to the Danish king Ingell. He carries a broadsword and a sack of coal with which he will ”sharpen” the dull king of Denmark. King Ingell is sitting with a mistress under the trees to the right.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 7. On the Total Result of the Achievement of Starkater.

Starkater stands a the victor on a battlefield full of dead bodies, cut limbs, broken weapons and pieces of suits of armour. 1300 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 8. On the Terrible and Great War between the Swedes, led by Starkater, and the Danes

This woodcut in two parts illustrates the battle of Bråvalla Hed in Sweden. On this left picture we see the Danish army. At the top a formidable forest of lances and a fleeing Danish cavalry. Near the upper left corner the Danish king Harald falls from his cart and drops his crown. In the middle the Danish infantry flees in disorder. The Danish flag with the three lions is torn and the bearer is falling to the ground. In the foreground Danish ships with broken masts. 1500 x 1600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 8. On the Terrible and Great War between the Swedes, led by Starkater, and the Danes

In the right part of the woodcut Starkater leads the Swedish forces to victory with a lifted broadsword in one hand. The flags with the Lion of Göta and the Three Crowns are flying high. An archer is seen forward of Starkater. 1500 x 1600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 9. On the Death of Stakater.

To the left we see Starkater, old and tired of living, hands over his sword and an amount of gold to Hather. Starkater has once killed Hathers father. Now Starkater persuades Hather to kill him.
1300 x 600 px.

Book 5, Ch. 10.  On Halfdan and Other Fighters He Had Overcome.

To the right the heroic fighter Halfan, son of Karl, king of Goths. Here he fights successfully against a giant from the northern Swedish province of Hälsingland with the name Hartben.
 1250 x 600 px.

Book 5, Ch. 11.  On Another Man with the Name Halfdan.

This Halfdan, to the right in the woodcut, was a Norwegian of royal family. He courted the Danish princess Giuritha who turned him away. Not accepting this, he killed her twelve skilled guards (of which five are seen to the left) with a club he just made of a cut down oak.
1300 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 12. On Ole the Quick

Olaus Magnus lets us watch how Ola the Quick (Olo Vegetus) defeats the robber Gunne and his son. Ola is helped by his big bloodhound
. 1250 x 600 px.
Book 5, Ch. 13. On the Same Man as the Victorious Champion of Chastity.

In this woodcut Ole defends the innocent princess Åsa of the province of Värmland, who is seen in the background. The evil brothers Skat and Hiall, two notorious virgin robbers, want to take her away from her father. Ole defeats the two brothers in a so called ”holmgång” (battle royal).
1300 x 600 px.

Olaus Magnus "Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus" (History of the Nordic Peoples), published in Rome 1555

Page 4

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© 2007 Lars Henriksson

Updated: 2008-01-13