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Jómsvíkingina 
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Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:01 pm
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"The Jomsvikings were a possibly legendary company of Viking mercenaries or brigands of the 10th century and 11th century dedicated to the worship of such deities as Odin and Thor. They were staunchly pagan, but they reputedly would fight for any lord able to pay their substantial fees and occasionally fought alongside Christian rulers. According to the Norse sagas (particularly the Jómsvíkinga saga, King Olaf Tryggvasson’s Saga, and stories found in the Flatey Book), their stronghold Jomsborg was located on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea, but the exact location is disputed by modern historians and archeologists. Most scholars locate it on the hill Silberberg, north of the town of Wolin on Wolin island. Jomsborg is thought to be identical with Jumne, Julin and Vineta, which are mentioned in medieval Danish and German records.

The legend of the Jomsvikings appears in some of the Icelandic sagas from the 12th and 13th centuries. The existence of Jomsborg is a matter of debate in historical circles, due to the scarcity of primary sources. There are no contemporary sources mentioning the names Jomsvikings and Jomsborg, but there are three contemporary runestones and several contemporary lausavísur held to refer to one of their battles.

The Saga of the Jomsvikings relates that the Jomsvikings were highly selective in deciding whom to admit to their order. Membership was restricted to men of proven valor between 18 and 50 (with the exception of a boy named Vagn Åkesson, who defeated Sigvaldi Strut-Haraldsson in single combat at the age of 12). In order to gain admission, prospective members were required to prove themselves with a feat of strength, often taking the form of a ritual duel, or holmgang, with a Jomsviking.

Once admitted, the Jomsvikings required adherence to a strict code of conduct in order to instill a sense of military discipline among its members. Any violation of these rules could be punished with immediate expulsion from the order. Each Jomsviking was bound to defend his brothers, as well as to avenge their deaths if necessary. He was forbidden to speak ill of his fellows or to quarrel with them. Blood feuds between members were to be mediated by Jomsviking officers. Jomsvikings were forbidden to show fear or to flee in the face of an enemy of equal or inferior strength, though orderly retreat in the face of vastly outnumbering forces appears to have been acceptable. All spoils of battle were to be equally distributed among the entire brotherhood. No Jomsviking was permitted to be absent from Jomsborg for more than three days without the permission of the brotherhood. No women or children were allowed within the fortress walls, and none were to be taken captive. It is unclear, however, whether members were forbidden marriage or liaisons with women outside the walls."


Sounds like a respectable group. I find it curious that they had such a strong sense of discipline. Norðmenn are renown for their unbendable sense of dignity and independence.


Mon May 05, 2014 12:05 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:44 pm
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Blodhrafn wrote:
I find it curious that they had such a strong sense of discipline. Norðmenn are renown for their unbendable sense of dignity and independence.


Greetings Blodhrafn.

More powerful than their independence was their sense of honor. In the vast majority of cases, if a Northman took an oath he would die trying to fulfill it. The Jomsvikings and the Varangian Guard are excellent examples of why Scandinavian warriors were both feared and respected.


Mon May 05, 2014 6:37 am
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:41 am
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In my experience and study, the Norse warriors were very disciplined in combat. They had perfected the shield wall long before the Viking age. Now, the leaders they followed were very independent and large coalitions would dissolve before any great gains could be held.
But, the warrior was a very proud and brave warrior of the line.

Olek


Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:43 pm
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