News Stories

The Cursed Ring of Sigmundr Brestisson, Viking Chief of the Faroes, 961-1005

According to the unknown author of the Færeyinga saga (Faroese saga) written in Iceland sometime in the early thirteenth century, Sigmundr Brestisson, the first Christian of the Faroe Islands, was an honorable and good man. At a young age he and his cousin Thorer (Þórir) were sold into slavery by a chieftain named Thrand (Þrándr), who successfully plotted to have Sigmundr’s father killed in battle. Later as freemen, Sigmundr and Thorer fought bravely under Earl Hakon (Haakon Jarl) when he ruled Norway for two decades beginning around 975. One day together, Sigmundr asked Hakon for advice on how to avenge his father’s death. Hakon replied that he should put his trust in the old ways, as he did, and led him into a forest where there was a beautiful house with “a lot of idols inside, and many glass windows… A woman was in the innermost part of the entrance, and she was richly adorned.” When the two men entered the house…

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Inge the Elder Destroys the Temple at Uppsala

Despite a lack of direct evidence, historians tend to agree that the Swedish King Inge the Elder (c. 1051-c. 1110) – devout son of the Christian King Stenkil – destroyed the legendary Viking temple at Uppsala sometime in the 1080s. This consensus is based on events surrounding his life and feud with his brother-in-law Blot-Sven – otherwise known as Sweyn the Sacrificer.

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Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir: Transatlantic Traveler of Viking Frontiers

During her lifetime Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir (Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir, 980-1050), the daughter of Icelandic chieftain, Thorbjorn of Laugarbrekka, Iceland, travelled to Greenland, North America, Norway, and perhaps even Rome as a pilgrim. Legend has it her father would not permit her to marry an early suitor because he was the son of a slave.

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The Southern Minnesota Sioux Uprising of 1862 and Tragic Fate of Jean LaRue

Nearby in the township of Owatonna, on a farm owned by Edward Gleek, worked a servant named Jean LaRue. LaRue had come from the Bouches-du-Rhone department of southern France and evidently left his home and mother Suzanne in search of a new life on the frontier prairie of southern Minnesota.

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‘Special Talents and Notorious PSYWAR’: Cold War Spy Tradecraft Behind The Iron Curtain

Although there weren’t high-tech gadgets like today, Cold War espionage was extremely efficient. In a geopolitical situation where the nuclear threat was constantly present, information was a key currency. As there were no smartphones, internet, or other benefits of the modern age, people were the most important.

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