What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Helen runs off with Paris

Bucket-like jar, made in Campania about 350-340 BC

The most beautiful woman in the world was Helen. She was a Greek princess and many men wanted to marry her. She had chosen King Menelaos and was married to him when Aphrodite promised her to Paris. Aphrodite could not break her word, so she made Paris journey to Greece and made sure he was irresistible to Helen, who ran away with him to Troy.

The vase shows beautiful Helen in the centre. Paris stands to the left, holding his horse, talking to her. Aphrodite stands to the right. The winged boy at the bottom is Eros, the god of love; he is making sure the couple will run away together.