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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


Paris is made an offer he can't refuse

Water jar, made in Athens about 470 BC

When the goddess of Discord made trouble by throwing a golden apple labelled 'to the fairest' into the midst of a party of gods and goddesses, three goddesses all rushed to claim it. Paris, a prince of Troy, was asked to settle the argument. He is shown seated at the right of the picture.

Each goddess tempted him with a bribe. The first, Hera, shown with the apple in one hand and holding a sceptre in the other, offered him a wide empire. The second, Athena, holding a spear, offered him glory in war. Lastly, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, her charms hidden in her cloak, offered him the most beautiful woman in the world. This last offer he could not resist.