If you’re watching this when it’sbeing uploaded, then it means that season 2 of Vinland Saga is out and currently airing—aboutto end, but currently airing nonetheless. And a while ago, I made a quick little videoabout a few of my favorite tiny historical details in Vinland Saga's prologue arc, and I had funmaking that, so I thought, hey, y’know what? It would be fun to make another one, but for the farmarc, aka… the season 2 arc. Those of you who’ve already read the mangaknow just how important this arc is, and how it takes the series in a totally new direction,but for those of you who haven’t, well, you can read it on this video’s sponsor,BookWalker—a site-slash-app where you can read a bunch of your favorite manga and lightnovels, including Vinland Saga!.
You can use the coupon code redbard for 600 yen off of your first purchase, and there’s a link in the description and in the pinned comment. And even if you’re not particularly interestedin getting into Vinland Saga, or maybe if you’re just already up-to-date in Vinland Saga and just looking for something else, there’s still plenty of other titles worth checkingout on BookWalker. As for me, aside from, y’know, Vinland Saga, lately I’ve been using BookWalker to read the Inuyashiki manga, and I haven’t started it quite yet, but I also recentlygot the first volume of Witch Hat Atelier and I’m looking really forward to givingit a try—I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. But anyways, to go ahead and get back on track, this video is pretty self-explanatory, especially if you saw the other one I did like this,.
So without any further ado, let me tell you allabout it. Just kidding, there’s a bit of further ado.Because before I get started on the actual historical details themselves, I first needto make sure that we’re on the same page about a couple of things. Right off the bat, althoughI do have my masters in medieval history, and I do find viking history and sagas tobe interesting, a viking specialist I am not. Which is why, just like last time, I’veconsulted with Dr. Roderick Dale, who designed the runes for the covers and the book plateinside of Vinland Saga, and whose website is linked in the description, just to make sure thateverything here looks correct. Moving on, I want to make sure that we’re on thesame page about historical accuracy.
If you want more detailed clarity on what I meanby historical accuracy relative to Vinland Saga, I talk about this a lot more in my first video like this, so if you want that groundwork laid out for you… y’know, it’s thereand available. But the long and short of it is that full historical accuracy for somethingin this time period simply is not possible, and there is a bit of a difference betweenbeing accurate to what we know about history, and being accurate to the Icelandic sagas.Nonetheless, all things considered, I think the Vinland Saga manga usually strikes a pretty goodbalance between fact and fiction. Next up, this video is just gonna be about fun little historical details that I’ve noticed in Vinland Saga’s FarmArc, also sometimes called the Slave Arc.
In the manga, this encompasses volumes 4–7,whereas in the anime this means season 2. And when I say little historical details,I do mean exactly that. Just little details that I think really highlight that Makoto Yukimuraand/or the others working on Vinland Saga really did their homework. And finally, onceagain, I wanna emphasize that this is 100% not meant to be an exhaustive list of tinyhistorical details in this arc of Vinland Saga; these are just some of the ones thatI picked up on, and thought would be fun to talk about. Alright, so now that we’ve got that alloutta the way, let’s go ahead and talk about some little historical details in the farmarc of Vinland Saga: OH WOW—so, uh, this is really neat. So, the cover of this book that we see both Cnut and Snake with is the.
John cross-carpet page from the Lindisfarne Gospels.…Yea, okay, uh, so there was a lot in that sentence, so, let’s go ahead and start with the Lindisfarne Gospels. There’s actually a chance you might’ve seen pages from the Lindisfarne Gospels around;because it’s pretty famous and for good reason, it’s widely considered to be one of thebiggest masterpieces of Insular artwork. But aside from being, well, gorgeous, theLindisfarne Gospels is a very lavishly decorated manuscript containing the biblical books ofthe Evangelists—and that's Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Specifically, it uses the Latin textfrom the Vulgate. It’s believed to have been made in the early 8th century, thoughan Old English translation and colophon—and that’s essentially just a little note—aboutthe book’s creators was added in the 10th.
Century by a scribe named Aldred. Incidentally,that translation is the oldest surviving translation of the gospels in an English language so, the more you know. But anyways, as the name implies, this book was originally made in Lindisfarne, but it also lived in Durham for a while in the aftermath of theviking raids. Today, however, it’s housed in the British Library in London. Per thataforementioned colophon, it was originally made by a bishop of Lindisfarne named Eadfrith,and it was covered and bounded by another Lindisfarne bishop named Æthilwald. Also,an anchorite named Billfrith bedazzled it. You might be wondering why the Lindisfarnegospels only contains 4 books of the bible, and not, well, the whole thing. And the answeris very simple: back then, full bibles were.
Extremely expensive and very time consuming tomake. Also, they were absolutely enormous. See example, this absolute Big Mac of a book,the Codex Amiatinus. But anyways, to go ahead and get back on track, a carpet page is a highly decorative, full-page illustration that, well, kinda resembles a carpet. Anda big part of the Lindisfarne Gospel’s fame comes from its gorgeous carpet pages, of whichthere are 5. But yea, this is to say that a carpet page, well, it’s exactly that.It’s a page, and not the cover. The current cover of the Lindisfarne Gospel was made in the 19th century. More specifically, we don’t know precisely what happened to the originalcover of the Lindisfarne Gospels, let alone when it happened, though it’s widely believedto have been done away with either during.
The viking raids, or the dissolution of themonasteries. Long before the 19th century, suffice to say. And so a fancy rebinding wascommissioned by Edward Maltby, the then-Bishop of Durham, in 1852. This 19th century coveris still on the Lindisfarne Gospels today, and per the British Library’s website, “Thedesign is based on motifs drawn from the decoration of the manuscript itself.” While I’m on the topic of books, this one right hereis a little bit different since this one is just in the anime and not in the manga, but thesebooks you see right here on Cnut’s desk, their covers are all the cover of the St.Cuthbert gospel, also sometimes called the Stonyhurst Gospel, which is the oldest intactbook from England. It’s actually a really funny and interesting story how this bookhas survived, like honest to god this is one.
Of my favorite historical fun facts to tellpeople about and when I saw this in the anime, I got so excited because I just knew that I would have to mention it in this video. So with that being said, what is the St.Cuthbert gospel? Well, to answer that, first we gotta talka little bit about St.Cuthbert. And the short answer is that before Edward the Confessor and ThomasBeckett, he was the big English saint. He was a hermit and Bishop of Lindisfarne wholived in the 7th century, and he’s commonly depicted as holding the severed head of St.Oswald.And normally, y’know, I’m trying to stay on topic here, but this tangent is honestly kinda funand I think I can get through it pretty quick, so I’ll at least give you the overview:Okay, so on that note, uh, he’s commonly depicted as.
Holding the severed head of St.Oswald, becausehe was buried with what’s believed to be the head of St.Oswald. There’s a handfulof other places that’ve claimed to have the head of St.Oswald, though the most notableis definitely Hildesheim in Germany, as that head is housed in a very gorgeous reliquary, thattoday is at the Hildesheim Cathedral Museum. All that being said though, the one in Durhamis widely considered to be the likeliest candidate for the actual head among them. Oh, and also, I know the idea that there’s like, y'know, multiple heads of St.Oswald running around out there mightsound kinda weird, but by the standards of medieval saint relics, trust me, this is honestly not asas unusual as you might think; see example, the many heads of St.John the Baptist.
But anyways, so, St.Cuthbert would’ve been achild when St.Oswald died, so it’s highly unlikely that the two ever met while theywere alive. So why are they buried together, you may be wondering? Well, there’s notexactly a full consensus on this, but perhaps the most common answer you’ll hear aroundis that St.Oswald’s skull was probably put in St.Cuthbert’s tomb to save space whilethe monks of Lindisfarne were wandering around in the advent in the viking raids. That beingsaid, I can’t not mention how in the 12th century, Reginald of Durham wrote that, essentially,that the skull got there by way of the spirit of St.Cuthbert telling one of his followers togo to Bamburgh to bring it to him for some reason. The follower does this, and the tomb ofSt.Cuthbert opens by itself, kinda Kirby absorbs.
St.Oswald’s skull, and then suddenly closes.So, y’know, think some kinda medieval, and saintly version of, well, [insert the fooddelivery app of your choice here]. …God, I love studying medieval history so much. Alright, so, uh, getting back on track, likeI was saying, St.Cuthbert was a 7th century hermit and Bishop of Lindisfarne, and today,his biggest claim to fame is probably his corpse, which was believed for a long timeto have been, and I’m gonna quote J. A. Giles’ English translation of Bede’s Lifeand Miracles of St.Cuthbert here, “as if he were still alive, and his joints were stillflexible, as if he were not dead, but sleeping. His clothes, also, were still undecayed, andseemed to retain their original freshness and colour.”.
To use the Church’s languageto describe the state that St.Cuthbert’s body was found in, his corpse was incorrupt.The precise definition and hallmarks of an incorrupt body or body part can be kinda confusing,so I’m not gonna sit here and even try to explain it at the risk of completely derailing this video, but Caitlin Doughty of Ask A Mortician has a really great bite-sized video explaining this if you wanna learn more.I’ll leave a link in the description. But for the sake of this video, all you reallyneed to know is that especially at the time of St.Cuthbert’s death, incorruptibilitywas considered to be miraculous, and by extension of that, it was a sign of sainthood. So that St.Curthbert’s body was, reportedly, so fresh even years after his death, was a really big deal.
That his corpse was incorrupt is a narrativethat would be echoed in later occasions where people saw and wrote about the state of hisbody as well. As a matter of fact, it was during one such occasion in 1104 that the book was discovered,removed, and kept at the Cathedral for a while. Or rather, it was probably there until thedissolution, but the details of what, precisely, happened to it in the immediate aftermathof the dissolution are unclear. The British Library’s full catalog info for it doesn’tlist another owner til the early 17th century. It then spent some time trading hands until1769, when it was donated to the, “English community of the Society of Jesus in Liège.It was subsequently kept at the Jesuit college of Stonyhurst.” Hence why it’s sometimescalled the Stonyhurst Gospel. Then in 1979,.
It was placed on loan to the British Library,who eventually just purchased it in 2012. So, y'know, that’s cool and all, sure, and I guessif we’re strictly talking about the St.Cuthbert Gospel, the story more or less ends here.But when I talk about this story, I definitely do not end it here, because the St.CuthbertGospel was definitely not the last historically significant item taken from St.Cuthbert’sgrave. The year is now 1827. St.Cuthbert’s tombhasn’t been opened since the dissolution of the monasteries, which at this point, wasabout 300 years ago. Enter Durham Cathedral librarian James Raine, who without botheringto get permission from the Dean or Bishop, cracked open the tomb of St.Cuthbert and thenwrote a book about it:.
Saint Cuthbert: With an Account of the State in Which His Remains Were Found—yea, I know, the name is pretty on the nose. But anyways, based on the way and frequencythat he writes about it, one can’t help but feel that Raine was doing this mostly—arguablyeven entirely—to prove whether or not St.Cuthbert was, or perhaps was still, incorrupt or not. In any case, in doing this, Raine discoveredthat St.Cuthbert was indeed a skeleton now. But also, he discovered and removed a numberof remarkably well-preserved goods that’d been buried with him and not yet stolen orotherwise removed: a very lavish pectoral cross, a portable altar, vestments, and acomb. These objects were soon put on display in the Cathedral library, and St.Cuthbertwas put into a new coffin and re-buried.
But lest you think that Raine’s examination wasnothing but good news, the tomb would be opened yet again in 1899, and writing about it, J.T.Fowlercalled Raine’s examination, “hurried.” That he, “precluded careful notes” andthat the “so-called coffin” St.Cuthbert’s corpse was moved to in 1827 was a, “frailand shabby packing-case.” The so-called coffin quickly disintegrated, causing lotsof bones and shavings to get everywhere. To quote the Durham Cathedral’s official blogon a post that they made about it, “As soon as the first marble slab was lifted, the lackof care and time that Raine and his team put into the first investigation became blatantlyobvious.” That being said, the silver lining to this was that it gave Fowler and everyoneelse involved a golden opportunity to finally.
Examine the bones in detail. If you’re curiousabout em, you can read the results in Fowler’s, On an Examination of the Grave of St. Cuthbertin Durham Cathedral Church, in March, 1899. As for today, St. Cuthbert is still buried in the Durham Cathedral. His grave goods and the honestly really cool remains of his late 7th century coffin, are on display at the Durham Cathedral as well, except for the St.Cuthbert gospel which—like theLindisfarne Gospels—is housed in the British Library. So I don’t know if there were any panels ofpeople eating in the prologue arc, but it was during this arc that it really startedto hit me that—oh hey, there has been nary a fork to be seen in Vinland Saga, which,yea, historically accurate. Now, I could be wrong about this—again, I’mnot a viking expert—but as far as I’ve.
Been able to see, while there has been a lotof viking-era eating/drinking/cooking vessels and utensils to have survived, we can’tsay the same for any specific, written viking-era recipes. But even so, we can still craft apretty decent idea of how food could’ve been prepared and eaten back then thanks tomentions of food in certain sagas and poems such as the Poetic Edda’s Rígsþula, survivingcooking materials, of which there are plenty, and in some cases, residues that can stillbe found on those materials. And yea, plenty of stuff like spoons, knives, bowls, pans,and cauldrons, but forks weren’t really around in northwestern Europe. But this prompts the question: okay, so uh,what did the Scandanavians eat then? Because even if we don’t have recipes, it’s notlike we don’t have any clues about what.
They ate whatsoever. That being said, it’shonestly really hard to speak with much certainty regarding specifically what they ate, becausethere’s still so much that we don’t know about this. A lot of writing and major projectshave been dedicated to understanding viking-era food, and there definitely seems to be debatein some areas of it—like regarding vegetables, for example. But we do know that there weresome foods and drinks with broad appeal—beer beer and fish, for example. Granted, more moneymeans more resources to have better beer and better fish, but still. Again, it’s just really hard to speak with any certaintyregarding viking-era food, and it’s even harder when you’re trying to make a videoless than 5 hours long. For the same reason, it’s really hard to even hyper-condenseit; y’know, there’s a reason—well, there’s.
A lot of reasons—why so much ink has beenspilled over this topic, and it’s really hard to do it justice in just a few minutes.I know in the last video I mentioned the Jorvik Viking Centre in York and how it’s kindacheesy, sure, but at the end of the day it’s still a really interesting museum of viking-era-goods.And definitely one of their more… let's say, interesting items is… well, the fancy word is “coprolite”, but in plain English, it’s fossilized viking-era poop. And a very big one at that; per the Jorvik Viking Centre companion guide, “It is thought to be the largest completeexample of preserved human excrement ever found.” But the importance of understandingviking-era food is exactly why this poop, against all odds, is such an important find worthy of being ina museum and getting its own page in the companion.
Guide despite, y’know, being a very literalpoop; because it sheds light on diet and health in Jorvik. …By the way, in case you werewondering, per the companion guide and the museum’s plaque on it, the poop revealsthat its, let's say creator was infested with whipworms and maw-worms. Also, they ate cereal bran. So with all that being said, I guess the mosteffective thing I can tell you about Scandinavian food during the viking-era is that, well, the good news is thatthere’s a lot of writing on the topic if you're interested in learning more. The better news is that there’s plenty of archaeological finds that you’ll find pretty interesting, as well. Perhaps morethan anything else I’ve mentioned in this or the previous Vinland Saga video, you’llhave plenty of information to work with, and major projects to keep tabs on.
So to go ahead and get back to viking-eraeating and cooking utensils, y'know like I said, a lot of them have survived, and not unlikecombs which I talked about in my previous video like this, there’s enough of em aroundthat if you go to just about any museum with even a decent collection of viking-era goods,there’s a pretty good chance that you're gonna see some spoons, some cups, pots, knives, and so on.Now, I haven’t exactly been to a ton of museums with viking-era goods, so take this with agrain of salt, but at least anecdotally I think spoons are the ones I’ve seen aroundthe most. But again, take that with a grain of salt. Dr. Roderick Dale told me that soapstonevessels are also pretty common, and even just skimming around online, you can quickly get a senseof how true that is.
So yea, there’s a few more fun, little historicaldetails that I’ve noticed throughout Vinland Saga’s Farm Arc. If you’d like to seeme do yet another video like this for the next Vinland Saga arc, please do not hesitate tolet me know. Y'know I said it before and I’ll say it again: working on these videos is reallyfun, and I’m definitely not opposed to making more. And if you wanna catch up on the Vinland Saga manga in the meantime, again, you can read the series on BookWalker, and you canuse the coupon code Redbard for 600 yen off of your first purchase. There's links in the description, and in the pinned comment. So on that note, uh, I think I've said everythingI wanted to say, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but I’m not super awesomeat writing conclusions for videos like this.
One, so uh… god, y’know what. I’m not evengonna overthink this. I still think the Heavener Runestone is hilarious, so honestly, I’m just gonna show y’all the Heavener Runestone again. I’m not even sorry about it. It is honestly so whacky that I did this muchtalking about history and the Durham Cathedral and it somehow never came up that it’s alsowhere Bede’s tomb is.