Museum Center partners with XU for Vikings talks

Saturday, April 8, noon to 2 p.m., Cincinnati Museum Center

For decades, the image of Vikings has been that of a ruthless and barbaric invader. However, the mysterious Norse are being redefined in the worldwide, ocean-spanning exhibition “Vikings: Beyond the Legend” at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

“Vikings: Beyond the Legend” features more than 500 original artifacts from the Swedish History Museum, plus interactive displays. The exhibition features four Viking ships, including 21-foot and 27-foot reproductions, a “Ghost Ship” consisting solely of the ship’s original iron rivets and, for the first time ever in North America, the Roskilde 6, the longest Viking ship ever discovered.

The Museum Center and Xavier University are collaborating on Xavier Galleries Day, which will include a series of informal talks by Xavier faculty and students with expertise on the Vikings. The gallery talks are included with admission to the exhibition.

Topics and experts include:

  • Tolkien, Lord of the Rings and Vikings – Dr. Stephen Yandell, associate professor of English, will explore Tolkien’s unexpected Viking inspiration.
  • Origins of the Viking Horned Helmet – Dr. Marita von Weissenberg, assistant professor of history, will evaluate how the myth of Vikings wearing horned helmets originated.
  • Seeresses and Prophecy – Grace Bailey, a student majoring in international studies and public history, will lead a discussion on Viking prophecies.
  • Viking Burials, Afterlife and the Soul – Cassie Delicath, a student majoring in history and theater, examines what Vikings believed about the afterlife and how this related to their burials.
  • Changing Ideas about Norse Weaponry in Scholarship – Alex Reitz, a history and environmental studies major, will assess the shift in ideas about weapons used by Vikings.
  • Norse and Greek Myths Compared – Julie Klusmeier, a public history specialist, parallels the myths surrounding the Vikings and ancient Greeks.
  • Norse Weapons: Swords, Axes and More – Sam Newton, president of the history club, examines the weapons of the Vikings and how they were constructed.
  • Economic Underpinnings of the Greenland Settlement – Grant Paulson, a student majoring in finance, dives into the first Viking settlement in the New World and how it evolved from economies back in Scandinavia.
  • Leif Erikson and the Discovery of America – Jeremiah Van Auken, a student majoring in history, examines how Leif Erikson’s discovery of America was emphasized as a protest against Italian immigration at the turn of the 20th century.


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