After the successful edition of the book on the voyages by the Norwegian Ohthere, Ohthere’s Voyages, the Viking Ship Museum now presents the less known travelogue which accompanies Ohthere’s report in the Old English version of Orosius’ world history. The narrative begins with these words:
”Wulfstan said that he travelled from the Heaths, that he was in Truso in seven days and nights, that the boat was all the way running under sail…”
Wulfstan’s account covers a voyage from the root of Jutland to the Vistula Delta – connecting the trading centres of Hedeby and Truso – and provides a rare and vivid view of the south-eastern Baltic Sea region in the early Viking Age, including aspects of inland navigation and local culture.
In the new volume, thirty scholars from seven countries interpret the original source and present its geographical, cultural, nautical and economic context in the light of recent investigations. In order to gain a better understanding of Wulfstan’s navigational account, the Viking Ship Museum contributed with a trial voyage from Hedeby to Gdańsk with the Skuldelev 1-reconstruction Ottar af Roskilde. Manned by a group of volunteers, this cargo vessel managed to cover the distance faster than Wulfstan did in his time.
Wulfstan’s Voyage has been generously sponsored by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Nordea-fonden, George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck's Fond and by Dronning Margrethes og Prins Henriks Fond.
The Baltic Sea region in the early Viking Age as seen from shipboard
Edited by Anton Englert & Athena Trakadas.
Maritime Culture of the North, volume 2, Roskilde 2009. 374 pages, hard cover. ISBN 978-87-85180-56-8. Price: DKK 399.
The book can be ordered online via the Museum Webshop or www.oxbowbooks.com.
The new volume will be introduced at a reception in the Viking Ship Museum on Saturday, 20th June, 11 am-12.30 pm.