Thor Hammer Pendant: Viking Reaction to Christianity?

The glory of the Viking Age lasted roughly 3 centuries. Towards the end of its peak, the Vikings had the chance to met the Christians. And in the same time, they gradually converted themselves into the the Christians. However, according to the scholars, the Vikings once showed their resistance to the Christianity. A group of them still followed the footsteps of the ancestors worshipping Norse gods. One of the archaeological evidence suggesting this was the Thor Hammer Pendant that the Vikings wore.

Excavation of the Thor Hammer Pendant

The most famous excavation of Thor hammer pendant must be the one in Købelev, Denmark. The archaeologists happened to find out the hammer-shape pendant which might date back to the Viking Age. But at the time, they could not jump into conclusion saying that the pendant belonged to the Vikings and it featured Thor’s Hammer.

But the runic inscription on the pendant solved the mystery. The runes read “This is a Hammer”. This bronze cast pendant presented not only the talent of the jewelry makers but also the cult of Thor in Viking Age.

Thor Hammer Pendant: Viking Reaction to the Christianity?
Thor Hammer Pendant with the runic inscription “This is a hammer”
Thor Hammer Pendant was the Viking rection to Christianity
Thor’s hammer, possibly found in Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag.
(Cre: Fotoarkivet, Bergen Museum)
Artifact dating back to the Viking Age which was possibly the Thor Hammer Pendant
Object from Tråen, Rollag, Buskerud, interpreted as a Thor’s
hammer, but it may equally well be a cross. (Cre: University Museum of
Cultural Heritage, Åse Kari Hammer.)

The most likely places that the Thor hammer pendant or jewelry were found were the burial sites. This suggested that the Vikings viewed the Thor hammer pendant as their amulet and had to have it in their afterlife.

Thor Hammer Pendant met the Cross

Scholars claimed that the reason why the Viking converted themselves into the Christians was because of economy. The Vikings traveled from land to land to make their fortune by trading. Don’t be misled that the Viking only became rich due to raiding and wars. The process of Christianization in the Viking Age happened quite easy and without violence.

The Christians often worked and traded with the other Christians. This meant the Vikings would not have any chance to do business if they didn’t convert themselves. Some of the Viking traders wore the cross to make other believe they were Christians. But when returning to Scandinavia, they changed the cross.

Many of the Vikings learnt the popularity of Christian, they tried to rid of it and didn’t want to change their religion. Wearing the Thor Hammer Amulet or naming their babies after the gods, especially Thor. Thursday was Thor’s Day in Viking saga.

The most famous King that converted himself into Christian and later his people was Harald Bluetooth. He was a military genius and a born leader. He was the king of Denmark and Norway. Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson erected the big Jelling Stone in memory of his parents and saying that he was the one that made the Danes Christians.

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