Description of Islands in the North

“Everyone in Norway have embraced Christianity except those who live in the far north by the Ocean. People say that they continue to be clever in witchcraft and magic to the point that they know what everyone on the earth is doing. And with their magic chants they manage to attract large whales onto the beach and they do other things just as easily as the Scriptures tells us about sorcerers. I have heard that in the forbidding mountains up there are women who have beards while the men live in the forests and will let themselves be seen only seldom. The Roman authors call this mountainous land the Ripæan Mountains – a horrible region with perennial snow. The Skridfinns (the Saami), who can run faster than wild animals across the high masses of snow, cannot live without snow and cold. As there are many other things which may seem strange and foreign to my compatriots, I will leave a more complete description of these things to the inhabitants of the country.”

Adam Von Bremen
(1044 – 1081)

(Source: Adam of Bremen, “Scandinavia in – Chapter 32” Beskrivelse af øerne i Nordern (Description of Islands in the North)

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