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    A Man Among Wolves 4/5

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    Tenyo Barbolski

    by Tenyo Barbolski

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    "His (Odin's) men rushed forwards without armour, were as mad as dogs or wolves, bit their shields, and were strong as bears or wild bulls, and killed people at a blow, but neither fire nor iron told upon them. This was called Berserk-gang."

    Hilda Ellis-Davidson draws a parallel between berserkers and the mention by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in his book De cerimoniis aulae byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies of the Byzantine court") of a "Gothic Dance" performed by members of his Varangian Guard.

    The ritual re-enactment of the Wild Hunt was a cultural phenomenon among many Germanic peoples. The Harii painted themselves black to attack their enemies in the darkness. The Heruli, nomadic, ecstatic wolf-warriors, dedicated themselves to Wodan.
    But wolves also served as mounts for more or less dangerous humanoid creatures. For instance, Gunnr's horse was a kenning for "wolf" on the Rök Runestone, in the Lay of Hyndla, the völva (witch) Hyndla rides a wolf.