Inspiration #6, a trader from Gotland

The sixth issue of our inspiration series introduces Radomír Jelínek, a well-known Slovak reenactor. Radomír aims to reconstruct a trader from Gotland in late 10th/early 11th century.

We can see from the photos that Radomír wears a brown tunic made from herringbone wool and hemmed with geometrically patterned silk. The tunic is belted with a girdle inspired by various Gotland finds. Its buckle, strap end and belt lamellae come from Rone and Hense graves, while hanging straps are derived from Ense. There is a bag on the belt decorated with sheet brass and silk, a purse based on a Birka find (Radomír currently works on a new one based on a find from Barshalder), a whetstone with a colourful mosaic, tinderbox based on a Birka find and a comb based on a find from Eskelhem. A small pattern-welded steel knife is hanging on his neck, adorned with silver and brass and based on a find from Rone. Then we can see a hammer pendant on a chain – Radomír intends to swap that one for a cross. He covers himself with a brooch-fastened, semi-circular brown cape from herringbone wool (Radomír wears three types of brooches based on Visby finds). There is a fur-hemmed woolen hat on his head, decorated with silk embroidery and a hat top replica based on Birka (the hat will be also decorated with ornamental posament). On his hands we can see some brass and silver bracelets with punched decoration. Finally his profession is symbolized by simple weighing scales which have been found in several locations (Visby, Akeback, Oja).

On his legs we can see wide breeches made according to Gotlandic pictures stones depictions and a find from Haithabu. Breeches are dyed with indigo and tansy. Shoes with two buttons are a replica of Dorestad shoes. There are white nålbinding socks covering his shins with a thin lace fastened with two small (2 cm) pins.

Weapons are also a part of this trader‘s costume. It is a sharp H type pattern-welded steel sword (unfinished) with Geibig type 3 blade (80 cm long and 6 cm wide), a sharp pattern-welded steel seax (Radomír owns two of these but plans to rebuild both, one of them is a Gotland find replica), a sharp pattern-welded steel spear of type I with brass crosspieces (according to a Gotland find) and a mace which is going to be replaced by a more authentic replica.

Aside from this Radomír plans to make a new silken printed caftan, maybe a new hat, satchel, purse, archer‘s equipment, strap divider for the sword with a belt according to Rone and Hense finds and crampons.


I would like to thank Radomír Jelínek for providing photos and a detailed description of his costume. Here we will finish this article. Thank you for your time and we look forward to any feedback. If you want to learn more and support my work, please, fund my project on Patreon or Paypal.

Available literature

Dear reenactor or fan of the past,

I believe you share the love for books with me and you willingly collect them just as I do. I spent many years by writing this blog and by gathering literature. In this post, I would like to offer you brand new books that represent my selection of top titles that I personally use for research. They are carefully chosen and should not be missing in the library of a passionate reenactor. I am also able to advise or obtain literature that is not on the list. If you are interested in a book, just write me via Messenger or to email ceskyreenactment@gmail.com. Paypal or direct bank transfer are preferred options of payment. 

Any of these books can be sent anywhere in the world. I use Czech Post for sending the parcels. Partially combined shipping is available. The shipping possibilities are these:

  • 15 EUR for up to 2 kg parcel (non-registered mail without tracking number)
  • 20 EUR for 0.5-2.99 kg parcel (registered mail with a tracking number)
  • 25 EUR for 3-4.99 kg parcel (registered mail with a tracking number)
  • 30 EUR for 5-6.99 kg parcel (registered mail with a tracking number)
  • 35 EUR for 7-8.9 kg parcel (registered mail with a tracking number)
  • 40 EUR for 9-11 kg parcel (courier shipping)

Early Medieval swords from Mikulčice

 

The book, written by Jiří Košta and Jiří Hošek, represents an excellent description of 20 swords from Continent Europe of 9th and 10th century. It contains brilliant archeolometallurgical analysis and dimensions. Scabbard fragments are included.

Fully in English.
335 pages, 149 figures.
Price: 35 EUR
Weight: 2 kg
Available


Viking Dress Code

 

The book Viking Dress Code by Kamil Rabiega gathers the archaological evidence on clothing of Viking Age Scandinavia. It represents a valuable guide not only for beginners, but also for veteran reenactors.

Fully in English.
235 pages, 158 figures.
Price: 29 EUR
Weight: 0.5 kg
Available


Great Moravia and The Beginnings of Christianity

 

The prominent catalogue maps Moravian and Bohemian area of the 9th and 10th century and brings the most exclusive objects of Great Moravian culture in the most  extensive manner that was ever published in English.

Fully in English.
535 pages, more than 500 figures.
Price: 35 EUR
Weight: 2.5 kg
Available


Early Medieval Axes from Territory of Poland

_

The book written by Piotr Kotowicz includes 891 axes discovered in Poland and an extraordinary typology. The book is the best in the field of Early Medieval axes.

Fully in English.
268 pages, 47 illustrations, includes a CD with the catalogue.
Price: 50 EUR
Weight: 1 kg
Available


Wolin. The Old Town II. Studies on Finds

_

The book edited by Marian Rębkowski represents the second part of first evaluation of Wolin finds in English language. The books consists of studies describing wooden, metal, amber, clay and bone finds from the site, and therefore is a very useful source for any reenactor interested in Wolin and Northern Poland in Early Medieval period.

Fully in English.
575 pages, 213 figures.
Price: 39 EUR
Weight: 2,5 kg
2 pieces available


Valsgärde 1, 2 & 4

_

The book describes 3 graves from the prominent Swedish site Valsgärde. Viking Age graves from Valsgärde stand in the shade of Vendel Period graves, yet they are rich and similar to Birka graves. This is the very first publication of the Viking Age graves from Valsgärde in English. It includes boats, riding equipment, swords, a shield with a preserved handle, a cauldron and many others.

Fully in English.
194 pages.
Price: 37 EUR
Weight: 1 kg
Available


Viking-Age Runic Plates

_

The book written by Sofia Pereswetoff-Morath offers an unique view into Old Norse mentality through the scope of healing runic plates from the Viking Age. The book contains more than 40 runic plates that are archeologically and linguistically described.

Fully in English.
373 pages, 65 figures.
Price: 35 EUR
Weight: 1 kg
2 pieces available


Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands III:1-2

_

The book written by Lena Thunmark-Nylén is the primary literature about Viking Age Gotland. It contains an extensive description of finds from this island and their parallels in the Viking world.

Fully in German.
2 parts, 724 pages.
Price: 45 EUR
Weight: 2.5 kg
Available


Bewaffnung und Reiterausrüstung des 8. to 10. Jahrhunderts in Mitteleuropa

 

The book contains various fascinating papers that are connected to arms, armour and riding equipment of 8th-10th century in the Central Europe, covering axes, swords, chainmails, spears, spurs, saddles, brooches and many others.

German and English.
477 pages.
Price: 35 EUR
Weight: 2 kg
Available


Pohřebiště v Lumbeho zahradě na Pražského hradu

 

The book written by Jan Frolík is the describes the richest Bohemian cemetery – Lumbe´s garden at Prague Castle. It contains fantastic manuals that show the jewellery production step by step. Very recommended to any Slavic enthusiast.

Czech, English summaries.
2 parts, 293 + 460 pages.
Price: 50 EUR
Weight: 2.5 kg
Available


Viking Swords

 

The book written by Fedir Androshchuk includes 832 Viking Age swords discovered in Sweden. True masterpiece. The book is the best in the field of Early Medieval swords.

Fully in English.
701 pages, 301 illustrations.
Price: 50 EUR
Weight: 2.5 kg
Available


Die Vendelzeit Gotlands II: Tafeln

_

The book arranged by Birger Nerman is the crucial literature about the Vendel Period Gotland. It contains the overview of the material culture, mainly weapons and jewellery.

Fully in German.
600 pages.
Price: 50 EUR
Weight: 3 kg
On demand.


Kuml og haugfé

 

The book is the primary literature about Viking Age Iceland. It describes 350 graves and their inventories, which is the unique material that can be compared with Family sagas.

Icelandic, English summary.
660 pages, more than 400 images.
Price: 60 EUR
Weight: 2.5 kg
On demand