"the Ugric tribe bore down from Iceland the fighting spirit which Thor and Wodin gave them, which their Berserkers displayed to such fell intent"
Bronze figure of Thor (ca. 1000 AD)
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBronze figure of Thor (ca. 1000 AD) - Credit: Wolfgang Sauber/Wikimedia Commons

The Ugric peoples are those who speak Ugric languages, including the Hungarians (Szekelys and Csangos), the Khanty and Mansi. As this hiddeneurope article on modern Transylvania suggests, Szekelys today seem to find the idea of these Icelandic connections bizarre but amusing. However, they are keen to stress that their role as protectors of Medieval Transylvania is accurate. As one woman claims, "we really are the Huns"!

 

Berserkers. Vendel era bronze plate found on Öland
Public DomainBerserkers. Vendel era bronze plate found on Öland - Credit: wikimedia commons

 Thor and Wodin (Odin) are two warlike gods of Norse mythology. Thor is the god of thunder, and carries a magical hammer called Mjöllnir. Odin is the chief god and ruler of Asgard (the realm of the gods), a god of war, battle, death, magic and the hunt.

 

The Berserkers were Norse warriors who worked themselves into a frenzy before battle in order to fight with a kind of insane, trance-like fury. According to Norse myth they were capable of transforming into bears or wolves, and so became associated with werewolves. They are sometimes described as Odin’s special warriors.