History & Culture
The Nordic Bronze Age
The events of GABRIEL take place in the 15th Century BCE. This is a period of human history known as the Bronze Age, which as the name indicates, is characterized by the use of bronze by many ancient cultures. It is the second principle period of the three-age system; Stone, Bronze, and Iron.
Though the dates of the Bronze Age vary by continent and region, it is the consensus of scholars that in Northern Europe, the Bronze Age went from 1700 BCE to 500 BCE. In the story of GABRIEL, the titular hero visits the Norse pantheon in roughly 1451 BCE, thereabouts. Let's take a a brief look at what was going on in the Nordic countries during that time.
For starters, Bronze Age Scandinavia was exceedingly wealthy. Starting around 1600 BCE, southern Scandinavia became closely linked to long-distance metal trade elsewhere in Europe, which accounts for the striking similarities between it and Mycenaean Greece, the latter of whom they were intimately linked with through trade.
Ancient Scandinavians were master metalworkers, and during the 15th and 14th centuries BCE, they became the richest culture in all of Europe.
Politically, Chieftains were the main movers and shakers of Bronze Age Scandinavia and their life was pretty good, comparatively speaking. Though how well they ruled depended greatly on how well they waged war. Unfortunately, most of the beliefs and the religion of the ancient Nordic peoples has been lost. What little that remains today comes from medieval sources, such as the Codex Regius, whose 31 poems were recounted in the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th Century CE.