What Impact Did The Vikings Have On Medieval Europe – History teaches us that the Vikings were violent and thieving raiders, but most of that history was written by Viking victims: European monks. New evidence suggests otherwise.
They say history is written by the victors, but what if the target is the target?
What Impact Did The Vikings Have On Medieval Europe
This is the strange situation surrounding the history of the Vikings, because the centuries-old legends that have come down to us about the brutal atrocities came from the victims — monks and priests — who had the power to write them down. at that time.
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As a result, the image we have today of the marauding Vikings is both naive and ignores their significant contribution to the shaping of Europe during the Middle Ages. This demystification and deep dive into the world of one of history’s greatest figures is the subject of Anders Winroth’s new book, The Age of the Vikings. Not only were the Vikings completely wrong, he said, but they might have saved Europe.
The Vikings did not choose to attack them, but the short-term gain in loot and ransom from attacking monasteries caused the Vikings to be relegated to the “brutal barbarian” category. The only historians at that time were the monks of these monasteries.
“Since [the Vikings] attacked those with a monopoly on writing, what they did … has gone down in history as vicious, irrational, and bloodthirsty,” he said. Winroth.
Contemporary rulers like Charlemagne, he notes, are “generally celebrated today as the founding fathers of Europe.” France and Germany are competing over who has the greatest right to claim him as the founder of the nation.
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One of the reasons Vikings are considered evil is that their violence can seem gratuitous or illogical.
Part of this is the lack of documentation of what the Vikings did during their raids. To many at the time – especially religious leaders – attacking a monastery or church seemed absurd. Those who investigated the raids, usually monks, had something to gain by playing up the violence of the Vikings against religious figures, and they often used broad language about “destruction” and ” destruction” without specific details.
Or, the documents left to us were written centuries after the events, often poetically, often inaccurately. The horned helmets of the Vikings — never existed. As for the other two famous images, the blood vulture and the beserker — these are the result of misinterpretation.
The method of killing the blood vulture in which the victims were sliced open at the spine, the ribs were cut into wings, the lungs were pulled out, and salt was poured, Winroth said, was a misinterpretation of the poet. Icelandic Sigvat Thordarson. Knútsdrápa poem. The poem is about the son of Ragnar Hair-Breeches killing King Ella of Northumbria in revenge. Translated as “Ivar caused the eagle to break Ella’s back” and “Ivar caused the eagle to break Ella’s back.” However, says Winroth, only the first makes its literary and historical sense, as it fits the structure of Icelandic poetry as well as the tradition of killing as a supply of corpses. the bird. The second translation led to the 14th century interpretation that still exists today of the Vikings taking the most horrific form of revenge.
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As for the berserkers, Winroth says that they were also invented later by Icelandic poets who did not understand the original poetic meaning of the Norse poem Haraldskvæði, which speaks of men in armor, but not a legendary warrior.
Winroth said, “I was very happy with the stories about the Norwegian heroes, but I was often overwhelmed by the skill of historians and others who work well.”
Most importantly, Winroth said, the Vikings were fully engaged in their offense. These men were not enslaved by violence – the wealth gained from raids was used by the chieftains in the elaborate gift-giving system and poetry of the Viking hall. And, he said, Charlemagne was no different.
For example, he pointed out, Charlemagne treated Saxony like his own pocket. In just one day in the year 782, Charlemagne “ordered no less than 4,500 Saxons to be cut down” because they were oath breakers. Meanwhile, because they attacked those who would control the records, the execution of Viking prisoners 111 of 845 lives in infamy. Winroth finds it ironic that Germany was so quick to exalt Charlemagne, when “the ancestors of the modern Saxon Germans were among the most patient of Charlemagne’s targets.”
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According to Winroth, Charlemagne’s wars with his neighbors differed from the Viking raids because their primary goal, especially the Avar and Pavia raids, was booty for his starving kingdom.
Which brings us to the very heart of the argument for why the Vikings should be revived—the vast and complex trade networks that saved Europe.
“While a single Viking raid may have been devastating and destructive to those attacked, the overall effect of the Scandinavian effort was, unexpectedly, to stimulate the economy of Western Europe,” says Winroth. After the fall of the Roman Empire, all of Europe was reeling as trade and commerce dried up. Although things were growing at the height of the Viking Age in the 9th and 10th centuries, two things held the region back. One was a negative balance of trade in Charlemagne’s empire and the region as a whole. This is because the money is made of silver and gold, but the precious metals come from the East, especially Afghanistan. The second reason is that in areas where money has not been invested, the established system is the barter system, which limits economic growth.
The first, and less important, was that by attacking monasteries and churches, the Vikings touched the only source of precious metals untouched in Europe. These treasures did not disappear, because the Vikings were well integrated into the European trade network. They used it to buy anything from Francian swords or to make them into coins for the Scandinavian kingdoms established in England and Ireland.
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“Even more important for the rise of medieval trade in Western Europe was the Central Asian silver brought to Europe by Scandinavian traders,” says Winroth. The Vikings trade network extended from Greenland and Iceland in the west to the Caliphate and Bolghar in the east. The great export of the Vikings, especially their furs and slaves, “corrected for a while the balance of trade between Western and Eastern Europe”. Economic recovery in Europe, says Winroth, “was in the Viking Age.”
The Vikings weren’t a bunch of thugs tearing people’s ribs apart. There is no doubt that they are violent, and they have killed countless innocent people. But, convinces Winroth in this rather dry book, they were hardly distinguished in the 9th and 10th centuries. In addition, they left a huge impact on the region, by establishing Dublin, their English heritage (ransack, skin, skirt, and doze to name a few a few we get from them), their rule in England, their trade. with the Caliphate, and the extent to which (the conflict) constituted the Russian people. The Vikings were a group of people who originated from the Scandinavian region, where the modern countries of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are located today.
During the 8th to 11th centuries AD, the Vikings sailed across Europe, Africa, and North America for trade, expansion, and military engagements.
This period is often referred to as the ‘Viking Age’, and was marked by intense conflict between the Vikings and the people they encountered on their travels.
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Although we use the word ‘Viking’ to refer to a specific group of people, this is not the true use of the word.
‘Viking’ is a real job, and it’s just as much about being a soldier. ‘Vikings’ were people from Scandinavian countries who spent their time raiding other countries for wealth.
So, anyone from a Scandinavian country who didn’t go out and raid wasn’t technically a ‘Viking’.
Despite this, most people still refer to these groups of people as ‘Viking culture’, even though it was the warriors who actually did the ‘Viking-ing’.
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The beginning of the Viking Age is usually assigned to the Viking raid on a religious monastery in northern England in 793.
On the island of Lindisfarne, where there were only monks, the Vikings suddenly attacked and left everything they found valuable.
For Christian Europe, the attack on a holy place was shocking, and as a result, the Vikings were known as greedy and bloodthirsty warriors with no morality.
They preferred to strike quickly, unfortunately without warning, steal valuables that could be relocated, and escape on their ships before they could organize an attack.
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What is surprising to most people is that the people of Norway, Denmark and Sweden have never carried out such raids.
Therefore, modern scholars are still trying to figure out what motivated these cultures to start attacking in the first place.
There is no simple answer as to why it started, but here are some of the most popular theories:
At that time the
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