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Old 07-16-2018, 12:39 AM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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AD 793 were the Vikings really that bad

I’ve always thought about the Vikings in the traditional way - bloodthirsty marauders. Then quite by happenstance I’ve run across three articles that states this was not the case. Wikipedia even says...

”Viking travellers and colonists were seen at many points in history as brutal raiders. Many historical documents suggest that their invasion of other countries was retaliation in response to the encroachment upon tribal lands by Christian missionaries, and perhaps by the Saxon Wars prosecuted by Charlemagne and his kin to the south, or were motivated by overpopulation, trade inequities, and the lack of viable farmland in their homeland.

Information about the Viking Age is drawn largely from what was written about the Vikings by their enemies, and primary sources of archaeology, supplemented with secondary sources such as the Icelandic Sagas.”


What’s the real scoop? Also if someone could recommend a reputable book on the subject I’d appreciate it.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:00 AM
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You'll be interested in the times (on and off during 875-954) when the Vikings captured and ruled the city of York.
Here's a link to an excellent exhibition in the city.

P.S. I think New York is named after the Duke of York, who took his title from the city.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:31 AM
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You'll be interested in the times (on and off during 875-954) when the Vikings captured and ruled the city of York.
Here's a link to an excellent exhibition in the city.
Jorvik is highly recommended. The Vikings were part of a vast trading network that stretched from Iceland to China, including Russia, Byzantium and India. The Varangian Guard in Byzantium, fiercely loyal warriors who guarded the Emperor himself, were ultimately derived from Viking stock, it appears.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:40 AM
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Vikings were as much traders and colonials as they were raiders, if not more so. The modern conception of Vikings, like the modern conception of the Middle Ages, is pretty much a Victorian-era invention.

Vikings (or, at least, free vikings) were colourfully-clad, well-groomed, cosmopolitan and artistic. Yes, they could be brutal (eg practising human sacrifice well into the 10th C at least) but so were many of their contemporaries.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:54 AM
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The Varangian Guard in Byzantium, fiercely loyal warriors who guarded the Emperor himself, were ultimately derived from Viking stock, it appears.
Not sure I'd characterise it that way. For the first few hundred years, they literally were Vikings and Anglo-Saxons who travelled to Byzantium to serve, and often retired back home if they survived service (as evidenced by the runestones they raised, or that were raised in their memory).
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:36 AM
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I’ve always thought about the Vikings in the traditional way - bloodthirsty marauders. [....]

[i]”Viking travellers and colonists were seen at many points in history as brutal raiders. Many historical documents suggest that their invasion of other countries was retaliation in response to the encroachment upon tribal lands by Christian missionaries, and perhaps by the Saxon Wars prosecuted by Charlemagne and his kin to the south, or were motivated by overpopulation, trade inequities, and the lack of viable farmland in their homeland.

I don't think it's really contradictory (although I'm not sure exactly how the Saxon wars would make a bunch of Vikings pillage cities and given that they were themselves famous traders, I'm not sure what kind of "trade inequities" they were victim of, either).
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:47 AM
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And a lot of Varangians were Kievan Rus', Vikings who had settled in Kiev for a while, and seem to have been mixed up with the local Slavs in various ways. Just like the Vikings in York were mixed up with the local Saxons and Celts.

Recent genetic studies seem to indicate that both the Saxons and the Vikings only added a small amount of genetic heritage to the local population round York; the Celtic population was not completely displaced or exterminated in either case.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:17 AM
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History is undoubtedly always complex, but I don't think you can dismiss Viking depredations as entirely the misconceptions of Victorians. For all the good they may have done elsewhere, the Vikings were indeed deadly raiders and plunderers at other times.They ransacked the monastery at Glendalough, which was in essence a virtul city at the time, not just a collection of single guys with a lot of loot:

http://www.culturalheritageireland.i...h-and-clonmore

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On Christmas night in the year 835 the pagan Vikings raided two of the great monasteries of Ireland; the monastery of St. Kevin at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow and the monastery of St. Mogue at Clonmore, Co. Carlow, near Hackettstown. The Vikings would have carried out the raids on Christmas night in the expectation that the valuable relics of the monasteries would be on display and in the hope of capturing large numbers of prisoners that could be sold as slaves. At Clonmore the Vikings burnt the monastery and carried off a large number of prisoners into slavery. At Glendalough they burned the oratory but there is no mention of prisoners. Raids are also recorded to have taken place in Connacht the same night. Just two years later the Vikings were to establish a permanent settlement in Ireland at Dublin.

Cluain Mor Maedhog was burned on Christmas night by the foreigners; and a great number was slain by them, and many prisoners were carried off. The oratory of Gleann Da Locha was also burned by them. All the country of Connaught was likewise desolated by them.

Viking raids were so frequent that a line was added to the standard Litany -- "From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, deliver us"

http://irishfireside.com/2011/09/14/...rd-deliver-us/

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Thus in 793, the Vikings performed their first recorded raid on a monastery – the one on Lindisfarne.

Other raids followed with disheartening regularity. At first, the Vikings held a raiding “season” from May to September each year, then returned home to winter in Norway. Over a 25-year period, 26 important attacks were recorded in the Irish Annals alone. But many more remained unrecorded.

The first Irish monastery plundered was Rechru on Rathlin Island off the northeast Irish coast in 795. The monastery on Iona, off Scotland’s west coast, must have been rich pickings. It was raided in 795, 802 and 806. The monks finally gave up in 807 and moved the entire community to Kells in Ireland, where the inland location offered greater safety from Viking raids. The large, wealthy monastery of Armagh, which held a protected place inland in northern Ireland, was plundered three times within one month in 832. The Vikings’ audacity hit these monks particularly hard, since the Abbot of Armagh was also head of the Irish Church.

Drawn in by Ireland’s Riches, Slaves and Hostages

At first, the Vikings interested themselves only in valuables hidden in the monasteries. These included gold and silver (usually decorations wrenched from their ecclesiastical host objects), valuable and useful secular items (such as buckets or chests) and slaves. This last category quickly gained importance to the Northmen. The monasteries may have lost their wealth after a Viking raid, but that did not stop repeated attacks. The Vikings soon learned to hold rich or important Christians for ransom. The Northmen sold those who could not be ransomed into slavery.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:22 AM
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We are talking quite a period of time. Some came to plunder, rape and pillage, others eventually came to settle and farm. Or the two went hand in hand, as often happens in colonial expansions - I doubt if the British wives taken to populate Iceland all went willingly.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:50 AM
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We are talking quite a period of time. Some came to plunder, rape and pillage, others eventually came to settle and farm. Or the two went hand in hand, as often happens in colonial expansions - I doubt if the British wives taken to populate Iceland all went willingly.
yes, indeed, but the OP asks "AD 793 were the Vikings really that bad?" and the answer, as my post makes clear, was indisputably "yes". Later, the Vikings may have been all cute and cuddly, but it's hard to think of the guy looting your sacristy, burning your crops, and carrying citizens off for ransom or slavery that way.


Later in life Genghis Khan may have been a religiously tolerant philosopher, pitting theologians of different religions against each other in arguments, but that doesn't change the fact that he came to power massacring entire populations.

Personally I'll take the older, fatter Genghis over the young thin Elvis, and the later Vikings over the younger, punkier ones. But it's a package deal.
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:16 AM
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One of the complaints in England about the Norse were their UN-filthy habits:

"[T]the Danes, thanks to their habit of combing their hair every day, of bathing every Saturday and regularly changing their clothes, were able to undermine the virtue of married women and even seduce the daughters of nobles to be their mistresses."

The old word for "Saturday" was "laugardagr" which means "bath day".

They traveled to N. America, to Spain, to Sicily, to Byzantium, to Persia. No other group knew could reliably travel such distances.

Literacy was quite common. They left graffiti on statues in Athens and at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. And of course on runestones all over. They even enscribed words on everyday objects like combs.

Combing was so important that combs are one of the most common old Norse finds.

But remember:

A Christian army attacks another country: that's war.
A non-Christian army attacks another country: that's barbarianism.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:45 AM
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But remember:

A Christian army attacks another country: that's war.
A non-Christian army attacks another country: that's barbarianism.
Yes. If we're talking about the 8th century, it isn't like there was a UN Charter and a UNSC to determine which wars were just and which were not. Conquering was a pretty normal way of doing business.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:57 AM
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Scandinavians attacked the British Isles even in prehistoric times. How far back can we go and still apply the term 'Viking' correctly?

Does the story of Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte help reveal Vikings' character? In this Treaty, Charles the Simple of France gave Rollo (Hrolf) the Viking the Duchy of Normandy (and allegedly Charles' daughter Gisela), in return for Rollo's pledge to ...
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... become a Christian and, as Duke of Normandy, a vassal of Charles the Simple for his duchy. This latter provision caused some trouble, for the chronicler reports that the new vassal Hrolf refused to bestow the required kiss upon his liege lord Charles's foot.

"Never," said he, "will I bend my knees before anyone, nor will I kiss the foot of any Frank." Moved, however, by their prayers he ordered one of his warriors to kiss the king's foot. The latter promptly seized the king's foot, carried it to his mouth and kissed it standing, thus throwing the king onto his back. At that there was a roar of laughter and a great disturbance amongst the spectators.
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P.S. I think New York is named after the Duke of York, who took his title from the city.
(Both New York and its future capital Albany were named after the same man, the future King James II of England, who held both York and Albany as Duchies. IIRC, I learned this at SDMB from Little Nemo. James' mother also had a U.S. colony named after her (Maryland); James' father two (Carolinas)!)
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:09 AM
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The etymology of 'viking' is confused and much-debated, but there is some evidence that the word 'Viking' refers to the act of sea raiding, and a 'Vikingr' was a person who embarked on a sea raiding adventure. Therefore, there is a bit of selection bias at work. As OP noticed, the information comes to us through the accounts of their victims. The question essentially asks: "Are people who engage in piracy really that bad?" Yes, sea-raiders and pirates really are that bad, but not every member of the population was engaged in piracy.

If we limit ourselves to only discussing the Northmen who actually engaged in raiding, they were unequivocally nasty people. You have to have balls to get in a tiny boat, sail the North Atlantic, find some Christians, and plunder the $#!* out of them. For the people engaged in this practice, bloodshed, slavery, theft, and extortion were the order of the day. And keep in mind, these people were brutal even by the standards of eighth-century Europe, which was... Um... Not a nice place.

BUT...

Not all Northmen were raiders. As in any other society, the portion of people who actually go out and fight must be supported by a population of farmers, tailors, shipwrights, and smiths (aka 'normal people). We know with great certainty that the Scandinavians were enthusiastic merchants and colonizers who often intermarried with native populations. Scandinavian colonists founded settlements all over Europe and assimilated with the local culture or created hybridized cultures (such as the Normans, who were Gallic Scandinavians).

Setting aside the question of raiding and the accounts of their victims, we must overcome two indisputable facts about Scandinavia: (1) The region was poor in resources such as iron, and (B) it was cold as $#!*. This suggests to me that the "average" (eg non-pirate) Northman probably had a lot in common with the average peasant anywhere else in Europe. That is to say: they spent most of their lives engaged in subsistence farming, sitting around being bored out of their minds as they tried to survive long, dark winters without succumbing to famine. They probably spent most of their time praying for short winters and full bellies.

The social organization of the jarls tells us a bit about how their patronage systems worked. The chieftain 'jarl,' was also referred to by the kenning 'ring-giver.' Wealthy men were expected to share their wealth with their people, and in exchange the people provided him with their food, services, and loyalty. The easiest way to get rich in those days was to raid some Christians. Therefore, it's my conclusion that the pirate 'Vikings' were probably the metaphorical "1%" of the Scandinavian world, in that they engaged in the fighting and the raiding and brought back their plunder to buy food and services from the (again, metaphorical) 99% who spent their lives farming and fishing and doing other non-violent things.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:09 PM
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History is always written by the victors, and it is a complex subject but one cannot ignore the brutality of Charlemagne which actually pre-dated the invasions as an example, Sigfried's brother was murdered in the “The Massacre of Verdun”.

Charlemagne ordered the prisoners be baptized in the Elbe and the priests recited their benedictions while Frankish soldiers held the victims underwater until they drowned, all 4500 of them.

The church had spent decades violently converting pagans and so when there was a change in climate in the north and a starving people looked south for riches is is no wonder that they targeted the churches which had wealth, were softer targets and were also party to many acts of violence against these people.

I think it is a stretch to say that the above mentioned mass murder in 782, along with more than a decade of previous actions had nothing to do with the following years attacks on the church 10 years later.

It was a brutal era, all around.

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Old 07-16-2018, 12:39 PM
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A characteristic pattern in history is when a group comes into possession of a revolutionary weapons system, they exploit it by going on a rampage against their neighbors. What good is an advantage you don't exploit?

This happened with the chariot and composite bow: chariot conquerors immediately overran all the areas suitable for chariot campaigning. This happened with the steppe peoples (from Huns to Mongols and Turks) when they perfected horse archery. This happened with the Romans when they got their Legions organized. Europe with gunpowder.

When the Scandinavians perfected the longship, they had a vessel that could go on the open ocean (because it had a keel, among other things) but had shallow draft allowing it to land on beaches and sail up rivers. With both sails and oars these ships were highly flexible -- able to use the wind when it was going in the right direction but able to act if it was not. This gave them unprecedented mobility over the hapless herds of footsoldiers who made up the typical medieval levy. The Vikings could go where the weak points were, and if they found the defenders had shifted their troops to cover, the Vikings could leave and hit a new area faster than the defenders could react.

Individual Vikings involved in these raids were no doubt cruel -- the very process must have hardened and traumatized them. But a very normal human reaction to developing a military advantage is to employ it against those who lack it. In this the Vikings were much like many other peoples.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:35 PM
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A characteristic pattern in history is when a group comes into possession of a revolutionary weapons system, they exploit it by going on a rampage against their neighbors. What good is an advantage you don't exploit?

This happened with the chariot and composite bow: chariot conquerors immediately overran all the areas suitable for chariot campaigning. This happened with the steppe peoples (from Huns to Mongols and Turks) when they perfected horse archery. This happened with the Romans when they got their Legions organized. Europe with gunpowder.

When the Scandinavians perfected the longship, they had a vessel that could go on the open ocean (because it had a keel, among other things) but had shallow draft allowing it to land on beaches and sail up rivers. With both sails and oars these ships were highly flexible -- able to use the wind when it was going in the right direction but able to act if it was not. This gave them unprecedented mobility over the hapless herds of footsoldiers who made up the typical medieval levy. The Vikings could go where the weak points were, and if they found the defenders had shifted their troops to cover, the Vikings could leave and hit a new area faster than the defenders could react.

Individual Vikings involved in these raids were no doubt cruel -- the very process must have hardened and traumatized them. But a very normal human reaction to developing a military advantage is to employ it against those who lack it. In this the Vikings were much like many other peoples.
Wasn't the long-ship usable in these trade routes long before this? And while I don't disagree with your point, a mini-ice age causing starvation, and the fact that Frankish Empire and Charlemagne were to the south in the land route forced their hand.

Charlemagne was known as the “butcher of the Saxons” (Sachsenschlächter) so it is not exactly like this behavior was out of thin air once the mini-ice age started and the Norse started starving. Charlemagne made a point of chopping of 1000's of heads in a single day when there was any form of uprising on the land route.

Last edited by rat avatar; 07-16-2018 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:14 PM
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Vikings were as much traders and colonials as they were raiders, if not more so. The modern conception of Vikings, like the modern conception of the Middle Ages, is pretty much a Victorian-era invention.

Vikings (or, at least, free vikings) were colourfully-clad, well-groomed, cosmopolitan and artistic. Yes, they could be brutal (eg practising human sacrifice well into the 10th C at least) but so were many of their contemporaries.
Viking is not a people. Viking is a job description.

The Norse, indeed, were often traders, etc.

However, when the Norse went a-viking they got pretty brutal.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:17 PM
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Jorvik is highly recommended. The Vikings were part of a vast trading network that stretched from Iceland to China, including Russia, Byzantium and India. The Varangian Guard in Byzantium, fiercely loyal warriors who guarded the Emperor himself, were ultimately derived from Viking stock, it appears.
A good number of them were Anglo-Saxon Housecarles, who left England after Harold II died.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:56 PM
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Later, the Vikings may have been all cute and cuddly, but it's hard to think of the guy looting your sacristy, burning your crops, and carrying citizens off for ransom or slavery that way.
Slavery had come up several times in this thread. Who were the Vikings selling slaves to?
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:07 PM
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Yes the term "Viking" is a modern adaptation of noble savages and is mostly myth.

The Saxon's called them the Dene and the Slaves and Arabs called them the Rus', and the English tended to call them the Northmen or Danes but the story is probably much more complicated then that.

The common story about Rurik as an example, which is suppose to be the viking that helped unify Russian tribes as an example is problematic because genetically he appears to be an ethnic Finn of haplotype N1c1.

While physical artifacts like the The Gårdstånga Stone demonstrate that there were people called vikings most of the history is muddled by a lack of written accounts, a modern desire to trace linage to the Vikings and an inexact labeling of the groups in general.

This was a brutal period in this area of the world, but even the Anglo-Scandinavian which is used by academic papers in recent times is problematic due to the Finno-Ugric origin of the Rurikids.

Related to the OP, most books that are our there will be colored by these biases either in descriptions of the events or in a desire to connect one's history to this group. Genetics is invalidating a lot of the previous claims, so if you want an accurate story you may just have to wait for a few years or be OK with the unfortunate reality that we may never have the full story.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:19 PM
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Slavery had come up several times in this thread. Who were the Vikings selling slaves to?
The reason slavery was eventually banned in Europe was to prevent Christian slaves from being sold to non-christian aka Muslim groups. Sale of Christian slaves was restricted to non-Christian groups then the prohibition of slavery in general happened over time.

The Volga trade route between the Varangians and the Arabs, which directly relates to this.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:23 PM
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Slavery had come up several times in this thread. Who were the Vikings selling slaves to?
To whoever would buy them, of course. E.g., slaves were taken from north/east Europe to sell to Persians and such. But many slaves were kept within the Norse communities. And they didn't necessarily stay slaves all their lives. People could and did earn their freedom.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:41 PM
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And while I don't disagree with your point, a mini-ice age causing starvation...forced their hand.
Actually just the opposite. The period from ~900-1300( dates variable depending who you talk to )was the Medieval Warm Period. The net result may have been much the same though. Instead of starvation forcing their hand, an abundance of food seems to have encouraged a population explosion instead. Expanding population that was resource limited in other ways, including socially, may have been a significant driver in overseas expansion/colonization. Something like lots of younger sons looking to establish themselves.

Found this master's thesis that discusses this a bit.

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Old 07-16-2018, 03:48 PM
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William the Conqueror was of Viking extraction and he 'conquered' the whole of Britain.

Though he spoke a dialect of French and grew up in Normandy, a fiefdom loyal to the French kingdom, William and other Normans descended from Scandinavian invaders. William’s great-great-great-grandfather, Rollo, pillaged northern France with fellow Viking raiders in the late ninth and early 10th centuries, eventually accepting his own territory (Normandy, named for the Norsemen who controlled it) in exchange for peace.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:49 PM
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The Volga trade route between the Varangians and the Arabs, which directly relates to this.
Right. A lot of Slavic slaves ended up in areas as far afield as Spain, many via the Rus to Arab/Jewish middlemen and thence to Iberia.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:26 PM
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To whoever would buy them, of course. E.g., slaves were taken from north/east Europe to sell to Persians and such. But many slaves were kept within the Norse communities. And they didn't necessarily stay slaves all their lives. People could and did earn their freedom.
The term is Thralls

There was an entire Renaissance in Europe that was in large part funded by the sale of captured Slavs/Finns to Muslim Spain. This is another example where the Vikings are debased for doing similar, immoral actions as Charlemagne and the parties that are often depicted as being innocent victims. But that is because the Frankish view is the one we are presented, and the history is far more complex.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolingian_Renaissance

I did find this dissertation which will help show how overly simplified the common narrative is.

http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.ed...028E_14454.pdf

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Using textual and archaeological evidence to examine patterns of interaction and relationship between Francia and Scandinavia from 700-840 this dissertation demonstrates that the Viking attacks of the ninth century were not a sudden rupture of relations between Scandinavia and the wider world, nor a demonstration of unbridled violence. Rather, the attacks were part of an ongoing narrative of commerce, diplomacy, and strife between the Frankish Empire and its northern neighbors which began long before the Viking Age.

Last edited by rat avatar; 07-16-2018 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:29 PM
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Slavery had come up several times in this thread. Who were the Vikings selling slaves to?
Themselves, mostly, but they sold to anyone else who wanted one.

Ibn Hawqal, an Arab geographer, described a Viking slave trade in 977 A.D. that extended across the Mediterranean from Spain to Egypt. Others recorded that slaves from northern Europe were funneled from Scandinavia through Russia to Byzantium and Baghdad. Slave trading was still common in Western Europe. Also, the modern word “thrall,” as in “to be enthralled,” descends from the Norse word for slave.

PS. It seems Christians were totally cool with trading slaves, unless those slaves were themselves Christian.

PSS. Ibn Hawqal was not the guy from the movie. That was Ibn Fadlan.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:52 AM
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And they didn't necessarily stay slaves all their lives. People could and did earn their freedom.
Others, of course, would end up sacrificed when their master died (possibly after having other horrific things done to them) so let's not pretend the Norse (happy, DrDeth?) were all "social mobility and kittens", yeah?

Also, one big source of thralls was the children of thralls, so they weren't that mobile. It's probable skilled craftsmen and debt slaves from within the community were much more likely to win freedom than menial labourers and foreigners.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:03 AM
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Slavery often meant different things in different cultures; Roman slaves could have their own possessions and possibly end up buying their freedom. Slaves in the USA were basically like the furniture, no rights at all. Some slave classes were well educated. Slavery was sometims a concept, before the welfare state, that ensured everyone was taken care of.

I'm trying to imagine how many slaves could be transported any decent distance in those Viking longboats unless they could help with the rowing...?
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:54 AM
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I'm trying to imagine how many slaves could be transported any decent distance in those Viking longboats unless they could help with the rowing...?
Based on the fact that longships were often used as troop transports, written accounts seem to suggest they could take about 30 men in addition to the rowers, of which there were generally 13 to 16 per side depending on size of ship. Of course, a Viking leader would command several ships, so a raiding fleet would often hold hundreds of warriors and probably several dozen captives.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:04 PM
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Slavery often meant different things in different cultures; Roman slaves could have their own possessions and possibly end up buying their freedom. Slaves in the USA were basically like the furniture, no rights at all. Some slave classes were well educated.
If you were a Roman house slave, like a tutor, you had rights and life might actually be better than a plebe subsisting on the grain allowance.

if you were working on a farm or in the mines, life was nasty, brutish and hell.

And see, you have found one of the big issues with Romand slavery vs American slavery. Altho of course the Romans did think they were better than the Germans or the Gauls, by no means did they think those peoples were subhuman. They were just unlucky. They lost a war, thus - slave. If you were freed or bought your freedom, you were OK.

In American slavery, the black slaves werent even considered fully human. Slavery was their lot. Even after getting freed they were looked down upon.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:15 PM
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if you were working on a farm or in the mines, life was nasty, brutish and hell.
But thankfully short. See ? There's always a silver lining !


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And see, you have found one of the big issues with Romand slavery vs American slavery. Altho of course the Romans did think they were better than the Germans or the Gauls, by no means did they think those peoples were subhuman. They were just unlucky. They lost a war, thus - slave. If you were freed or bought your freedom, you were OK.

Not sure that's true however. By legal right, Roman (and Greek) slaves were unpeople. Items. Property. "A tool that speaks", in the parlance of the time. Slaves had to carry a slate around their necks informing people of their status and who their master was. And though they could be freed, a freed slave was still considered to owe their life to their masters and were still required to do shit for them until the day either of them died, and that debt passed on to offspring too. The children of slaves were slaves, no question about it. And former slaves or descendants of slaves were treated kindasorta like the Japanese treat bunrakumin - there's no actual law saying you're lesser people, but you still very much are.
I do agree however that they didn't think of it in racial terms at all however, and maybe that's your point wrt the difference w/ American slavery.
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:45 PM
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But thankfully short. See ? There's always a silver lining !





Not sure that's true however. By legal right, Roman (and Greek) slaves were unpeople. Items. Property. "A tool that speaks", in the parlance of the time. Slaves had to carry a slate around their necks informing people of their status and who their master was. And though they could be freed, a freed slave was still considered to owe their life to their masters and were still required to do shit for them until the day either of them died, and that debt passed on to offspring too. The children of slaves were slaves, no question about it. And former slaves or descendants of slaves were treated kindasorta like the Japanese treat bunrakumin - there's no actual law saying you're lesser people, but you still very much are.
I do agree however that they didn't think of it in racial terms at all however, and maybe that's your point wrt the difference w/ American slavery.
Yes, but the children of the Freed slave were Citizens, with full rights.

Whereas the Children of a free Black slave were still "subhuman niggers".
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:06 PM
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Yes, but the children of the Freed slave were Citizens, with full rights.
When and where? Not in ancient Rome or Greece, where most of the population of any given town weren't citizens.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:09 PM
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793 was a bit before Fran Tarkenton was with them, so yeah, they were probably pretty bad. Probably lost to both the Packers and Bears.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:09 PM
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Based on the fact that longships were often used as troop transports, written accounts seem to suggest they could take about 30 men in addition to the rowers, of which there were generally 13 to 16 per side depending on size of ship. Of course, a Viking leader would command several ships, so a raiding fleet would often hold hundreds of warriors and probably several dozen captives.
No need for long-ships probably, as Prague used the the Danube, and Venice would have been easier over land for the Frankish slavers. IIRC cities that rose due to the slave trade like Cadiz were much later.

Prohibition of trade with Muslims and Pagans probably did force the sea route, but I would bet that small boats on the Volga were far more common when trade was blocked.

Unfortunately outside of economic historians the topic is taboo but the caravans of Slavic slaves through the Alps to Lyon is documented.

The trade of slaves was so common throughout Europe in the early Middle Ages that it is doubtful that the Vikings were a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of people who were sold through the normal economic channels.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:12 PM
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History is always written by the victors, and it is a complex subject but one cannot ignore the brutality of Charlemagne which actually pre-dated the invasions as an example, Sigfried's brother was murdered in the “The Massacre of Verdun”.
History is not always written by the victors, and the Vikings/Norse are a good example. They conquered most of Britain, and even after the rise of Alfred they controlled half of modern England. Then they conquered the whole thing again. But they didn't leave much of their own writing, and numerous copies of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle survived, so the history of Viking Britain was largely written by the losers (that is, the Saxons). Of course, after 1066 England was under Norman control, and so the history of that period was written by the Normans.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:12 PM
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When and where? Not in ancient Rome or Greece, where most of the population of any given town weren't citizens.
Everyone born in Rome itself was a citizen, unless a slave. And most of Italia.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_citizenship
Freedmen were former slaves who had gained their freedom. They were not automatically given citizenship and lacked some privileges such as running for executive magistracies. The children of freedmen and women were born as free citizens; for example, the father of the poet Horace was a freedman.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:12 PM
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History is not always written by the victors, and the Vikings/Norse are a good example. They conquered most of Britain, and even after the rise of Alfred they controlled half of modern England. Then they conquered the whole thing again. But they didn't leave much of their own writing, and numerous copies of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle survived, so the history of Viking Britain was largely written by the losers (that is, the Saxons). Of course, after 1066 England was under Norman control, and so the history of that period was written by the Normans.
It could be argued that the Christian Church was the victor in that case. The Northern Crusades were pretty brutal.

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Old 07-17-2018, 02:30 PM
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As an interesting aside, it seems the Vikings were post-apocalyptic.

Recent research indicates that the Fimbulwinter is a reference to the 536-540+ period. Tree rings in Scandinavia shows a distinct lack of growth and archeological evidence shows a horrific collapse in population and development. Humanity seems to have gone extinct in some parts of Scandinavia during the period. Recovery of human populations do not seem to have taken place until around 650 and onwards.

While these has some overlap with the plague of Justinian, no sign of palgue has been found. It seems the plague just backed off Scandinavia at the time going "Nope!"

Cite: https://forskning.no/2017/12/fimbulv...r-ikke-en-myte (needs google translate)

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The common story about Rurik as an example, which is suppose to be the viking that helped unify Russian tribes as an example is problematic because genetically he appears to be an ethnic Finn of haplotype N1c1.
Actually, a more detailed analysis of the Rurikid haplotype seemed to show that it was a very rare variety of the haplotype that contracts to an area of middle Sweden before the Rurikid dynasty. Was it Jaakko Häkkinen who did the analysis, or did he just write a paper on it? I am on vacation and have poor internet access.

Of course the dating and location raises the intriguing possibility that it could trace back to the "lost nordic nation" of Kvænland.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:32 PM
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No need for long-ships probably, as Prague used the the Danube, and Venice would have been easier over land for the Frankish slavers. IIRC cities that rose due to the slave trade like Cadiz were much later.
The main slave market in the Viking world was in Dublin, which was conquered in the early 9th Century.
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:59 PM
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The main slave market in the Viking world was in Dublin, which was conquered in the early 9th Century.
But that was a minor market, and 10% of England's population were slaves in 1086 so this was not the case of the Northmen being more evil, just as evil.

Note this is compared to the funding of the first renascence or the establishment of Venice which can be argued to be one of the first steps to the rise of urban-ism in Europe.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:38 PM
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But that was a minor market, and 10% of England's population were slaves in 1086 so this was not the case of the Northmen being more evil, just as evil.
Sure. It was so minor it was the largest in Europe by the end of the Viking age.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:48 PM
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As an interesting aside, it seems the Vikings were post-apocalyptic.

Recent research indicates that the Fimbulwinter is a reference to the 536-540+ period. Tree rings in Scandinavia shows a distinct lack of growth and archeological evidence shows a horrific collapse in population and development. Humanity seems to have gone extinct in some parts of Scandinavia during the period. Recovery of human populations do not seem to have taken place until around 650 and onwards.

While these has some overlap with the plague of Justinian, no sign of palgue has been found. It seems the plague just backed off Scandinavia at the time going "Nope!"

Cite: https://forskning.no/2017/12/fimbulv...r-ikke-en-myte (needs google translate)


Actually, a more detailed analysis of the Rurikid haplotype seemed to show that it was a very rare variety of the haplotype that contracts to an area of middle Sweden before the Rurikid dynasty. Was it Jaakko Häkkinen who did the analysis, or did he just write a paper on it? I am on vacation and have poor internet access.

Of course the dating and location raises the intriguing possibility that it could trace back to the "lost nordic nation" of Kvænland.
No, it is simply a branch off of N1c1/n-m178, which is also my haplogroup, which is very common among the Finns, Karelians, and other Finno-Uric peoples. In Karelia about 60% of the population has a fairly recent common patrilineal ancestor with the Rurikids.

The part of Sweden that you reference above was ethnically and genetically related to those peoples and not the more typical European Swedish groups until the past couple of 100 years. Really the cultural portions changed after Finland was lost to Russia in the 1700s.

This poses a problem for those who subscribe to Nordicism, but yes it is developing rapidly. Everyone wants to be a Viking, and most of these groups historically discriminated against, or looked down on Karelian/Ugric/Finns.

http://www.raassinasukuseura.fi/wp-c...017/03/puu.jpg

As this is the patrilineal line, which is actually a tiny percentage of actual ancestry but critical to the belief that Rurik was a Viking, or Varangian, prince. Which by it's nature is patrilineal and the fact that is not true is causing a bit of a crisis of faith among those parties.

It will take some time for some historians to accept the empirical evidence, but that evidence is well established at this point in time that Rurik was not descended from Norse male lines.

Last edited by rat avatar; 07-17-2018 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:08 PM
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Sure. It was so minor it was the largest in Europe by the end of the Viking age.
Dublin became the largest in 11th century, due to Papal decree and other bans, but was mostly trading captives northwards and the laws England passed in 1102 reduced even that.

I am not saying anyone was being good here, but that is kind of like being the biggest buggy whip manufacture in the 1930's, the writing was already on the wall (for the Eurasian sourced slaves)

Charlemagne and others traded millions to the near East previous to that time.

Last edited by rat avatar; 07-17-2018 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:15 PM
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I need to add in a post or it will bother me.

There was no single group of the 'vikings' and the idea that it was even a single group has more to do with religious intolerance, myths mixed with some eugenics, and a desire to justify a racist "nordic" theory.

In a world where the eugenics based Nordic theory is popular, there is physical evidence that people were joining them from the UK/Ireland such as rebukes for joining the north men or legal documents like the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum
.

While it may have started among the Danes, that was not the whole story and the people who first sacked Paris didn't call themselves Vikings but the "Men from Vestfold"

And as that last link points out the Norwegians competed against their Danish rivals for land in Ireland.

And who we call the "viking" that lead the attack on Seville in 844 A.D were the Rus to the Danish Vikings.

The cohesive melding of Gennti, Magi, Rus and Wicing into this "viking" term was based on an idea of racial superiority and purity

While on one side I feel like this post is telling a kid that Santa Clause isn't real, the reality is that this myth is still used to justify murder today.

While most people don't use the term that way, perpetuating the myth that these were the same groups, or that they were some specific genetic grouping is false. The Danes knew they could stack Paris because they heard of the success by the Men of Vestfold, and there was no awkward same village drama by Rollo related to these to events. Although I do admit to liking that show.

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Old 07-17-2018, 08:24 PM
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Yes, but the children of the Freed slave were Citizens, with full rights.

Whereas the Children of a free Black slave were still "subhuman niggers".
Yeah, mind the Roman Republic was centered on the actual city of Rome. Only people born within its borders was a citizen, and only if they were born of free Roman mothers I believe. Also women held a limited form of citizenship tied to the citizenship of their family and later husband.

Initially as the Roman Republic accumulated vassal states, these states might have their own sub-governments and their own citizens, but these people were never Roman citizens. Later on, as an instrument to shore up the Republic and bind closer the vassal territories, the Senate would extend "grades" of citizenship with some portion of full Roman Citizenship rights to specific cities/regions at various times, based on various conditions.

This practice continued on into the imperial era. It wasn't until the 3rd century AD that a Roman Emperor issued a declaration that all non-slaves in the Empire were Roman Citizens, but for the prior ~400 years of Roman history this was just not the case.

In the era of Julius Caesar, the recently conquered Gauls would be seen as essentially subhuman monsters/barbarians, no doubt about it.

Interestingly because of the way Roman citizenship was classified some of the "barbarian" Kings who toppled the empire were actually themselves Roman citizens by law, having been born in the empire itself.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:27 PM
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And a lot of Varangians were Kievan Rus', Vikings who had settled in Kiev for a while, and seem to have been mixed up with the local Slavs in various ways. Just like the Vikings in York were mixed up with the local Saxons and Celts.

Recent genetic studies seem to indicate that both the Saxons and the Vikings only added a small amount of genetic heritage to the local population round York; the Celtic population was not completely displaced or exterminated in either case.
Interesting if true, my understanding has always been that by the 800s the native Celts had all been pushed north into what today is modern Scotland, West into Wales/Cornwall, and modern day England was dominated by the Germanic peoples that had started pushing their way in hundreds of years before. I guess given the region of England we're talking about (far northern), it isn't too shocking it would have had significant remaining Celtic peoples.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:48 PM
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Initially as the Roman Republic accumulated vassal states, these states might have their own sub-governments and their own citizens, but these people were never Roman citizens. Later on, as an instrument to shore up the Republic and bind closer the vassal territories, the Senate would extend "grades" of citizenship with some portion of full Roman Citizenship rights to specific cities/regions at various times, based on various conditions.

This practice continued on into the imperial era. It wasn't until the 3rd century AD that a Roman Emperor issued a declaration that all non-slaves in the Empire were Roman Citizens, but for the prior ~400 years of Roman history this was just not the case.

Oh god, now I'm having flashbacks of third year's Ant. Hist. module on Africa (the Roman province, not the continent) and cramming the differences between latin, Roman, peregrine legal statuses and the millions of possible exceptions, privileges, local treaties, sub-rules and so forth . That was a fun exam...

But speaking of, one thing to mos def bear in mind is that "the Roman Empire" is very much a historian's shorthand. Or, to put it another way, a complete political fiction. There wasn't anything standardized anywhere in the Empire and every bit of conquered land ; hell every conquered city was administered according to treaties and compromises and give-and-takes quid-pro-quos established when that specific piece of land got acquired and how. To add to that, Roman administrators were parachuted into their foreign provinces all the way from Rome with a one year mandate (non-consecutive, I believe ? In theory at least, I know some administrators got extended stays to deal with punctual crises) and they spent most of that one year travelling around the province to meet-and-greet and hold judicial hearings. Also to rake in the moolah, of course.
Suffice to say most of the actual legislative, judicial and administrative work was handled by more permanent local clerks - who by and large weren't Romans (at least not Romans from Rome) and in many cases just ran things the way they'd been running them before the Romans came along.
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