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The Vikings
Viking Time Line

789 - Vikings begin their attacks on England.
793 - Attack on Lindisfarne (most considered date for start of Viking age).
800 - The Oseberg Viking longship is buried about this time
840 - Viking settlers found the city of Dublin in Ireland.
860 -…

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Attack on LUNA is a great example of a `snowball story' where the details of the raid
grew, changed and expanded generation after generation continuously growing and
Must be very critical of sources, both contemporary and those wrote later
Vikings were more interested in taking prisoners rather than killing…

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Vikings maintained a trans-national network through claims to common Scandinavian
ancestry maintained cultural traits i.e - the Normans had pride in their Viking/Nordic
Scandinavians though of themselves as inhabitants of particular regions (Jutland,
Vestfold, Hordaland) their loyalty would have been to their leaders, rather than any
national identity -…

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Trading communities were also open to cultural influences
Intermarriage/trading/people joining Viking militia also lead to the mingling's of
There is much evidence to suggest the Rus (Swedish Vikings) settled in Kiev and
traded with Arab merchants.

There is written evidence from Arab writers (10th c. basing their writing on…

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COUPLAND questions the myths surrounding the Vikings - i.e the levels of violence
and brutality surrounding Vikings tales
SAWYER sees the Vikings raiding activity as an "extension of normal dark-age activity"
this is the REVISIONIST view of the Viking Age.
This REVISIONIST approach has found particular resonance in archaeologists, whose…

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Scholars have increasingly questioned received notions of national and ethnic identity
in the Viking age
Interpretations of the Viking age through a nationalist framework have a dominant
place in historiography

Early 19TH CENTURY - Vikings were viewed as `romantic noble savages' loved because
of their barbarous warrior ways

In Post-Colonial…

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The `wave of advance' model is ultimately traceable to post-Viking Age Icelandic and
Norwegian sources in which early pirate settlements in the Northern Isles were
assumed to have existed.
However, there is no evidence from settlement sites, graves, hoards, or documentary
record to suggest that Scandinavian migrants were living in…

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Two relevant observations - Assuming the news of wealth travelled quickly, it is
entirely possible that the gold-rush mentality spread to Scandinavia. The earliest raid
on French, English and Irish monasteries would have been the result. However we
must assume this wealth was for Scandinavian consumption not for Arab trade.…

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Alternatively it has also been argued that the expansionistic military and ecclesiastical
politics of the Christian west may have inspired an ideologically driven reaction among
the pagan elites.
IDEOLOGICAL DETERMINISM - Many of the arguments above are established with
archaeological and historical evidence. Thus the `pagan reaction' model and `slavery…

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Cultural - Their cultures also intermingled with the native cultures creating new
peoples and new mixed cultures etc.
Raiding- also brought devastation and further increased fear/hatred of Scandinavians
and pagans as many clerical writers accounted their raiding as a Pagan crusade.

Do the Vikings deserve their reputation for extreme brutality?…


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