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Wurfaxt
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 03:16 PM
A new theory about what drove the Vikings to raid Western Europe in the late eight and ninth centuries has been published. It suggests that the Vikings in Denmark were reacting to a threat from the Carolingian ruler Charlemagne, who was seeking to destroy their society and impose Christianity on them
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In a podcast interview, Ferguson adds the goals of Charlemagne were to force the Saxons "to abandon their culture, political system, beliefs and everything, and make them part Christians and part of his empire."

Ferguson notes an episode of "ethnic-cleansing:" when, in 782, Charlemangne's armies forcibly baptised and then executed 4,500 Saxon captives at Verden, a town close to Denmark. The Danes would have been well aware of what was happening with the Saxons anyways, as Widukind was married to sister of the Danish king, Sigfrid, and often took refuge in Denmark to escape the Carolingians.

Considering the situation, Ferguson writes, "Should the Vikings simply wait for Charlemagne's armies to arrive and set about the task? Or should they fight to defend their culture?"
More: http://medievalnews.blogspot.com/2010/01/viking-attacks-on-europe-were-self.html

Ocko
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 06:10 PM
Verden is a small town close to Bremen. It is hundreds of miles away from modern Denmark. That the killing went as a story to Denmark is pretty sure.

We all know Charlemagne is harem and fake christianity. He most likely was a half-jew through his mother's line.

Hauke Haien
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 06:39 PM
Since when is it necessary to justify war as "self-defence"?

Answer:

Just War theory is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers which holds that a conflict can and ought to meet the criteria of philosophical, religious or political justice, provided it follows certain conditions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_War

Even though this blog entry is dressed up as being apologetic, it is in actuality another way of pushing Christian and post-Christian mindsets into a context where they have no relevance. It does not matter whether the Vikings attacked in self-defense or in acts of aggression. War waged in favour of one's kin is inherently moral.

It is, however, imaginable that pressure from the south favoured centralising and unifying tendencies in Scandinavia, an ideological arms race that began with the Roman-Germanic wars in southern Germania and consequently spread through intra-Germanic power struggles.

Athough the result was a large-scale victory of the Germanic peoples over their neighbours and the consolidation into large power blocs, it came at a steep price, namely their deformation into Europeans.

arvak
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 06:41 PM
Unfortunatley Charlmagne was a legal christian criminal working for the Roman mission of Catholic church to christianify an judify the heathen world first to their conversion after deastroying all heathen and pagan temples and resistance then to place a lovely un payable tax on the poor farmers and kin folk of the northern europe which was a lovely way of screwing the poor and all the cash then went to the synod church and its criminal priests and zion so it could pay its criminals to conquer and subdgate the pheasants every where in europe. This reply to this contrived convertion and attack was the warrior terror weapon unleashed by the followers of the power of odinn and there was a pheasant uprising that resulted in the fury of the north men where all christian artefacts and churches were burnt and every body executed. It was a clever j trick to exterminate the saxons previously converted from heathenism this resulted in 2 aryan races killing each other off very clever . And ended in a sorry state of affairs more good blood spilled for the sake of a evil semetic manifestation. There is no more horrible a truth than history read an though shall awaken. I hope the idiots of today have awakened but alas I think not. Education of all the northern people and bring them under one race will build a great empire what a lovely thought. Let the semites kill each other off for its a well due in karma thats where ur lovely camel herder comes into play but unfortunatly for the idiots of today history repeats itself and we the poor folk will once again become a victims to this religious madness. So its time to collect in numbers and build a private army in each nation against this pestilance. But me thinks it will be only talk and there will be no warriors to fight. For there is only a few war like people left the rest is dross and with that you can do absalutley nought. But breed with the critters and become one of them and then turn into a degenerate faceless weak human without strength or courage and another ugly manifestation on the face of the earth that goes with the rest of this s..t.

Huginn ok Muninn
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 08:32 PM
a pheasant uprising

What a scary thing to contemplate..

http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/water/graphics/pheasants.jpg

;)

Kogen
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 09:39 PM
How does this excuse attacks all over the British Isles, into the Russian steppe, into Asia, into Africa, and into America?

It is a valid reason against Charles' Empire, but I do not see how it defines a trend of Viking superiority in the world. And if not for it, advances in militia and castles would have never been made. The Viking raids were benefits to Europe for evolving our defence and the result of a high period in Nordic existence. We colonised and explored the world more similar to the ancient empires and it is under appreciated - instead being degraded to articles like this that make it seem cowardly and out of fear.

Ediruc
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 09:52 PM
Whoa! I'm as much of a Viking lover and researcher as everyone else here, but I really think we are going off a limb here to call Viking raids "self-defensive" attacks, considering the Vikings were...uhh...oh, pirates! Now if it was the Norse people alone organizing to defend themselves. That's just what I think. :thumbup

Oh, 100th post :D

Kogen
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 09:55 PM
I would not even call it piracy. Every other medieval state did the same, they were just not as good with logistics.

Sigurd
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 10:01 PM
And once more, a scholar publishes a "new theory" or "new finding", the hypothesis of which we already considered as likely to be true several years beforehand. That there is a link between the Verden incident/massacre and the later Viking Raids is obvious to a blind man's eye.

However it did not start in 782 with that attack, it all actually "started to brew" as early as 772/773, so both events are merely important landmark points in the brewing conflict but Verden nor Lindisfarne were the first of their respective kind. For instance, the arguably first Viking attack was either in 787 or 789 in Portland, Essex.

In 772, Norway was actually allied to Charlemagne in a war against the Danes when he ordered to have the Irminsul destroyed. Upon hearing this, they "changed sides" and instead fought against Charlemagne as well. Much before this we have Boniface chopping the Oak to Donar near Geismar. So the Massacre of Verden was only one catalyst after a bunch of provocation.

It is noteworthy that there was peace between 780-782, and that the new conflict between 783-785 ended with Widukind's baptism and peace resulting. Widukind's forced baptism could also be understood as a further provocation, with his links to Denmark this could have also helped to upstage a revolt.

Interesting is also the Westphalian uprise against Frankish rule 792, this could have perhaps aided the Scandinavian revolt and raiding to become bigger-scale and routine. Whilst we have very little conclusive evidence pointing towards that way, we would certainly see several times in history that an uprising in one region led to an uprising in another region. (Farmers' Uprising 1525/26, Revolution of 1848, etc. pp.). And certainly we have the Westphalian uprise followed by that of the other Saxon groups (Eastphalians, Nordalbingians 793-794, Engrian rebellion 796), so why not extend that to include Scandinavia in scope?

I haven't read the article yet, I hope that nothing of what I've said is redundant. ;)

SpearBrave
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 10:14 PM
I don't think the Viking raids was as organized as to say they were a preemptive strike. The Norse people lived in small individual groups based on farming areas. IMO not all the Norse went raiding at once, just small groups at a time. Their attacks were swift and by stealth, avoiding large armies.

Technologie was main reason the Vikings went raiding, they had developed the long ship which could sail in open seas or up rivers. With this Long ship they could raid and flea at will. while other people in Europe were pretty much land based.

Méldmir
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 10:19 PM
But some things would go against this theory, or not go against, but find other reasons for the raids. What I can think of without giving sources (for now) would be.

1. During this time, in Scandinavia, people generally had it bad with little food etc and people set out to find richness in other lands.

2. The British Isles had nothing to do with Charlemange and most Viking attacks were aimed towards it. Of course they were Christian, but other than that England was at this time almost a part of a greater Scandinavia in some senses.

Of course that doesn't mean this new theory isn't true, they could both be reasons for Viking raids. Maybe some Viking raids were because of Charlemange, like those aimed at Normandy, while others weren't. The fact that Britain was Christian, it may have concerned Scandinavians that they would turn against Heathens in the future if Charlemange would gain a foothold there.

Sigurd
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 11:13 PM
The Norse people lived in small individual groups based on farming areas.

As did for instance the Tyrolese in 1525, and still in 1797 and 1809. Thee social sphere of most people was limited mainly to their village or their valley at best. That doesn't mean though that they were oblivious to what happened around them. We mustn't underestimate the perceptiveness of the common folk to their geopolitical surroundings.

As such, it is certainly not impossible that an act of such disrespect such as the destroying of the Irminsul lead to all these events. After all, the excellent trading relations of the Norse internally as much as externally, mostly carried out on sea helped news to get around fairly quickly. The quick rise of raiding activity and subsequent extent was certainly by virtue of their trade relations.


Technologie was main reason the Vikings went raiding, they had developed the long ship which could sail in open seas or up rivers.

This would have aided the success, and since the success of the raids is thought to be the reason for their popularity as well as later settlement, all ensured by relatively safe passage, no doubt. There is also no doubt that it was a necessary condition to raid.

However, whilst it is a necessary condition, it is not a sufficient condition as such. The Norse had always been sea-faring people --- and the infertile and scarce soil meant they had to specialise on trade fairly early, aiding that development. However, this also only explains why there was so much renown to be gained by raiding --- after all there's little renown to the youngster in bringing back home a sack of grain.

The technology undoubtedly helped to "spread the word", but all these are only conditions which aid and were necessary. They are by no means sufficient though. That the technology of the long-ship became available approx. around 750-800 is likely a "lucky coincidence", not more.

So to say, technology helps to explain the date at best, but certainly not the causes.

Sigurd
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 11:22 PM
1. During this time, in Scandinavia, people generally had it bad with little food etc and people set out to find richness in other lands.

As pointed out above in my reply to J Baughman, food and farming conditions were relatively scarce in Scandinavia to begin with. This must have already been a case at least as early as 600 or 650. The development of the long-ship was directly dependant on trade experience and sea-faring experience.

Since the knowledge of the long-ship technology was necessary (but as said, not sufficient), raiding could at best be an indirect result, but certainly not a direct result.


2. The British Isles had nothing to do with Charlemange and most Viking attacks were aimed towards it. Of course they were Christian, but other than that England was at this time almost a part of a greater Scandinavia in some senses.

This is where the renown and bounty part comes in as a possible explanation. If you're going to raid and fight against a construct which you consider harmful, you're going to use this as an "excuse" to pillage places which are both rich and proximate. Both was true English abbeys, which would have acted as a "scapegoat" despite not being the immediate, but only secondary, cause of the dissatisfaction with Christian behaviour.

Of course there would remain much to be explained, but let's turn it around: Does it make it implausible or does it simply leave an unexplained link in the causational chain? I would tend to say the latter. That the attacks were on England doesn't mean that there was no causational chain. Typical historical stale-mate here, TBH.

SpearBrave
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 11:29 PM
^ The point about people living in small rural farming areas was that they did not all at once say " Hey the Christians are coming lets raid them first". These people were at war with one another as much as with outsiders. The Long Ship just provided the means to carry them to Christian lands.

The Norse at this time had a weapons culture, meaning they put a lot of thought into their weapons. This developed slowly from South to North. This can be proved by looking at the grave goods of the Germanic people.

Another possible explanation is that they had a high infant survival rate. More young men, but only one will get the farm. Then the younger sons say "Hey I want my own farm one day,but how will I pay for it?"

Sigurd
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010, 11:45 PM
Another possible explanation is that they had a high infant survival rate. More young men, but only one will get the farm. Then the younger sons say "Hey I want my own farm one day,but how will I pay for it?"

I doubt that there was a particularly large birth/death ratio. In Pre-Agrarian and Agrarian society nature tends to have a way to regulate births and deaths. Since most people survive by matters of "subsistence economics", population numbers tend to largely stagnate.

There appears to be a direct link between growing urbanisation and population growth, though it is hard to say which caused which (arguably population growth leads to urbanisation, which vice-versa then leads to further population growth): Population growth in the medieval was largest between the 10th and 14th century, which is also when a greater number of cities was founded than in the centuries immediately preceding and succeeding.

Considering that Iceland is where many later raids (9th/10th century) came from remained a very rural country until at least the early 19th century (around 1800, Reykjavik had about 8,000 inhabitants - hardly a sign of great urbanisation), this link is missing. It is even missing in Norway, since we don't exactly have that many important urban foundings around that time.

With relatively little urbanisation (and hence relatively little passing to an Agrarian-Urban society and the dichotomy between birth and death rates) happening, it would be hard to establish that there was a particularly important population growth around that time, and certainly not in the late 8th century.

As such, whilst it could certainly be a motivation around the late 9th and 10th century, since at least in Norway, we observe partial urbanisation - it cannot be a cause for the very first raids in the late 8th and early 9th century.

Since active grand-scale territorial expansion of the Norse culture (settlement in Iceland approx. 830, settlement in Britain likely no earlier than 850) only happened some 40-60 years after the first raids began, this can also hardly be seen as replacement evidence of population growth in the absence of notable conurbations.

OneWolf
Monday, January 4th, 2010, 12:48 AM
I dont think anybody really knows why the Vikings started raiding poor defenseless Europe.But i'm glad they did.Their contributions to the English language,law and art are still felt today.Not only that,they left one hell of a genetic footprint in Scotland,Northumbria,Normandy,Iceland and Ireland.
They brought intelligence to Russia in the form of the Varangian fur traders which gave rise to the Kievan Rus'.Even today,the descendants of the Vikings live on one of the greatest countries on Earth,Norway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway

SpearBrave
Monday, January 4th, 2010, 01:53 AM
I doubt that there was a particularly large birth/death ratio. In Pre-Agrarian and Agrarian society nature tends to have a way to regulate births and deaths. Since most people survive by matters of "subsistence economics", population numbers tend to largely stagnate.

It would not have to be a large increase, just a increase. For example if you have several abundant years the population would increase. Then followed by several lean or normal years would disrupt the population size. One good indicator is to study tree ring growth from preserved wood. Another method used is soil layers the more abundant years would have larger organic matter in those layers.

It is also possible that better farming methods through increased trade with the Central areas of Europe. Would have a effect on population growth in a Agrarian society. A way to prove this is looking at the midden heaps.



Since active grand-scale territorial expansion of the Norse culture (settlement in Iceland approx. 830, settlement in Britain likely no earlier than 850) only happened some 40-60 years after the first raids began, this can also hardly be seen as replacement evidence of population growth in the absence of notable conurbations.

The settlement was cause and effect. The Norse liked what they had seen during their raids. What they saw was land that could be either claimed or taken. Therefor a another pointing indicator to population growth. As most of the land in the home areas was already taken by their own people.



I dont think anybody really knows why the Vikings started raiding poor defenseless Europe.

Maybe not,but it is sure a good topic to discuss.:)

Hauke Haien
Monday, January 4th, 2010, 02:06 AM
There appears to be a direct link between growing urbanisation and population growth
Population growth -> famine/disease -> population reduction -> agricultural consolidation -> population growth

Urbanisation is actually a consequence of advances in agriculture, like the ones that immediately preceded the Industrial Revolution in England and coincided with a renewed population peak not seen since high medieval times, except that it could be maintained this time around.

For its early medieval counterpart, see this article: Advances in Agricultural Technology, 800-1000 (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=15090)

Again, attention must be paid to the effect of low crop yield ratios on Germanic history. Unlike the hydraulic empires of the east that reached 30:1 ratios through centralised maintenance of the irrigation system and 10:1 ratios in Roman core territory that encouraged an expansionist stance of the Roman city state, a ratio of 2,5:1 in Germanic territory created the need to supplement it through endemic warfare.

Such conditions are harsh and fail to meet the pretensions of Western civilisation, but they can be assumed to have been wonderfully eugenic.

Indeed, the Viking Age practise of killing female infants in favour of an additional Viking male was not meant to be an act of misogyny, it was part of a military domination scheme intended to benefit the survival of the whole community.

It is also interesting to note that Germanic kingship did not develop from the combined administration of agricultural communities, which would have been quite pointless, it is instead a stabilised version of the temporary war leader.

OneWolf
Monday, January 4th, 2010, 02:44 AM
Hauke Haien do you think the Viking Age practise of killing female infants in favour of additional Viking males created a shortage of females?
I read that one of the reasons for the Viking raids was to obtain women for the sole purpose of breeding more male heirs.Queen Asa of the Ynglinge clan was reported to be from the Pontic littoral,or Iran.

http://www.nrk.no/programmer/tv/schrodingers_katt/1.3405117

Hauke Haien
Monday, January 4th, 2010, 05:30 PM
That might have been an effect, but it is unlikely to have been the reason for it in the first place.

They could easily kill male infants instead, which makes more sense for purely biological growth that depends primarily on the females. However, such a scheme is unworkable without anyone to provide for them and defend them from competitors, which is where military strength becomes significant.

Viking Age society was also mildly polygynous, which is again due to the ability of higher-ranking males to provide for a larger household. The resulting tendency to look for women elsewhere is an unintended consequence and particularly damaging if they are brought home and their descendants receive freedom there with the abolition of thralldom.

Ocko
Thursday, November 11th, 2010, 07:48 AM
Friday, January 01, 2010
Viking attacks on Europe were self-defence, scholar writes


A new theory about what drove the Vikings to raid Western Europe in the late eight and ninth centuries has been published. It suggests that the Vikings in Denmark were reacting to a threat from the Carolingian ruler Charlemagne, who was seeking to destroy their society and impose Christianity on them.

The theory was put forward by Robert Ferguson in an article for the December 2009 issue of BBC History Magazine. His book, The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings, was also published in November.

Starting in the 790s, Viking ships began raiding throughout Western Europe and the British Isles, often targeting monasteries. Ferguson points out that peaceful contacts between the Norse peoples and Christian societies, such as trading with each other. He therefore asks why did the Viking attacks begin when they did?

But with the accession of Charlemagne in 771, the Carolingians began to implement a new program of converting their pagan and neighbors and promoting Christianity. Charlemagne launched numerous invasions of the Saxon peoples led by Widukind.

In a podcast interview, Ferguson adds the goals of Charlemagne were to force the Saxons "to abandon their culture, political system, beliefs and everything, and make them part Christians and part of his empire."

Ferguson notes an episode of "ethnic-cleansing:" when, in 782, Charlemangne's armies forcibly baptised and then executed 4,500 Saxon captives at Verden, a town close to Denmark. The Danes would have been well aware of what was happening with the Saxons anyways, as Widukind was married to sister of the Danish king, Sigfrid, and often took refuge in Denmark to escape the Carolingians.

Considering the situation, Ferguson writes, "Should the Vikings simply wait for Charlemagne's armies to arrive and set about the task? Or should they fight to defend their culture?"

But the Norse could not fight the Carolingian military directly - instead they went after soft-targets, such as monasteries, which were symbols of the growing Christian encroachment. Ferguson says, "everything points to a hatred that goes beyond just robbers who just wanted money."

The article goes on to describe these early Viking attacks, and how their raids expanded throughout Europe, with Viking kingdoms developing on the British Isles and elsewhere.

Several other explanations have been put forward for Viking violence, such as innovations in shipbuilding which encouraged piracy, and overpopulation in Scandinavia, which forced many of its people to leave their homeland in search of fortune.



Source (http://medievalnews.blogspot.com/2010/01/viking-attacks-on-europe-were-self.html)

That makes sense to me.

Hammer of Thor
Thursday, November 11th, 2010, 09:32 AM
That is definitely an interesting article. The author puts foward a plausible scenario and possible explanation for the beginnings of the Viking raids (which later turned into permanent residences).

On a side note it's nice to see you back on Skadi Ocko.

Hammer of Thor

Ocko
Thursday, November 11th, 2010, 02:32 PM
It seems Skadi ist 'judenfrei'

Thorolf
Thursday, November 11th, 2010, 03:09 PM
Nice article, a lot of that would really make sense. Though I don't guess it explains the later viking raids, but i guess if your people get used to raiding it becomes part of the culture.

Welcome back ocko, its good to see you returned.

Thorwolf
Thursday, November 11th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Good post, Welcome back Ocko!

Barreldriver
Thursday, November 11th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Nice article, a lot of that would really make sense. Though I don't guess it explains the later viking raids, but i guess if your people get used to raiding it becomes part of the culture.

Welcome back ocko, its good to see you returned.

Ferguson, in the book, explains the later raids (if we're thinking of the same later raids) as the attempt to re-establish what they saw as their territory, especially the men of Harald Hardrada and Harald himself as he saw himself as the legitimate ruler of England due to oaths struck between Norway and Denmark during the Danish rule of England, similar deal with Sweyn II, all in one way or another saw themselves as the legitimate rulers of England due to whatever claim they thought they had on the Danish throne and raids resumed as they built armies to retake England. Then folks like Magnus III just sought to create an empire around the Irish Sea.

zDrake
Friday, November 19th, 2010, 09:59 PM
A doctor I study under first introduced me to the concept of raids in retaliation. There is certainly no evidence to dispute that raids were a direct result of Carolingian encroachment.

He also suggests that the Vikings did what they did not for any other reason except that they could. Scratching out a living in the north could be difficult. Attacking a monastary was relatively easy and potentially profitable.

Later raids, I theorize, may have been due to overpopulation and lack of good/workable earth. So some raiders settled where they landed to have something of their own.

ulfrik
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010, 09:47 AM
i have always kinda thought of the viking age as a war between odinism and christianity.

also don't forget lithuania, they fought off crusaders and pagans remained in the countryside well into the 18th centery.

Angelcynn Beorn
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 08:18 PM
I tend to think it's more of a fashionable piece to write than anything else. The Vikings at no point specifically targeted Christians, let alone Carolingian Christians, which would obviously be the most important target to attack if they were launching a war of self defence.

Ocko
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 08:33 PM
Invading the land which is now called Normandy (land of the Normans/Viking) was actually an attack on frankish land, the european coast has been attacked numerously, vikings went up the rivers (like the Rhine) and attacked cities there. Their boats were ideal for doing that.

Why would Vikings not go to frankish land when they could? After Charle'lemagne' was dead, the land of the Franks was weak and couldn't stop the attack by Vikings.

Vikings most likely had multiple reasons to attack, but obviously they preferred churches and monastaries, because of their wealth and their attacks on the heathen religion.

The initial attacks might have been caused by the thread the christian frankish armies posed to the northern lands.

So I still think it was partly a religious war.

Juthunge
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 09:38 PM
An interesting idea, but I doubt it holds much truth in it.

Considering the situation, Ferguson writes, "Should the Vikings simply wait for Charlemagne's armies to arrive and set about the task? Or should they fight to defend their culture?"

Starting in the 790s, Viking ships began raiding throughout Western Europe and the British Isles, often targeting monasteries. Ferguson points out that peaceful contacts between the Norse peoples and Christian societies, such as trading with each other. He therefore asks why did the Viking attacks begin when they did?
I don't doubt that the individual Norseman bore hatred against Christians or Christianity, but I doubt this happened on an organised scale. Bear in my mind, there was no united Danish or Norwegian kingdom at that time yet.
You should also bear in mind that piracy and raiding had quite a history in Northwestern Europe, with the Frisians, Angles, Saxon and also the Jutes all doing this before the onset of the Viking age.
Another questions is why the first attack which allegedly occured in Northern England occured there. That probably wasn't the first attack, but nevertheless I guess you get my point.
They never specifically attacked Christians let alone Carolingian Christians apart from attacking their churches and monasteries which happened to be ornated with gold and silver.


But the Norse could not fight the Carolingian military directly - instead they went after soft-targets, such as monasteries, which were symbols of the growing Christian encroachment. Ferguson says, "everything points to a hatred that goes beyond just robbers who just wanted money."
As we all know, Vikings fought English and Frankish armies countless times and very often defeated them. And they fought for them as mercenaries. This argument sounds a bit naive.

Midgård
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 10:27 PM
Nah, this is actually bullshit. Ordinary academic christianity-bashing.
The danes converted by their own. They had nothing to fear.

The only ideological aspect of their piracy and plundering were that those business belonged to the high-caste. It wasn't self defence, it was earning glory, gold, power and a seat in Valhall.

velvet
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 10:50 PM
:oanieyes

No northern folk "converted on their own", and they had indeed a lot to fear. That is why they pushed back the christian armies countless times (the Frisians even did that repeatedly well into the 14th century).

And against the myth of a non-united northern Europe stands the fact that Holger Danske put his own battles against the invading Frankish armies under Charlemagne to rest to side with them against the Sarazenes.

Saxo also tells of alliances between different tribes against a common foe, for the 'historic' period from around 600, but also already for the prehistoric time, namely for Frode who is said to have lived around Jesu life time. Already Adam of Bremen (~1000CE) whines about the stubborn Frisians and Saxons who just dont want to accept christian rule.

Really dont know where this myth that everyone just waited for christianity and became a believer over night comes from. It's utter bullcrap. :shrug

Midgård
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 11:07 PM
:oanieyes
Let's start with being bitchy!


No northern folk "converted on their own"
Yes they did. Us Geats were the first ones to do so.



Saxo also tells of alliances between different tribes against a common foe, for the 'historic' period from around 600, but also already for the prehistoric time, namely for Frode who is said to have lived around Jesu life time. Already Adam of Bremen (~1000CE) whines about the stubborn Frisians and Saxons who just dont want to accept christian rule.
Rule does not equal faith in this case.


Really dont know where this myth that everyone just waited for christianity and became a believer over night comes from. It's utter bullcrap. :shrug
Me neither. I never wrote anything like that.

Ocko
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 11:11 PM
It's just one of the typical lies of Christianity. They need those lies to keep faith, otherwise their whole idea of Christianity is shaken into pieces. Then they would have to accept that their ancestors were forced to believe some jew-crap.

wittwer
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 11:18 PM
Don't forget they sailed inland through the Gulf of Finland and the White Sea following the rivers and tributaries south through what is now Russia to the Black Sea and Constantinople. Establishing trade routes, camps/villages and what eventually became the Kingdom of the Rus, along with becoming the Varangian Guard of the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Europe was a side show manned by those who were gone from home for only a few months. Ahh... the joys of a summer boat trip while the crops are growing/maturing and the chance to get away from the wife and kids for awhile. Along with the potential for Rape, Pillage and Plunder; coupled with the chance of coming home with a chest full of GOLD! Yeah... ;)

ulfrik
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 11:30 PM
Any one who converted to christianity back then did so out of fear and greed, because it would help them with business and trade and it would help kings rule over their subjects.
It was all just business. In other words they were Weasels.(it was kinda jew like)

ArcticWarrior
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 11:32 PM
I don't think the Viking raids was as organized as to say they were a preemptive strike. The Norse people lived in small individual groups based on farming areas. IMO not all the Norse went raiding at once, just small groups at a time. Their attacks were swift and by stealth, avoiding large armies.

Technologie was main reason the Vikings went raiding, they had developed the long ship which could sail in open seas or up rivers. With this Long ship they could raid and flea at will. while other people in Europe were pretty much land based.

I agree with this. I believe the Vikings were just tribes looking for some resources to support their culture.

Þoreiðar
Monday, December 6th, 2010, 11:40 PM
I don't doubt that the individual Norseman bore hatred against Christians or Christianity, but I doubt this happened on an organised scale. Bear in my mind, there was no united Danish or Norwegian kingdom at that time yet.That's right, however, there were several smaller kingdoms in the areas that is now Norway and Denmark. Besides, why do people have to live under the same kingdom to be able to organize themselves?

Paradigm
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 12:07 AM
I'm nearly finished with A Brief History of The Vikings: The Last Pagans or First Modern Europeans? (http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Vikings-Pagans-Europeans/dp/0786715995/), and from reading it this is what I've gathered.

Those who were Vikings were generally the "outcast of society", and typically were just pirates. There is no specific title or organisation. They attacked and raided anyone, and traveled along the coast. Therefore, it's hard to pin anyone down as a Viking, specifically.

The Vikings generally had "war-bands" consisting of probably no more than 30 men. Given this, you would have various war-bands clash with one another, and these war-bands were also mercanaries for foreigners (going as far as the Middle-East, whom with they traded with due to the findings of a silver mine in Afghanistan).

The coming of Christianity was a long process. The kings/cheiftans would accept Christianity (for the political and trading advantages), and some Vikings may do the same to make it easier to trade. When a king would accept Christianity he would then try to enforce it on his kingdom. This seem to be a constant pattern in places like Denmark.

Kings/cheiftans would constantly fued, and it generally all has family ties. In which the fueds would go on and on, due to family rivalries. Various kings claiming ownership of land and fighting.

Kings would appoint Earls to collect taxes (whom of which the Earls would appoint people below them and an "army"). Taxes collected were a sort of "protection", yet this service was forced (as all taxes are).

Vikings would also employ the same tactics. Travel abroad, trade and raid, and eventually employ your "services" to keep other Vikings from raiding.

Most Vikings would settle down and try to take up farming. It seems that most of the time this was during their conversion to Christianity (relinquish your war gods and savage ways, take up Christianity and become noble). Generally, for those who do farm and have a family, their grandchildren would have been born into Christianity and their Viking history would be vanishing.

I don't want to go into much more due to that I can't remember all the dates, places, and names that all go together, but the book I have has a graphs that show the history of the various kings/rulers of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc with the year.

Ocko
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 12:09 AM
We have political as well as religious reasons. I don't think one can separate them neatly and say this is this and that is that.

those raids may have been inspired by religious people who might also happen to be warriors. They might have been inspired by Gods, by greed, by adventurism or whatever.

We don't know the reason for sure, as they haven't left anything about it.

Obviously they liked to loot monasteries and kill those effemate monks off. (they didn't take them as slaves), might be they were sacrificed to Odin, who knows.

The target monestary could be because of loot or/and of religious warfare.

If you are Odinist (and many Gods are warrior Gods ((like Tyr, the God of Zwietracht/discord))) warrior deeds are just one way of honoring Odin. To slay people for him is a religious deed for a heathen.

One cannot disconnect warfare from religion, when heathens are concerned. There are certainly repercussions, intermingling motives and so on.

If christians were considered the enemies of the Gods any adherence to one of the Asa would consider it his duty to fight them. (and kill and sacrifice them to one's God).

The warrior Gods want war, they are not 'Princes of Peace'.

The legends and lore is full of fight and struggle. It is not 'piep piep piep wir haben uns alle liep'.

For a heathen, fight is nothing terrible but part of their religious service and duty to the Gods.

Juthunge
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 12:26 AM
That's right, however, there were several smaller kingdoms in the areas that is now Norway and Denmark. Besides, why do people have to live under the same kingdom to be able to organize themselves?

I know that and I agree, I was a bit unspecific in that aspect. What I meant was, for a Pagan "crusade"(yes I know, a quite ironic usage of that word) or organised defence against Christianity on a larger scale like the author of the article proposed some kind of superstructure(?) would have been necessary. I hope you get my point.

Balders gate
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 12:32 AM
The vikings were awesome, what can you say. When your pushed up against the wall sooner or later you are going to snap. Don't mess with a beserker. The only people I know who can laugh even in the face of danger. I love the capital one credit card viking commercials that are on television now. "Romans get them", thats hillarious.:D

thirsty
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:16 AM
Them Vikings were quick on the uptake. Ingenious to hit the 'bank' where the money used to bribe your aristocracy is stored.....:D and only guarded by syphilitic old monks.

Caledonian
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:53 AM
A plausible theory.

Hrogar
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:19 AM
One thing we shouldn't forget is that the period leading up to the viking age was a very chaotic period full of changes.
The caroligian empire was always at war with someone. So there never was real stability, beside perhaps in the heartland of the caroligians themselves. Even there it was mainly the nobility who were christian. The people still stuck to their pagan ways, which is proven by the strict rules and laws to ban paganism from their empire. (you don't need laws against something that doesn't exist). The point is, there was a constant tension in political as well as religious aspects.
And when they started their campaign against the saxons, along with genocide and harsh conversion methods, a powerful people with a strong reputation, lost their indepence within one generation. Especially in the eyes of the scandinavians who were not used to get on their knees for a god or to be ruled by others then themselves, this must have been a very big event. Even the Romans never ruled the scandinavians or the saxons. Since the carolingians, and therefor also christianity now came so close, this must have led to a change in perception of the world.
And overpopulation wouldn't have determinded their politics in itself (such as who is an enemy and who isn't), but it must have made a difference to the various groups in deciding what the course of action would be.
The fact that some decided to be mercenaries is something of all times and people. If it's profitable, people can do the strangest things. Working for someone who isn't 'one of your own' is one of them.

And by the way, the vikings most probably didn't care whether christians from England were different from carolingian christians from the mainland. To them, they were all christians. Trade partners on the one hand and enemies to their way of life on the other hand. And every group and (especially) ruler decided this dillemma to a large extend on their own.

flâneur
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:50 AM
The only ideological aspect of their piracy and plundering were that those business belonged to the high-caste. It wasn't self defence, it was earning glory, gold, power and a seat in Valhall.

I agree totally.
Our viking ancestors went out raiding because it was profitable and they were good at it.

Farming was open to all sorts of natural catastrophy,so we needed another form of making a living.

We British had it down to a fine art and conquered a third of the earths surface and controlled the seas.....not through altruism or wanting to spread some sort of christian crusade or any other such fluffy argument.
We did it because we could and we were good at it and our blood line was made up of the finest and most violent and successfull raiders and plunderers the world has ever known......and we did it on a big scale.


Look at the special forces today (the special forces that count i might add) SAS (Brit/Aus/Kiwi) Delta,GSG9,etc.....look at the racial make up of these groups.
Look at the concept behind it....small numbers in raiding parties going out and creating untold havoc and damage and fear far out of proportion to their numbers.
We are good at it as were our ancestors.

velvet
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 12:37 PM
What I meant was, for a Pagan "crusade"(yes I know, a quite ironic usage of that word) or organised defence against Christianity on a larger scale like the author of the article proposed some kind of superstructure(?) would have been necessary. I hope you get my point.

When each of the various kingdoms was threatened individually, they would also defend themselves individually. You dont need a superstructure above that. An immediate threat generates an immediate response.

Though through that the christian armies were organised under a superstructure, they generated indeed an appropiate response by the various tribes: they started to organise and form larger kingdoms. Denmark for example used to be divided into countless kingdoms, but by the 8th, 9th century you can observe a tightening of their kingdoms and a uniting development. This stopped around 1000 when Denmark was put under christian rule.

The interesting question though is, why we never read in history books or records from these battles. At one point or another there must have been some sort of major defeat. What we read though is fluffy stuff that the warrior kings subjected themselves voluntary to not only a new religion (which was back then more than alien, as Paganism is much more a world view with a faith component than a "religion" in any way), but also handed over their kingdoms and their own ruling position to the new leaders.

Who is supposed to believe that? The Vikings sailed to North America, to Greenland, to Iceland, they raided Paris, the Normandy and even halfway down Africa. They were certainly well equipped to any form of battle that would have been delivered out against them. And these people are supposed to have given up their world view, their values, their culture, their society, their power and their faith 'just so'? Without protest, without any objection? And also without discord in the population?

The sagas, legends and tales changed dramatically under christian rule. The heroes and gods turned into dark creatures, into devils, and yet kept some of their former positive traits. Our entire myths and legends, fairy tales and sagas are fundamentally heathen, despite the protagonists being renamed to Maria, the savior, Petrus, Satan whatever. The stories are heavily corrupted through the antagonism good/evil introduced by christianity, which in this form never existed before.

Most interesting for what really happened when judeo-christianity took over are those legends that came about as reaction to christianity, namely the Underground People of Bornholm are most interesting in this context. Because this is not myth stuff, this is legends of resistance groups against christianity, who literally went underground under the still vital protection of what the christians smeared as devils and demons but what was our gods, our very positive gods.

It is just retarded to believe that our Heathen ancestors exchanged their supportive and positive gods for a single god that was not only not theirs, but also expressed utter hate against them and sold the Jews as the chosen people of this god, a god that takes revenge on all other people to protect the Jews. It makes no sense whatsoever to accept a god voluntary that despises your own folk, or to accept an order of rulership (which was appointed and approved by the Roman Pope) set up and justified by this god, this religion and the Judeo-centric worldview that came in his wake.

Who believes in the fairytale that this was 'adopted unanimously' by all of the Northern people should ask himself for what reason any of them should have done that. For trade? Germanics traded and ran trading centers already before the Common Era with other people, with the Ruthene, with the Greek, with the Romans, and never they had to convert to any of their religions or worldviews to do so.

Christians (back then still mainly Semites) on the other hand cannot trade with other people without subjecting them to their rule and to subject them to the rule of mammon, to transfer the divine honour and justice from the immaterial world to money and treaties, because without this corruption noone would deal with these criminals.

This system of blackmail and corruption was what step by step subjected people to judeo-christianity and judeo-christian global trade. It was like a member card to trade centers, and so the only people who converted 'volunatary' did so out of trade interests. Certainly not for the nonexistent values of judeo-christianity. And noone who was not directly involved in trade and travelling therefore converted voluntary, and the proofs for this are legion, namely visible in all the countless laws that were made to forbid one or another heathen practice, a contiunal development from early centuries going up well into the 18th century (it became less through the industrial revolution). Nothing of this is mentioned in all the fluffy "history" that paints the partly brutal persecution of Pagans as if they all had fallen down on their knees voluntary by the mentioning of the Jewish god that has nothing but hate for them, sent out missionaries with the order to destroy holy sites and instead build ugly churches onto them, to trick people to come to the church, with the order to break up the social order, by organised attacks against holy sites and chieftains, with the order to take over the control over goods, and so on and so forth.

And we today are supposed to believe that all this happened without resistance, without protest? If so, we would indeed deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth, if so, we indeed were not able to rule ourselves, if so, we had nothing to be proud of. And it is exactly this why we are told all these lies, to break our will to be our own masters and to break our pride and our will to live.

wittwer
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 02:34 PM
In order to understand the conversion of Germanic Pagans to Christians read and memorize the "Dream of the Rood". In Germanic religion and tradition, Dream Schemes, play a significant role in belief and the connection between the physical and spiritual realms. The epiphany has occured... ;)

Valhalla and Wotan along with the Scandinavian equivalents have been supplanted. Apostatey will not bring them back.

Hrogar
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 04:23 PM
Valhalla and Wotan along with the Scandinavian equivalents have been supplanted. Apostatey will not bring them back.

They don't have to be brought back, since they never left. They are still around us.

Hrogar
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 04:30 PM
And we today are supposed to believe that all this happened without resistance, without protest?

It indeed did not happen without resistance.
But it's not in the interest of most scientists to tell a different story. First they would have to rewrite history books to set things straight and indirectly admit they were wrong. Secondly Lots of people (especially politicians) need a negative history and 'voluntary conversion myth' to keep the awakening of our people within limits.

It's up to us to set the record straight and start telling the real story.

Ocko
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:00 PM
It is also known that Herzog Widukind, the leader of the saxons, took refuge in Denmark at one point, from there he came back and made his famous uprising.

The Danes have known what was going on on their southern border.

Suddenly the Vikings appeared for no other reason but looting? Why not before? They had boats like that before, the same attitudes, most likely the same amount of people (if there would have been a growth in people what would have been the reason).

The point in time fell together with the advancing carolingian Franks, which spread Christianity as a means to destroy germanic customs of how a king is viewed. With Christianity the idea of tyranny (a tyrannical God) and a King set into charge by the christian God was better for 'nobility'. they were not anymore dependent on the people.

For that, the 'christians' needed to destroy a whole culture and replace it with a semitic one.

I think that is what Vikings defended against.

The vigor came from their religion, after Christianisation it was taken away from them.

wittwer
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:04 PM
Remember Charlemagne, the Saxon Schlachter. "By the Bible, by the Sword and by Fire. Irminsul shall fall". The Ragnarokr or the Gotterdammerung is complete and the Circle remains unbroken... ;)

Paradigm
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:06 PM
Are there any books that view Vikings in a more postive light, and the coming of Christianity in a negative? I always feel there is a bias in the Viking Age, because most of the scholars most likely are Christians, who obviously will write the Vikings off as heathen savages and the Romans as civilized saviors.

(Wikipedia has an extreme lack of information on Vikings in general, and is very vague.)

SpearBrave
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:14 PM
^ More and more the Norse(vikings) are starting to be viewed in a correct light. Much more is known about their culture and lives than just a few years ago. Artifacts from town,farm,and grave sites are providing some of the best informatiom. My guess they were much more advanced than most people would think.

velvet
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:20 PM
Remember Charlemagne, the Saxon Schlachter. "By the Bible, by the Sword and by Fire. Irminsul shall fall". The Ragnarokr or the Gotterdammerung is complete and the Circle remains unbroken...

The criminal act by Charlemagne has nothing to do with Ragnarök, although christian 'scholars' liked and still like to rape this story to justify the taking over by the Ultimate Evil, today known as "god".

Ragnarök describes the end of the solar system and the death of everything that lives. Christian 'scholars' added the parts of a returning world after Ragnarök, in order to rape the story to their taste and manipulation. But like with everything christians did and do, it is a lie. This never was part of the original myth.

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:21 PM
No northern folk "converted on their own"

Yes they did, the history books are full of examples. But let me guess, any time history disagrees with you it must be part of a conspiracy theory...

:oanieyes


And against the myth of a non-united northern Europe stands the fact that Holger Danske put his own battles against the invading Frankish armies under Charlemagne to rest to side with them against the Sarazenes.

Who is Holger Danske?


Really dont know where this myth that everyone just waited for Christianity and became a believer over night comes from.

It isn't a myth, because no-one ever said that was what happened. The only bullcrap idea is that everyone was unified and that Christianity was imposed by the sword on everyone. In fact only a few times was it imposed on Germanic people, most Germanics converted willingly.

Paradigm
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:23 PM
I feel the bias is due to those who look at the Viking Age and the people of those lands from a historical point of view, of just events and battles, and not into the culture itself. When reading material on these subjects I can tell when an author doesn't have an interest in the mythology or symbols on an esoteric or spiritual level, and instead just on a historical level, just documenting another culture and time in history. One can't deny the esoteric meanings in the Poetic Edda or the runes.

Hell, couple weeks ago I came across an article that suggested the Vikings didn't know how to read or write, and were simply just scribbling runes on rocks, yet they had no sources to back this up!

Jeffcoat
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:26 PM
What would be expected from a people that are being slaughtered by the tens of thousands for not accepting Christian as their new faith; a faith mind you that is alien and contrary to eons of social/culture balance;)

Paradigm
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:28 PM
A lot of the kings converted on their own, they felt like they could a political or trading gain out of it. Thus, when the kings accepted it, they had those in their authority convert everyone else by sword. The kings were turning on their own people. Even though there were cases with an arbitrator, and it would be decided that it would be a "Christian nation", but the heathens could still practice their customs indoors, eventually a Christian majority would gain power, and outlaw all paganism. It wasn't always foreigners who were converting Europeans, sometimes it was Europeans themselves. Even Vikings would "accept" Christianity for the trading purposes. Whether they truely believed it is questionable, but people were not always forced, and fights to keep the old religion went on for a couple hundred years.

Wulfram
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:35 PM
Yes they did, the history books are full of examples.


It isn't a myth, because no-one ever said that was what happened. The only bullcrap idea is that everyone was unified and that Christianity was imposed by the sword on everyone. In fact only a few times was it imposed on Germanic people, most Germanics converted willingly.

Those who did the converting did so first with the sword. They then relied on their toady scribes to lie about the extent of "enthusiastic" conversions. This has always been the typical ploy of any victor, right on up to the last war, when the allies not only lied about many things that didn't happen but also failed to report many evils that they themselves committed.

Since you were not there way back when to see our ancestors convert willingly there is no way for you to ever know if "most" of them ever did.

After centuries of adhering to Pagan tradition do you really believe that most of them just up and converted? Easy as that, right? The likelihood of this bares almost no logic, unless of course you take the word of those scribes as seriously as you do the bible. You are just defending your religion here.

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:47 PM
When each of the various kingdoms was threatened individually, they would also defend themselves individually. You dont need a superstructure above that. An immediate threat generates an immediate response.

England wasn't an immediate threat to any of the Scandinavian kingdoms, the Carolingan Empire was. Most of the Viking attacks were against the British Isles, which destroys the idea that it was an "immediate response to an immediate threat".

Never mind the fact that a lot of the Viking raids were against the Pagans of East Europe and the Baltic. The idea that it was a Holy War are absurd.


This stopped around 1000 when Denmark was put under Christian rule.

Denamrk wasn't put under Christian rule, it's leadership converted.


The interesting question though is, why we never read in history books or records from these battles. At one point or another there must have been some sort of major defeat.

Yeh... there were massive battles that everyone, Pagan or Christian, hid from the world because they thought an anonymous internet user might find out about it thousands of years later...

:oanieyes


What we read though is fluffy stuff that the warrior kings subjected themselves voluntary to not only a new religion... but also handed over their kingdoms and their own ruling position to the new leaders.

Warrior Kings such as Charlemagne or Alfred or Theodoric? The only fluffy thing is your claim that Warriors wouldn't convert. And what Kings handed over their Kingdoms when they converted?


And these people are supposed to have given up their world view, their values, their culture, their society, their power and their faith 'just so'?

The Angles, Saxons, Goths, Geats, Franks, Vandals, etc, converted to Christianity without giving up their culture, society, values or world view. And the "giving up their power" line is funny since the most powerful kings in Europe at the time were all Christian.


Most interesting for what really happened when judeo-christianity

There's no such thing as Judeo-Christianity. Christians have been the Jews greatest enemies over the last 2,000 years.


It is just retarded to believe that our Heathen ancestors exchanged their supportive and positive gods for a single god that was not only not theirs, but also expressed utter hate against them and sold the Jews as the chosen people of this god

Where exactly in the Bible does it say that God hates Germanic people?

Please, i'm all ears... No? Didn't think so.

Jesus rejected the Jews in the new Testament, and the Jews rejected Jesus in the Talmud. No Christian Missionary ever placed the Jews above Christians, and no Germanic Christian convert ever did either. It's a complete pile of crap.


This system of blackmail and corruption was what step by step subjected people to judeo-christianity and judeo-christian global trade.

Who was ever blackmailed into becoming a Christian?

And the Vikings were the best traders in the world, and traded across the entire known world as you say... but it was Christians who tricked the Vikings into joining a global trade system?

Yeh that makes sense...


Certainly not for the nonexistent values of judeo-christianity.

Judeo-Christianity is non-existent.

And if you don't think Christianity has values then there's either something wrong with your reading ability or something wrong with you mentally.


And it is exactly this why we are told all these lies, to break our will to be our own masters and to break our pride and our will to live.

Yeh... the great Christian Empires that threw back the armies of Islam, spread white culture across the globe and colonised the new world with hundreds of millions of white settlers, were all part of a giant conspiracy theory to exterminate whites...

As with most conspiracy nuts, you never let the facts get in the way of a story.

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:51 PM
Those who did the converting first did so with the sword but. They then relied on their toady scribes to lie about the extent of "enthusiastic" conversions.

Rubbish.

The early conversions were brought about by missionaries walking unarmed amongst strongly martial societies.

Your whole argument - if it can be called that - is that everybody lied, but somehow you and you alone know the truth even without any evidence or any way of knowing it.

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:53 PM
I feel the bias is due to those who look at the Viking Age and the people of those lands from a historical point of view, of just events and battles, and not into the culture itself. When reading material on these subjects I can tell when an author doesn't have an interest in the mythology or symbols on an esoteric or spiritual level, and instead just on a historical level, just documenting another culture and time in history. One can't deny the esoteric meanings in the Poetic Edda or the runes.

Hell, couple weeks ago I came across an article that suggested the Vikings didn't know how to read or write, and were simply just scribbling runes on rocks, yet they had no sources to back this up!


A lot of the kings converted on their own, they felt like they could a political or trading gain out of it. Thus, when the kings accepted it, they had those in their authority convert everyone else by sword. The kings were turning on their own people. Even though there were cases with an arbitrator, and it would be decided that it would be a "Christian nation", but the heathens could still practice their customs indoors, eventually a Christian majority would gain power, and outlaw all paganism. It wasn't always foreigners who were converting Europeans, sometimes it was Europeans themselves. Even Vikings would "accept" Christianity for the trading purposes. Whether they truely believed it is questionable, but people were not always forced, and fights to keep the old religion went on for a couple hundred years.

Some good, well-balanced posts. Unfortunately this thread is getting taken over by those with little knowledge of the period, but big opinions on it nevertheless.

Wulfram
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 06:59 PM
The early conversions were brought about by missionaries walking unarmed amongst strongly martial societies.

Anytime the local populace were unwilling to convert the missionaries reported this to Rome. If they could not convert without weapons they would call in reinforcements. If the natives of the Americas were butchered by christians (A fact that has been WELL DOCUMENTED) is it so difficult to assume that our ancestors met with the same horrific fate, and that the scribes simply left their suffering out of the history books?


Your whole argument - if it can be called that - is that everybody lied, but somehow you and you alone know the truth even without any evidence or any way of knowing it.

You forgot to answer the rest of my post:


Since you were not there way back when to see our ancestors convert willingly there is no way for you to ever know if "most" of them ever did.

After centuries of adhering to Pagan tradition do you really believe that most of them just up and converted? Easy as that, right? The likelihood of this bares almost no logic, unless of course you take the word of those scribes as seriously as you do the bible. You are just defending your religion here.

Ocko
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:04 PM
statements are nothing but that, either you substantiate them with arguments or facts.

Its fine to make statements but they have no value in itself

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:11 PM
Anytime the local populace were unwilling to convert the missionaries reported this to Rome. If they could not convert without weapons they would call in reinforcements.

Wow.

Are you trying to say the most idiotic things you can think of or are you just trolling me?

What Roman armies would these be then? When did this happen? Where did this happen?

One of the first Germanic tribes to convert were the Ostrogoths, who went on to invade Italy and conquer Rome. Hardly sounds like they were scared of the big bad Romans coming after them if they didn't convert.

:oanieyes

This part:


Since you were not there way back when to see our ancestors convert willingly there is no way for you to ever know if "most" of them ever did.

I'll answer in kind.

Since you were not there way back when to see our ancestors convert willingly there is no way for you to know they didn't.

On my side i have primary sources to rely on, what evidence do you have?

Wulfram
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:12 PM
Please answer the following. Then I will respond to your post.


After centuries of adhering to Pagan tradition do you really believe that most of them just up and converted? Easy as that, right? The likelihood of this bares almost no logic, unless of course you take the word of those scribes as seriously as you do the bible. You are just defending your religion here.


If the natives of the Americas were butchered by christians (A fact that has been WELL DOCUMENTED) is it so difficult to assume that our ancestors met with the same horrific fate, and that the scribes simply left their suffering out of the history books?

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:19 PM
Please answer the following. Then I will respond to your post.

I already answered it with this:


Your whole argument - if it can be called that - is that everybody lied, but somehow you and you alone know the truth even without any evidence or any way of knowing it.

You have no evidence, no logic, nothing compelling whatsoever, and you have been completely unable to answer a single question i have asked you.

I remember you from previous discussions. You're the guy who tried to claim that St Patrick single-handedly forced the entire island of Ireland to convert.

Wulfram
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:25 PM
You have no evidence, no logic, nothing compelling whatsoever, and you have been completely unable to answer a single question i have asked you.

I remember you from previous discussions. You're the guy who tried to claim that St Patrick single-handedly forced the entire island of Ireland to convert.

If you are unable respond then just admit it. I have plenty of evidence to provide you in regard to the disgusting methods by which christians "converted' the American indians. My argument is that they used the same cowardly methods to convert our ancestors and that the chistian scribes, in the employ of the christian "victors', deliberately left their suffering out of the history books.

I will post one example after another of christian love throughout the history of the Americas. One way or the other you are going to have to accept that your only evidence is that of those toady scribes.

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:28 PM
If you are unable respond then just admit it.

If you are unable to read then just admit it.

I have already responded. It's hardly my fault your entire argument is "i know because i know, mmkay".


I have plenty of evidence to provide you in regard to the disgusting methods by which christians "converted' the American indians.

Wow... Red Indians.. yeh, that sounds topical on a thread about Vikings...

:P

Wulfram
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:35 PM
Wow... Red Indians.. yeh, that sounds topical on a thread about Vikings...:P

My argument is that christians could only convert through deceit, and if lying through their teeth could not work, then they would use more brutal methods. I feel this is the same thing that happened to our ancestors, and that the christian scribes failed to include this in the history books.
Again, the only evidence you have is from these christian scribes. My evidence is literally hundreds, if not thousands of accounts dating from that time attesting to the typical methods of conversion that were employed against the native Americans. I feel that this horrific torture is the only way that christians could "persuade" people to convert from their centuries old, much loved traditions to that of christianity. I feel this is exactly what happened to our own ancestors

wittwer
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:36 PM
The criminal act by Charlemagne has nothing to do with Ragnarök, although christian 'scholars' liked and still like to rape this story to justify the taking over by the Ultimate Evil, today known as "god".

Ragnarök describes the end of the solar system and the death of everything that lives. Christian 'scholars' added the parts of a returning world after Ragnarök, in order to rape the story to their taste and manipulation. But like with everything christians did and do, it is a lie. This never was part of the original myth.

No Ragnarokr? And what of the nine worlds and its occupants that were dependant on and held together by Irminsul after its destruction? Make a pilgrimage to Harbensen-Irmenseul and tell me what article of veneration lies at the top of the new pillar. The old world has been supplanted by the new... ;)

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:43 PM
My argument is that christians could only convert through deceit, and if lying through their teeth could not work, then they would use more brutal methods.

Then it is an argument that is patently absurd from the outset since in our own lifetime missionaries have converted large proportions of the Nigerian population without any inquisition or forced armed conversions. And again it falls back on your claim that you are the only one who knows if people chose to convert or not, regardless of what they or anyone else who was there, actually says.


My evidence is literally hundreds, if not thousands of accounts dating from that time attesting to the typical methods of conversion that were employed against the native Americans.

As far as the native Americans go i just think it's a shame they weren't exterminated to begin with.



I feel this is exactly what happened to our own ancestors

No matter what you feel, it's rubbish. As said before i have primary sources to back up my claims, whilst you have not a single piece of evidence to support your fantasies.

Perhaps even more damningly, your claims about Roman armies enforcing Christianity on unwilling Germanics shows you lack even a basic understanding of the history of the period. As i asked before -

What Roman armies would these be then? When did this happen? Where did this happen?

You have nothing.

Ocko
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:44 PM
Here are some accounts of your 'peaceful and voluntary conversion':


One of the earliest examples of a confrontational and aggressive Christianity was Martin, a bishop of Tours in the late 4th century. Richard Fletcher, in The Barbarian Conversion, quotes Martin's biographer Sulpicius:


In a village named Levroux, however, when [Martin] wished to demolish in the same way a temple which had been made very rich by its superstitious cult, he met with resistance from a crowd of pagans and was driven off with some injuries to himself. He withdrew, therefore, to a place in the neighbourhood where for three days in sackcloth and ashes, continuously fasting and praying, he besought Our Lord that the temple which human hands had failed to demolish might be destroyed by divine power.


Then suddenly two angels stood before him, looking like heavenly warriors, with spears and shields. They said that the Lord had sent them to rout the rustic host and give Martin protection, so that no one should hinder the destruction of the temple. He was to go back, therefore, and carry out faithfully the work he had undertaken. So he returned to the village and, while crowds of pagans watched in silence, the heathen sanctuary was razed to its foundations and all its altars and images reduced to powder.

The sight convinced the rustics that it was by divine decree that they had been stupefied and overcome with dread, so as to offer no resistance to the bishop; and nearly all of them made profession of faith in the Lord Jesus, proclaiming with shouts before all that Martin's God should be worshipped and the idols ignored, which could neither save themselves nor anyone else.


Adds Sulpicius, "He immediately built a church or monastery at every place where he destroyed a pagan shrine."


Fletcher notes, "Archaeological discoveries have furnished confirmation of the destruction of sites of pagan worship at this period which, in the words of Paulinus of Nola, was 'happening throughout Gaul'. At a temple of Mercury at Avallon in Burgundy pagan statues were smashed and piled up in a heap of rubble: the coin series at the site ends in the reign of Valentinian I (364-375), which suggests that the work of the destruction occurred shortly afterwards."


Does this remind anyone of the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001?


We see such behavior manifested again in the early 8th century by one Boniface of Wessex. In about the year 723, the bishop received a commission from Pope Gregory to lead a mission to the region of Germany known as Thuringia.


Fletcher again, "Pagans 'not yet cleansed' were first encountered at Geismar, where there was a sacred oak tree. It is possible there may have been there 'a pagan shrine of more than local significance'. In a brave act of public Christian assertion Boniface felled the oak. 'At the sight of this extraordinary spectacle the heathens who had been cursing ceased to revile and began, on the contrary, to believe and bless the Lord.'"


Such is the fame of Boniface, that today, the town of Crediton in Wales, boasts of it being his birthplace on its tourism web site. The web site notes, without irony, that "He boldly tackled superstition, including the felling of Thor's sacred Oak at Geismar by his own hand in front of hostile tribesmen, and laid the foundation of a flourishing new church." (Emphasis added) An engraving depicting the event appears at the top of this post.


As for Boniface, he eventually met a fate that was not all that different from the Geismar Oak. In 754, he was a member of a party on the Frisian coast, which Fletcher describes as "well beyond the protecting reach of Frankish power. There they were awaiting the arrival of the recently baptized for confirmation. Instead they were surprised...by a gang of seaborne predators attracted by the prospect of loot. In the struggle that ensued we are told that the elderly missionary tried to ward off the blows of his assailants by using a book as a shield: to no avail; Boniface and his companions were slaughtered."


While Boniface was described thereafter as achieving martyrdom, it appears that rather than being killed for his faith, he was simply killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. At any rate, the murder of Boniface did not halt the westward march of Christianity, which will be the subject of Part 4: The Saxon Capitulary.


Source (http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com/2009/04/spread-of-christianity-part-3-sacred.html)

Angelcynn Beorn
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:47 PM
Here are some accounts of your 'peaceful and voluntary conversion':

Source (http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com/2009/04/spread-of-christianity-part-3-sacred.html)

He chopped down a tree and burned a hut?

Wulfram
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 07:55 PM
Then it is an argument that is patently absurd from the outset since in our own lifetime missionaries have converted large proportions of the Nigerian population without any inquisition or forced armed conversions.

:lol We are discussing christianity's methods of past conversions.
Who cares abut modern nigeria!


As far as the native Americans go i just think it's a shame they weren't exterminated to begin with.

Do you feel this way about Pagans?


No matter what you feel, it's rubbish. As said before i have primary sources to back up my claims, whilst you have not a single piece of evidence to support your fantasies.

Again, your "primary" resources are nothing more than biased accounts of conversion. Of course they are going to write that all things went as smoothly as turning a page of the bible, and that those territorial Pagans didn't put up ANY fight, and were just tickled pink to convert.
RIDICULOUS!

Hrogar
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 08:13 PM
No Ragnarokr? And what of the nine worlds and its occupants that were dependant on and held together by Irminsul after its destruction?

Ever heard of metaphors and spiritual truths?

Like the bible, the edda's aren't CIA-factbooks but spiritual books.

Ocko
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 09:55 PM
Not only destroying holy artifacts but also stealing the land and put their own crap on top of it.

Descacrificing something holy is not a peaceful act but a violent and criminal act.

Then they chopped a head off from a member of criminal jewish sect, so what? why are whining christians then about that? Whining about christian land is becoming muslim? and so on?

If you think those method are good maybe they will be used in the reconversion of people.

After all the age of Pisces (the early sign of Christianity) is going to end and a new age is coming. The reawakening of the old religion.

ulfrik
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 10:01 PM
So you are trying to say that all heathens"converted on their own"????????

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Crusades
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Crusade
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Saule
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxon_Wars

Dont forget the bravery and martyrdom of our heathen ancestors.

velvet
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 10:20 PM
Who is Holger Danske?

Holger Danske is one of the most important folk heroes / demigods of the Danes, according to legend he will return when the Danes are in greatest danger.

Your history books never mentioned him? Despite him having fought at the side of Charlemagne against the Sarazenes, and is said to have killed a giant?

Maybe your history books arent that great after all

Ocko
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010, 10:24 PM
I don't believe that heathen would change their worldview for a dumb christian one. Heathenism is way more accurate in everything then Christianity which is for simpletons.

For example the view of a human being: the christian view is that humans are a ghost in lump of meat.

a heathen view: knows way more different parts of a human being, from the spirit, to real I, to the aura, to an 'aether'body, to a poweranimal (fetch) and on and on.

Why would somebody who knows a superior description follow voluntarily a dumb one?

Can you explain wtf would be the attraction of christianity for a heathen? Why would they think it is superior? for what curious reason would they give up their heathen world to become semitics?

Thorwolf
Thursday, December 9th, 2010, 06:46 PM
I have read all this b.s. about Vikings converting peacefully, Have you ever heard of ST. Olaf? one of my ancesstors Olaf "the stout" Haroldsson King of Norway. To make a long story short, He converted to Christianity while in England, and on his way back to Norway, he stopped at all norse held lands, He sent his envoys a week ahead of him with the slogan "accept the love of christ, or die resissting it" Doesn't sound very peacefull to me. Many northerners would submit in fear, at the sight of their king, and his army.However, many would not. He was killed in battle by another one of my ancesstors Finn Arnesson Earl of Holland.as a heathen I am most ashamed of Olaf, but through him I am decended from, Harold " fair hair", Ragnar Lodbrock, and Siegfried, so all is not entirely lost.

Juthunge
Thursday, December 9th, 2010, 07:37 PM
To be honest, this thread went more or less off topic a long time ago.

Wulfram
Thursday, December 9th, 2010, 08:10 PM
I have read all this b.s. about Vikings converting peacefully, Have you ever heard of ST. Olaf? one of my ancesstors Olaf "the stout" Haroldsson King of Norway.

Excellent post. Here is some more info about him:


St. Olaf II, called Olaf 'The Stout' during his lifetime, 1st Christian King of Norway, b. ca. 995 (posthumously), patron saint of Norway, with Aethelred II fought Danes in England, tore down London Bridge (commemorated in nursery rhyme "London Bridge is falling down"), fought in western Europe, became sole ruler of Norway and forcibly Christianized inhabitants...

...In his early youth, he was a viking. Then he was in the service of the exiled King Ethelred II of England, and, at that time, became a Christian in Rouen. He promoted Christianity, building churches throughout Norway. By 1025, he was more powerful than any previous Norwegian king.

...Many local Norwegian chieftains, who were against Olav because of his forceful rule, sided with Canute II. Olav was forced to take refuge, and went to Russia. In 1030, he returned to Norway with an army, but was defeated by a peasant army, and was killed at the Battle of Stiklestad.

...by 1016 he had consolidated his rule in all Norway. In the succeeding 12 years he built his base of support among the aristocracy in the interior and pressed relentlessly for the acceptance of Christianity, using missionaries he brought from England. The Church of Norway may be dated from 1024, when Olaf and his ecclesiastical adviser, Bishop Grimkell, presented a religious code at Moster.

...Olaf attempted to reconquer Norway in 1030 with help from Anund Jakob but was defeated by a superior Norwegian peasant and Danish army in the Battle of Stiklestad (1030), one of the most celebrated battles in ancient Norse history. Olaf's popularity, his church work, and the aura of legend that surrounded his death, which was supposedly accompanied by miracles, led to his canonization in 1031. His popularity spread rapidly; churches and shrines were constructed in his honour in England, Sweden, and Rome. He was the last Western saint accepted by the Eastern Orthodox church.

...After many difficulties he was elected King of Norway, and made it his object to extirpate heathenism and make the Christian religion the basis of his kingdom.

ex·tir·pate/ˈekstərˌpāt/
Verb: Root out and destroy completely.

Midgård
Friday, December 10th, 2010, 11:07 PM
I have read all this b.s. about Vikings converting peacefully, Have you ever heard of ST. Olaf? one of my ancesstors Olaf "the stout" Haroldsson King of Norway. To make a long story short, He converted to Christianity while in England, and on his way back to Norway, he stopped at all norse held lands, He sent his envoys a week ahead of him with the slogan "accept the love of christ, or die resissting it" Doesn't sound very peacefull to me. Many northerners would submit in fear, at the sight of their king, and his army.However, many would not. He was killed in battle by another one of my ancesstors Finn Arnesson Earl of Holland.as a heathen I am most ashamed of Olaf, but through him I am decended from, Harold " fair hair", Ragnar Lodbrock, and Siegfried, so all is not entirely lost.

LOL, Siegfried? That's one bold claim. You know, it has struck me, the only ones claiming descendance from mythical northern kings are Americans. I have never heard a Scandinavian do that. I would like to see proof of that descendance.

Thorwolf
Sunday, December 12th, 2010, 01:44 AM
LOL, Siegfried? That's one bold claim. You know, it has struck me, the only ones claiming descendance from mythical northern kings are Americans. I have never heard a Scandinavian do that. I would like to see proof of that descendance.



No problem, your statement only shows your lack of geneological knowledge. anyone who is decended from Harold "fair hair" Halfdansson, is decended from Siegfried "fafnirs bane" sigmundsson. look it up. Ragnar "lodbrock" Sigurdsson was married to Aslaug Sigurdsdottir, her father was Siegfried/Sigurd. Look it up.

" the only ones calaiming decendance from mythical northern kings are Americans."

I am an American, but I got this information from my geneology, geneology of Northern Kings. I claim Siegfried as an ancesstor, because my ancesstors claimed him as such.

How mithical is it when Siegfrieds grandsons cut the blood eagle on Aella of Northumbria, for killing their father Ragnar, Was there mother mythical? no, she was not. and neither was her father.

Thorwolf
Tuesday, December 14th, 2010, 08:59 PM
@Midgard, research your own lineage for about 30, or 40 years. you might be surprised at what you find.aparently the problem is that I know more about my pedigree than you do.