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Thread: Vikings Raided, Pillaged ... And Wrote Love Poems

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    Vikings Raided, Pillaged ... And Wrote Love Poems

    The Wall Street Journal

    Mention the Vikings and most people will immediately think of horned helmets, blood eagles, and grizzled barbarians raiding and pillaging their way across the seven seas. It's a cliché, of course, but one embedded with an element of truth ... Yet these warriors had an artistic side that's long been overlooked. They spun out intricately decorated shields, finely worked silver jewelry and woven wall tapestries depicting scenes from heathen mythology. And a mastery of poetry was a must for any young Viking who wanted to make a name for himself. Most Viking poems praised the deeds of a king or patron, but a few of them even dwelled on love.
    Continued: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000...296910218.html

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    The way the norse society was back then it was more common with riddles and rhymes in saga's and other stories, most people had it much easier to understand hidden meaning of words which are used in the sagas. Nowadays we need explanation on the side.

    "Make strong old dreams lest our world lose heart." -Ezra Pound



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    Raiding was pretty common at the time of the vikings. They just made 'the mistake' to raid monasteries filled with monks who could write and hated the viking raiders.

    Another thing is that vikings were pretty successful at their 'business'. The success was mostly due to their ships who were state of the art at that time and not surpassed for a long long time.

    Their cruelty wasn't extraordinary, so to say: just common cruelty.

    Vikings were also settlers, farmers, traders, artesans, mercenaries and so on. The picture is much bigger than the vile commentaries of the monks.

    Obviously they had a much bigger understanding of the world, had seen much more parts of it as any of their contempary fellow non-vikings. If you have seen so much it has an effect on you. You can see yourself through the culture and eyes of another folk. Simply by comparison.

    Their art is unique but holds elements of several other cultures.

    They have been a spirited people. courageous, strong willed, realism, adventurous and a readyness to fight were their main traits.

    That they also loved made them so more human.

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    This is very fascinating to learn.

    Does anyone have some more examples of this poetry?

    Besides the ones from the article:

    At the door of my soul she is standing,

    So sweet in the gleam of her garment:

    Her footfall awakens a fury,

    A fierceness of love that I knew not,

    Those feet of a wench in her wimple,
    She loved me—no lord of them better:

    I have lost her—for me she is weeping:

    The dear, dainty darling that kissed me,

    For day upon day of delight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    Raiding was pretty common at the time of the vikings. They just made 'the mistake' to raid monasteries filled with monks who could write and hated the viking raiders.

    Another thing is that vikings were pretty successful at their 'business'. The success was mostly due to their ships who were state of the art at that time and not surpassed for a long long time.

    Their cruelty wasn't extraordinary, so to say: just common cruelty.

    Vikings were also settlers, farmers, traders, artesans, mercenaries and so on. The picture is much bigger than the vile commentaries of the monks.

    Obviously they had a much bigger understanding of the world, had seen much more parts of it as any of their contempary fellow non-vikings. If you have seen so much it has an effect on you. You can see yourself through the culture and eyes of another folk. Simply by comparison.

    Their art is unique but holds elements of several other cultures.

    They have been a spirited people. courageous, strong willed, realism, adventurous and a readyness to fight were their main traits.

    That they also loved made them so more human.
    The longships, sagas (the munks locked up in the monastary's with little contact with the outside world wrote boring texts that only other monks could understand) and political system (in contrast to other european countries, we didnt have feudalism and the things could elect kings) shows that my ancestors were not as barbaric as the christians want to portray. Many british women liked the scandinavians more than their own men, the vikings changed their clothes often, washed (saturday is lørdag/laugardag in Norwegian, which means bathing day) and combed their hair and beards.

    "Make strong old dreams lest our world lose heart." -Ezra Pound



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    I have read that "viking" was a verb and Norse were the people is this correct?

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    The vikings have been very tall. Most women prefer tall men. That might be the reason for their preference.

    As the germans invented the soap and have been claimed of being very clean, cleanliness most likely was not the decisive factor.

    In many description their body heigt, ruddiness and physical prowess is described as extraordinary.

    If they had a heart and wrote love poems, took care of their appearance and so on, that might be an interesting point. (its also a woman who started that thread)

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