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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Vikings and their period! Reply to topic
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 5:27 am    Post subject: Vikings and their period!         Reply with quote

Several topics latley has had Viking... in their names and I started to get perplext over this label!

Is´nt the whole term Viking a little off its best date limit. The difference between the different tribes/peoples/clans/cultures in scandinavia during the period 550-1200 AD is quite large and to summise a portion of it into the Vikingperiod seems inadecvat somehow. It oftens result in confusion and missunderstandings among many of us modern hobby and proffesional scholars. For example, in the area I grew up in (northeast Uppland, Sweden) there is a small village called Vendel. 1500 years ago the cheiftains of the area was rich and powerful enough to be burried in a extraordinary wealthy way with items that have made the name Vendel famous all over the world. How did they get to be that wealthy? Probaly not by taking tax from the local farmers, but rather by "international" trading and plundering. Why are theise not counted into the viking period? Because they where plundering otherwhere than a certain monestary in the brittish isles. As I underrstand it the word Viking was not in use as a name for the people of scandinavia at the time and as far as I know it was not used at all!

The People of the southeast of the baltic sea used the same trade/piracy economy as the scandinavian people and had a very simmilar way of life, although with other deitys and Slavic language and are not Vikings.

My suggestion is that we start to use more accurate terms because the whole Viking thing in my oppinion is a romantisised 19th c. fantasy that still lingers as a bad taste of the "Germanic" dish the world was served the past century. Instead we could use dates and area references. A person from the southeastcoast of what is today Sweden would probally have a hard time to destinguish Saxons, Normands and Trönds from eachother and vice versa.

My vote is stop using the term Vikings unless we mean halfnaked bearded men with horns on thir helmets.

Just a modest suggestion!

Martin

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Viking" is a old norse term for pirate.
In the later sagas, saracen corsairs encountered by norwegian crusaders are termed "vikings".

Thus, one could speak of a viking age, (when Viking activity was high), and describe a person as a viking, but the people living in scandinavia at the time would not be Vikings.

In Norway, the viking age officially begins with the sacking of Lindesfarne in 793, ends in 1030, with the death of st. Olav Haraldson at Stiklestad. I don't know if there are similar boundaries in the other scandinavian countries.
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here in Sweden it is 793 AD Lindisfarne to 1066 AD Battle of Hastings in the official schooldogm! Yes it is Hastings and not Stamford Bridge oddly enough!

But for Sweden as a nation the very first wobbly steps are not takened until may be with some imagination 1150 AD so any Swedish Vikings have sertanly never existed unless you count a few football hooligans and drunken vacationcelebratiors in the medeteranian area...

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Derek Estabrook




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with you Martin. Viking applies specifically to the pirate / raiders and it is wrong to apply it to more than that. Scandinavian, Norse, there are a lot of other general terms to describe the people. Calling all of them Vikings implies a 1960s view of the people as nothing more than bloodthirsty marauders with horns on there helms and bear skins on their backs going off to wreak carnage among the more civilized people of the South. The Norse people had a great deal of involvement in the reshaping of Europe and reestablishing trade relations between nations and bringing Europe out of the period of isolationism it had fallen into. They were a people with a great deal of culture and misconceptions about them that persist. Well, thats what happens when a lot of your documentation is done by your enemies. All lot of misinformation and you end up being a cannibalistic barbarian baby eater. Give my ancestors the credit they deserve, damn you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hollywood.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Technically you gentlemen are correct but I wouldn't exactly expect a groundswell of people referring to the "indigenous scandinavians from around the village Vendal in the period 793 to 850." Happy Do you refer to the "katana" or to the shobu-zukuri bizen school whatsit? Like many things a label is often a matter of convenience...
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Jim Adelsen
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Vikings and their period!         Reply with quote

I think the Vendels got rich from trading and plundering within Scandinavia and Germany primarily. While the plundering of the Viking Age was expanded out to all over Europe and Asia.

I agree there is a lot of confusion as to who is a "Viking". Most of the famous "Viking" heros are actually pre Viking Age(Beowulf, Hrolf Kraki, Ragnar Lothbrok...)

Martin Wallgren wrote:
Several topics latley has had Viking... in their names and I started to get perplext over this label!

Is´nt the whole term Viking a little off its best date limit. The difference between the different tribes/peoples/clans/cultures in scandinavia during the period 550-1200 AD is quite large and to summise a portion of it into the Vikingperiod seems inadecvat somehow. It oftens result in confusion and missunderstandings among many of us modern hobby and proffesional scholars. For example, in the area I grew up in (northeast Uppland, Sweden) there is a small village called Vendel. 1500 years ago the cheiftains of the area was rich and powerful enough to be burried in a extraordinary wealthy way with items that have made the name Vendel famous all over the world. How did they get to be that wealthy? Probaly not by taking tax from the local farmers, but rather by "international" trading and plundering. Why are theise not counted into the viking period? Because they where plundering otherwhere than a certain monestary in the brittish isles. As I underrstand it the word Viking was not in use as a name for the people of scandinavia at the time and as far as I know it was not used at all!

The People of the southeast of the baltic sea used the same trade/piracy economy as the scandinavian people and had a very simmilar way of life, although with other deitys and Slavic language and are not Vikings.

My suggestion is that we start to use more accurate terms because the whole Viking thing in my oppinion is a romantisised 19th c. fantasy that still lingers as a bad taste of the "Germanic" dish the world was served the past century. Instead we could use dates and area references. A person from the southeastcoast of what is today Sweden would probally have a hard time to destinguish Saxons, Normands and Trönds from eachother and vice versa.

My vote is stop using the term Vikings unless we mean halfnaked bearded men with horns on thir helmets.

Just a modest suggestion!

Martin

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Felix Wang




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whether or not the term "Viking Era" is appropriate, there was a distinctively different time and group of people involved, who have to be designated by some name or other. As Jim mentioned, the range of contacts (peaceful or otherwise) between Scandinavian people and others was greatly expanded in the period after the sacking of Lindisfarne.

"The People of the southeast of the baltic sea used the same trade/piracy economy as the scandinavian people and had a very simmilar way of life, although with other deitys and Slavic language and are not Vikings. "

There may have been people on the south side of the Baltic whose economy was similar, but those peoples didn't spread their influence from Constantinople to Greenland; and they were distincty different culture. After all, the English and the Dutch had rather similar economies and general life-style in the 17th centuries, but were definitely not equivalent people.
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah! Alot of good voises out there!

Well, just one thing about the Warriorgraves in Valsgärde, Vendel. The gear they where burried with is almost identical in design to the Sutton Hoo grave in Britain. So a connection there would not suprise me. The traderoutes where probally longer than the baltic region and already established in the centurys of the Migration period. The Lindisfarne insident has become famous out of the simple fact that it has been documented but it would suprise me if it was the first. In Ireland many attacs where executed by rivaling clans and the same goes for Scotland as a way in the political jockeying for local power. According to some sourses this attack where in majority!

Could be wrong though, but in my experience History is never as complex as you belive, it´s more complex!

Martin

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some (mostly american...) tourists belive that the vikings are a ethnic minority in Norway, and wonder if there are viking reservations...

Norway was united to one realm about year 800. It was of course split between rival kings since, but it was seen as one country. It is basically defined as the scandinavian coastline as far north as people can be bothered to go, and south until you run into the danes.
The danes consist of the sjelland peninsula and the isles of the Skagerakk, and, until the 1600's?, Skåne, the southern tip of the scandinavian peninsula.
Sweden was made up of the parts that was to far away for the norwegians or danes to claim. :P

In the 13th cent sources, the age is refered to merely as "heathen times".

I'd say that the label "viking age" is functional. The scandinavians of the time are however not vikings. They are just viking age scandinavians. Thus you can reenact a viking, but you can not be a viking blacksmith. Unless you are throwing anvils at irish villagers.
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Ben Ellington




Location: Houston
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Damn American Tourists Sad lol. Godamn I can't wait for my chance to visit Norway though; planning to study abroad there spring semester one year from now.
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Matt Phillips




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Mar, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree that we could use some more accurate terms. However, there are also those of us who understand that originally the term viking was a verb. No matter if it was the Danes or the Norse, if they were raiding they were "going viking." Otherwise I believe they would have been referred to as who they actually were. I think the fact that the term is so universally used today is the simple fact of the effect these people had on shaping europe into what it is. After all, the Normans were "North men", the Rus who settled in Kiev and controlled trade for an unimaginably huge region were of a similar ilk. I think you are right that there are probably hundreds of events and instances that took place outside of what is today considered the "Viking age." In fact, just asking a group of modern experts when the viking age was will almost always end up in an argument. A point that is proven by so many cultures and regions going by different dates or events. I also don't think that we can be expected to stop using the term Viking. Especially for the reason you stated. When I use the term, I most certainly do not mean half-naked bearded men with horns on their helmets. (In fact a horned helmet is still yet to be found). Just like we can't be expected to stop using the term Celtic unless we mean something else. I think most people on this site are educated enough on these matters to look past a generic stereotype and understand the vast number of people and cultures that made up the people that these simple terms only broadly represent. Anyway, that's just my $.02 on the matter.
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Wed 29 Mar, 2006 2:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
"Viking" is a old norse term for pirate.
In the later sagas, saracen corsairs encountered by norwegian crusaders are termed "vikings".

Thus, one could speak of a viking age, (when Viking activity was high), and describe a person as a viking, but the people living in scandinavia at the time would not be Vikings.

In Norway, the viking age officially begins with the sacking of Lindesfarne in 793, ends in 1030, with the death of st. Olav Haraldson at Stiklestad. I don't know if there are similar boundaries in the other scandinavian countries.


Martin Wallgren wrote:
Here in Sweden it is 793 AD Lindisfarne to 1066 AD Battle of Hastings in the official schooldogm! Yes it is Hastings and not Stamford Bridge oddly enough!

But for Sweden as a nation the very first wobbly steps are not takened until may be with some imagination 1150 AD so any Swedish Vikings have sertanly never existed unless you count a few football hooligans and drunken vacationcelebratiors in the medeteranian area...


I'm rather surprised that both Sweden and Norway define the beginning and end of the "viking" era by events in English history. How do Danish history books decide when the "viking" era began and ended?



Please note my use the lower case "v" in viking, if it is a verb, not a proper noun, then it should start with a small v not a capital v. Big Grin
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Mar, 2006 2:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham Gaballa wrote:

I'm rather surprised that both Sweden and Norway define the beginning and end of the "viking" era by events in English history. How do Danish history books decide when the "viking" era began and ended?



Please note my use the lower case "v" in viking, if it is a verb, not a proper noun, then it should start with a small v not a capital v. Big Grin


I suppose it has to do with the lack of National thinking in the viking era. Parts of what is today England was at least in the minds of some Dane and Norse Chieftains or Kings in there powersphere. And the memory of loosing that lingers in history as the end of the era, bear in mind this is History compiled in the 19th c. and is heavily influenced by that eras Nationalism.

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Mar, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham Gaballa wrote:


I'm rather surprised that both Sweden and Norway define the beginning and end of the "viking" era by events in English history. How do Danish history books decide when the "viking" era began and ended?


Stiklestad is firmly planted in the middle of norway Happy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiklestad

In the 11th cent, the british where a lot better at writing stuff down.
Also the battle at stamford bridge/hastings was the end of norse possessions in england. In that sense, it's the end of the viking era in english history as well.

Culturally, after the 11th cent. scandinavia is seriously integrated inwestern europe. The distinctive scandinavian style of the viking era gradually disappears, being slowly replaced by the aestetic of western christianity.
This is IMHO a lot more important than foreign policy.
(though there is no hard boundary between viking age and early medevial...)
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W. Schütz
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Mar, 2006 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Vikings and their period!         Reply with quote

Martin Wallgren wrote:

The People of the southeast of the baltic sea used the same trade/piracy economy as the scandinavian people and had a very simmilar way of life, although with other deitys and Slavic language and are not Vikings.


Just an OT reply on the slavonic religion; it is a common misconception that baltic and slavonic religion differs from the germanic and norse one. The deities are of the same meaning and only the names differ, because the language differ. We all share one religion - pagan religion.
Some examples of the three common sky-gods:'

Scandinavian;
Óðinn
Þórr
Freyr

Slavonic;
Svarog
Perun
Veles

Baltic;
Perkullos/Wodhu
Perkunos
Potrimpos

Gentes scitote,
vicine sive remote,
quod claret Suecia
plebeque militia.
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Johan S. Moen




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Mar, 2006 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, viking may mean "man that moors his boat in the bay" , but it can also mean "mann fra viken"/"man from the bay"(some speculate that it refers to men from the region around Oslo).

That is the etymology of the word anyhow, so it may either be used to describe a pirate, or simply a man living in a bay in Eastern Norway...

Johan Schubert Moen
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Mar, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Vikings and their period!         Reply with quote

W. Stilleborn wrote:
Martin Wallgren wrote:

The People of the southeast of the baltic sea used the same trade/piracy economy as the scandinavian people and had a very simmilar way of life, although with other deitys and Slavic language and are not Vikings.


Just an OT reply on the slavonic religion; it is a common misconception that baltic and slavonic religion differs from the germanic and norse one. The deities are of the same meaning and only the names differ, because the language differ. We all share one religion - pagan religion.
Some examples of the three common sky-gods:'

Scandinavian;
Óðinn
Þórr
Freyr

Slavonic;
Svarog
Perun
Veles

Baltic;
Perkullos/Wodhu
Perkunos
Potrimpos


Cool, I did not know that! Thanks! Realy interessting acctually.

Is there any good sourses on htis. May need some referenses in local discussions with some not so broadminded stiffnecks! hehe...

Martin

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W. Schütz
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PostPosted: Thu 30 Mar, 2006 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can not recollect any exact books stating these things but its been a long time fact for me, especially since talking with others sharing the old religion from these slavonic countries. One just needs to listen to ukrainian folk music for instance and you will feel the breath of a shared past. And its the same with all (once) great nations, we all share a common ground. It also is an interesting aspect that some runes are influenced by greek words and egyptian hieroglyphs.
Some more deities:
Roman; Uranus - Jupiter - Baccus
Greek; Uranos - Zeus - Dionysus
British/Celtic; Dagda - Taranis - Cernunnos

Gentes scitote,
vicine sive remote,
quod claret Suecia
plebeque militia.
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Patrik Erik Lars Lindblom




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Apr, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Happy Some times is it not easy to know what to say about some place's and times,
but i like the word Scandinavian Big Grin for This place for an example, and in Swedish (slow download) about Tulebo.

Frid o Fröjd!
Patrik
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