Between the 8th and 11th centuries, the people of Scandinavia invaded the shores of the European mainland and its islands (i.e. England, Scotland). Due to their reputation for brutality, non-monotheistic belief system, and the harshness of their native language, the Vikings were referred to as savages. However, this term does not accurately describe the Viking people (also referred to as Norsemen, meaning men from the north,). The Viking culture was one that was deeply entwined with their religious beliefs, had a definitive system of laws, and had technological advantages over many civilizations of the time. The term savage has been used throughout history to describe people of specific cultures, more recently by European settlers to describe the Native Americans. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word savage as "lacking the restraints normal to civilized human beings," and "lacking complex or advanced culture." (Webster) When the Vikings were viewed from the perspectives of their European neighbors, it is understandable to see why the people of Scandinavia could be seen as lacking restraints or as having a non-advanced culture. As the Viking age occurred well before any industrial age, the Vikings relied on their abilities as farmers to provide food, their carpentry abilities to build houses and boats, and their blacksmithing abilities to provide weapons. They were a simple people with simple needs and desires, free from outside influences. Their language was much more coarse and rough than the smooth-flowing, Latin-derived languages that prevailed throughout Europe. They did not believe in one god, Jesus Christ, or the concept of sin. To the Christian Europe nations, the Vikings were uneducated non-believers who were hungry for violence. Looking at the Norse culture through this scope, which is what has been done throughout history, does not allow one to accurately assess the complexity and civility of the Viking people. The religious beliefs of the Viking people are rather complex with multiple deities who each have their own role/purpose in affecting the lives and afterlives of the living. These beliefs guided the daily lives of the ancient Scandinavians and shaped the basic foundation of the civilization. For the most part, the gods were represented in human form and, in the stories of the gods, seemed to have acted in a human manner and lived in communities with a rather strict configuration. Each deity played an important role in daily life. One of the most well-known gods was Odin, the head of the Æsir family. He was known as the god of power, wisdom, poetry, and battle. Of particular note is the combination of poetry and battle, two things that one outside of the Viking culture would not normally consider to be similar. The stories tell that due to the manner of his death and the deeds that resulted, Odin was given his supernatural powers. Stories also tell that he gave one eye to be able to drink from the well of wisdom, his horse had eight legs, and that his two pet ravens were scouts that reported to him the happenings of the mortal world. He lived in a great hall known as Valhalla, where Valkyries would usher his selected warriors who were slain in battle. Here, Odin and his warriors awaited the great, final battle between good and evil. It was every Viking man's goal to be blessed by Odin and join him in Valhalla (Roesdahl 149). The worship of these gods often took place privately in one's own home, but occasionally would occur either in a hall or outside in a consecrated grove, referred to as a vé (Roesdahl 152-153). During these more formal gatherings, an animal was often sacrificed and feasted upon. The sacrifices were made to show the gods that they were respected and put above mortal needs and material goods. The feasts were large celebrations that were to demonstrate to the gods the thanks that the mortals had for the gods and their protection (Rood). This practice…
Let us start with who the Vikings were. The Vikings (from Old Norse víkingr) were a Germanic people who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands through sea fare, from the late 8th to mid-11th centuries. They employed wooden long ships with wide, shallow-draft hulls, allowing navigation through the rough waters of the ocean or in shallow riverwaters.
Now, how about cultures and migration, such as where certain lines of heritage came…
“’The Ultimate terror for white people…is to leave the highway by mistake and find themselves in East St. Louis. People speak of getting lost in East St. Louis as a nightmare. The nightmare to me is that they never leave that highway so they never know what life is like for all the children here. They ought to get off that highway. The nightmare isn’t in their heads. It’s a real place. There are children living here.’” (Kozol, 18). In the novel, Savage Inequalities,…
To blend into the Viking village as being a time traveller from the 21st century you must be able to know how they lived and the culture from that period, it is not an easy process as us being evolved around technology and more sources than they had, to make life easy for us. I believe that the most important elements that a person must know about a Vikings daily life would be:
The values and beliefs as there are about 8 different gods that had to be looked upon; each god has a role of importance…
The term Norse usually refers to the Scandinavian people that lived during the period from the late 8th century to the 11th century. They are better known as the Vikings. Most people think of the Vikings as brutal savages, but they were highly skilled craftsmen and woodworkers. In fact, Vikings are to thank for the political system we have today. The Vikings were the most advanced civilization of medieval Europe, because they practiced a form of democracy, they had three social classes in which…
1. Don Winslow is the genius behind Savages. All his works usually consist of stories based on crime and mystery and nearly all his books are set in California. He was born on October 31st,,1953 in New York City. His mother was a librarian, and his father was part of the United States Navy, and was always telling Don story after story after story. Don says that the reason he became a writer was because of his parents, and mostly because of the stories his father use to tell him. At the beginning…
Who were the Vikings?
Vikings were warriors. They were scandinavian seaborne
nordicspeaking raiders, who raided and traded throughout northern europe and north
When did the Vikings live?
The Viking Age lasted from 750 to 1050 A.D.
Where did the Vikings live and travel; where were their longterm colonies? How
did they use environmental knowledge in their technological adaptations (ie
The vikings mainly traveled by boat and lived on the boat or in towns they…
Save the “Savages”
Robert Shaw, Captain Quint in Jaws once said “When he comes at ya, he doesn't seem to be living... until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and they... rip you to pieces.” Jaws is one of the single greatest contributors to the misconception people have today about sharks. While sharks…
Vikings: How Religion Propelled Warring and Expansion
David Whitley Thomas
University of Memphis, Sociology of Religion 3860
December 2, 2014
Vikings would be the better term for the North Germanic Tribes, who were some of the most defiant, unpredictable, misunderstood and proud people to rome the medieval landscape. Their influential touch was spread from North America all the way to Black Sea. They terrorized and shaped the medieval Europe throughout most of the third century…
November 18, 2002
“Savage Inequalities”; An Assessment
For years I did not know anything about the city of East St. Louis. All I knew was the occasional glimpse that I caught as I passed it many times on my way out of town: it was all rows upon rows of dilapidated houses, charred from the outdated coal-factories nearby. Boarded windows and broken glass are the only highlights of a city that is so run down. It believed it to be a G-d-forsaken place where…