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SoulMonster

Vikings are awesome

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3 minutes ago, Kasanova King said:

So you are justifying their "barbarity" because it was possible for them to do so? Couldn't the same "justification" be said for almost any other reigns of terror throughout history?  :lol:

And from what I've read, they did have "murderous minds" and enjoyed it too. 

I have not justified anything. I have just explained how they ended up being the "scourge of christanity".

Whether it was Anglo-Saxons killing Danes, Northmen killing Anglo-Saxons, Francs killing Saxons, Saxons killing Lombards -- I am sure warriors felt about the same way about it. Warriors are warriors. And this was a HIGHLY violent time where lives mattered little. There are nothing in our written history that suggests the Vikings were more barbaric and showed less leniency than others or felt better about killing then their contemporaries. I have read quit a bit about this time in history and can't remember any examples of horrible atrocities committed by the Vikings that stood out as abnormal for the time, it was the normal rape and pillage and collateral damage you would expect as par for the course. I remember other people doing worse things, though, like Charlemagne and the Massacre at Verden where he beheaded 4500 Saxons who had asked for peace in retribution for their rebellion (and also destroyed a sacred tree of theirs). I am sure the Vikings also killed off people caught in battle, but nowhere anything at this scale. 

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1 hour ago, SoulMonster said:

I have not justified anything. I have just explained how they ended up being the "scourge of christanity".

Whether it was Anglo-Saxons killing Danes, Northmen killing Anglo-Saxons, Francs killing Saxons, Saxons killing Lombards -- I am sure warriors felt about the same way about it. Warriors are warriors. And this was a HIGHLY violent time where lives mattered little. There are nothing in our written history that suggests the Vikings were more barbaric and showed less leniency than others or felt better about killing then their contemporaries. I have read quit a bit about this time in history and can't remember any examples of horrible atrocities committed by the Vikings that stood out as abnormal for the time, it was the normal rape and pillage and collateral damage you would expect as par for the course. I remember other people doing worse things, though, like Charlemagne and the Massacre at Verden where he beheaded 4500 Saxons who had asked for peace in retribution for their rebellion (and also destroyed a sacred tree of theirs). I am sure the Vikings also killed off people caught in battle, but nowhere anything at this scale. 

Seems as if @DieselDaisy posted some convincing evidence that shows that their brutality was indeed much worse than other people from the times.  Care to respond to his post?

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1 hour ago, Kasanova King said:

Seems as if @DieselDaisy posted some convincing evidence that shows that their brutality was indeed much worse than other people from the times.  Care to respond to his post?

I don't think you know what evidence is. An argument, no matter how compelling you might find it, is not evidence. And you find it compelling, and let's be honest, not because you have any idea but just because it supports your misconceptions.

@DieselDaisy seems to compare Viking raids with formalized wars during the later Medieval times. That is not a fair comparison. It is better to compare Vikings warfare with how other contemporary peoples fought, and if you compare to Anglo-Saxons, the Ummayad, various German tribes, Lombards, Francs, Avars, etc, there really isn't much in the way of written sources that suggest that the Vikings were any worse in respect to targeting civilians, taking slaves (the transition to serfdom happened first around 1000 AD in Europe), or acting courteous in warfare (the concept of chivalry came about around 1200 AD). He basically seems to be a few hundred years off.

The 4-500 hundred years after the collapse of the western Roman Empire (500-1000 AD) -- termed the Early Middle Ages, and spaning the Viking Age (750 - 1000 AD) -- was marked as a very violent time with great upheavals in Europe and attacks on civilians and slavery was commonplace. Notable mentions are the Ummayad conquest of Hispania (around 750) and the bloodshed when the Berbers rebelled; King Æthelred ordering all Danes (also cilvilians) in England to be slaughtered (around 1000 AD); and muslims killing all jews in Granada (around 1000 AD). I know of no examples where Vikings wanted to wipe out entire populations. Yes, they killed in battle and took civilians slaves. But that was, as I have said before, par for the course in this time.

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5 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

I don't think you know what evidence is. An argument, no matter how compelling you might find it, is not evidence. And you find it compelling, and let's be honest, not because you have any idea but just because it supports your misconceptions.

@DieselDaisy seems to compare Viking raids with formalized wars during the later Medieval times. That is not a fair comparison. It is better to compare Vikings warfare with how other contemporary peoples fought, and if you compare to Anglo-Saxons, the Ummayad, various German tribes, Lombards, Francs, Avars, etc, there really isn't much in the way of written sources that suggest that the Vikings were any worse in respect to targeting civilians, taking slaves (the transition to serfdom happened first around 1000 AD in Europe), or acting courteous in warfare (the concept of chivalry came about around 1200 AD). He basically seems to be a few hundred years off.

The 4-500 hundred years after the collapse of the western Roman Empire (500-1000 AD) -- termed the Early Middle Ages, and spaning the Viking Age (750 - 1000 AD) -- was marked as a very violent time with great upheavals in Europe and attacks on civilians and slavery was commonplace. Notable mentions are the Ummayad conquest of Hispania (around 750) and the bloodshed when the Berbers rebelled; King Æthelred ordering all Danes (also cilvilians) in England to be slaughtered (around 1000 AD); and muslims killing all jews in Granada (around 1000 AD). I know of no examples where Vikings wanted to wipe out entire populations. Yes, they killed in battle and took civilians slaves. But that was, as I have said before, par for the course in this time.

Nope.  I find what he wrote, stating historical facts, as evidence.  Maybe you don't understand what evidence is?  Your posts  regarding the Vikings' intent, on the other hand, are mostly conjecture.  The funny thing is that both Diesel and I tend to agree with a lot of what you're saying, just not all of it. 

Anyway, I'm done "arguing" with you.  I just wanted to be a pain in the ass about it since you're usually a pain in the ass about every other subject around here.  :lol:

Edited by Kasanova King

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5 hours ago, Kasanova King said:

Nope.  I find what he wrote, stating historical facts, as evidence.  Maybe you don't understand what evidence is?  Your posts  regarding the Vikings' intent, on the other hand, are mostly conjecture.  The funny thing is that both Diesel and I tend to agree with a lot of what you're saying, just not all of it. 

Anyway, I'm done "arguing" with you.  I just wanted to be a pain in the ass about it since you're usually a pain in the ass about every other subject around here.  :lol:

For you to be able to claim that someone is "stating a historical fact" you have to know what is said is true, either from previous knowledge or because who ever states it presents sufficient references to source material. It is not enough for someone to simply claim something.

Conjecture?

Lets discuss slavery, one of Diesel's points to show that the Vikings where worse than their contemporaries. Slavery was ubiquitous in the early Middle Ages. Both the trade in slaves and the keeping of slaves were normal. In this period, as christianity crept forwards and engulfed more an more territory, keeping slaves became more problematic since christians shouldn't keep christian slaves. This means that large parts of Europe had to depend on slaves from further away. This allowed long-range traders to become rich from selling christians slaves to muslims and other non-christians, and to sell Germanic slaves to christian countries/kingdoms like Anglo-Saxons, Francs, Lombards, etc. The Vikings benefitted greatly from this trade, so did other people who traded. They captured slaves and sold them to receptive markets. Monks, in particular, was highly valued in Muslim markets in South Spain, due to being learned (less so in Scandinavia, which was more backwards in this time). Of course no one liked being captured and sold, but there was little criticism of slavery as a phenomenon back then -- as long as christians didn't keep coreligionists. In fact, when Charlemagne sold thousand of Saxons (pagans) to British kingdoms (in the 9th or 10th century), not even Alcuin and other prominent theologists reacted, in fact, he was celebrated. And if you look at the Domesday Book, just after 1000 AD, 10 % of the English population still consisted of slaves. So except from indignation from christians when the Vikings captured monks and sold them to muslim "barbarians", the slave trade was accepted and important to everybody - and Vikings filled an important role.

After 1000 AD things changed with slavery being outlawed by more and more leaders. This necessitated the shift to "serfdom", but it was a gradual transition where it could be difficult to say whether someone was a slave or a serf, at start.

Let's also discuss attacks on civilians. As described above, Vikings had to target civilians, in the sense that they needed to capture them, not in the sense of killing them. The Vikings were after goods to sell, not wanton killing. Despite contemporary christian indignation and outrage over attacks on monasteries, there is little evidence that the Vikings wanted to massacre monks - instead they were captured and sold off on markets like Hedeby or south in Europe (or ransomed back for money or valuables). So the Vikings naturally targeted civilians, but not with the main intent of killing. And selling captured civilians as slaves were commonplace and accepted (as described above). Lands that were raided by Vikings could benefit from this, too, and it is known that people in Ireland would themselves capture enemies (or families of enemies) and sell them to the Viking traders, hence helping to fuel the trade. Charlemagne is also thought to fuel the slave trade with both war enemies and civilians. This is in direct contrast to people actually attacking civilians with the aim of killing -- which did happen in this time, albeit not often. In general, if you were the family of a warrior on the side of a losing battle, you were in risk of being attacked, too, because you had no one left to protect you. So atrocities against civilians happened, and I am sure Vikings weren't any better than others. But they never did anything similar to what William the Conquerer did in the late 1000 AD during what is known as the "Harrying of the North" episode. He wanted to quell and punish rebellion, so he ravaged northern parts of England, killing thousands of civilians outright and devastating farmsteads leading to widespread famine that is thought to have led to thousands dying from hunger. Another example is Æthelred (the Unready) being afraid of an uprising of the Danes resulting in orders to kill off all Danes (and presumably Norse) in England (civilians, traders and warriors alike). No one knows how many were killed but it is thought to have been in the high hundreds or thousands. THESE are actual examples of someone attacking civilians.  As far as we know, the Vikngs never did anything similar -- and also never had the motive.

Lastly, I cannot bother to write out chapters form any of my books on the Vikings Age, so this quote from the history pages of BBC will have to do:

Quote

Surviving accounts of Viking activity were almost exclusively written by churchmen. These include monastic chronicles, such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and similar Frankish and Irish Annals, which outline broadly what happened, at what date. There are also sources of a more directly religious nature, such as the much-quoted letters of Alcuin, and Wulfstan's famous 'Sermon of the Wolf', both of which chose to interpret the Viking raids as God's punishment on the Anglo-Saxons for their sins. Even the chronicles reflect the fact that the Vikings often attacked monasteries for their wealth, which created an obvious bias against them, and the hostile tone of these contemporary accounts has done much to create the popular image of Viking atrocities. However, modern historians have noted that the same sources show Christian rulers behaving equally unpleasantly, but without being condemned on religious grounds. 

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/evidence_01.shtml

This ties in with my point, oft repeated: the Vikings weren't any worse, they are just more famous because of targeting the only people whose words would go down in history: learned monks and the early church in the British Isles. The outrage over attacks on wealthy monasteries in regions that were thought safe, is hard to overstate, and this was firmly cemented in contemporary chronicles that even today color the discussions on the Vikings. Had the Saxons been the people to write down this history, Charlemagne would definitely have been considered a barbarian (instead of today being considered a noble christian), and similar arguments can be made about almost any party in conflicts in this period. Because it was a violent time indifferent to the plight of men. 

I could know litter this text with references to relevant history books and primary sources, but I can't be bothered. It was written from memory and it would simply take more time than I am willing to give.

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I was inspired to pick up The Viking World (edited by Stefan Brink), a comprehensive textbook that first was published in 2008. I will write down parts of the chapter on Raiding and Warfare by Gareth Williams that underscores my previous posts:

"This does not mean, however, that historians have been wrong to question some elements of Viking reputation as warriors. In particular, their reputation for atrocity seems to have been exaggerated. Certainly they showed little respect for churches and churchmen, and inevitably this provided material for religious polemic by monastic chroniclers. However, attacks on churches by Christian rulers were not unknown, while Charlemagne notably treated the pagan Saxons extremely harshly (Foot 1991; Halsall 1992). [...] Vikings were certainly capable of brutality by modern standards, but it is hard to argue that they were much more unpleasant than their Christian contemporaries.

Nor was the emphasis on raiding and plunder particularly unusual. Raiding in order to plunder portable wealth is typical of the warfare between petty kingdoms om pre-Viking Britain and Ireland, and survived long after across medieval Europe, with the chevauchée continuing to play an important role even in the era of more obviously 'national' warfare in the later Middle Ages. [...]

Timothy Reuter (1985) argued persuasively that even the campaigns of a great European ruler like Charlemagne were largely carried out on the basis of a combination of raids against neighbouring kingdoms in pursuit of conquest where this was feasible, tribute where long-term dominance could be established that fell short of full conquest, and plunder when Charlemagne had the resources to raid but not to establish lasting domination. [...]

If the Vikings were not markedly more atrocious than others, and campaigns based around the combination of plunder and tribute were not unusual, it is probable also fair to say that their reputation on the battlefield has also been exaggerated. [...]

To conclude, raiding and warfare were typical features of the Viking Age, not just for the Vikings but for the whole of Northern Europe. In many ways, Viking warfare is little different from their contemporaries', and the only really distinctive feature are the emphasis on ships, and the strong emphasis on strategic mobility and logistics, which allowed Viking forces to campaign for years at a time."

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12 hours ago, SoulMonster said:

I don't think you know what evidence is. An argument, no matter how compelling you might find it, is not evidence. And you find it compelling, and let's be honest, not because you have any idea but just because it supports your misconceptions.

@DieselDaisy seems to compare Viking raids with formalized wars during the later Medieval times. That is not a fair comparison. It is better to compare Vikings warfare with how other contemporary peoples fought, and if you compare to Anglo-Saxons, the Ummayad, various German tribes, Lombards, Francs, Avars, etc, there really isn't much in the way of written sources that suggest that the Vikings were any worse in respect to targeting civilians, taking slaves (the transition to serfdom happened first around 1000 AD in Europe), or acting courteous in warfare (the concept of chivalry came about around 1200 AD). He basically seems to be a few hundred years off.

The 4-500 hundred years after the collapse of the western Roman Empire (500-1000 AD) -- termed the Early Middle Ages, and spaning the Viking Age (750 - 1000 AD) -- was marked as a very violent time with great upheavals in Europe and attacks on civilians and slavery was commonplace. Notable mentions are the Ummayad conquest of Hispania (around 750) and the bloodshed when the Berbers rebelled; King Æthelred ordering all Danes (also cilvilians) in England to be slaughtered (around 1000 AD); and muslims killing all jews in Granada (around 1000 AD). I know of no examples where Vikings wanted to wipe out entire populations. Yes, they killed in battle and took civilians slaves. But that was, as I have said before, par for the course in this time.

The Early Middle Ages already saw changes which flourished in High Medieval Europe and demarcated the Vikings from these European kingdoms, Burgundian, Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, etc. The Christian Church, the very monasteries that were attacked by the Vikings, were already developing into repositories of classical learning. Latin was ad hoc proliferating among (secular) aristocrats along with Latin grammarians. European written law is embedded in this earlier period (e.g., Frankish Lex Salica). The ideal of a Western Roman Emperor had even been revived on Christmas Day 800 AD. The rise of the manorial landowning class, along with a subordinate vassal class, was well underway by the 850s as were improvements in armor and castle construction; these developments give rise to the type of warfare I described above, between smaller armies of liege and liegemen.

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3 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

The Early Middle Ages already saw changes which flourished in High Medieval Europe and demarcated the Vikings from these European kingdoms, Burgundian, Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, etc. The Christian Church, the very monasteries that were attacked by the Vikings, were already developing into repositories of classical learning. Latin was ad hoc proliferating among (secular) aristocrats along with Latin grammarians. European written law is embedded in this earlier period (e.g., Frankish Lex Salica). The ideal of a Western Roman Emperor had even been revived on Christmas Day 800 AD. The rise of the manorial landowning class, along with a subordinate vassal class, was well underway by the 850s as were improvements in armor and castle construction; these developments give rise to the type of warfare I described above, between smaller armies of liege and liegemen.

Sure.

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Speaking of Vikings raping Saints. Is anybody else watching New Orleans vs Minnesota right now? :( 

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28 minutes ago, Dazey said:

Speaking of Vikings raping Saints. Is anybody else watching New Orleans vs Minnesota right now? :( 

Yeah I m a Packer fan so it is hard for me to root for them but if they beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl I would happy man.

Edited by classicrawker

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2 minutes ago, classicrawker said:

Yeah I m a Packer fan so it is hard for me to root for them but if they beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl I would happy man.

Saints fan here. Was hoping this would be a closer game. 

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1 minute ago, Kasanova King said:

Great game...Saints just got the lead 

Yeah I'm absolutely loving it. :D

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Kasanova King said:

Wow...sorry bro....what an ending....that was nuts....

Yeah, I can’t even bitch about that. Absolutely cracking second half. :lol:

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That was an amazing ending.  I called it.  I really did.  Wish I'd have videoed that moment.  I wonder if the lucky bastards that bet on the pats last year cleaned up again with the vikes?

oops wrong thread.  Sorry monster.

Edited by HOOSIER GUNZ
Oops, wrong thread.

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