How the Vikings Saved Europe and Got a Terrible ReputationBreaking News
They say history is written by the victors, but what if the victims are the ones with the pens?
That is the bizarre circumstance surrounding the history of the Vikings, since the centuries-old myth that has come down to us about their brutal savagery originated with their victims—monks and priests—who had the monopoly on writing in that time.
As a result, the image we have today of the marauding Vikings is both wildly off the mark, and ignores the major contributions they made in shaping Europe during the Middle Ages. That demystification and deep dive into the world of one of history’s most iconic people is the subject of a new book, The Age of the Vikingsby Anders Winroth. Not only are the Vikings completely misunderstood, he argues, but they may have saved Europe.
The Vikings weren’t picky about their raiding targets, but the short-term gains in booty and ransom achieved by attacking monasteries resulted in the Vikings being relegated to the “vicious barbarian” category of history. The monks in those monasteries were the only historians around at that time.
“Since [the Vikings] attacked those with a monopoly on writing, it is their deeds … that have gone down in history as infamous, irrational, and bloodthirsty,” writes Winroth.
comments powered by Disqus
- Biden Defends Bull Connor Analogy for Opponents of Voting Rights Bill
- Museum of Natural History in New York Removes Theodore Roosevelt Statue
- Another Hendrix Legacy Lawsuit: Family Seeks to Block Royalty Claim by Heirs of Bandmates
- A Texas-Born Princess and Former Scandalous Washington Wife May Lose Roman Villa in Epic Inheritance Fight
- Will SCOTUS Uphold Claim of Heirs for Return of Pissarro Painting Stolen by Nazis?