Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Vikings: It Wasn't All Raping and Pillaging

Taken from the March 14th EOGN:

"Perhaps it is time to re-write the history books once again. For centuries, the Vikings have been stereotyped as marauding barbarians arriving in their helmeted hordes to pillage their way across Britain. But now a group of academics believe they have uncovered new evidence that the Vikings were more cultured settlers who offered a "good historical model" of immigrant assimilation.

The evidence is being unveiled at a three-day "Between the Islands" Cambridge University conference starting this weekend, with more than 20 studies revealing how the Vikings shared technology, swapped ideas and often lived side-by-side in relative harmony with their Anglo-Saxon and Celtic contemporaries. Some may have come, plundered and left, but those Vikings who decided to settle rather than return to Scandinavia learnt the language, inter-married, converted to Christianity and even had "praise poetry" written about them by the Brits, according to the experts.

The conference draws on new archeological evidence, historical studies and analysis of the language and literature of the period, and shows that between the 9th and 13th centuries, the Vikings became an integral part of the fabric of social and political life that changed Britain and Ireland far more profoundly than previously realised.

You can read more at The Independent web site at "

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