The Vikings



“From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord deliver us.”

Although I would have hated to live in a small village near the coast in England in the 10th century when the Vikings came to visit, I still think they have received a bad rap!

All we used to learn about the Northmen were reports from Christian scribes of the time, the 9th and 10th centuries. The scribes, of course, were somewhat biased as it was their monasteries that were being raided and their priests being killed or taken into slavery. The men from the north were considered barbarous, uneducated, filthy savages.

That view persisted until Victorian times when a more romantic image came into fashion.

Now they wore horned helmets and carried off fainting women to become their brides. The latter may have some truth to it but the horns on the helmets were pure Victorian romance. The horns were used for drinking and the Norsemen could certainly do that!

By Évariste Vital Luminais