“What You Don’t Know About the Vikings”

Find out HERE, in an absolutely fascinating article on those remarkable, wide-ranging, and adaptable folk.

“The Viking age, says Price, “is not for the squeamish.” But how, ask researchers today, did all this mayhem begin? How and why did medieval farmers in Scandinavia become the scourge of the European continent?”

One key take-away for us here is the sheer amphibiosity of the Vikings, if I can coin a word– building craft that can weather the open ocean, the littorals, and the riverine approaches, and manning them with warriors who were adept at sea and on land.

About vmijpp

VMIJPP hails from the star city of the south, Roanoke, Virginia. A 1989 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he is a retired artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps, with time in both the active and reserve sides. He served in Iraq in 2004, and in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. He joined the magnificent OPFOR.com as a guest blogger from the now defunct but never uninteresting Rule 308, where he denounced gun control and other aspects of tyranny, and proclaimed the greatness of the United States. When the sun set on OPFOR.com, he migrated here with Keydet1976 and the others.
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9 Responses to “What You Don’t Know About the Vikings”

  1. burkemblog says:

    Fascinating article and people. Mobility is of course the key, and rivers were the Interstates of their time. You’re right–they capitalized on that. interestingly enough, their civilization didn’t last–the Baltic lands were impoverished for most of the renaissance and after–wasn’t really til recently that that area of the world became the powerhouse it became–unlike, say, their frequent target England. Better weather, more farmland, and a stable-ish government over a long period of time (though lots of upheaval) proved the lasting society. Also interesting that there were women in combat units…

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    • burkemblog says:

      One more point–I am trying to imagine how the Vikings would do against a MEU or against a Roman legion. The mind boggles. Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh versus who? Clint Eastwood or John Wayne (USMC) or George Clooney (Roman)?

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      • DaveO says:

        They would do fairly well against the Marines, but not so well against legions of the early empire.

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  2. DaveO says:

    Vikings were the ultimate nihilists. If their epic poems provide an accurate insight, their afterlife was hell, and then their gods die leaving only one man and one woman to start over on a blighted Earth. Some gods those… Having such a future limited Vikings to being cultural and economic parasites — great Varangian Guards and lousy architects. Skal.

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  3. Ragnar says:

    If any of you all end up in Stockholm, definitely check out Birka. It was one of the main trading centers of the Vikings. The Vikings going west (Danes and Norwegians who hit England, Ireland, France, Iceland ,Greenland, Canada, and the mediterranean) and the ones going east (Swedes going to the baltics, russia, turkey, the middle east, and beyond) traded there. You can see the amazing global range they had. The archaeological site there has dug up angle, saxon, frankish, and arab coins there. Bronze buddhas from god knows where. Then the village there with the viking boat burial remains and then Onskar the German trying to convert them to Christianity. Really cool site.
    It’s a nice ferry ride there also with food and drink. I highly recommend it.

    Ragnar

    Liked by 1 person

    • DaveO says:

      Thank you! The Buddhas are interesting – the remains of Chinese men were recently found among artifacts dating to Roman-era England, so it is possible Buddhist merchants (or missionaries?) interacted with the vikings.

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    • vmijpp says:

      Yes, thank you! Fascinating. It’s only a slim chance that I’ll get there but it’ll go on the list.

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  4. vmijpp says:

    Here’s the site on Birka– http://www.birkavikingastaden.se/en/

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