The Question

Okay so one of our readers popped up this question? So we looked at it and seemed like a pretty cool article headline. So we will explain more about vikings here.

The Early Viking Lifestlye

So the Vikings that you guys are thinking about were living in the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th century, and they lived in much harsher environment where rape, plunder and arson was quite common. They were simple and normal people like peasants, Fishermen, Hunters. They lived on the coast or in the fjords up north. Not bothering anyone 95% of the time, simple countryside villagers. 5%  of the time they followed their local chieftain or strongman who promised them one thing and that was wealth.

Once the agriculture season was ready, they would say goodbye to their wife and kids then get in to ships and sail to where the wealth was. Mostly they would raid monasteries and churches. Vikings did not pillage for the fun of it, and most of them weren’t even professional warriors. They would go on raids with a simple woolen tunic, wooden shield and a wooden axe, because buying a decent weapon and armor would cost money.

When they were done with the raid they came home and shared their profits. Most of the money went for farm animals, good quality agrarian tools, maybe hire a servant to help them with the sheep, or even buy a pretty shiny necklace for the lady of the house.

The Later Ages

In the later ages Vikings indeed became more like actual military operations. Their armies were bigger and more established and were often headed by a “Sjökonungr” (“Sea-King”). These Viking armies were interested in something more than wealth. It was land, They estabished a lot of kingdoms, principalities, earldoms, towns, etc… And despite the wars they brought their region was thriving both economically and politically.

The Vikings never committed genocide or displaced populations. Sure they would certainly take over the land left by their enemies who died in war, but wherever they settled and where they were the minority: The Vikings integrated in the culture surrounding them: they never committed religious oppression, or forbade the locals’ cult. Vikings also adopted the land’s language, traditions and way of life.

Our take on it

Now, how does that compare with the terrorist groups?

The terrorist groups belongs to a world of 21st century where we think we should be a lot better than slitting the throats of people opposed to us. Our ethics are very different from the ones back then. If you think about it why do we approve the violent and savage behavior from the Vikings?

What are the goals of a terrorist group?

Whose avowed goal is to eliminate every other religion?

Who forcibly displace and systematically murder?

Who violently impose their views upon the population?

Who assassinate innocent people, continents away?

Or looking from their perspective would it be something else?

Then again, it depends on who is making the judgment. If you asked the 8th-century monks of Lindisfarne, they might have some harsh words to say about the Vikings. The King of Wessex and other people who had to endure the Viking raids probably didn’t romanticize them. In the same way, it is possible to find people of the present who romanticize the ISIS.

If the Vikings could be compared to anything it would be the 17th-century pirates. for the low-key, early Viking raids, and medieval warlords who later had more warlike governments.

What was the point of this article?

We wanted to discuss this topic because many people are fans of Vikings and that is not a bad thing. But why do we look at their killings and slaughters of innocent people amazing while we look at other things that are real and could have an effect on us not so amazing.

Taking a human life now or in the past was something inhumane and should be taken with a very serious caution.