The Vikings and Their Era
“In the popular imagination, the Vikings are shaggy, unkempt, ax-weilding thugs in horned helmets who raped, pillaged, and plundered their way across Europe in the Early Middle Ages, nearly destroying Western civilization in the process. They have been blamed for everything from a decline in learning (thanks to the burning of monasteries, places of learning) to the break-up of the Carolingian empire that dominated Europe in the ninth century. So is the Viking stereotype of the burly, destructive barbarian remotely accurate? As usual, the myth is far removed from reality.”
— Angus A. Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald, The Viking Age: A Reader, xv.
Intertwined with imagination, enthusiasm, and even hostility, the ‘Vikings’ still remain a terribly misunderstood group within history. Their image as unkempt barbarians comes out of popular fiction, while their iconic horned helmet, completely unaccounted for in the…
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