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Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


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Old June 1st, 2011, 11:21 AM   #21

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The simple answer is Yes. He would qualify as a Viking - indeed, he went vikingr while he was building his forces. His taking of Man was almost entirely based on Viking tactics. But the empire he built was more Celtic than Norse although it had major influences from both...

So yes, he nearly put an end to the Vikings, but the Viking threat was extinguished by the Battle of Largs in 1263 (at which time he had been dead for a while).
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Old June 1st, 2011, 11:24 AM   #22

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chookie View Post
The simple answer is Yes. He would qualify as a Viking - indeed, he went vikingr while he was building his forces. His taking of Man was almost entirely based on Viking tactics. But the empire he built was more Celtic than Norse although it had major influences from both...

So yes, he nearly put an end to the Vikings, but the Viking threat was extinguished by the Battle of Largs in 1263 (at which time he had been dead for a while).
Cheers Chookie

So I was right and wrong at the same time?

Read about him many years ago in a Nigal Tranter novel good books, don't know how historically accurate.
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Old August 23rd, 2011, 02:11 AM   #23

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Somerled himself would deny that accusations. His actions as far as the Church was concerned, and the language and culture of his new kingdom, were entirely Gaelic and Norman (look at some of the castles he built). It was Raghnall and Domhnall that preserved some of the Norse heritage - particularly the latter. Somerled used the Norse for military tactics only. And even then he wasn't especially good at them - much better guerrilla/insurgent than he ever was at pitched battles.

Whether he was half-Norse himself is open to debate. The speculation that his mother was Norse is exactly that speculation - as is the assumption that his name Somerled is related to the Norse 'summer wanderer,' which it may not be (it does not take Gaelic pronounciation fully into account). We know exactly who his father was and can be reasonably sure that we know who his grandfather and great-grandfather were, and none of them were Norse - either ancestrally or politically. His father's army of three hundred men was raised entirely from his family connections in County Fermanagh, so he was quite prominent among northern Irish nobility. He gave the vast majority of his children Gaelic names (Olaf and Somhairle Og excepted). But a poem does refer to him having blonde hair and blue eyes - not the natural features of a majority of Hebrideans, who at this point would still have been mostly Pictish/Gaelic in origin.

So it's all a bit up in the air as regards Somerled. I'd hesitate to call him a Viking. He only did so out of military expediency.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 03:25 AM   #24
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Well, for answering this question I think we should make a division between "viking culture" and being actually a viking.
The vikings, as everybody know, were so-called because they did raids. These raids, or at least the big ones, stopped after their defeat in Stamford Bridge. If there was another raid after this date, probably the people "raided" would have talked about their barbarism, and we would have a new source that would change the history as we know it.
Of course, vikings lived after the battle of Stamford Bridge, and some of them could possibly worship the ancient gods (realize that Snorri Sturluson, who wrote the Eddas, lived in XII and XIII century, so the tradition had to continue), and live the same way, with the same laws (one example could be the Icelandic Althing, that hasn't changed since then)... but they didn't more big raids, probably because the Normans (direct descendants from them) came to an agreement, and they didn't need to do another dangerous raid, and the little villages of the north could possibly do raids, but not so big and between themselves.

At least, that's what I think
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