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Old September 23rd, 2011, 05:13 AM   #1

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How did the Norwegian Vikings become Christians?


I doubt this was by conventional means, but the Vikings gave up their religion and were Christians by 1000. Can someone please explain how this happened?

Thanks in advance.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 05:16 AM   #2

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Missionaries go forth and convert...not only through religious arguments and actualy convincing them about said religion but political ones too. If being a christian bring benefits and its is politicaly expedient to do so, then why not.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 05:48 AM   #3
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Missionaries&priests: ''Im the one who educates the majority of the population. Don't kill me and convert and i will slip a few good words for you guys next sunday''

Viking: ''alright. Screw you thor, im going with the man from jerusalem''

I assume that's exactly how it went down.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:39 AM   #4

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Probably like how Christians always converted local populations.
By shoving it violently down everyone's throat.

Well, that's not limited to Christians...all religions work that way
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:58 AM   #5

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Missionaries had limited success in converting the general population to Christianity. The mainland people had less contact with outsiders and a more agricultural based economy than the coastal regions, and were thus more inclined to keep worship of the fertility cult.

Anglo Saxon missionaries did convert Olaf I (Olaf Tryggvason), king of Norway. Olaf II (Olaf Haraldsson) had more success in converting the general population to Christianity.

I'm not sure if this was done by force, but pagan holy sites, shrines, and statues were ransacked.

Last edited by Rasta; September 23rd, 2011 at 07:33 AM.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:26 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaptation View Post
Missionaries&priests: ''Im the one who educates the majority of the population. Don't kill me and convert and i will slip a few good words for you guys next sunday''

Viking: ''alright. Screw you thor, im going with the man from jerusalem''

I assume that's exactly how it went down.
Nice. Lol.

Christianity did effectively kill the Viking era. That's one feather it can put in it's collective hat.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:32 AM   #7

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Iirc in the case of the Normans who had settled near the mouth of the Seine under Rollo, they converted to Christianity nominally first, so they could further their politics and trade within the Frankish Empire.

I'd speculate the success of the Normans in France, England and Italy and their subsequent conversion led to the people in Scandinavia being more succeptible to Christian missionaries.

In the end i think trade was the main factor in the Viking conversions.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:36 AM   #8

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Quote:
Iirc in the case of the Normans who had settled near the mouth of the Seine under Rollo, they converted to Christianity nominally first, so they could further their politics and trade within the Frankish Empire.

I'd speculate the success of the Normans in France, England and Italy and their subsequent conversion led to the people in Scandinavia being more succeptible to Christian missionaries.
I'm inclined to agree here.

Quote:
In the end i think trade was the main factor in the Viking conversions.
That's an interesting thought.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 04:24 AM   #9
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We Swedes are being taught that it was a man named Ansgar who converted the swedish vikings to christianity. He brought priests to Sweden, built churces and so on. In reality, though, I don't think he was successfull really, as the vikings went back to their pagan religion and slaught the priests the moment Ansgar was gone. The real reason why the vikings took up christianity instead of their pagan faith, was purely political, I believe. The men of power in Scaninavia saw a profit in this new religion, by which they would for an instance get a better claim on their rightful places as ruling lords. I think it was mainly these men who converted to christianty in the beginning while common people continued to practice the old religion for many years.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 05:26 AM   #10
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The first Scandanavians to convert (officially) were the Danes, by decree of Harald Bluetooth, who was convinced to do so by a protracted series of visits from a papal envoy, who was primarily selling the ECONOMIC advantages of joining the European Christian community. The Norwegians and Swedes saw that the advantages were real, so followed suit. Faith in money-power, let's say.
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