30.5 m. long viking ship being buildt

Nov 2015
757
Australia
I read somewhere that 'wicca' is derived from 'vik'. When some see the Norse raiding activity as crimminal, it's perhaps a bit narrow minded. It can be seen as a for of warfare related to gurerilla warfare and naval infantry raids. In the begining it might even have been a form of defensive warfare after what the Norse saw as prosecution against Åsatru (Norse religion) by christians.
Well the popular imagination brands them as near troglodytes. Now peasants are peasants. But their upper classes (Thegns, Jarls), were probably relatively sophisticated. The 'viking' ship for example is an extremely sophisticated design. The product of centuries of learning from trial and error.
Well the whole thing starting as a religious war, was hotly denied in the 'flower-power' 1970's. But today is receiving broader acceptance. The Franks assault on the Old Saxons must have sent shockwaves through Denmark. A conqueror who comes along and demands no more than tribute is one thing. Another is the threat of having your culture and tradition (the things that engender security) destroyed. The latter feels like the end of the world.
I'd say it caused a complete breakdown in foreign relations. With anything Christian becoming fair game and Scandinavia becoming a safe haven for such. It proved lucrative and that kept it going. Not that raiding wasn't perennial. What changed was the scale. A parallel is the Catholic/Protestant conflict.
Well for the English, 'Buccaneers' were criminals. And also romanticized figures. With every farmboy wanting to run away and become a Buccaneer. They seem to have enjoyed their own wickedness, but also seeing themselves as the dammed, with old Nick for a god. We all play the 'doublethink' on many issues. An man has his 'church' face and opinions. And then a different face in the dark pub corner.
For the English document of the time, 'viking' simply meant pirate. The latter word not displacing the former until later in the middle-ages. With the original word virtually forgotten in the English language until the 19th renaissance of the subject.
Hmmm, certainly the movie scene enjoys the drama of the religious angle. Here Alfred stumps Guthrum.

 
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Nov 2015
757
Australia
Would you call all 17th French, Dutch, and English men, women and children Buccaneers and use Buccaneer as an ethnic term for all 17th French, Dutch, and English people?

Would you describe Rene Descartes (1596-1650), Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655), Margaret Lucas Cavendish (1623-1673) Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), or Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) as buccaneers? If not, then you should try not to use viking in the loose sense of meaning all early medieval Scandinavians.
I think you miss the point and then go on to illustrate it. For the average English commoner. 'Viking' was synonymous with half the military might of say Denmark, turning up on their doorstep for a season. And that was pretty much all they knew of them. And think here, at some points in history. Half the military age males of Denmark. Had experienced crossing the sea, roaming around looting the countryside.
Certainly the upper echelons of England, were well aware of what Danes were. The AS chronicle identifies them as Danes, when taking to large scale land campaigning. Then calls them Vikings when in a fleet of 3 or 30 ships assaulting a location for a quick smash and grab. The cultural exchange of the latter age was broader by light years.
You have a list of Viking philosophers and scientists? There might have been a few, but they didn't get much press.
 
Oct 2015
955
Norway
To most people the word viking conjures up an image of a Norse warrior sailing by sea to raid, plunder, enslave, and murder for his private profit. I constantly see people trying to convince people that early medieval Scandinavians were not all evil and doing so by saying that most vikings ere not all bad, when it would be far easier to convince people of the goodness of most Scandinavians by saying that most Dark Age Scandinavians were not vikings.

The alternatives to using viking as an ethnic name include:
Scandinavians.
early medieval Scandinavians.
Dark Age Scandinavians.
viking era Scandinavians.
Danes.
Danish.
early medieval Danes.
Dark Age Danes.
Swedes.
Swedish.
early medieval Swedes.
Dark Age Swedes.
Norwegians.
early medieval Norwegians.
Dark Age Norwegians.
Norse.
early medieval Norse.
Dark Age Norse.
etc., etc., etc.

As for the word viking being based on Viken, that was a relatively minor part of Scandinavia. So if the original funeral ship was not found in the Viken region it would be inaccurate to describe it as viking ship if the Viken/viking theory is correct.

In the 17th century (the 1600s) a bunch of French, Dutch, and English men formed the Brethren of the Coast or the Buccaneers and raided Spanish shipping and towns, sometimes with letters of marquee from their governments, sometimes not.

Would you call all 17th French, Dutch, and English men, women and children Buccaneers and use Buccaneer as an ethnic term for all 17th French, Dutch, and English people?

Would you describe Rene Descartes (1596-1650), Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655), Margaret Lucas Cavendish (1623-1673) Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), or Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) as buccaneers? If not, then you should try not to use viking in the loose sense of meaning all early medieval Scandinavians.

You "constantly see people trying to convince people that early medieval Scandinavians were not all evil and doing so by saying that most vikings are not all bad"? Interesting. I never meet these people. My impression is that most people know that raids and plundering was widespread and some evil comes with the terrirory.

Longships, travel, raids and amphibious warfare was such a big part of Norse culture at the time, unlike piracy in the 17th century England. I wouldn't call English or French culture of the time Buccaneer since a only a tiny part of the population was involved in piracy and using the term buccaneer about them has never been common.
That comparison doesn't hold water at all. You list many terms that can be used instead of viking, some more accurate than others. But most people today would call them vikings and many would only know them as vikings.
 
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Nov 2015
757
Australia
You "constantly see people trying to convince people that early medieval Scandinavians were not all evil and doing so by saying that most vikings are not all bad"? Interesting. I never meet these people. My impression is that most people know that raids and plundering was widespread and some evil comes with the terrirory.

Longships, travel, raids and amphibious warfare was such a big part of Norse culture at the time, unlike piracy in the 17th century England. I wouldn't call English or French culture of the time Buccaneer since a only a tiny part of the population was involved in piracy and using the term buccaneer about them has never been common.
That comparison doesn't hold water at all. You list many terms that can be used instead of viking, some more accurate than others. But most people today would call them vikings and many would only know them as vikings.
Widsith is the first known reference of the term 'viking'. The poem was perhaps an oral tradition dating back to the 5th century.
Hroðulf and Hroðgar held the longest
peace together, uncle and nephew,
since they repulsed the Viking-kin
and Ingeld to the spear-point made bow,
hewn at Heorot Heaðobards' army.
Curiously they are termed 'cyn', which means a people. Or was he merely referring to a gang?
What are good and evil? Evil is word that means "upside-down", which sounds like the PC left these days. Since they wish to invert all values, with their "slave-morality".
If a lion eats the antelope, then it is 'good' for the lion and 'evil' for the antelope. But else is a lion to do? Even Simon and Garfunkel sang, they'd rather be the hammer than the nail!



Looks like a boat from the Hollywood epic of 1958. Looking at this picture it looks much smaller that the Gokstad style vessel it was based upon. Perhaps only 50 feet long. It appears they gave it the generous 3 foot rooms of the Gokstad. Meaning about 24 feet for the run of oars. And another 12 feet to the bow and another 12 feet to the stern.
In my estimation the Gokstad was a sort of royal yacht. A rich man's play thing. It was a shock to the historian. How finely built and light it was. And how it took engineering principles to the limit. The animal motives are nothing unusual, since figureheads were still common until the age of steam. Sailors it seems, will not risk it with the spirits, even in an age of reason.



Now this boat I like and would have been the typical viking boat.
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
Were "vikings" - or rather the norse of those ages - that exceptional? Famous people like Alexander "the Great" of Macedon, Julius Caesar, and lots of kings of England, France etcetera did basically much plundering and conquest, often more large scale.
 
Nov 2015
757
Australia
Were "vikings" - or rather the norse of those ages - that exceptional? Famous people like Alexander "the Great" of Macedon, Julius Caesar, and lots of kings of England, France etcetera did basically much plundering and conquest, often more large scale.
It would probably be better to use the example of peoples like the Mongolians, Huns, Magyars, Teutons, Arabs and even Slavs. Here one people "backwards" in terms of progress, raided civilised peoples for their superior goods. So it was a war between alien cultures, one civilised and the other barbaric. Of course among the barbaric, it normal behavior to raid their own peoples as well as others.
In many of these cases the raiders had advantages in mobility and exploited this. And there was no political strategy, since the main aim was to pillage. In many cases these also exploited terror. Since the barbarians had a violent society and the civilized man feared this, being less accustomed to violence. The barbarians were used to violence and a good part of their population warlike.
There wasn't much of a political solution, other than paying them to go away. And this solution didn't have much permanency, since they'd be back next season looking for more. Or they might pay them permanent tribute if that could be afforded.
The trouble of the superior civilisation, is they got a lot worth stealing. And their people less warlike to defend it.
Another example is the Hundred years war. Here the English, unable to come to terms with the French crown. Raided the French people. More or less saying, your French lord cannot defend you. So you better choose us, even though we would not be your first choice.
In the case of Caesar or Alexander, the assault is directly against the political establishment opposing them. In the other case, if there was any aim other than pillage. The ambition might be to dissafect the common population from their civilized rulers. And basically incite chaos! If the barbarian did have a fear, then it was of civilization itself! The barbarian it seems neither liked civilization or its people and felt contempt for them.
This might be alleviated by the civilized paying permanent tribute to the barbarian. So it seems the barbarian felt a fear of civilization. It was an engine, that threatened to overturn the values of his more natural world. It seems the tribute, might assure the barbarian that he is in fact, the better.
So here we have a conflict, that is more purely psychological.
Presently the conflict between the West and Islam is similar. The Islamics find in the West a social-economic progress that is more powerful, alien and even threatening. Even though their book the Koran says that it is they who are the superior, the facts on the ground don't support this view. So the psychological drama is clear. And warfare is psychological. The Islamic's unable to assault the political establishment of the West directly, must look for other weaknesses, that are inherent to the structure. They also demand tribute as a solution. Again here the barbarian is assured, this is a clear signal that they the barbarian is the better.
The outcome of this war is obvious. The Western left wing seeks the appeasement. The Western right wing not so. Presently the moral decay in Western society means that in two or three generations, if the right gains the upper hand. Then they will do what is now unthinkable and embark on eradication of the other side. Sterilization of the other side by a superiority in the thermo-nuclear device. The only strategy open to the Islamic is infiltration of Western society. So here again we see the attempt to dissafect the people from their political establishment.
In the case of Rome, they exterminated the leftist appeasement from within their ranks.
H.G. Wells the romantic historian foresaw the possibilities in this case, a century ago. Again Churchill with a romanticized mind, was the one who could foresee the real possibilities of the equally romanticized Hitler. Now Churchill saw in Hitler the blaggard and utter villain. Not withstanding, the British Empire had already been blaggard and utter villain, to much of the world.
I guess when it comes down to it. History is all about who you are, or who you think you are?
 
Oct 2015
955
Norway
In the late summer I visited the building of the Myklebust ship in Nordfjordeid. It won't be finsihed for some time, but it's an impressive and beautiful ship. I hoped to attach a couple of my own photos of it, but the files were to large. The online photos are oudated, now all the ship boards are in place.
 
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Jan 2016
1,151
Collapsed wave
Oct 2015
955
Norway
The ship was launced yesterday and I had the pleasure of seeing it. The ship's mast and sail isn't finisjhed yet. But the oars, dragon head and tail, ship's chests and shileds are finished. It was magnificent!
Sadly my photos are too large to upload and I can't find any press phots online yet. If you're interested, here is a link to the homepage of the Myklebust ship:
Myklebustskipet - Sagastad
 
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