Vikings

22 Jan 2010

The BBC History magazine volume 10:12 December 2009 ... has an article on the Vikings and what may have drove them to attack the monasteries of Britain, Ireland, and NW Europe. Robert Ferryman suggests one motivation might have been a desire to defend their own culture which was under threat from Christian missionary activity in which Britain, Ireland and the Frankish Kingdom played a prominent role. In 782AD Charlemagne's army forcibly baptised and then executed four and a half thousand German Saxons. The sacred tree of Irminsul was destroyed, a holy totem important to all Germanic peoples - and many people were resettled. The Vikings may have struck before the same fate overcame them, it is suggested. The Viking attack on Lindisfarne, for example, may have come about because Northumbrian missionaries had been active in Norway. See Robert Ferryman, The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings, Alan Lane:2009.

..............................................................................................