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Vikings in Better Perspective

by Gus diZerega

Sorn and Low Key have led me to re-examine my comments about Vikings in my post on the loss of America’s soul. The Norsemen were not quite the villains they have been depicted as by Christian historians. They suggested Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick’s excellent Pagan Europe and a BBC interview with Robert Ferguson on the Vikings as good sources. The podcast is well worth listening to. Ferguson is also the author of the recently released The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings.

Prior to the outbreak of Viking raids 4500 unarmed Saxons were forcibly baptized and then beheaded by the Christian king Charlemagne. Generally Charlemagne enforced the death penalty against those who refused baptism. The ethnic cleansing he initiated led to about 1/3 of the inhabitants of eastern Saxon lands being forced out. Because of Christianity’s imperial pretensions, his efforts to forcibly Christianize the Saxons whether they wanted to convert or nor constituted a serious threat to the Danes, who were next in line and who could not challenge Charlemagne on the ground militarily. That the Saxon queen was Danish and the Pagan Saxon ruler often fled to the Danes for safety could only increase Danish worries they were next and Christianity a lethal threat to their lives, loved ones, homes, and Gods.

Read the original article at: A Pagans Blog on Beliefnet

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