Misunderstood Vikings

Found by my roving Antiquarian reporter :-

When those Vikings were sent packing

Public apologies being all the rage these days, it is perhaps not over the top for an entire weekend conference at Cambridge University to have been devoted to effectively apologising to the Vikings.

It appears that in the 793 edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – obviously a scurrilous rag of the worst sort – Viking raiders were blamed for ‘lamentable havoc in the church of God . . . by raping and slaughter’.

Thus they gained a reputation for rape and pillaging that has stuck with them ever since, whereas it turns out that they behaved like perfect gentlemen, who probably came ashore only for a glass of water.

Over now to the Customs shed at Tilbury, where a party of Norsemen have just docked.

‘Good morning, sir. Is this your longboat? Any weaponry on board?’

‘Just a couple of swords, spiked shield, bludgeon, helmet with sharpened wings and a battle-axe for my own use.’

‘And what is the purpose of your visit?’

‘Just to sketch a few priories and abbeys. And we thought we’d try to get a couple of tickets for Egbert, King of Wessex’s coronation.’……………

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5 comments on “Misunderstood Vikings

  1. Having written about this myself, and being like to do so again, I would be interested to know where that first link was meant to point to; it gives me a `page not found’…

  2. saesferd says:

    It’s not an academic piece, just a bit of fun. I’ve broken the link and re-linked. It’s to MailOnline: debate – written by Keith Waterhouse. Any better?

  3. jayne13 says:

    Lordy, the original SNAGS – Sensitive New Age Guys!

  4. Ah yes, I think I’d seen that one already but it’s all grist to the mill. Had you observed one of my colleagues’ response to all this press fluff about this conference?

  5. saesferd says:

    Thanks for the comment jayne13 – I have not come across that acronym before. Also, thank you for the link, Jonathan. It seems there must have been a very slow news day, for the press to latch onto the Vikings: raiders?/traders? academic argument and give it a topical immigration slant.

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