By Jonathan Clements
'From the Fury of the Northmen carry us, O Lord'. among the 8th and 11th centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian native land to alternate, raid and invade alongside the coasts of Europe. Their impact and expeditions prolonged from Newfoundland to Baghdad, their battles have been as far-flung as Africa and the Arctic. yet have been they nice seafarers or determined outcasts, noble heathens or oafish pirates, the final pagans or the 1st of the fashionable Europeans? This concise examine places medieval chronicles, Norse sagas and Muslim debts along newer learn into ritual magic, genetic profiling and climatology. It contains biographical sketches of a few of the main well-known Vikings, from Erik Bloodaxe to Saint Olaf, and King Canute to Leif the fortunate. It explains why the Danish king Harald Bluetooth lent his identify to a twenty-first century instant expertise; which destiny saint laughed as she buried overseas ambassadors alive; why such a lot of Icelandic settlers had Irish names; and, how the final Viking colony used to be destroyed through English raiders. Extending past the conventional 'Viking age' of so much books, "A short historical past of the Vikings" areas unexpected Scandinavian inhabitants stream in a much wider historic context. It offers a balanced appraisal of those notorious sea kings, explaining either their fast enlargement and its meant halt. meant simply because, finally, the Vikings didn't disappear: they changed into us.
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Extra info for A Brief History of the Vikings
V. 251), while that line also suggests a violation of estate boundaries. Langland thus establishes the sin as a divisive force in the community. Coveitise’s customers also share his sin, for the most part. Lords borrowing for love of their armed gangs could hardly be free of avarice, and the ready availability of borrowed funds amplifies the social disturbance made possible by all forms of maintenance. This suggestion of aristocrats as both victims and accomplices emphasizes one reason usury is particularly negative for Langland.
The poor can compete with merchants here as a symbol of the material economy, because while a merchant’s material success makes virtue more difficult, poverty’s material failure directs the soul’s attention toward spiritual things, at least in theory. XIV. 106–7). With this emphasis on “rekenyng,” “arrerage,” and “dette,” the material discomfort of defaulting on a debt transfers to the much greater discomfort of coming up short at the Judgment. While there remains the possibility for merchants to fulfill their half of the contract with Truth and be “oute of dette,” Pacience doubts that they will.
Like his portrayals of merchants, Langland’s mendicants have traditionally been read as negative, though in the case of the latter scholars now rarely assume that estates satire material is necessarily historically descriptive. Penn R. 32 The controversy over friars matters here because of the nature of begging. XIV as a problematic figure for rejection of the material economy in favor of the spiritual. 34 The poem’s own complex relationship with the material world mirrors the problem of poverty and begging, as it refuses to present either voluntary poverty or wealth as a permanent solution to the world’s spiritual ills.