A Conversation for The Vikings - Why They Did It

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Post 1

Entity

Hey there!

Well you didn't mention the relligion of the vikings in that era! Even after christendom took over, there were still many "heathens". Okay lets cut this short!:

In the viking rerlligion (Asatru or also named Odinism today), they believed if you die in battle as a hero, you would go to Valhalla to Odins(The main God) hall and practice fighting skills there with Odin until Ragnarok(The final fight of the gods) comes.

So that might have muvh to do with "Why"!


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Post 2

Bran the Explorer

Well noted Entity. This would be part of the "heroic culture" ethos that I mentioned. But, I should emphasize that they were not being anti-Christian ... they were just out there for glory, irrespective of the enemy's religion.

Thanks for the post.
Cheers
Bran.


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Post 3

I.V. BeerDwarf

I wonder? With the increase in trade activity, and thus wealth.It would mean, a better standard of living, and a longer life span for the Vikings. The increase of people, combined with a lack of arable land would be a indicative that a majority of these raids would be primarily for colonial purposes.
Further, starting a colony is not a simple excursion. "What do ya reckon Eric, this looks like a nice spot! Lets stop all this rape'n and pillage'n and settle back down to the the quiet farmers life". It would have taken a lot of planning to start these colonies, like Iceland or in North America. To do so, they must have had a goal in mind, such as exporting say foodstuffs back to the overpopulated mainland?
I'm not an expert on any of this, but it looks to me that they were simply very violent expansionists!
Is there any indication of say a sharp population increase in Scandinavia to support my view?

- BeerDwarf (Chief Quaffer of BeerDwarf Brewery)


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Post 4

Martin

Good point, I think it's the only way to live.


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Post 5

Wadelius

The "Viking mainland" could not have been overpopulated back then, since it is not so crowded now. I'm Swedish and I know that, even in Norway, it's not overpopulated. And since the growth in numbers began long after the Viking-age that theory is not likely to be true.

One thing witch I do not understand is why my ancestors did go all the way to England to get food; we got a lot of fertile ground in the south. As well as in the north, but that is only used by the wood industry. Back then it was wilderness, except for the occasional Lapp.

//
Wadelius


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Post 6

Izzybelle

Why do any one go anywhere else but where they live?
Why did Marco Polo travel?
Why did Columbus try to find a shorter way to India?
Why did Britain and other European countries have colonies?

Lot´s of reasons of course, couriosity, greed, etc. Same as the Vikings I suppose


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Post 7

MotDoc, Temporarily Exiled to Tartu, Estonia

The fact that an area is unpopulated now is no indicator that it never was. For one thing the trend toward urbanization taking place all over the West in the past 200 years may give you a significantly altered view of how many people the land used to be able to hold. Also lands may become depopulated after their heydays. When Gibbon wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire he noted that even in his day (1800s) Europe still hadn't repopulated back the levels it had been during the peak of the Empire. Just a few thoughts.
Also, prosperity in Scandinavia is no argument against a tendancy toward violence. History shows us that some of the most militaristic and violent people are those who are well off enough to be able to devote some time to a culture and lifestyle which are not just focused on agriculture.


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Post 8

DalisLlama

On the other hand it's easier to raid Christian countries, most of which forbade commoners to be armed, than it was to raid fellow Scandinavians who all had axes or swords and a heroic ethos of their own.


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Post 9

iPad

Many historians believe that everyone was at it - raiding and invading, just that history is written by the victors - if they can write. The Vikings didn't record that much so the aggression of others people would of been forgotten.


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