Vikings in retrospect

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  • Publicado : 22 de noviembre de 2011
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We have to consider that the historic sources of these ages used to make apology of the British kings and their lands, mainly with Alfred the Great, as we can see in “History of the English Kings”, avery influential character in the History of England. So, in a general context of rejection and defamation against the Vikings is not strange that if somebody wants to enlarge the name of those whofought against them, they appear again as that terrible and vile race that has to be defeated by a hero. In the case of the source which William of Malmesbury gave us, I the chapter about Alfred theGreat we can find the perfect topic of the Viking as a cruel enemy, pagan and invader finally defeated by the cunning of Alfred, a most valuable man and, of course, a good Christian who received themessage and the help of God, being then magnanimous in the victory allowing the Vikings preserve some of their territories (deal which the Vikings would betray). Their fame of violent people exceeds theliterature; in the illustrations given with the sources appear, in the first, armed men embarking surely with the idea of an expedition for conquering and devastating new lands; in the second thescene is more macabre, the martyrdom of Saint Edmund, and I want to pay special attention to this image, because we have a martyr and saint king representing the pain of the civil power and the HolyChurch suffering martyrdom by the pagans, something that we surely remember of Saint Sebastian, tortured in the same way in time of the emperor Diocletian for defending his Christian faith.
Anotherpossible cause of the reason of the later medieval writers for still having a bad conception about the Vikings, when they had stopped of attacking England long time ago, is that when wrote the history oftheir own kingdom they saw that one of the main obstacles which it had were the Vikings, I mean, they were saw as the most dangerous rival for the survival of the kingdom, and they exalted those who...
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