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The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888

Posted By: arundhati
The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888

C. F. Keary, "The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888"
2015 | ASIN: B016P6JXJG | 412 pages | EPUB | 0,5 MB

‘The Vikings were no longer the exiled younger brothers of the Danish race. It was on them now, and not on the Danes of the Fatherland, that the thoughts of men dwelt.’

Written by the scholar C.F. Keary, this is a comprehensive look at the life of the Vikings in the ninth century, in the context of Western Europe as Christianity’s influence diminished.

Keary starts with the European domination of the Roman Empire, distinguishing Christians from so-called ‘heathens’ who worshipped their own gods. Many of these had been formerly converted from heathens into Christians, as happened in Ireland and England.

The ‘heathen’ Vikings were from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and expanded their lands and ways of living to these Christian areas through violent battle.

Infighting in Ireland led to the easy conquest of their land by the Vikings. Soon they entered Paris, burning houses and slaying residents, meeting the efforts of the French King, Charles the Bald. So influential was the Viking method of fortified camps that the French used it to try and hold them back. All army manoeuvres are described in great detail, taking the reader back 1200 years.

When the Vikings tried to invade Germany, the leader Charles the Fat called for an amalgam of armies at the diet of Worms, but he could not resist the onslaught either.

Rorik was the man who attacked England, landing on the island of Thanet, at the start of a twelve-year siege in the middle of the ninth century. Of the many other leaders chronicled here, Rolf, future founder of Norway, emerges with strength.

Keary also describes the Vikings’ views on death and the afterlife, and quotes the poems and stories which were created in the honour of the gods.

The pace of the expansion is laid bare in a great study of the era.

‘He writes with real interest in his subject’ English Historical Review

C.F. Keary (1848-1917) worked on the coins in the British Museum, publishing catalogues of them, before writing novels and drama. The Vikings in Western Christendom was a canonical text on Scandinavian history for many years.

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