PowerPoint Presentation - The Viking Age 793-1066

					     The Viking Age 793-1066
 Timeline of the Viking Age
 Socio-Economic structure
 Political Structure
 Religious dynamics
 Mythology
       Timeline of the Viking Age
   793: Lindisfarne Raid
   845: Viking Raids on Moorish
    Spain
   852: Swedish Rus traders
    become dominant along Volga
   870: Settlement of Iceland
    begins
   886: Danelaw treaty between
    Alfred and Guthrum
                                   Viking targets, North Sea
   912: Gongu-Hrolf and his men
    take parts of Normandy
   930: First Althing
   1000: Icelandic conversion
   1066: Norman conquest



                                                  Lindisfarne, UK
Socio-Economic Structure
                                    Social positions
                                      –   Freeman
                                      –   Foster relations
                                      –   Hired hand
                                      –   Slave
                                      –   Relatively simple and non-
                                          hierarchical system in
                                          comparison to feudal system’s
                                          more intricate ranks and
                                          orders
                                    Household as domestic unit
                                    Sources of wealth
                                      – Production of trade goods
                                      – Relationships, rather than
                                        liquidity
Portrait of Egil, as known through
Egils saga Skallagrímsson
                         Political Structure
   Political roles
     –   Lawspeaker
     –   Godi
     –   Thingmen
   Political institutions
     –   Local things
              Governing assembly of pagan Norse
               society
              Consensus among peers
              Dispute settlement
              No absolutism
     –   Compensation
              Lives
              Propery
   Dynamics
                                                   Imagined Althing
     –   Knowledge of laws
     –   Alliance building and maintenance
     –   Honor and reputation
   From local allegiance to centralized
    structure




                                                                      Thingvellir
              Religious Dynamics
   A note on sources
   Why is Norse paganism of
    interest?
    – Latest surviving heathen
      religious forms in Europe
    – Role of Vikings and their
      legal system
   Cult Worship
    – “Blót” activity                  Midwinter blót (at the Temple at
    – Sacrifice                        Uppsala), by Carl Larsson
         Altars                       (1915)
         Temple at Uppsala
    – Shamanism
         Open-air places of worship
         Odin “the shapeshifter”
                 Norse Mythology
                                        “Euhemerization”
                                        Ragnarrok
                                          –   Destruction of the Gods
                                          –   End of mythical present
                                        Yggdrasil
                                          –   World tree
                                          –   Victims hung from trees in sacrifice
                                        Odin
                                          –   King of Gods
                                          –   One-eye
Bronze Thor, circa 1000 Iceland         Hávamál
(7 CM)                                    –   “Saying of the High One”
                                          –   Maxims
                                          –   Examples
                                          –   Odin’s sacfice
                                        Thor
                                          –   Hammer
                                          –   God of War



            Wilden Jäger as Wotan,
            Berlin 1876
                     Conclusion
 Viking Age is limited period of huge
  Scandinavian impact on Europe
 Socio-economic and political structure
    – Honor society
    – Quasi-democratic
    – Sufficiently flexible to allow emergence of
      “independent” dynamics of Viking age
   Religious dynamics
    – “Last heathens in Europe”
    – Source of information about pre-Christian Europe
    – Literary wellspring

				
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posted:10/5/2011
language:English
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