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 Viking or norseman

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Darfyd
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PostSubject: Viking or norseman   Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:35 am

I have just finished reading some interesting posts on another group i belong to and just wanted to see what this groups veiws/ideas

the general thread of the conversation was that the people of the north were norseman not viking .... Viking was just another word for raiding or raids. So it would work something along the lines of a norseman going viking
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Auðvarðr Hinn Rauði
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PostSubject: Re: Viking or norseman   Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:27 am

Heill Darfyd! Vælkomin til!

I usually make the point of saying Norse or Norsemen. When you think about it, Vikings were just basically Norse pirates.
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Sveinn
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PostSubject: Re: Viking or norseman   Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:44 pm

Ó já, it's a difficult discussion... but I mean, generally speaking you can use the term "viking" as synonymous with "Norsemen" even though to be accurate, only the Norsemen who went raiding were vikings/víkingar.

In general terms, saying "viking" instead of Norsemen is forgivable just to make things understandable for the historically
illadvised. But if you're being technical, I hope most people know what terms to use.
Norsemen or Northmen even... from Old Norse "Norðmaðr" and "Norðmenn" which both really translate as Norwegian and Norwegians.

But it's not incorrect to call the raiders themselves vikings... some people have said "Viking means raiding, not the raiders themselves." Actually it's both. The Old Norse word, "víkingr" can translate to "pirate"... but it's commonly theorised to derive from "Vík" meaning "Inlet" or "Bay, and "Ingr" meaning "Man". A man of the bays or sometimes a man of the fjords.

To make things clear, I will give you a list of Norse words on this subject...

vík (f) - Inlet or small bay (can possibly stretch to meaning fjord)
víking (f) - the act of piracy, or a voyage with piracy in mind. :P
víkingligr - pirate-like
víkingr (m) - a pirate
víkingskapr (m) - piracy

To give them English counterparts one could use the terms "vik", "viking", "vikingly", "viking", "vikinghood".
I'd have said "vikingship" but that would too easily be confused with "viking ship" which in Old Norse is "víkingaskip"
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PostSubject: Re: Viking or norseman   Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:22 pm

Aha, I'd heard of the "it's the act of raiding, not the people" before, but I always assumed it was either one or the other, not both. Thanks for clarifying that. I'm often called a bording git for saying stuff like "technically, viking is just a Norse pirate" etc haha
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PostSubject: Re: Viking or norseman   Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:53 pm

Words and their litterate meanings aside, I do believe that vikings were NOT raiders, bucaneers, pirates or whatever else one would like to call them.
I believe that they were tradesmen more than anything else. Granted, their way of trading could suddenly change... rather a lot!

But still, taking part of what they did and turning it into their "main thing" is unfair.

To illustrate my point, I'd like to make an analogy. But before that, I have to stress that I am NOT an extremist, nazi or facist.
In other words; I'm not stupid!

Okay?

Well then, here I go:
The nazis of the 1930's and -40's were clearly wrong with all their ideas.
History has proven this beyond any reasonable doubt.

But, normally, no one speaks about the fact that they had the nicest uniforms.

Does this mean that everything about them was nice?

Not in my world, it doesn't. And neither should the one negative thing about the traveling norsemen be given such importance!
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PostSubject: Re: Viking or norseman   Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:09 pm

You make a good point. Though I do think that raiding was more common than trading. But is there anything so bad about raiding? Víkingar get a bad reputation for being violent, bloodthirsty, murderers without morals. Has anyone tried to draw a comparison with any other group of people for the time period? Violent? Bloodthirsty? Murder? Well, fighting of any kind has to be violent. So is the assumption that nobody else fought one another? Even over the tiniest thing? The English? The Romans? The Greeks? And morals? What harm does it do to kill someone of another land?

They're not your kin, so why the concern? Killing a monk shouldn't cause you any regret. What does the life of an English monk mean to a heathen Norseman? This was the attitude of everyone at the time. That's why so much fighting existed. Norsemen weren't specifically bloodthirsty, they just happened to be better at it than most. But what causes were there to do this raiding? In harsh times, cold isolated country, bad harvests, you could return to your family as a hero bringing back gold and riches from the coasts of other lands. What else do you do? Stay on the farm and tend the land even though your crops fail?

Vikings may be pirates, pirates to the victims... but not to other Norsemen. To the Norse they were adventurers, explorers, men who sailed away to seek their fortune. How are they any different from the Spanish who plundered the Incas? Or the early settlers of North America? Did they not murder native Americans? Did they not steal their gold? (or at least try to) And were these men not just young lads leaving their troubles behind, sailing off to find adventure and fortune?

It's about perspective. Bloodthirsty pirate. Bold adventurer. What's the difference? I'll tell you what the difference is. It's whether you're a bitter monk who has just witnessed his monastery being burnt to the ground and watched all his friends being beheaded... or whether you're the wife and children of the viking who's just returned with lots of really cool stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Viking or norseman   Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:36 am

The archeological record, unfortunately, leaves a lot to the imagination when it comes to the Vikings. For quite a number of years, wveryone thought they were horn-helmet wearing midaevil rapist-theives. We know now that this isn't at all an accurate assessment of history. I think it's unfair to say there was more raiding than commerce...Vikings traded with Vikings all the time! ;]. While I am sure there was a huge culture shock when the 6'0" Norseman, who we can assume had been a warrior/(fisherman, farmer, blacksmith, etc) stepped off his dragon-headed beast of naval technology, and into the Chapels of the meek, 4"8' Anglo Saxon monks and started looting, for all we know this could have seemed no more terrible to the Norse than privateering for your king was 800+ years later.

Just food for thought. And given their religious beliefs, I am pretty sure it's safe to say most able bodied Norsemen did participate in raids. That being said: Norsemen = Vikings.
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