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View Diary: Origins of English: The Normans (174 comments)

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  •  My position: Vikings extended ... (1+ / 0-)
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    ... the Dark Ages.

    It took them a couple of centuries to integrate their ways into what we might call civilization rather than culture.

    The Roman Empire had long fallen, but the other Germanic immigrants literally built on its remains. Viking raiders and empire-builders kept things in flux for a long bloody time.

    MsL is totally correct.

    The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes.

    by MT Spaces on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 10:19:23 AM PST

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    •  The Catholic church extended the Dark Ages (2+ / 0-)
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      Ojibwa, MT Spaces

      ... not the Vikings.

      One of the early popes wrote that the people were to be kept illiterate because ignorant people were easier to control.

      Even royalty were illiterate..., but the early popes could manipulate them to invade other countries at the pope's order upon threat of not going to heaven.  [Papal infallibility.]  The Catholic church literally did rule the known world during the Dark Ages.

      The Vikings had a written language early in the form of runes.  They were well-renowned storytellers with their sagas - which were written down.  Knowledge and wisdom were respected as traits of Odin (Woden) who had sacrificed one eye for knowledge/wisdom.  Odin was a Warrior God, but he was also a God of Wisdom and Knowledge, and a well-respected Viking had to be both intelligent and trained in the art of war.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 06:50:44 PM PST

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        •  Yes... (2+ / 0-)
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          Ojibwa, MT Spaces

          The Vikings got a lot of bad press from the Catholic church and the monks who were writing the histories at the time...

          But..., scratch the surface, and the Vikings were not so much brutish clods and berserkers as farmers and tradesmen trying to find new land so their families could survive when their homelands were becoming overpopulated.

          They weren't quite as unintelligent as the church or later movies and tales made them either.

          Their earlier "relatives," the Anglo-Saxons, brought the Danelaw to what became Angle-Land (England).

          Iceland still calls their parliament the Alþingi, an old Norse/Viking term.


          The Althingi is the oldest parliamentary institution in the world still extant.[1] Its establishment, as an outdoor assembly held on the plains of Þingvellir from about the year 930 AD,[2] laid the foundation for an independent national existence in Iceland. To begin with, the Althing was a general assembly of the Icelandic Commonwealth, where the country’s most powerful Leaders (goðar) met to decide on legislation and dispense justice. Then, all free men could attend the assemblies, which were usually the main social event of the year and drew large crowds of farmers and their families, parties involved in legal disputes, traders, craftsmen, storytellers and travellers. Those attending the assembly dwelt in temporary camps (búðir) during the session. The center of the gathering was the Lögberg, or Law Rock, a rocky outcrop on which the Lawspeaker (lögsögumaður) took his seat as the presiding official of the assembly. His responsibilities included reciting aloud the laws in effect at the time. It was his duty to proclaim the procedural law of Althing to those attending the assembly each year.

          Iceland still has the original books that set up the Alþingi.  They're kept in a safe location.  There was one book they let out of the country that went around with the Smithsonian Viking exhibition that toured the US, and it was the first time the book had been out of Iceland.  I saw it at the exhibit in the Twin Cities.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Sat Feb 18, 2012 at 07:58:57 PM PST

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