Sorry – the Vikings really were that bad

Forget that guff about peaceful farmers with an interest in travel

10 August 2013

Sometimes the really obvious take on history turns out to be the right one. For generations, we all assumed that the atrocities perpetrated by the Germans in Belgium at the outset of the first world war and enthusiastically reported in the British press were Allied propaganda. Yet recent research suggests that quite a lot of it was true.

Well, the same goes for the Vikings. For almost half a century, the academic line on Vikings has been that our old idea of them as raping, pillaging bastards who’d sack a monastery as soon as look at it was a childishly transparent bit of propaganda, perpetuated by Christian monks who were obviously biased against the pagan Northmen. As a recent Cambridge conference put it, ‘Vikings shared technology, swapped ideas and often lived side-by-side in relative harmony with their Anglo-Saxon and Celtic contemporaries.’ So much for the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

An admiring editorial in the Guardian duly observed of the Vikings that ‘Men wore stylish baggy trousers and jewellery, as well as spending a lot of time on their hair. And according to Hillary Clinton, no less, Viking society gave women considerable freedom to trade and participate in political and religious life. Before long, the Vikings lived side by side with the people they invaded, leaving many of us with our own inner Viking. There’s a lesson there.’

Well, an impressive new exhibition that’s coming to the British Museum next year, Viking, now in Copenhagen, presents a different take on the Vikings than the revisionist notion of them as proto-feminists and early multiculturalists. They were, as we first thought, violent bastards. In contrast to recent exhibitions which have focused on their (perfectly real) record as city founders, brilliant seafarers and traders with an interest in good governance, the exhibits return us to the traditional image of pillagers, raiders and aggressive colonisers: the artefacts are hard to square with them as peaceful farmers with an interest in travel.

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The longboat on display is a weapon of war, and the alarming swords, spears, battleaxes and lozenge-shaped arrows tell their own story. As do the iron slave-collars from Dublin. One observer suggested that the Lewis chessmen in the exhibition biting on their shields recall their reputation for bloodlust. Because, you know, even in a violent age — and monastic chroniclers were perfectly used to violence — the Vikings’ cruelty and joy in battle put them in a class of their own.

Of course the revisionists have a point that there is more to them than this; but what you might call the hinterland of the Vikings has been familiar for over a century; the entry in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, for instance, takes supposedly modern assumptions about their assimilating tendencies as a given and observes that the sources are largely one-sided. What’s more interesting are the reasons for the contemporary need to view the Vikings in a light completely other than the terror of the West.

The flip answer would be that liberals, including scholars, are so captivated by modern Scandinavians, from the women detectives right through to the welfare, that it seems like an error of taste to bring up dirt from the ninth century. A more serious approach is suggested by Professor Stefan Brink in his introduction to The Viking World, a compilation of the best contemporary scholarship on the period: ‘Every era uses history for its own purposes; every time shapes its own history. And especially during periods of strong political hegemony… it has been common to… sanction the politics you pursue. The focus on the warrior Viking in Nazi Germany is an obvious example. In post-war Europe, battered and tired of war, it was more welcome and natural to focus on the peaceful side of the Vikings, as traders.’

One scholar who has made it his business to cut through revisionist cant is David Dumville, professor of history and palaeography at the University of Aberdeen. He puts the fashion for cuddly Vikings squarely down to ‘Swedish war guilt about not participating in the war and American political correctness’. Half a century ago, he says, no one would have said all this; the fashion started with a 1962 book by Peter Sawyer, The Age of the Vikings. But the problem is that the Vikings-as-peaceful-traders approach has now been academic orthodoxy for two generations and its proponents are still getting grants as cutting-edge revisionists. ‘We’re being invited to forget vast amounts of things rather than investigate radically serious new options,’ he says.

For a saner approach, he suggests ‘the simple thing is to go back to the chronicles which were on the whole contemporary records and see the extraordinary similarity between what was happening in different contexts and continents. I don’t think there’s any way round what the contemporary sources are saying.’ Admittedly, later accounts were downright lurid. ‘Babies on spearpoints were later propaganda from the 13th century,’ he says. ‘Overwhelmingly the most colourful accounts came from that point. But among contemporaries, no one was in any doubt that Vikings were bad news.’

The exhibition at the British Museum may be a good first step in what you might call the de-rehabilitation of the Vikings, without losing sight of the insights of the revisionists, chief of which is that they absolutely did not wear horned helmets. It is, after all, only doing justice to the simple facts of history if we return to the version of history immortalised in the old Guinness ad: Looting and pillaging was thirsty work.

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Show comments
  • mikewaller

    A couple of generations ago people were a bit more sensible. When Magnus Magnusson presented his revisionist version of Viking history to a sceptical public, one cartoonist caught the general mood with a drawing of a beached long-ship with an already disembarked captain telling his crew as they jumped down: “Now remember lads, you are ambassadors for your country”.

    • Daniel Maris


    • Loki Bjornir Monahan

      I actually would rather believe that my ancestors came in peace as long as the rest showed them hospitality. But as soon as they didn’t share the wealth, They would be pillaged. I mean look at the discovery of America by Leif Erikson! There was ZERO bloodshed. and he was the son of Eric the Red!!!

  • george

    We can go further than that. There is a compulsive need in the contemporary West to de-fang our enemies, past and present, in our own imaginations, so that we can imagine no such thing as an enemy exists. It’s wilful blindness, a denial of the painful reality that peoples are and can be very different, and that some ways of life really are better than others.

    We see this wishful thinking about ‘diversity’ as cuisine and costume rather than as politics and commitment to freedom (or not), even in cases where the group is extinct: witness the recent worship of the Neanderthal and the denial that he was anything ever less than Man.

    • Fingers Lane

      I agree with your first paragraph, but you choose a poor analogy with Neanderthals. They really were fully human and this is according to sound scientific evidence, not historical interpretation: The structure of their skeletons, the size of their brains, physiological evidence for their ability to speak, plausibility of interbreeding. Neanderthal genes are still with us: Just take a look at some photos of Basque people!
      If anything, it was ‘Western’ self-flagellation that fed the previous view; that Neanderthals were some kind of sub-humans, thus providing one of those many ‘missing links’ between humans and apes and ‘proving’ that humans are not so special after all. The catastrophic results of this kind of de-humanisation over the last century or so should be all too obvious.
      The original view of the Neanderthals was all part and parcel of all that first generation of Darwinists rushing out to fake evidence for their atheistic, de-humanising theory, like the ‘Piltdown Man’ forgery and Eugene Dubois inventing the totally artificial category of ‘Homo Erectus’ based on a deliberate misinterpretation of orang-utan skeletons.
      It was similar with Neanderthals: The Darwinists deliberately chose skeletons of Neanderthals who had had rickets, so that they could claim that the bow-legged skeletons ‘proved’ that Neanderthals walked with a stoop and were half-way towards knuckle-dragging apes.
      Similar nonsense still goes on today like with the ‘Hobbit’ – Never mind that the modern inhabitants of that island are pygmies and that the _single_ skeleton that they used to clam the existence of a whole separate species had clearly been suffering from a known disease effective skull growth.
      There was a good book on this kind of hokum called ‘The Bone Peddlers’ – The title says it all.

      • george

        It seems to me that the Piltdown Man hoax was the work of an egotist seeking some sort of glory; it wasn’t part of a larger, systematic plot as you seem to be suggesting.

        Also, I think you have to take into account that Darwin did not have access to the fossils that have since been unearthed. Again: no attempt to hoodwink or misrepresent was present in his work.

        The Neanderthals were not us. They undoubtedly shared certain characteristics, but they were not modern Man. Only modern Man is. Apart from what modern Man was when Neanderthals were still around, we have moved on in the last 35,000 years.

        • crosscop

          DNA research shows that everyone apart from Sub-Saharan Africans has Neanderthal DNA. This means that we actually have the original Homo Sapiens ( black Africans) and the rest of us – a hybrid species. The old saying that “there is only one race – the human race” no longer holds water. In fact, there is evidence that further hybridisation occurred in Asia which involved Denisova Homominis.

          • george

            Doesn’t change my point that Neanderthals were not Man. We share about 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees and 50% of it with fruit flies. So what?

            (Bear in mind also that scientific findings of this nature may well be provisional, esp. as we are assessing the partial DNA of a long-extinct species. There are some things you can only learn from soft tissues — see Owen Lovejoy.)

          • Mike Weiss

            You can’t breed with chimps, that’s what.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “White men descended from Gods while Blacks swung down from the trees.”
            Was that what you were trying to say, cross?

          • birdinaguidedcage

            No, he doesn’t. You do. He says, rather clearly, that he believes Europeans have some Neanderthal DNA. They are hardly stereotyped as Gods, are they? Not sure where you got a racist undertone but clearly it’s how you project upon the world around you.

          • 御伽 藍子

            aint that the truth
            2 kinds of people in this world… :/

          • Mike Weiss

            Cross was infusing some older arguments into recent discoveries. Our modern understanding refutes some of the old thinking, but actually proves some of it too. People are still clinging to the politically motivated racial arguments of the early 20th century, or the politically motivated racial and social theories of the 1960s, depending on which side of the fence they are on. Neither side wants science or observable reality to interfere with their positions. Whether I agree with Cross or not, he didn’t say that Whites were descended from Gods, that was you putting words in his mouth.

          • Mike Weiss

            Good lord, the races of today do not necessarily reflect the races 50,000 years ago! Evolution isn’t as simple as a ladder! To say Blacks were the original Homo sapiens is to say they haven’t evolved at all in all that time. Other races have plenty of DNA that Black Africans do not have and vice versa, not just the 2% or so from Neanderthals.

        • CloudTiger

          No, the Piltdown Man hoax was the work of a gang of elitists in a progression of their engineering of humanity to suit their grand Imperial Plan for total control. The Elite are insanely powermad and so routinely attempt to deceive the public to maintain and expand control. Hence the habit of hoaxes e.g. Boston marathon “bombing”, Sandy Hook school “shooting” etc.. to herd the stupid into worsening slavery.

          But hey, don’t believe me, I am just a “paranoid conspiracy theorist” [PCT]. You can trust the mass media journalists.

      • Audun Nilsen

        An individual living in Iran, was blind (how they learned they that, I have no idea), arthritis and had one arm amputated when he died at forty years old, from a fall. Another, in the same area, was buried with seven flowers known for their medicinal purposes. Source is the History of Ideas.

        Seen http://www.themandus.com ?

    • Bill Wilson

      The Neanderthals revisionism came with the discovery that Europeans interbred with Neanderthal… you couldn’t have science saying white people were part beast, so you changed the story.

      • hahahahaha

        Blackcs have zero % neanderthal in them, Out of Africa has been completely debunked.

    • Bjørn Tore Kieding

      Quite a good defence of ignorance?

  • Drakken

    It may be possible to unleash those Viking DNA strains to save your cultures from the invasion the 3rd world has visited your shores with. It may happen ????

  • Colin

    They were awful, I agree. Now, who do I sue ?

    • helicoil

      …and why be sorry?

  • crosscop

    Our very own King Canute in his younger heathen Viking days held a group of English prisoners hostage to keep an English force at bay before finally releasing them – all cruelly mutilated – when he sailed away. Then there’s the time the Vikings lined the River Seine with Frenchmen hanged as sacrifices to Odin.
    Viking attitudes can be seen in Egil’s Saga. Egil’s father’s remark (when their child has brutally killed another boy over an argument about some game they were playing) says it all. There is no shock and no horror but a proud “He’ll make a Viking when he grows up!”

    • ghanderman

      and dont forget the sarcastically and derisively nicknamed “children’s man” so named because he refused to kill children and was mocked by his fellow vikings.

    • Bjørn Tore Kieding

      Haha.. Egil was a freak at the time. You have to understand why this story was told….

  • Warren Raymond

    At least they didn’t have a holy book like the “immutable” Koran that sets them on a jihad against the rest of the world until everybody is forcibly converted or dead.

    That’s why I don’t give a hoot.

    • Fergus Pickering

      They had lots of extremely bloodthirsty gods.

      • 御伽 藍子


    • Fingers Lane

      Muslims didn’t have an immutable holy book either until the revelations of Muhammad were finally compiled in definitive form about 400 years later.
      In the meantime, that didn’t stop the spread of Islam through violent conquest and subjugation.
      Book or no book, the important point is what kind of God or gods were being worshipped:
      Allah is a good of arbitrary power, who is totally unaccountable to any sense of justice or fairness. ‘The will of Allah’ is everything, not his justice and he certainly doesn’t want a personal relationship with any mortals.
      Thor and Odin aren’t really much of an improvement, are they?
      The characters of these gods are reflected in the behaviour of their followers, past and present.
      Modern Odin worshippers have included a certain Heinrich Himmler and his rune-obsessed followers, who – if I remember correctly – were also involved in some kind of mystically inspired bid to conquer the whole world, kill millions of people and force the rest to submit to their totalitarian rule.
      It is no coincidence that Himmler was a big fan of Islam and wouldn’t hear a bad word against those cowardly, insubordinate, murdering, raping and pillaging Bosniak Muslims he recruited into the Waffen SS. (Waffen SS recruitment in Denmark and Norway was also quite successful).
      The compliment was returned: The Nazis were – and still are – very popular in the Arab world and Haj Amin al-Husseini (friend of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, as well as a mentor to Yasser Arafat) was a high-profile Nazi collaborator who even wrote a book outlining the similarities between Islam and Nazism in order to encourage his co-religionists to back Hitler.
      You should still ‘give a hoot’ about the true nature of the pagan Norse, because the number of people who worship their gods is on the increase. Wicca / witchcraft and ‘New Age’ occultist shops now seem to be quite common in Britain and there is a strong Norse element in that whole scene. In Scandinavia itself there are openly pagan biker gangs, which have been involved in serious crimes.

      • Robbie Ashmore

        You say “Thor and Odin aren’t really much of an improvement, are they?” yet offer no facts to back this up. As far as I know, no heathen ever started a war to convert others to their religion. And I have never read where Odin engaged in combat, other than the Ragnarok. Odin’s quest all involved the search for knowledge. Thor protected his family and kin. The Norse gods were not the blood-thirsty gods of the Abrahamic faiths if you ask me.

        • Fingers Lane

          Dear Mr. Ashmore,

          If you know enough about Norse mythology to reference Ragnarok, then you will also know that Odin was one of the principal combatants in the war between the Aesir and Vanir gods. Also, the earliest of Odin’s exploits was when he and his two brothers killed and dismembered the giant Ymir. So, I can only conclude that you are being deliberately dishonest and I will only reply to any future comments from you if you make a straight forward apology for lying.

          For the benefit of other readers: The name Odin means something like ‘the furious one’. He was associated with poets, witches, spirit mediums, ecstatic frenzies, lying and cheating, but he was mainly worshipped as a god of war. The name of Odin was therefore used as a Viking battle cry and warriors who died gloriously in battle were assured that they would be carried off to Valhalla by Odin’s Valkyries, where they would be able to enjoy all the material wealth they had accumulated on earth. (That sounds like an open licence for unrestrained greed and bloodshed to me!).

          Furthermore, Odin required his worshippers to give infrequent but regular blood sacrifices of both animals and humans. Male slaves were normally sacrificed on an annual basis and their corpses hanged from ash trees (a symbol of Odin in itself). Occasionally Viking kings were also required to sacrifice their own sons in order to ensure victory in battle. A few Viking kings were themselves sacrificed on the assumption that they had angered the gods and caused bad harvests. Indeed religious observance of the Norse gods was an integral part of the role of a king and being a member of Viking society. There was no religious pluralism.

          Need I remind you that the Vikings pillaged, raped, plundered, pillaged and massacred their way across much of Christendom?

          I recommend Robert Ferguson’s ‘The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings’ (Penguin, 2009):


          As for the ‘bloodthirsty gods of the Abrahamic faiths’… How about paying me £40 for leading an postgraduate seminar on the subject?! Where to start?

          This whole idea of ‘Abrahamic faiths’ is not a neutral category invented by students of comparative religion, it is an Islamic idea, by which Islam tries to claim legitimacy through association with Judaism and Christianity, while also claiming to replace those other religions, which are accused of irreparable corruption, hence the new revelation given to Mohammed. In contrast Christianity began as a Jewish sect and based its legitimacy on frequent quotations from existing Jewish scriptures, which were still upheld as divinely inspired and reliable.

          So, Jews and Christians may seriously disagree about the significance of certain events in the life of Abraham, but at least they are arguing over the same account in Genesis, while Muslims claim Abraham as the first Muslim, but insist that Genesis has been seriously corrupted and replaced by the significantly different account of Abraham (Ibrahim) in the Koran.

          Bernard Lewis clearly and concisely summarised the unequal relationships between these three religions in his essay ‘A Palimpsest of Jewish History’, reprinted in ‘From Babel to Dragomans’ (2005):


          Back to the ‘bloodthirsty’ bit: Human sacrifice is explicitly forbidden in the Law of Moses, while the death penalty for murder was interestingly already in the Covenant of Noah. The order to massacre the Canaanites was 400 years overdue punishment for a uniquely sick and depraved bunch of people (for which there is plenty of extra-Biblical evidence). God showed no favouritism and decreed similar punishment by massacre and exile for the Israelites when they adopted Canaanite practices. The shedding of any human blood (including menstruation) was considered ritually unclean and requiring special ablutions. As for wars, King David fought many just wars against aggressive enemies, but the bloodshed was still deemed to make him ritually unclean, so that he was not allowed to build the Temple. (Anyone who’s actually read the Bible will know all this stuff).

          The problems for Christianity came when the Emperor Constantine made it the official religion of the Roman Empire (but conveniently wasn’t baptised himself until on his deathbed – after he’d committed all his crimes!). Christianity thus became thoroughly paganised: Christians had been persecuted and killed for refusing to worship the Emperor, now Christians persecuted pagans, Jews and each other! This was not really sorted out until the 16th and 17th century with the adoption of secularism, which was a Christian invention that had been there in the teachings of Christ all along: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s’.

          Nonetheless, Christianity had still helped promote such ideas as compromise peace negotiations, mediation and international diplomacy, especially through the Papacy, which laid the foundations for the international diplomatic system we know today. Since Christian princes all at least claimed to worship the same God, who commanded them to live at peace with one another, then religious leaders were obvious peace mediators.

          In contrast, polytheistic religions (be they Norse, Classical, etc) provide local, partisan gods, who set the example of scheming and fighting against each other.

          Ultimately, if you’re looking for bloodshed, then let atheists take over: The French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Nazis, Red China. Still, we should remember that Himmler went to extraordinary lengths to revive the worship of the old Norse gods, while many other Nazis were heavily into the occult (as, apparently, were quite a few Communists). In fact, if you want a really sharp distinction between Christianity and Judaism on the on hand and Islam on the other, then look no further than Hitler and Himmler’s pronouncements on the subject. The most recent relevant book is ‘Islam and Nazi Germany’s War’ by David Motadel (Harvard, 2014):


          Now, how about £40 for the lecture?
          Donations will be accepted via PayPal!

          • Bjørn Tore Kieding

            You have a very twisted view of the Viking “gods” that includes all kinds of propaganda that you have swallowed without question. I have myself read letters written by christian leaders about the peacful native Sami people of Norway. These letters are dripping with all kinds of crazy lies about the Samis daily lives and beliefs. For anyone who has any real insight into the sami faith the accusations by these christians are so mindbogglingly crazy and evil, so much that the only reasonable explanation is to require funds from the church to take over the whole area. If you had read these letters I am sure your hair would stand straight up for hours. It is sad that all this kind of propaganda is so easily accepted by some historians as relevant facts, without any critizism about the motives of the “innocent” authors. The Vikings lived peacefully alongside the Sami for many centuries with intermarriages and share of culture, so they had no problem with respecting other cultures that respected them back, but as we know, at this time the church saw only evil in anyone that was not a member, and made up ridiculous lies about them. Please take a look at media today… do you see no lies?

            Another thing is that you talk about “gods” as something “given” when the obvious fact is that humans are shaping their own ideas of the “gods” however they see fit in order to accomplish what they set out to do. There should be no christian person in the world that could jusitfy a single killing based on the commandments that are so central to them, but still the viewpoints of religious leaders shape peoples understanding to accept killing so that they can get what they want. Also Vikings shaped their “gods” to serve a purpose, and Odin as the “god” of insights is one they desperately would like to have on their side in war, without asking “Odin” of course, just like christians do what they want with their god, but that is a perversion that is far from the true principle that “god” is meant to signify. The “wise” people in any culture would of course oppose this kind of “disfiguring” of the “gods” because it goes against the whole value of knowing its principles. When Odin was so respected for his wisdom and knowledge it is obvious that “bad” Vikings would like to have him in their team. Just like “gods” are used today, but one difference is that Odin was not a “god” in the sense of the christian one. Odin was just one among many with a specific field of expertise. Vikings did not “fear” the gods or their judgements.

            One last thing: there are no reliable historical sources stating that the Vikings ever raped anyone on their campaigns. This is kind of curious since history writers in France usually would remark things like this, but never about the Vikings. In that regard it may be useful to know that it was common among Vikings to exercise death penalty for the raping of virgins in their own homeland. Kind of make you reconsider your views about the Vikings, eh?

          • roderick starns

            what the vikings did on Lindisfarne is history,and the saxon word for money was geld spelt with a D, join up the dots !

    • ghanderman

      who? the vikings didnt have a book dictating genocide and holy war? maybe so, but the christians sure did. so funny how you sort with your selective “reasoning” always conventiently erase the entire history of christianity’s holy wars (crusades, inquisition, conquest of the americas/africa/australia) on everyone not them (and even some who were them)….im sure every indigenous population would agree with you. hahahahaha!

  • Fergus Pickering

    I hate the idea of nice Vikings. Looting and pillaging is what they do best. Oh, and raping, lots and lots of raping.

    • Dara Nicole Boyd-Galleguillos

      No one was nice back then.

      • Bjørn Tore Kieding

        That would be wrong. The absolute ideal among the Viking “gods” was Baldur and Nanna. These characters are described as the nicest creatures you could ever hope to meet, with a love that shines on everyone. A feature of Baldur was descibed as “flowers bloomed in his footsteps”, and Nannas devotion was endless. This was the highest ideal and the most loved “gods”. Of course it does not seem this way if you are only reporting from the battle field….

    • Loki Bjornir Monahan

      There are no sources to prove that my ancestors were rapists, You fucking bitch.

      • Bjørn Tore Kieding

        That would be correct.

        • Loki Bjornir Monahan

          People need to stop fucking acting like they know shit about them. They weren’t there, They didn’t live on a desolate island with starving and sick people. I can’t even believe the level of disrespect I see here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Hedges/100001511186412 Charles Hedges

    Professor Dumville fails to mention that the fashion for loveable Vikings coincided with the marriage of Peter Sawyer, David Wilson and Martin Biddle to Scandinavians. Professor Dame Janet Nelson, in a lecture given as President of the Royal Historical Society, The Vikings and Others, and in her Stenton lecture in Reading in 2005. But as the late and great Tim Reuter remarked. ‘For most of Europe it was the Franks who were the Vikings’ Remembering the cruelty of Charlemagne and his people would do historians no serious harm, especially as they watch the awarding of the Charlemagne prize to such notable humanists as Henry Kissinger and Tony Blair.

  • Mack

    “Ambassadors for your country” — I remember that cliché well from Viet-Nam. Oh, yeah.

  • NotYouNotSure

    I don’t think that the people that the Vikings plundered were any better either at the time (800-1000). Think of all the brutal punishment the Franks inflicted on their enemies, all the wars that afflicted the British isles (without any Viking involvement), the sweeping Arab conquests, the Christians going after the Pagans, the Magyars pillaging central Europe etc. etc.

    • Bjørn Tore Kieding

      Yes, you are right of course, but it is a little misleading to use the terms “the Franks did this and that”, “the Vikings did this and that”… It would be like saying “the Americans are rapists” just because some of them have raped people. This kind of thinking makes muslims into terrorists, the saxons into skin flogging torturers… why not just admit that there are most likely some crazy bastards may appear in any culture anywhere, and sometimes these people are in leading positions? What should we call “the Germans” because of WW2? We all know that they are really normal people like the rest of us, so it would be better to understand how it could get so crazy among normal people so we don’t let it happen again. Making a whole culture responsible for the crimes of the few is not fair or even reasonable.

      • Caractacus

        How many people in ISIS would you trust not to behead you if they met you?

        • Bjørn Tore Kieding

          I am not sure what your point is here. ISIS is an organization. There are some historians that use the word “Viking” differently than the general public. They mean that a “Viking” was a member of organized crime groups just like “Mafia” is organized crime today. In this definition the general population of Scandiavia should be called “Native Scandinavians” and not “Vikings”. In this case most of the Native Scandinavians that travelled abroad should not be called “Vikings”.

          On this page there have been presented several reasons for the strategies of the “Vikings”. One is that the christians had started the “war” with crusades against them, and another is that the Native Scandinavians were excluded from trading routes that had already been active for centuries centuries already. If this is the case then it gives a perspective that is much more like common political conflicts even today. If you squeeze somebody hard enough then they will react. The “Vikings” are not something isolated from the historical context even if popularized history often present it that way.

  • Daniel Maris

    The Vikings were all out of their heads on drugs as well – going “beserk” on magic mushrooms….

    Arabs were particulary disgusted that the Vikings didn’t wash themselves after coitus.

    I expect they had bad breath as well.

    • george

      I’ve heard that, too. But how did the Arabs (or anyone else) know? Were they watching?

    • johnpri

      in reality, the Vikings were quite vain about their appearance. In fact, combs, tweezers, razors and “ear spoons” are among some of the most frequent artifacts from Viking Age excavations. These same excavations have also shown that the Vikings made soap, which they introduced to England. Indeed the Viking population in England had a reputation for excessive cleanliness because of their custom of bathing once a week (on Saturday). To this day, Saturday is referred to as laugardagur / laurdag / lørdag / lördag, or “washing day” in the Scandinavian languages, though the original meaning is lost in modern speech in most cases.

      • 御伽 藍子

        i read somewhere that mediaeval prostitutes in england prefered viking customers because of their cleanliness which was what many englishmen lacked. 😉

        though it could be fabricated, its still fairly humourous

    • Dara Nicole Boyd-Galleguillos

      Are you an expert of some sort on Vikings?
      On my mother’s side of the family, there is a very long lineage of Norwegians, in the very past, included Norwegian vikings. My mother’s side of the family holds many Norse traditions to this day, and having grown up in such a way, I can say that the Vikings were not a dirty people. Of course times have changed since then so thus the traditions have, but they all stay similar.
      Perhaps you should do a bit more research than a quick Google search.

      • Bjørn Tore Kieding

        Thank you for that. It is no fun for native norwegians to be stereotyped and exotified in such a racist way…

  • The Elderking

    A lot of revisionism about.

    Take the Crusaders who attacked the wholly peaceful muslims, according to popular history…



    • Powie

      Looking at some of the other articles on that site, I have a hard time taking anything there seriously.

    • ghanderman

      the crusaders actually did go out of their way to attack muslims. muslims were not riding north across thousands of miles of hostile european territories to cross the english channel in order to subjugate kind richard….it was the other way around and for no other reason than the psycho christians decided the holy land was properly theirs.

      • Primo Victoria

        Byzantine and Iberia do not count for you I guess…

      • Emmette Coleman

        The Arabian Empire did plenty of conquering: Iraq (Mesopotamia), Iran (Persia), Syria, Israel, Spain & Portugal, North Africa.

      • Wayne Marshall

        The Moors subjugated the Spanish instead and what about the Ottomans invading Europe . Enslaving the christians and others as did the barbary pirates from Tunisia. Selective memory I think.

  • Venk

    Judging the past by today’s standards is silly. Barbarity ruled a thousand years back an the Vikings and Mongols excelled there.

    • ghanderman

      assuming that people today are any more socially advanced than the barbarians of the past is whats actually silly.

      • Bonkim

        correction – post WW2 civilization is an artificial construct now seen to be crumbling – returning to barbarism of the past. Nevertheless no point judging the past by present day standards – we might well turn out to be much more barbaric than Attila the Hun and we have technology to make it even more barbaric.

  • erikbloodaxe

    Anyone want a fight?

    • Loki Bjornir Monahan

      I do I do.

  • Colonel Mustard

    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for AD 787 has a rather chilling entry:-

    “This year King Bertric took Edburga the daughter of Offa to wife. And in his days came first three ships of the Northmen from the land of robbers. The reve then rode thereto, and would drive them to the king’s town; for he knew not what they were; and there was he slain. These were the first ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English nation.”

  • johnpri

    The Viking were expert seafarers and colonists, they were also excellent economists and administrators. The only idea of them being ‘bad’ comes from priests, but the Vikings had no respect for religion, which is why the christians gave them a bad press

  • therealguyfaux

    You can say what you like about the Vikings– but they were as complex a society as any. Reportedly it was their failure to be Christianised, in roughly the era of the taking of Iberia by the Muslims, which caused the rest of Europe to turn its back on these folks and refuse to trade with them, with the concomitant result that “If you don’t want to trade with us, and you don’t want us to help you fight those Muslims, then we’ll just take what we want from you– and then you’ll start trading, rather than getting a fight from both North and South.”

    But things never work out quite so neatly, as Europe later did not require the Scandinavians quite so urgently, and this meant that the Norsemen’s raiding was now to be done for plunder rather than as any long-range strategic move. Why trade, when you do so well stealing? Why concentrate on Western Europe, for other than setting up depots, when you can conquer modern-day Russia/Belarus/Ukraine, and trade with the Byzantines? Why not sail west for an alternative to the Silk Road (predating Columbus by five centuries to North America, and, after discovering the Inuit, an East Asiatic-looking race, thinking you’d be practically home and dry in China with just a little bit more searching?)

    Of course, if you’re going to set up storehouses for your plunder till a bigger ship can take it home for you, you’re going to want to set up a settlement where you carry on as you would do back home in what is modern-day Denmark/Sweden/Norway, settlements where you act like good wonderful normal people, doing the same kinds of work that the native people do– and then, eventually, going native yourself.

    There– I just explained why the Norsemen did what they did, and why different people can explain different parts of it differently. (At the risk of some oversimplification, it must be admitted.)

    • johnpri

      The Vikings were traders, indeed the majority of the voyages to England were for trading. Only a small percentage of Viking were actually warriors, and an even smaller percentage were pirates.

  • Peter Stroud

    The BBC are already revising recent history, when it involves mistakes made by the last Labour government.

  • bhutanbeau

    He wasn’t called Eric the Blood Axe because he was good with kids for no reason….

  • mumble

    But they didn’t have horns on their helmets until Wagner.

  • mumble

    But aren’t the Vikings “we” rather than “they”? Anglo-Saxons and Norman (=Norseman) French were both Vikings originally.

    Why do we study the Roman point of view at school? “We” were the barbarians, and we won.

    • ghanderman

      you didnt win. after 360 years of romanization, there is no “we” (the hybrid britons) or “they” (the conquering romans)….you are the product of roman colonization and even after rome abandoned briton in 410 or whatever, for all intents and purposes your social and political structures were, in fact, roman.

      • Pls Stop

        If Britain is Roman, why are you writing in a West Saxon language?

        • evil_will

          You may be speaking in a West Saxon language but that language uses Roman characters for writing. Not runes.

        • Wayne Marshall

          About three thousand words in English are derived from latin

          • Pls Stop

            Because the Normans, who were Viking settlers in France, conquered England in 1066. Before then, the language was entirely Germanic. The Roman colonization of Britain had nothing to do with it.

      • mumble

        Sorry, we came over with the Conqueror.

      • mumble

        Sorry, but my lot came over with the Conqueror.

      • Caractacus

        Actually no. Not only is that simply wrong, it’s about as far from actual history as you can get. Roman Britain collapsed within just a few years of the Romans leaving leading directly to the English Dark Ages. in fact, in the late 5th century, the leaders of Britain actually sent an emissary to the Roman Emperor of the time, begging him to take Britain back into the Empire because things had gotten so bad with devolution into warring tribes and waves of invading Angles and Saxons. The Emperor refused.

        The only place in Britain where Roman Society actually survived – for a time was, ironically, South and North West Wales.

        Any surviving Roman political and social structures were completely and utterly wiped out by the Norman invasion of 1066. Roman society was equitable, strong, educated, relatively civilized, lawful, indiscriminate and relatively classless (and at the time of the early Roman colonisation of Britain) relatively democratic. When they left, England spent nearly 1200 years as a feudal society climbing slowly back up to the point the Romans had left them at.

  • MartinL

    Great commentary (for the most part). Lot’s of stuff.

    Re: Neanderthals, true there seems to be hybrids. Keep in mind we can only look for the dna we have a match for (Denisovians for instance) likely there are other hominids that hybridized that we have no dna for. So lots of humans out there. Re; American Political Correctness, I have lived in US for many years (originally a Brit). This phenomenon I find kind of amazing. I live in San Francisco which is the Vatican of PC. They designate themselves as being open minded, a version which requires no new thinking as the absolute truth was discovered somehow in 1968. Keep in mind the US educational system is almost totally controlled by the 1968 people and their acolytes. Many who are good people but religious in their zeal. Kids are educated from kindergarten to PHD in a closed tautological repetitive intellectual loop. PC is just a part. The truth by definition must be confirmed by the evidence. The subtext of the entire system is that there is a readily available rational utopianism, not extant due to blocking by other subsets (conservatives and other folks whop need to be re-educated). If we would give peace a chance we would all be wearing flowers in our hair. “Imagine all the people living life in peace”.

    • ghanderman

      complaints about “PC” are just boors way of justifying their boorishness.

  • 御伽 藍子

    fuck me what is this shit
    articles like this make me wanna break someones nose.
    where do you get off, simplifying the viking history to mindless warfare?!

    i have you know there is a difference between barbarians and cultured craftsmen with a wide rang of interests.

    maybe thay are a thing long gone but it doesnt seem very respectful to the dead to smear their name with the very christian created demonising stereotypes that you seem love to wank to.

    for the love of the gods just let the rude propoganda of the past go!

  • Algernon the Sceptic

    Viking literally means pirate in Anglo-Saxon, so trying to pretend they were anything else is rather silly.

    • Loki Bjornir Monahan

      Go fuck yourself. They never gave themselves the title.

    • Bjørn Tore Kieding

      That is incredibly racist! Black people was defined as sub-human at first, and that means it is true?

  • Marty North

    Awe get outa Dodge. The whole damn world was raping and pillaging in those days and even worse before! You got it I want it and you better have a well fortified castle or I’m gonna get it. Same thing to day, just more sophisticated so get down off the high judgemental horse about Vikings.

    • ghanderman

      not the whole damn world….just the so-called “old world”.

      • Mattias Von Bismarck

        No . . . the WHOLE world. Sorry. Savagery has been the rule, not the exception, EVERYWHERE. Or did you think the Aztecs and Mongols came from Europe?

  • Bill Wilson

    If the English named Thursday after Thor, and the Normans were vikings that had a foothold in France, and the present descendants of the Danelaw, now Yorkshire, look much harder than the southern English… then clearly as the other guy said: we is more appropriate (“we really were that bad”).

    But there are revisionists trying to claim the English aren’t even Anglo-saxons. So I guess history is fluid.

  • Alecto

    Yes, and christians were just peaceful pilgrims spreading love and joy forever-not. The author of this drivel has a grade school understanding of history and frankly that insults grade schoolers. Don’t talk to me about how bad the vikings were, the entire ancient world did business that way *including* the Christians crying about the raids. What, you thought Charlemagne was a nice guy? Sorry he was no pacifist, but I guess he’s a hero because he put people to the sword as a Christian. That Heathens got singled out for special treatment by CHRISTIAN monks in penning history has more to do with monotheistic prejudice then anything else. They raided, they traded, they traveled. They weren’t a one-dimensional horde of barbarians. Incidentally the same people complaining about the Goddless Heathens often HIRED them as mercenaries. Ireland had so many Vikings simply because with all the feuding between kings it was huge land of opportunity for anyone who was halfway good with a sword. But let’s forget a nuanced view of history and cling blindly to idiotic stereotypes, it’s always good to tell lies about the evil Heathen horde while your little ‘Heroic” knights ride off to rape and plunder the middle east and kill women and children on thin quasi-relgious premises. Just remember, killing people is A-OK so long as they’re godless pagans and not real people…. yeesh….

  • Kiera

    soz but not intirely true, sure barbaric and ruthless but they had respect towards their women and such, they had laws to protect children, women and other people from unwanted attention. they were good in some ways but they were ruthless and barbaric when it came to travelling…;…AND THEY DIDNT WEAR THOSE POINTY HATS, they wore so your fact aint completely true. some yes but not all

    • Loki Bjornir Monahan

      Some women wore pointy hats but as far as i have seen it was for special occasion such as a mass celebration or ritual.

  • Audun Nilsen

    What credence can we lend to all these sources anyway? They had to survive catholicism for hundreds of years, right? Surely, some made it through, which would create quite the sensation if totally out of accord, but the Roman Cult were devious like noone else and had ancient traditions and libraries to guide them in their work.

    • Bjørn Tore Kieding

      Everybody knows that the Romans entertained themselves with killing and raping in their arenas… what the hell is that?

      • Audun Nilsen

        Bestiality á la Romanorium?

        • Bjørn Tore Kieding

          Maybe, hehe. From what I have read the Roman liked to think of themselves as the only civilized and honorable people in the world, surrounded by beastly barbarians on all sides (maybe except for Egypt). Do we really care to adopt that kind of ignorant self-righteousness? Isn’t it exactly the results of such an attitude that made the pope travel the world and ask forgiveness a few years back?

          • Audun Nilsen

            “The Romans” were people spread across three millennia. What the fuck are you talking about, man?

          • Bjørn Tore Kieding

            I am talking about the Roman Empire, what else? This is a specific construct, not to be confused with the Etruscan culture that is the original heritage of the italian people.

          • Audun Nilsen

            That’s what I was afraid of. You didn’t state a case for your proposal, so I was concerned you were only trying to leech one off of me, and, as it turns out; you were. Why should we dance, fat boy? …is my question. I’ve got the goods, but you lack the manners. Who the hell are “We”?

            It’s not like the Germans weren’t likely candidates when it came to übermensch-mentality, mmmkay? At times, it was mostly what being Roman was all about, keeping barbars off of the soap box.

          • Bjørn Tore Kieding

            First of all, I have not reason or wish to leech anything off of you. Why would I when I don’t know anything about your or your superior knowledge? This accusation is just a result of your perception, and not my intent. Read it again and see if you could interpret it differently… if you can’t I’ll make sure to leave your comments clean and pristine from now on, untainted by my touch.

            When it comes to the Germans you probably know that Hitler had a great adoration for the Roman Empire, and similarly anything not “arian” was substandard to him. This is a similar mentality recreated in a new context. The nazis also hijacked the Viking(or “native scandinavian”) culture for their purpose, and have since then, in many peoples minds, kept it as part of their superiority ideology, even if this is a very contradictory thing to do. Please take into account that racist “science” at this time was all the rage all over the western hemisphere so the ûdermench-ideology was not far away in any of those countries…

            When i said “we” I was referring to the whole human race as we obviously must have understood by now that we are all in the same “boat”.

            ….so, how offended are you really?

          • Audun Nilsen

            When I open my mouth, it’s to say something. You didn’t, and you still haven’t. What are we discussing exactly? Whether or not having principles is a good thing? I reiterate; what the fuck are you talking about, double dipper? If being civilized and honourable is a bad thing to you, well then, you can sod off.

          • Bjørn Tore Kieding

            I apologize for my previous rude response, but I hope you do see that it
            was in response to the post where you started calling me names.

            I am now not exactly sure what we are discussing, but is quite clear to me that we do not understand each other very well. From my point of view I made some loose comments related to the topic of the main article, and when I found you mentioning the Roman Cult so I got curious about what you know about it, so I commented to get your take on how to understand the Roman entertainment. Then you said “Bestiality á la Romanorium?” that I don’t fully understand, but I took it to mean something like “Bestiality Roman Style”, but since I did not understand it completely, and could not find the expression on google to figure it out, my first response to this was very short. My following comment was to put light on the discord between the Roman self-image as “the civilized” and what the nature of their entertainment would look like for an outsider. Now it seems that I did not really understand where you were coming from initially, but I assumed we were comparing notes on some negative aspects of the Roman Empire. This is what I thought we were “talking about”, so in my next comment I wanted to make it clear that i differenciate between the cult of the Roman Empire, and the original culture in the area.

            Somewhere along the way there something went wrong, and I must admit I am not sure what it was that upset you. If you want you could explain it to me. The way I see it I have not tried to convince you about anything or tried to make a point at your expense. If you find my understanding shallow and uninteresting you have a chance to enlighten me. The first thing may be to explain what you were talking about….

          • Audun Nilsen

            Ever heard of the Stallone-syndrome? It’s when guys come up to you at bars, to pick a fight with the champ, everywhere you go. Imagine what it was like to hold the Olympic torch, as it were, to hold not only a proud past, a perverted slaughter wrought upon them by Gauls serving as a prime motive for aggressive military expansion, a clean winning streak to be defended at all costs, a deeply religious relationship with the art of war, a form of government that said only men who had served ten years in the military could be elected to governmental offices, and hold imperium, but, not least, the intimate knowledge of the Mos Maiorum, the ancestor’s way, having had keen forefathers accumulate this sort of wisdom from a comfortable position, like Cretan archers, or Anatolian horsemen, and preserve orally and by writing in the REgal period, are we to believe the sources.The Senate in principle had no legislative power, but ruled effectively with great autoritas for most times of the constituency’s existence, the tradition of public politics, with restricted speakers, clinging on, even after the assemblies dissolved in significance under the weight of the entire bureaucracy, and the burden of defending the state requiring larger and larger pools of recruitment, a problem with which the Italians in the past had little trouble addressing, especially not after the ravishings of Hannibal’s 26.000, but we could speak of the immigration of Evander, and his acculturation of Italy in the mystic times of Homer, with the Greek pantheon, laws and alphabet, or the establishment of the martial cult tribe som time around 700 bc called simply the Martians, because they worshipped Mars, and the spear god, Quirinus, from quiris, as well as Jupiter. They lived in a mountainous valley close to sulphur springs, and must have practiced logistics akin to that of the aztecs. The tribal warfare, however violent – did they really go to war every itme it blossomned on the agora, or the forum rather? it was likely to have been exaggerated by heavy tourism because of the fertile lands, and relatively spars population at the time. Mus marking of territory is very likely, and taking hostages was no uncommon practice. Ethnic conflicts with ancient Sicilians and Italians, who gave rise to a very common haplogroup in Europe in the 1000s bc, and Greeks, who swarmed all over the south and east and west, and Etruscans and Phoenicians and tribals and barabarians and a whole slew of Po valley adventurers and Dacians, not to mention the Jews. Immigration was probably not under as strong influence from republicanism as much as in the Inca Empire, where they followed a royal tradition that.went as such: every new son would have to pick out a region to conquer, and to make there his temple, meaning one “family” controlled the whole shin dig for going on hundreds of years. Atahualpa? Now there’s a name. Quetzalcoatl. There’s another. How do you come up with something so dreadfully boring as Nerō Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus;? Got to go deep in the hat for that mothertrucker. It’s all about the sulphur. Chi Rho was their motto. Quiro, spear-ing, possibly. Chi meant breath, steam, spirit. Rho is afford, or raw, or possibly calm in Scandinavia. Consider the facts. Hero-cult central used to be Sumer once, after Egypt, followed by the Etruscans, the Assyrians, the oracles at Delphi in the Peloponnes and Dodona in Epirus, which lasted for millennia:


          • Bjørn Tore Kieding

            Thanks for a very long post with a huge number of elements. So many in fact that I find it hard to find a point to begin. I would rather just post a link to this video: https://youtu.be/Wl96VLPCAqw in regard to the Romans attitudes to their neighbors…

  • Pls Stop

    So you start out by listing a half-dozen people who disagree with you, many of whom are historians, you mock their stupidity, and then do absolutely nothing to prove them wrong. Your entire argument was literally just 1) they had weapons, boats, and chess-pieces, so therefore they were rapist murderers, and 2) we found one guy who thinks that accounts written by people who fought the Vikings are a far more accurate reflection of Viking attitudes than, you know, the Viking sagas. Then you filled in the rest with more BS about how revisionists are stupid and the Vikings were rapists. There’s no actual evidence in here supporting your claim that the Vikings were inherently rapists, killers, or “pillaging bastards”. Gotta love that high-quality research there.

  • hahahahaha

    pfff, they were at war with christians who wanted them dead. the USA murdered a million Iraqis and few are calling them evil.

  • Loki Bjornir Monahan

    The person who wrote this article is both a pseudo intellectual fuckwit and obviously an angry christian who still cries about the raids.

    The old Norse folk were no different than any other civilization of their era. They were also a very diverse culture, Farmers, Warriors “vikings”, Medline men/women, Blacksmiths, Jarls, Thanes ect……

    There were the weak and then there were those who swore to protect the weak..THEIR WEAK.

    Why is it so hard to grasp that concept? I do not feel for the enemy who wills my head upon the pike!

    Brutality takes an effort of cruelty, But it makes a necessary impact!

    They were also incredibly advanced craftsmen creating devices and weapons such as the Ulfberht.

    Fuck the ways of Christ and his bigoted people. Skål!

  • Mike Weiss

    Here lies one of the problems with wishful thinking. Because so many people have embraced collective or generational guilt as a means to extract resources from innocent people, they must always claim that their ancestors were innocents or face paying a bill. Likewise they have an interest in portraying their political opponents ancestors as horrible as possible. A newborn baby is not responsible for the actions of its parents or great great grandparents. When examining history we have to take the bad with the good, or fall even further into delusion.

  • Bjørn Tore Kieding

    This must be one of the most blatant racist articles I have ever read. You apparently know little about the history in my parts of the world. First of all, who didn’t fight with neighbors at this time in history? When you talk about violent battles you should know that the crusades against the Vikings started before the Vikings “retaliation”. Another curious fact: One of the authorites on Viking history in Norway, that have no problem admitting to the Vikings brutality in battle, writes that there are NO SOURCES that tell about Viking raping anyone in their campaigns, and the same sources of information have several account of christian people raping women. These are records from France. Many sources about how terrible the Vikings were have been PROVEN to be false, so if you don’t think that politics went into history records in older times, just as it is done today, then you are pretty naive. Sure, there was some criminals amongst Vikings as among all other people in the world, but MOST Vikings never went on raids or even warfare against the crusading threaths. Would you call americans “bad news” because there are a few that are violent bastards? Do you like to judge a whole culture on a basis like that? You need to understand the multifaceted nature of history, there have always been a few bastards everywhere. You would probably also call the ones that fought againt the predjudice of black people revisionists too, right? But if you prefer your racist, or culturalist point of view then go right ahead. Yeah, there was unfortunately an attempt by the nazis to claim Viking history for their own and pervert their ideals, but it would be flat out idiotic to let the nazis define anything about the Vikings. If you live inside a bubble then it is hard to see that anything good can live in other cultures, and the history of christianity is a good example of that. Anyone who stands up against stereotyping, black painting and superiorist attitides are not revisionists just for questioning your twisted predjudices…. how much horrific weapons do we produce today to protect ourselves from threaths? How many people have modern man killed in order to protect what he perceives as the “good side”? How many countries do we attach abroad to protect ourselves against attack on our own soil? It almost seems like you are on a propaganda war against a specific culture, and using sterotyping just as your “innocent” historical sources. When we, who are decendants of Vikings, remember our ancestors we like to think about them as people and not some cartoon figures in your fantasy. If you choose to look down on me, then what does that say about you? Sounds like you are using typical “Master suppression techniques” to me. If you had said anyting similar about native americans you would had gotten nailed to the wall….

  • Loki Bjornir Monahan

    Fuck everyone who perpetuates that my ancestors were rapists. You have ZERO sources to prove that the vikings raped people. It sickens me how you mother fuckers can disrespect my ancestors like this but ohh no, Never talk badly about a Christian, Jew or Muslim. You fucking black and white scum. What about the old testament huh?? What about “The religion of peace” ? And you want to spectate on something you were never a part of? This website is COMPLETELY unprofessional and ran by children by the way “pillaging bastards who’d sack a monastery as soon as look at it ” What the fuck does that even mean??. ANY historian would ask you people “Where are the sources to prove these claims?” Yeah let’s see them people. Where are your sources? Because I can bring up SEVERAL sources about Christian/Catholic priests raping children and Muslims raping children (Including their prophet Muhammad who was a pedophile) I believe that my ancestors came in peace as long as the rest showed them hospitality. But as soon as they didn’t share the wealth, They would be pillaged. I mean look at the discovery of America by Leif Erikson! There was NO bloodshed and he met the native Americans. Not to mention he was the son of Eric the Red for fucks sake!!!

  • frantic1971

    Bottom line—no modern person would ever want to encounter an historical Viking. They were basically Hells Angels-type guys with shields and axes.

  • roderick starns

    the vikings were traders , slave traders, but since the slaves were white it dosent
    matter to modern liberals

  • Mike Weiss

    I believe that most people were that bad, and given complete freedom would be that bad again. Aztecs, Romans, Egyptians, the tribes of Africa or the Americas, Celts; all of them could be very brutal. Today we coddle criminals while law abiding citizens live with bars on their windows for protection. We trade with countries that still practice institutionalized sexual slavery. We drop bombs on civilian neighborhoods and call the actions “errors.”

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