Who Were The Vikings Analysis

927 Words 4 Pages
The Vikings Ruthless Raiders or Crafty Survivalists
Upon review of the interview with archeologist William Fitzhugh, Who Were the Vikings?, one has to wonder if the long standing view of the Vikings as ruthless raiders is an accurate description. Fitzhugh argues that the Vikings, while a ruthless band, were in fact fighting for their own survival as best they could. He presents a picture of the Vikings as Scandinavian peoples who have garnered a biased narrative. This narrative is characterized by accounts that are drawn upon victim’s testimonials, which typically were recorded by members of the clergy or recounted for official documents. Because the narrative is controlled by those affected or written after the fact, one has to wonder how
…show more content…
He bases his opinion upon newly discovered archeological evidence. These discoveries of Viking burial ships have contradicted the common account and instead has shown the Vikings in a new light. Mr. Fitzhugh has stated, “We see them archeologically not as raiders and pillagers but as entrepreneurs, traders, people opening up new avenues of commerce, bringing new materials into Scandinavia, spreading Scandinavian ideas into Europe.” (Are the Icelandic…). To further support his claim he provides an example of how the Icelandic Saga, a collection of stories collected in the 13th century, are reliable enough to pinpoint locations of Viking settlements. The site L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland was discovered using these accounts by Helge Ingstad (Are the Icelandic…). Fitzhugh also recounts how archeological evidence of early trade networks between established Viking colonies and the native populations have appeared in the artic regions of North America (But this wasn’t the end…). This evidence furthers his claims of how the Vikings could adapt to their

Related Documents