What Is Viking Barbarity?
. Instead, demonstrating how “they were no more violent than anybody else, they were no less civilised than anybody else” (Winroth, 2013) of their time.
Professor of archaeology at Stockholm university, Ingmar Jansson, states that “The Norsemen were not just warriors, they were farmers, artists, shipbuilders and innovators”, as well as a host of other vocations. Despite a quarter of the modern Orkney genome appearing to come from Norwegian Vikings, the lack of Danish DNA in modern descendants of Anglo-Saxons despite their long campaign, suggests the original belief of Viking barbarity was not as true as previously thought, because if there was as much rape as claimed, there would have been some trace of it in these modern genetics. The Vikings were primarily farmers and herdsmen, growing grains and vegetables during summer, as well as raising farm animals. They were also democrats, and founded the world’s oldest surviving parliament, the Althing, while Britain was still mired in feudalism, and there were annual meetings where representatives of the entire population discussed important matters and settled legal disputes. The large amount of archaeological discoveries of combs, tweezers and ear cleaners also suggests the Vikings had excellent hygiene.
The Vikings, like most people, tried to avoid actual fighting for as long as possible. The Annals of St Bertin record the Vikings stating, “it is better for you to pay off this spear-fight with tribute…nor have we any need to…