Vikings, Civilized?

In the year AD 789, the Viking Era began. They came across the sea from the region now called Scandinavia. Hundreds of years later, there were many Vikings living in all corners of Europe because their homelands couldn’t support their growing population. The Vikings for a long time had a bad reputation. People feared the Vikings, describing them as vicious vandals and barbaric raiders. That is what the Vikings are mostly remembered for today. Aside from all the raiding and looting of towns the Vikings did, in their homelands, they had a certain level of civilisation in their culture.
The name ‘Viking’ translates to ‘pirate’ in Norse; a language spoken by the Vikings. The Vikings were very fierce and brutal fighters. 4 years after the Vikings settled in England/Europe, they violently raided the monks of Lindisfarne. The war party struck quickly and unexpectedly. The monks at first thought they would be safe, living in a monastery and sacred place, but they were wrong. The people of Lindisfarne were defenseless, making it easier for the Vikings to steal treasures, burn down buildings and murder monks.
The Vikings were violent and heartless towards others. They would torture their victims and did not hesitate to kill anyone… including innocent babies. After raiding the monastery, the Vikings longships would sail home loaded with goods and captives. The Vikings would raid and loot through towns as they travelled. Their swords and axes caused terror and fear wherever they went. They had many cruel and disturbing ways to kill people. One of the most popular ways they used is called a butterfly cut, which ended up with the victim’s lungs hanging out.

They would also drown people in the sea until they died. Some Vikings called ‘The berserkers’ were worked up with drugs before and in battles which made them wild and somehow, pain free. Despite the Vikings status as raiders, not all Vikings voyages were violent. Although they might loot and destroy one town, they would go to another in peace and trade goods. While some of the popular belief of Vikings being nothing but ruthless fights are correct, contrary to belief, the Vikings culture and way of life is less barbaric than most may think.
In addition, Vikings were very skilled craftspeople. They were expert sailors and shipbuilders. Their longship sailed all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The Vikings built many types of boats like small rowing boats, trading and transport ships and of course the mighty longship used for raids. The Vikings were excellent navigators, and with their longship, could travel far distances. Furthermore, the Vikings had a very structured and stable society. They had equal rights, their own religion and language which are all signs of a civilised culture.
The Vikings honored the dead and evidence from a number of primary sources reveal that the Vikings would bury the dead in mass graves, in deep pits, in wagons and boats. Cremation was another common burial practice for Pagan Vikings. The Viking’s society was divided into 3 groups. The Jarls who were the privileged, rich and powerful ones, the Karls who were the middle class made up the majority of the Viking society. They were the craftspeople, farmers and merchants. On the bottom of the Viking society were the Thralls.
Most of them were slaves and did the heavy work. The Vikings would have festivals with music, storytelling and games In conclusion, saying the Vikings were nothing but ruthless, bloodthirsty savage beasts would be unfair. Yes, they did attack and kill many innocent people but that does not mean their society was uncivilised. The Vikings were the master of the seas and were skilled at many things. They had a structured society and had their own beliefs. In saying that, the Vikings were far less barbaric than most think.

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