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Many historians commonly associate the term "Viking" to the Scandinavian term vikingr, a word for "pirate". However, the term is meant to reference overseas expeditions, and was used as a verb by the Scandinavian people for when the men traditionally took time out of their summers to go "a Viking". While many would believe these expeditions entailed the raiding of monasteries and cities along the coast, many expeditions were actually with the goal of trade and enlisting as foreign mercenaries.
Many modern perceptions of Vikings had their origins in Catholic propaganda. Upon the sacking of multiple Christian facilities and the loss of countless relics and treasures, the Catholic ministry sought to dehumanize them. Until Queen Victoria's rule of Britain, the Vikings were still portrayed as a violent and barbaric people. During the 19th and 20th centuries, perceptions changed to the point where Vikings were glamorized as noble savages with horned helmets, a proud culture with feared prowess in battle.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mum on 02-25-17
Can't get enough Vikings and Norse Mythology...
This is one of the better reads. I have been a history buff all my life, but I admit I have bought into the Viking hype and I am having fun learning more about an era which was only touched on in high school and college.