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c Nov 4 Vikings, raiders or traders

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Alicia Mc Kenzie

Darkness Falls (again)? VikingAge What made Francia vulnerable to the viiking raids? Why did the Viking raids begin? Why was it so difficult for the Frankish kings to respond to the problem? What consequences did the raids have for Frankish society? Background: fragmentation and decline in the Carolingian empire Louis the Pious Preserving the empire for at least one generation under Charlagmane BUT, not the case after Louis because he had SEVERAL sons Who is emperor? How do you divide lands? Treaty of Verdun (843) When the title is in dispute, popes deal with it differently, dispute in empire Tries to give largest share to eldest son; sons put him in monastery at one time Wars after he dies Louis’eldest son finally gets it After this treaty never again a single emperor over Francia In 877 several kings, Francia permanently broken up Charles the Fat (d.888) Kings after Charles the fat are local leaders (chosen to be king) Chosen because good militarily Vicious cycle Delegation of power to local power base Incapacity of central authority Carolingians fragmentated Background prehistoric Scandinavia Pre-literature culture to 11 century Outside perspectives Anskar Ohthere Warband culture Warlords that reward subjects with bounty/plunder But did have trade with west and east Importance of trade Quentovic, Dorestad (major archeological sites) Luxery Items Slave Trade – Also in east, because creating slave armies Traders, not raiders? Viking revisionism Similar to Germanic peoples who didn’t want to see their ancestors as creating fall of Rome Vikings portrayed in a nuanced way ULTIMATELY, truth between raiding and trading. Vikingr – Sea raider OR Madjus – heathen fire warlock (in arab sources) OR nordmanni – north people THESE are names given to Vikings by others Reasons for raiding Succession system Believed in inheriting father’s land Gets smaller and smaller Longship technology Why not raid? Could test longships because they had deep water shortly from shore Occasionally had animal heads on the front Climate Change Political factors Jutland Charlemagne Historians say tampered with balance of power in north His Slavic allies fought other slavs ULTIMATELY, could have been a few of these things, all of these things, or none. Cannot make generalizations, but not a pagan war against Christian Rome for sure. TheAge of Raiding Ecclesiastical sources Litany of woe Playing it up, half the people who wrote thought they were:
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