From Odin to Christ
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The forgotten story of the `Christian Vikings' We are all familiar with the fierce pagan warriors that burst out of Scandinavia during the eighth century, plundering, ravaging and shedding blood wherever they went. A lesser-known fact about these infamous pillagers is that the majority converted to Christianity in the centuries that followed. In England, children of the Vikings who had martyred the Christian king of East Anglia minted coins extolling his holiness. In Normandy the pagans became loyal supporters of the Catholic Church. In the east the former raiders founded the first Russian state and converted to Orthodox Christianity. Martyn and Hannah Whittock suggest that the Vikings had as much impact as converts as they did as deadly marauders. So how and why did this radical transformation happen, and what is their legacy today?
"This is a stimulating and accessible approach to the Viking Age. Focusing on Vikings as Christian rulers and their followers opens up the question of just what we mean when we think of "Vikings". Violent barbarians of legend have their place in this book but the authors look deeper at what it meant to live and prosper in early medieval societies, taking the "end" of the Viking Age beyond where it is often assumed to be and ensuring that the story is told in terms which make it a truly international one." -- Dr Ryan Lavelle, Reader in Early Medieval History, University of Winchester