Following on from my article The Fanatical Heathenism of the Saxons and the Return to our Saxon Identity (29/3/14) I would like to build further on my argument that the Saxon Wars against the Franks were of a religious nature. At about the same time we can see the beginnings of the `Viking` raids. The first one recorded in England was in the year 793 at Lindisfarne off the coast of Northumberland in the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. Lindisfarne is also called Holy Island and is today a very pleasant tourist attraction.
The Vikings were a sea faring people of North Germanic descent. They did not use this term to describe themselves as a folk. The noun `Viking` comes from the Old Norse fara í víking which means to `go a viking` or to `go on an expedition`. So originally Viking was something you did, not something you were. There was essentially no difference between the Anglo-Saxons and the Scandinavian Vikings genetically or culturally. We are really the same people. Prior to the Viking Age people thought of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians as Vikings or pirates. They too were sea raiders from northern Europe and like the Vikings were heathen, worshippers of Woden and Thunor or Odin and Thor. This is probably why the Danes were so successful in integrating with the Anglo-Saxons when they settled here. The Old English for `Viking` is wicing and appears in literature for the first time in the 9th century poem Widsith.
siþþan hy forwræcon wicinga cynn
Wotans Krieger`s translation: "since they expelled the kin of the Vikings."
J.R. Clark Hall`s A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary translates wicingsceathe as `piracy`. Wic or vik means a bay, inlet or creek in Old English and Old Norse and some 19th century scholars conjectured that the term could mean `bay king` or `sea king`. Another explanation could be the ing of the wic or vik, ie people of the bay. Certainly it conveys the meaning of seafarers and this is something that was particular to the North Germanic coastal tribes such as the Angles, Jutes, Frisians and some of the Saxons. England as we know it today would not exist if this was not the case.
By the time that the Vikings had begun their raiding in the late 8th century most of the English tribes had been converted to xtianity and experienced the same terror that the Britons must have faced in 5th century. The Vikings raids were essentially a repetition of what happened in the 5th to the 6th centuries with the raids and colonisation of the heathen Anglo-Saxons. The Vikings rejuvenated the Germanic blood of the Anglo-Saxons and brought again the Old Gods to England.Traditionally it is said that the Vikings were motivated by the lust for loot and the desire for new land but there is an equally valid argument that this was a continuation of the religious wars which started with the Saxons not long before on the continent. The German Saxons maintained their heathen religion far longer than the Anglo-Saxons in England and the Vikings raids could be seen as revenge for the Anglo-Saxons` betrayal of their racial Gods. It is significant that many of these bloodthirsty raids were aimed at religious institutions such as churches, monastaries and abbeys. Of course these were rich pickings for gold, silver and precious jewels but this does not explain the reason for the butchery of the clergy. It was clearly vengeance as the prayer of the xtians of the time demonstrate:
"A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine," which translates as "From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord."
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports this for the year 793:
"In this year terrible portents appeared over Northumbria and sadly affrightened the inhabitants: there were exceptional flashes of lightning, and firey dragons were seen flying in the air. A great famine followed soon upon these signs, and a little after that in the same year on the ides of June the harrying of the heathen miserably destroyed God's church in Lindisfarne by rapine and slaughter."
Of the raid of Lindisfarne in 793 Simeon of Durham states:
"And they came to the church of Lindisfarne, laid everything waste with grievous plundering, trampled the holy places with polluted feet, dug up the altars and seized all the treasures of the holy church. They killed some of the brothers; some they took away with them in fetters; many they drove out, naked and loaded with insults; and some they drowned in the sea."
Quite hypocritically the English monk Alcuin who served at Karl the Butcher`s court at Aachen whilst commenting upon this raid said:
"It is some 350 years that we and our forefathers have inhabited this lovely land, and never before in Britain has such a terror appeared as this we have now suffered at the hands of the heathen. Nor was it thought possible that such an inroad from the sea could be made."
This Karl was the same bastard who butchered 4,500 Saxons at Verden, Niedersachsen in 782 because they refused to bend the knee before him and his jewish `saviour`. I do not think that the timing of these Viking raids was a mere coincidence, but vengeance for what the xtians did to the Danes` heathen Saxon brothers.
Clearly he had a very short memory for these were the tactics of the Anglo-Saxons also! The Gods of the English were once more honoured in those parts of England where the Danes settled. The wearing of Thunor`s Hammer once again became popular. This practice did not originate with the Vikings as I have demonstrated in previous articles but they certainly revived it.