Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Children of Hunger

There is a basic element in the story of the group of people called the Vikings.  That is, need is what drove the Vikings to discover.  But it also is why they armed themselves, and were so fierce in battle.  Which leads me to wonder, if the fierce men and women of northern Europe had been quite warm, with wool sweaters, and full, with bellies filled full of fish, lamb, cheese, and milk, would they have bothered to explore their world?  Would they have made an effort to conquer the lands nearby, or far away if they were able to be as fruitful as possible at home?

I am not suggesting this in a modern day, oh the Vikings were so evil or mean or naughty sense.  I am a historian by training/education.  I am looking at their actions and find what they did amazing.  But what I am thinking, is, would any famously growing and spreading people who explored and discovered still have done so, had they not had to do so?

I've met a number of people who have suggested that the path of the future, the path we know as history, would be vastly different if the Vikings had colonized North America successfully.  The suggestion is that they were less interested in dealing with the aborigine people, and so they'd have essentially co-existed instead of attempted to either conquer or assimilate the indigine.   I am rather uncertain this would have been the case.  Using Greenland as the example of cultural non collision is not truly a model for the Vikings, even as it was A model.  It was a small segment of a population.  North America was huge compared to Greenland.  Suggesting that the Vikings would have acted similarly is just too much guesswork.  As it is, we don't know.

I am not suggesting I do know the answer.  I don't.  I find the question to be very interesting and it applies to the Mongols as well as the Vikings.  If you could be fat and comfortable, why go out of your house and raise hell?  Unless you like doing that.  And maybe therein is the question that is the real question to ask.  Did the Vikings and Mongols and other raider cultures do so because they needed to, or was it part of their cultural sense of self to attack and conquer other tribes or people groups?

Read More about the Vikings By Me Here

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