Know Thine Enemy: Scandinavian Identity in the Viking Age

September 2, 2014

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Date:August 14, 2014
“In speaking of Viking attacks and settlements, the primary historical records often
employ national identities like Dane, Northman and Swede to identify their foe.
Unsurprisingly such terminology has also often been used by scholars examining these
events. Yet such a notion has been questioned, and it is argued that the enemies of the
Vikings were not in a position to know how Vikings identified themselves, and that it
was not to kingdoms but smaller regional identities that the Vikings related. This paper
will examine the notion of Viking Age identity in the few primary written sources by
Scandinavians of the ninth to eleventh centuries, to see if the terminology used by
outsiders was also employed within Scandinavia.”

Originally Published:

(2008). Vikings and their Enemies: Proceedings of a Symposium held in Melbourne. 24 Nov. 2007. Katrina L. Burge (ed.). Viking Research Network.

Shane McLeod: