1. Vikings then and now
- Julian D. Richards
‘Vikings then and now’ examines where the notion of the Vikings comes from and attempts to deconstruct the term, which is a nebulous concept. In different contexts the Vikings have been remembered as merchants, manufacturers, marauders, explorers, democrats, poets, statesmen, or warriors. The concept of the Vikings is relatively new. Originally, it referred to pirate activity. It came to mean a whole people, and then a chronological label: the Viking Age. Who were the Vikings? Where did they come from? Ethnic groups used to be seen as cultural and biological isolates, but now we understand that cultures only exist in relation to other culture.