Jump to content


Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Former featured article candidateVikings is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
April 18, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
January 22, 2007Peer reviewReviewed
Current status: Former featured article candidate

Science instead of Donald Duck history dating back to 1799[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This article reflects Sharon Turners hopelessly unscientific view on vikings from 1799, and should be replaced with modern, scientific point of view, to make the article NPOV, and not just repeating myths like a parrot.

The term ”Viking” appears in Anglo-Saxon or Norse sources in the so-called Viking Age. Here it simply denotes pirates, no more, no less. It had no geographic or ethnic connotations that linked it to Scandinavia or Scandinavians. By contrast, in these sources we find it used anywhere about anyone who to an Anglo-Saxon or a Scandiniavian appeared as a pirate. Therefore we find it used about Israelites crossing the Red Sea; Muslims in Galleys* encountering Norwegian crusaders in the Mediterranean; Caucasian pirates encountering the famous Swedish Ingvar-Expedition, and Estonian and Baltic pirates attacking Scandinavians in the Baltic Sea. Thus the term was never used to denote Scandinavians as such. Therefore, if we wish to maintain Viking-Age studies on a scholarly level, we must stop acting as an appendix to the tourist industry by using the term Viking as if it was synonymous with Scandinavian and Scandinavians.


Dan Koehl (talk) 11:28, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

So is your plan just to come back every few months to complain about the usage of the word Vikings in English?—Ermenrich (talk) 11:04, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Dan Koehl From my reading of what you have written so far you have made a general comment rather than suggesting specific changes that you would like to see on the page. Can you write up the change and then create a WP:RFC? This would allow editors to make a decision about what you think should be included in the page without needing a wider conversation. I would encourage you to be concise and restrict yourself to a single additional or changed paragraph so that it does not become overly complicated. Gusfriend (talk) 02:56, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I reckon when people come to read this article they are expecting to learn about the Scandinavians/Norse of the viking age, not general pirates. Like it or not but in English usage the word ”viking” HAS become synonymous with Scandinavia and Scandinavians of the early middle ages, and this is the first time I have seen someone offended by it. Personally, no one has ever attempted to use ”viking” as some kind of ethnic slur towards me, and if they did it would probably be more likely to make me laugh than anger me. I think turning this article into anything else would confuse the vast majority of readers. TylerBurden (talk) 14:34, 29 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia is an international project. Regardless which language section, all projects should reflect international usage of words, and reflect scientific interpretations, not opinions by individual people, who think all english men are experts on viking age, without ever reading a prime source, mentioning vikings. Wikipedia should not reflect what silly people in a bar THINK, it should reflect latest facts given by scolared experts. ( see above). Dan Koehl (talk) 11:28, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You posted a link to an article about how the term Viking means “medieval Scandinavian of the Viking age” and how this usage goes back to Danish scholars, writing in Danish. That doesn’t really make your argument for you, does it? You’ve been making the same arguments for years. No one has ever been convinced. It’s unlikely anyone will. I’d suggest moving on.—Ermenrich (talk) 12:01, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's cited .. 8 times ... in Google scholar that I can find. here. This isn't a lot, and I'm not seeing how citing this is helping make your case. (the Donald Duck reference in the heading isn't helping either...) -- Ealdgyth (talk) 12:19, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You are three times wrong in your answer; the article does NOT mention that he term Viking means “medieval Scandinavian of the Viking age”, contrary, it points out its a word which simply denotes pirates, no more, no less. 2. the article is in English, not in Danish. 3. Discussion on this page is NOT about me as a person, the subject is the word viking.Dan Koehl (talk) 18:49, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Is the academia pdf the same as this article? If so, semantic scholar shows... one citation. Again, not a paper that's going to persuade others. Ealdgyth (talk) 12:22, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ealdgyth, Dan Koehl has misrepresented the paper. He makes it look like it argues against using Viking in the common way, when in fact it traces the origins of the term (and stereotypes associated with it). In fact he makes the opposite argument of Dan Koehl in his conclusion: Nevertheless, faced with the all-conquering force of world-wide marketing, historians - even if they tried - will hardly prove able to turn back the clock to the period before the term viking began its second life. Therefore we are likely to be stuck with the Viking in the shape of a Scandinavian equipped with a horned helmet and, preferably, a wild growing beard. So maybe we should just join the tourist industry in using the Viking brand in order to secure a better sale of our works. Given his comments about horned helmets, I'm not sure that the author's grumpiness about the modern use of the term Viking doesn't represent some of the more jocular statements that one would expect in a conference paper turned into an article.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:36, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You are three times wrong in your answer; the article does NOT mention that he term Viking means “medieval Scandinavian of the Viking age”, contrary, it points out its a word which simply denotes pirates, no more, no less. 2. the article is in English, not in Danish. 3. Discussion on this page is NOT about me as a person, the subject is the word viking.Dan Koehl (talk) 18:49, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I've restored the comments that were deleted in this edit. Can you kindly be more careful in the future? Ealdgyth (talk) 19:23, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Three point rebuttal:
  1. While its first life as part of an everyday-language ended in the medieval period, perhaps with the exception of Icelandic, its last life began in the years just before or after 1800, when it began to be used about Scandinavian warriors, marauders and pirates often with heroic connotations. From that fairly humble beginning it developed first slowly but soon with accelerating speed into a brand for everything Scandinavian - persons and things alike. In that sense the term soon invaded most European languages. (p. 201); E. Christiansen is one of few scholars who, as his title suggests, deliberately avoids to use «viking» as synonymous with Scandinavians. (p. 204, fn. 10); I began by saying that the word viking had had two lives in everyday languages. In its second, modern life viking has become used both as a noun and as an adjective. As a noun it began to be used about Scandinavians exclusively, first about limited groups, pirates and warriors, but eventually about Scandinavians in general and in the tourist industry not just about Viking-Age Scandinavians but also modern Scandinavians in general. (p. 206)
  2. The first linkage of the term Viking to a historical period is often attributed to the Danish archaeologist Jens Jacob Asmussen Worsaae, who during visits to the British Isles and Normandy identified finds as Scandinavian. (p. 215); also Swedes: The transformation of Vikings from pirates pure and simple into first Scan-dinavian pirates and finally, today, Scandinavians in general was a process that only got under way around 1800. [...] Therefore when scholars from the second half of the nineteenth century (the Swede Anders Strinnholm a bit earlier) began to talk about the Vikings and the Viking Age, they understood this epoch as an age dominated by Scandinavian activity at home and especially abroad. (p. 214)
  3. Not sure what you're talking about.
It seems to me that you either have not read the paper or have not understood it.--Ermenrich (talk) 20:15, 1 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The problem here, Dan, is that your entire argument is based on a logical fallacy called etymological fallacy. Viking used to mean pirate, but pirate meant something else back then as well. Whatever it used to mean has no bearing on what it means today. This is like going to the dog article to argue that dog isn't a real word. It's a made-up word from the Middle Ages originally referring to a single breed. Should we change the entire language because the German word (thus the original English word) is hund? By your logic, it shouldn't matter that everyone in English calls them dogs, because all languages should be the same? That's why your argument continuously fails to persuade anyone. It's simple etymological fallacy. Language changes constantly, and those changes are not determined by any one person, but by society as a whole. It changes in illogical and unpredictable ways. No dictionary or encyclopedia has ever been able to stop or control those changes. None ever will. It doesn't matter what the word used to mean. All that matters is what it means today, and that is what we have to work with. Even people on Swedish Wikipedia have told you the same thing. Zaereth (talk) 00:44, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The first linkage of the term Viking to a historical period is in Exodus, where its used for the sons of Ruben in Israel. The second linkage of the term Viking to a historical period is when the term Viking is used for Alexander the greats father Philip II of Macedonia, where one of the first documented use of the word viking is made by Orosius, written in latin, and translated into old english. There is to read about Alexander the Great´s father, Philip II of Macedonia: , "Philippus vero post longam obsidionem, ut pecuniam quam obsidendo exhauserat, praedando repararet, piraticam adgressus est. translated into: ac he scipa gegaderade, and i vicingas wurdon". In this time the word pirate was not used in the English language, the latin "piraticam" was directly translated to vicingus in the oldest sources where the word was mentioned... After this it was used for Arabic Muslim pirates attacking the fleet of Sigurd Jorsalafarer, where none of the Scandinavian was called Vikings, only the Arabs. Viking was also mention in Ingvar Vittfarnes saga, when Swedish Ingvar made his expedition https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingvar_Expedition. In the article about this expedition, the word Viking is NEVER used about the Scandinavians, while the saga Yngvars saga víðförla NEVER mention the Scandinavians as Vikings, but specifically mention the attacking pirates from Caucasus as Vikings.. You can see how the article Vikings POV based on Sharon Turners understanding of the word, gets completely confused, while even worse, the mentioned articles give information, which is not backed up by the prime sources, and spreads disinformation. If a prime source gives substantial information, that vikings were the attacking pirates from Caucasus, and not the Scandinavians, why on earth does Wikipedia provide people history falsification, calling the Scandinavians Vikings, when they were not, according to the source? Regarding your private opinions about the meaning of the word pirate, its clear that the Latin Pirate, was translated in different languages to Viking, until the word Viking was replaced by pirate during about 1400. The meaning is clear, Viking means pirate, nothing less, and nothing more, until 1400.

And here we reach the most delicate part of my debate; No ethnical people should be described with a pejorative term in Wikipedia, Germans should not be described as Nazis, etc. There is no reason what so ever to describe the ethnical people in Scandinavia during Viking time, with pejorative terms, like "pirates" and therefore Norse should be used. A brief analyze of the article Viking and Norse, makes it obvious that its a result of confused uneducated people, who didnt read prime sources, since the largest parts of text in article Viking, actually deals with Norse people, while Vikings was never a people, speaking Vikingish. Its furthermore pejorative to refer to kings of Sweden, a kingdom mentioned already 98 AD by Tacitus, as "Viking kings" especially since all Scandinavian countries during this time, had an organized coast defense AGAINST Vikings and other enemies. Sweden has a total of 3 persons mentioned as Vikings, on rune stones, which is really not much, considering that the country has thousands of rune stones.

The entire presentation of the "Viking time" doesnt give a relevant view on Scandinavians in medieval time, it focus on how the victims of attacks describe Scandinavians, while in the end, we have no real evidence, that the "Northmen" making the attacks, were really Scandinavians. Already Adam of Bremen, indicates that the Vikings he discuss, did not belong to the local population, and he is surprised that they paid tax to the Danish king.

All I ask, is that the article is NPOV. In order to reach this, at least some basic knowledge from prime sources should mention that the word has been misunderstood by Sharon Turner and onwords, and doesnt reflect scientific research by specialists of this period like John H Lind, who may be the one person, who researched prime sources most, including sources in Russia, where he spend years. On top of this, theres a false presentation in various Wikipedia articles, calling different people like Rus or Varjagians for Vikings, although the sources about those people NEVER mention they were Vikings. Not one Rus or Varjagian were ever mentioned in sources as being a viking.

Snorri Sturlusson gives a very clear approach on the word in his saga Egil Skallagrimsson: "Björn var farmaður mikill, var stundum í víking, en stundum í kaupferðum"; "Björn var hinn gervilegasti maður. (english: Björn was a great traveller; sometimes as viking, sometimes as tradesman".) Snorris very clear message is not compatible with the articles intr: "Vikings is the modern name given to seafaring people originally from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) who from the late 8th to the late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded, and settled throughout parts of Europe". Because a Viking was NOT a tradesman, he was a pirate.

Vikings, as any pirate, can never be used as a label for someone who is not Viking, like a Scandinavian who defend his land against viking raids, or a king who chases away Vikings from his land: Harald I of Norway At last, Harald was forced to make an expedition to the West, to clear the islands and the Scottish mainland of some Vikings who tried to hide there.. (the original text says in English translation:

King Harald heard that the Vikings, who were in the West sea in winter, plundered far and wide in the middle part of Norway; and therefore every summer he made an expedition to search the isles and out-skerries (1) on the coast. Wheresoever the vikings heard of him they all took to flight, and most of them out into the open ocean. At last the king grew weary of this work, and therefore one summer he sailed with his fleet right out into the West sea. First he came to Hjaltland (Shetland), and he slew all the vikings who could not save themselves by flight. Then King Harald sailed southwards, to the Orkney Islands, and cleared them all of Vikings. Thereafter he proceeded to the Sudreys (Hebrides), plundered there, and slew many Vikings who formerly had had men-at-arms under them.

-King Harald would never agree that he was a viking-king, he was, like probably 99% of Scandinavians were, fighting vikings. He would have put a sword in the stomach, on any person calling him a Viking king, when he was king of the kingdom of Norway, nothing else.

For natural reasons, the article is in acute need for a NPOV overseen, where not only confusing disinformation is provided, but also the view from scholared historicans, being specialists on the period.

Further, more true information about how and when the word was used, based on science, on prime sources.

A further investigation, looking into the redudance of articles Northmen and Vikings, will clearly show, that most in the article Viking doesnt belong there, it should be moved to Northmen, if that is the subject of the text.

It doesnt really matter how many people back up a false interpretation of a term. History is a scientific discipline, and should not reflect laymens opinions, it should reflects facts. An article should educate, not disinform and confuse.

And, no people should be called pejorative terms in Wikipedia. My ancestors should NOT be called pirates.

Dan Koehl (talk) 07:09, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Also, in order tp produce a NPOV article, with international and scientific approach, it is need that a minority of users stop "owning" the article, which is against the rules.

Dan Koehl (talk) 08:06, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

What makes you think this WP:WALLOFTEXT with the same nonsensical arguments as the last time you did this (and had to be blocked for disruptive editing), indeed the same nonsensical arguments you’ve used every time you’ve come here, will have a different result than before?—Ermenrich (talk) 12:00, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I want to refer to what the sources say, and that this is pretty absent in the article. Making it not NPOV. It is not nonsensical arguments, tp point out how an article is aggressively "owned" and how people who want to bring in more relevant material based on real sources, are harassed by other users, breaking the Wikipedia rules and the five pillars.

It would never be accepted to refer to Germans as "Nazis", Saxons as "Barbarians", or English or Americans as the "stupid mother f***ers". So why should Scandinavians have to put up with this pejorative habit of uneducated laymen? And why fill an article with crap and disinformation? Whats the benefit of this, instead of trying making the article NPOV? Dan Koehl (talk) 11:35, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
And you claim that I "had to be blocked for disruptive editing" when in fact, I was just adding sourced material (see https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Norsemen&diff=prev&oldid=1034255470) from a Swedish Wikipedia article, which is still there. All I put in was sourced. But not in the "taste" of a minority of users. This aggressive Dan Koehl (talk) 11:40, 2 August 2022 (UTC) is destroying Wikipedia. Blocking should not be used against a user since 2002, who is adding relevant material (see https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Norsemen&diff=prev&oldid=1034255470) to an article, backed up by sources.[reply]
My “claim”? That’s the reason you were blocked. The only person showing evidence of WP:OWN here is you: I don’t care if you’re Harald Bluetooth himself, you can’t come here and demand WP change it’s policies because you, alone of all Swedes, think Viking is pejorative. Add to that some very obvious WP:COI issues (beyond just the policy ones: deleting others comments, walls of texts, inability to indent properly…) and I think you’ll be blocked again if you keep up this silly attempt to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS.—Ermenrich (talk) 12:06, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This what did when I was blocked, adding https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Norsemen&diff=prev&oldid=1034255470 what you can still see and read on the Swedish version. No reason for a block. Adding sourced text material is not "disruptive editing". You claim I AM owner of the article, so how come, no text from me, is there? What is the logic of this claim? It is not "owning"to demand that an article is NPOV. Dan Koehl (talk) 12:18, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

[1]: 19:54, 18 July 2021 El C talk contribs blocked Dan Koehl talk contribs with an expiration time of 2 weeks (account creation blocked) (Disruptive editing: WP:TE, acute WP:BLUDGEON and WP:BATTLEGROUND). You first posted these exact same arguments in2004 (!), and despite never convincing anyone you've just repeated the same nonsense every few months or year or two since [2]. This is well beyond WP:ICANTHEARYOU.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:03, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well, the topic and subject for discussion here is Vikings, its not a discussion about me and my perfectly correct edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Norsemen&diff=prev&oldid=1034255470. Dan Koehl (talk) 14:38, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You're right that discussion should not be about you (ed.). For those interested, here's a link to an ANI discussion. 18 years is enough.--Ermenrich (talk) 18:02, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No, actually, he's not right. The problem here is he's conflating two entirely different things This discussion is not about Vikings at all, it's about the word "Viking". Encyclopedias are not about words. Encyclopedias are about things. Dictionaries are about words. They study the etymology, morphology, and current usage in very intensive detail. We have to use the words as the dictionaries define them, because they are the reliable sources on their proper usage. Dictionaries follow the changing language and keep up to date definitions, and if you think writing an encyclopedia is hard... Native speakers already know what the word means. For us, it's idiomatic. But non-native speakers will rely on the dictionaries to define the words for them, and we have to use the words correctly --as they are understood today.
While the etymology of the words are interesting, especially to me, since I'm fascinated by etymology and language morphology, and the history of the English language in particular, it is really irrelevant in an encyclopedia article. It's interesting to know where the word "weld" or "moose" or "bird" came from, for example, but it's not really about the thing, now is it? The etymology section in this article is extremely bloated, in my opinion. We're not a dictionary. Zaereth (talk) 18:22, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I meant he's right that the discussion is not about him. I've clarified accordingly. I actually agree with you entirely Zaereth. It's just that talking to Dan Koehl about this is a bit like talking to a brick wall.--Ermenrich (talk) 18:35, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the clarification. In most cases I agree we should stick to the topic and mot discuss he editor, but in this case the topic has been rehashed to death. There are almost an infinite number of ways to say the same thing, and I think we've covered them all twice. Sometimes, you have to look at the logic and motives of the editor, and in this case there seems to be a deep motivation to right some great wrong, or at least a perceived wrong, although I have never understood why that perception exists. I'm proud to be a descendent of the Vikings, and have never known the word to have negative connotations in modern English. Or Norwegian or Swedish, for that matter. (There seem to be plenty of places over there that capitalize on the term for tourism purposes.) There are people, however, who I've encountered who think language should be logical or follow some "true" meaning of words. They'll argue that tidal waves have nothing to do with the tide (except the tide appears to rush out just before the wave hits), or that cars should drive in driveways and park on parkways rather than the other way around. Something like that seems to be more the case here, but it's not our place to prescribe the language like that, and a lot of people seem to have trouble understanding that. Words are merely symbols, and these very often have no logical connection to the things they represent. Zaereth (talk) 19:59, 2 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Instead of discussing me, please comment on exactly which of the sources I mentioned above, substantial historical material backed up by sources, which is not true?
Because by avoiding focus on the subject, and instead trying to make me look like a bad person, its pretty transparent that you dont want to have a NPOV article, which gives different views about the topic. The view Id like to see mentioned, is the scientific historical view, backed up by prime sources.
Because Im not discussion words, Im discussing people. The Norse people, which already have an article, and the activity of vikings, which was not a people, it was an activity, being pirate from anywhere, and shouldnt be mixed up with an ethnical group of people. Why is not the sons of Ruben in Israel, Alex father Philip II of Macedonia mentioned in the article? Why is there no citation from Adam of Bremen? Why is there no citation regarding the Caucasian pirates, referred to as vikings, who attacked Ingvar Vittfarne? Why is there no citation about the Arabic muslim pirates, referred to in the historical sources as vikings, whoattacked Sigurd Jorsalafarer in Spain? And why, instead of citing historical sources is there alot of text material about people, who were NEVER referred to as vikings in the sources? Why does anyone want to own this article, and what would be wrong with at least some attempts to make it NPOV, and educate readers about what the sources actually say, and not what Turner belived in 1799? Dan Koehl (talk) 11:26, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]

When I started here in 2002, I would never have believed that one day users would try to ban another user, becasue he argues to add also a scientific view on a subject, and not just peoples beliefs. Such actions will never produce a better Wikipedia. Dan Koehl (talk) 11:29, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Can you create a RfC for the change that you would like to be made to the page? Without a specific proposal it is hard to see what you want changed. Gusfriend (talk) 11:41, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Good idea, and thank you, Ill follow your suggestion some days. Dan Koehl (talk) 11:53, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Gusfriend, he either wants the article to not use Viking to mean medieval Scandinavian or else move it’s content to Norsemen, it’s not entirely clear and it never has been, not in the 18 years he’s been starting this same discussion over and over again. As Zaereth says, this article is not about the word Viking. We aren’t a dictionary. I urge everyone to comment on the ANI thread- this behavior has got to stop.—Ermenrich (talk) 12:09, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Your comment about not being clear what change they would like to see is an excellent argument for a RfC where they explicitly present the changes that they would like to see. If there are sufficient impacts on multiple articles then the Village Pump at WP:PROPOSE is where to take it from there. Gusfriend (talk) 09:45, 4 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Instead of telling people what I want and not, please read above where I have made pretty clear comments, including making the article NPOV. And Im not very interested in the word, and not interested in a dictionary, or what people believe the word viking means, Im interested in that the article refer to prime historical sources, and not myths or misunderstanding dating back to 1799. Let the article refer to what the experts says, not what laymen think. An article about vikings can not entirely deal with Norse people, who regarded vikings as their enemies, and had an organized defense against them. An article should not entirely reflect laymens misinterpretations, but also what experts says, and what the prime sources says. An article should be educational, not contain disinformation.And every article should be NPOV.Dan Koehl (talk) 14:03, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment - I've read through this discussion and I'm honestly not sure what is being proposed, but I did want to comment on User:Dan Koehl's comment above ("Wikipedia is an international project. Regardless which language section, all projects should reflect international usage of words...") In the English Wikipedia, we use the words as described by English-language sources. This is reflected in Wikipedia policy such as Wikipedia:Article titles. In Spanish the word America refers to the Americas, but that's irrelevant to the English Wikipedia, which is why America redirects to United States because in English, America overwhelmingly refers to the United States. This is not a comment on the merits of what Viking means in English and which scholar said whatever, only pointing out that the English language meaning of a word carries a particular weight on the English language Wikipedia, and if a different meaning is used in another language, that does not detract from or invalidate the English language meaning. - Aoidh (talk) 22:21, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
But it looks like you've been told this before. - Aoidh (talk) 22:25, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The word Viking was mentioned in English language sources first time 1807, second time 1827, and had a larger spreading during Romantic nationalism after 1840. 900 years later than the start of Viking period. This means it was not used in historical prime sources at all. So using on English language sources to describe a historical term, is not possible in this case. And in any case, it becomes an intellectual challenge, to describe how Harald Hairfair expelled vikings from Norwegian and Cottisg territory, and how all Scandinavian countries had an organised defense against vikings, if you at the same time stubbornly view Harald, king of Norway, as a viking. With this use, the term doesnt make sense. The large peopblem is, that people who want to callScandinavians, didnt spend one second reading prime sources. They are only repeating what other laymen said, during the last 50 years, which is a verly short period. And there was never a congregation of english historians where they took a consensus decision, that scandinavians should be called vikings. All this is errors, made by people who were wrong. To keep an article on Wikipedia and have it domitaed by errors, and false interpretations doesnt make sense. And where should people then look for facts and true facts about true vikings? Do we need an article True Vikings? And why should 2 different articles vikings and Northmen, have the same content? Dan Koehl (talk) 23:57, 3 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Harald fought pirates or Viking raiders. That does not make it any harder for us to say he was “a Viking” or had a “Viking culture.” This is not a difficult concept to wrap your head around. As to why Northmen also exists (which does not repeat the content here), probably it should be merged to this article.—Ermenrich (talk) 00:31, 4 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think it's fair to say that if you're going to claim something, you should provide sources for that claim, especially if you're going to then use those unsourced claims to make logical conclusions (WP:OR). Your claim about English usage is unsourced, your claim that "the people...didnt spend one second reading prime sources" is an extremely extraordinary claim that I have no doubt is your personal opinion, and cannot be substantiated. "All this is errors, made by people who were wrong." provide a source for this statement, or it can and should be safely discarded as nothing more than your own opinion. You do not get to decide that because you dislike the conclusions reached, that the persons making the conclusions do not count. - Aoidh (talk) 01:02, 4 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Random lurker here, but what I find really bemusing is how the OP believes the usage of the term "Viking" is discriminatory against people of Scandinavian descent... hence the frankly obscene analogy with Nazism. The discourse around the Vikings of old isn't being used as some rallying point for people today to gather around to justify being mean to people of Scandinavian heritage. After seeing half of my family members being referred to as disease-spreading parasites due to their ethnic background I have to balk, sorry. Also, OP's comments would be better suited to the histography and popular usage of the term "Viking". --SinoDevonian (talk) 14:36, 6 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The term may have once been pejorative, but it has gone through processes of semantic change and broadening of the meaning. For example, the word "hound" (hund) originally referred to the entire species of canines, but was narrowed to refer to a specific breed, while "dog" originally referred to a specific breed but was broadened to include the entire species. The word "Viking" has also gone through semanic amelioration (or elevation). For example, the word "dude" was originally used as an insult referring to one's dress or clothing; their "duds". It was something similar to calling someone a "dandy". Today, it's been elevated to a greeting of friendship. "Silly", on the other hand, meant "happy" back in the Middle Ages, but today means foolish. The language is what it is, and there's no going back. Zaereth (talk) 21:50, 6 August 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I never knew people could take up half a wikipedia talk page arguing about the usage of a word Allaoii talk 19:57, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
If you think this is bad, just check the archives. This has been going on for years. And not just on English Wikipedia, but Swedish, Norse, German, and possibly several others. There has been a one-man crusade to prove that we've all been using the word wrong all our lives. Zaereth (talk) 21:16, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
cant wait to see how long it takes before he gets banned Allaoii talk 21:23, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
You're slightly late there; he was topic-banned from Vikings back in August. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 21:30, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
How can you get banned from a topic? Allaoii talk 22:35, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
How? Just read the above section, and all the related discussions in the archive. That should give a pretty good blueprint. It's called WP:Tendentious editing. People get topic banned quite often. It's sometimes a better alternative to a full-out ban, because they may still be able to edit other topics without getting so passionate about them. I actually like Dan. He's a very smart cookie, but this is just one topic where he has a WP:Right great wrongs point to prove, and no one is buying it. I don't think we need to discuss it anymore, because we don't want to come off as WP:Gravedancing. Zaereth (talk) 23:02, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
no i mean how does the topic ban stop the user Allaoii talk 23:05, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
If one violates a topic ban they risk getting a full ban from the site. Zaereth (talk) 23:15, 3 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
By the way, when it comes to silly disputes, this one doesn't even come close to making the cut for WP:Lamest edit wars. See the section on The Beatles, which made national news. Zaereth (talk) 02:00, 4 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
ok now i want to know the requirements for getting into WP:Lamest edit wars Allaoii talk 23:48, 4 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
what are the requirements for getting into WP:Lamest edit wars Allaoii talk 16:52, 9 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
You can read the page where it describes what is needed; being somewhat tongue in cheek, I think it is fair to say that lameness is in the eye of the beholder. Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 16:55, 9 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I just read through this whole thing and was frankly very confused about his actual complaint throughout most of it. I assumed the only issue one would have with the actual word Viking was that in the Norse language during the middle ages it was actually a verb rather than a noun. But his idea that its simply offensive is one of the strangest things I've ever seen on a Wikipedia talk page. DrOfProfessor (talk) 05:22, 9 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
It's actually more common than one would think. There are a certain people out there who are, what I'd call, "language purists". Often, they are very intelligent people, but for whatever reason they need it to make literal sense rather than anything figurative. The problem for them is: all languages are extremely figurative and it almost never makes literal sense, and if there once was some logical reason a word's meaning changed, that reason only made sense to the people who lived in a certain time or place. It's like, why do people say "What's the skinny?" when they want to know what is going on? That's recent enough slang that we can trace it back to the origins in the 1960s, where it was a funky way of saying "What's the scene?" by mispronouncing the word "scene" as "skinny". But without that firsthand knowledge of people who were on the scene at the time, there is no way anyone would be able to logically deduce that in a thousand years.
People come here all the time trying to correct the language. They come to the alloy steel article and claim that the term is wrong because steel itself is an alloy. Same at the alloy wheel article. Little does it dawn on them that steel wasn't considered an alloy by scientists until somewhere around the 1930s or '40s, and not by the general population until the '60s or '70s, long after these words were in use. I'll give it to the meteorologists, because they did eventually succeed in changing the word "tidal wave" into some Japanese word I can never remember how to spell, because they felt a figurative English word was worse than a foreign word with no literal meaning in English, but they did this without the use of Wikipedia. Some personality types, I think, just cannot deal with the figurativeness of language and have this need to make it work in a very literal sense --often way too literal-- but Wikipedia is not a place to try to "fix" the language. Zaereth (talk) 21:02, 9 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

One theory made by the Icelander[edit]

I noticed this mention of a "theory made by the Icelander Örnolfur Kristjansson [sic] is that the key to the origins of the word is "wicinga cynn" in Widsith, referring to the people or the race living in Jórvík (York, in the ninth century under control by Norsemen), Jór-Wicings (though this is not the origin of Jórvík)."

The citation does not mention an Örnólfur Kristjánsson. I can't find any Icelandic academic called Örnólfur Kristjánsson, no papers by him, no books.

I think this should simply be removed. There is no source and there is no indication that this is significant.

Óli Gneisti (talk) 11:24, 23 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]

The whole etymology section needs a cleanup. It's full of repetitive, poorly sourced statements like this.--Ermenrich (talk) 16:40, 23 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Berig, Bloodofox, Carlstak, Obenritter, Krakkos, and Pfold: - I'm a bit swamped with work, but maybe one or more of you can try to get this hydra of an etymology section under control.--Ermenrich (talk) 18:21, 23 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
The bit about Örnolfur Kristjansson was added by User Ornolfurk on 26 March 2017. This person seems to have a history of making up stuff. Carlstak (talk) 19:34, 24 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I removed that part, but the rest of the section is still a horrific mess.--Ermenrich (talk) 01:13, 25 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, glad you removed that bit. Still wading through the rest. Needs expert attention, which I'm not, but I can read. Carlstak (talk) 02:15, 25 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
The current etymology section is over complicated. In the 9th century Anglo-Saxons called the raiders 'Danes' or 'Danish men', 'heathens' or 'Vikings. The Alfredian chroniclers who compiled the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, seem to prefer 'Danes' whereas Alfred's biographer, Asser called them 'Pagans'.(Lapidge et al. 2001) The first known use of Viking in English was in the Épinal-Erfurt Glossary which was compiled around AD 700, many years before any 'Viking' raids around the English coast. The Latin translation was piraticum (pirate in modern English) Note: Viking is spelt uuicing, as W had not been invented at the time. Thus the medieval use of the word Viking, in Old English, meant pirate. The modern re-invention of the word Michael Lapidge describes as "A term of convenience applied indiscriminately by modern scholarship to the inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries", which I know irritates our Scandinavian Editors by some of the comments on this talk page! My suggestion, therefore, is that we keep the first and last paragraphs of the etymology section. Both need a bit of tweaking. The first paragraph explaining the original use of the word and the second paragraph the modern use. The various paragraphs in the middle that discuss alternate etymologies should probably be moved to the 'Other names' section. 'Other names' to be made a separate header. This is supposed to be the English Wikipedia after all, thus the Etymology section should just be about English usage. Wilfridselsey (talk) 15:43, 26 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
The vast majority of modern Scandinavians and Scandinavian scholars accept the modern use of the word Vikings, and refer to Viking Age North Germanics as Vikings. One the great problems with WP is that it attracts certain people who take offense at various things and want to "correct" WP. For as long as I can remember (almost 20 years), there has only ever been one single editor that has waged a crusade against the modern use of the word Viking. He has been perma-banned from Swedish WP, and I doubt he'll ever accept WP policy in this case.--Berig (talk) 22:08, 26 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
That editor is now topic banned so we don’t need to worry about him anymore. I’m not sure we should get rid of everything between the first and last paragraph, but a major trimming and/or rewrite is needed.—Ermenrich (talk) 03:04, 27 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for updating me! I think that the Michael Lapidge quote above ie: "A term of convenience applied indiscriminately by modern scholarship..etc" just about sums it up, it is what it is! However, my suggestion wasn't really to get rid of all the discussion in the current middle of the Etymology section, but move it into "Other names" . This would leave a much more simple Etymology section, that concentrated on the Anglo-Saxon usage of the term Viking juxtaposed with the modern usage. The Anglo-Saxon word uuiking probably just meant pirate and did not really have any nationality attributed to it. Of course as most of the pirate activity around British and Irish shores between the 8th and 11th century were largely due to Scandinavian pirates, it is easy to see how the two terms became linked. However the area where the Scandinavians settled in medieval England was called Danelaw not "Vikinglaw", so it was not linked then. The use of the term Viking now is a modern construct that emerged in the 18th century, the meaning is different to the original usage, nowadays it does not mean pirate or even Scandinavian pirate, it has grown to mean anything Scandinavian, Icelandic, Faeroese etc from a certain period in history. ie: the "Viking" age. Currently, in the etymology section, there about eight paragraphs devoted to the original meaning of Viking and one about the modern use. This seems a little 'unbalanced' so I think that there should just be one paragraph about the origin and one about modern use. The rest of the origin hypotheses/ theories should be moved to another section, 'Other names' for example (can't think of a better name at the moment!). Wilfridselsey (talk) 16:34, 27 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I'm confused. Can someone enlighten me? For just one example of many, Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, professor at the University of Oslo, refers to the Vikingane: "Vikingane herja då i Irland. Det er elles uklart når vikingane begynte å angripe Irland. Det kjem av at irske skriftkunnige ikkje skilde mellom vikingangrep og plyndringstokt som dei irske småkongane iverksette mot kvarandre." I mean, even in a modern context there was the Norwegian TV show, Vikingane. How does these facts accord with what Wilfridselsey says? Carlstak (talk) 02:09, 28 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
The reason why you are getting confused is because you are comparing apples with oranges! Viking in OE was a pirate! Talking to my Norwegian friends vikingr approximately, in modern English, means to go on expedition/ adventure? The modern usage of viking in English means everything Scandinavian et al between the 8th and 11th century!! So we're juggling with at least three balls here! This is why I am suggesting that we define the meaning of viking in old English and then modern English. Then go on to discuss/ contrast the variety of sources. Whoever thought up the title to the TV show you reference, vikingane in Norwegian and Norsemen in English (BTW I thought the show was great), were on message, because I do not find any references to vikings in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle although I do find several to northmen (norsemen). Calling the show 'Vikings' in English would be sympathetic to modern usage, but calling it Norsemen is more in keeping with the OE. Probably the programme makers called it Norsemen to differentiate it from all the other 'Viking' shows on at the moment, however the name and the content are probably more true to history than more serious shows!!Wilfridselsey (talk) 16:48, 28 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
The Devil is in the details, but it is not our task to complicate for the reader. The article needs to start with the most current meaning of the word Viking. The OE and ON meanings of Viking are secondary, in importance.--Berig (talk) 07:30, 29 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I agree! probably a slightly more NPOV of the Lapidge version already quoted. eg:"A term applied by modern scholarship to the inhabitants of Scandinavian countries etc. before and after they achieved separate or more distinctive identities. Also the people of Scandinavia who left their homelands in search of adventure or a better life overseas...." What do you think? Wilfridselsey (talk) 12:42, 29 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
OK, I have added a modern definition to the Etymology section based on the discussion here. I have separated the modern definition with the "Original meaning and derivation". Not much I know, but it does give the section a bit more structure? Wilfridselsey (talk) 10:18, 30 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]
The problem was not that there was too little material. The added section was essentially a repetition of parts of the lede, and does not really explain the development of the meaning, which should be the focus of a etymology section. I've tried to restructure the material with focus first on theories on the origin, and then explanation of later usage. However, the individual sections still needs work - I've only tried to delete outright repetitions and done a few changes to join the sections together.
Andejons (talk) 12:24, 30 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I still think the whole etymology section is still way too long and bloated. Encyclopedias are about things, not words, and I think we are just confusing the two here (or at least confusing the reader about the two). Although I have added several etymology sections to articles (etymology and linguistics fascinate me), such as phosphorescence, welding, or the moose articles, I think in most cases it's really irrelevant to the subject, which is the thing not the word. It's kind of interesting to have some word origins, but I think it's very rare that it's necessary from an encyclopedic standpoint. Case in point would be the moose article, where it's actually very helpful to the reader to explain the whole moose/elk confusion, that we need to even get into it at all, let alone with that level of detail. In most cases, an etymology section should be short and concise; one, two, maybe three short paragraphs at best. Definitely not divided up into its own subsections.

We have enough here to create an article specifically about the word "Viking", and maybe that's what we should do. Move all this stuff into an article that is solely about the word, and then give a brief summary of that article here with a "main article" link at the top. Either that, or simply whittle this down to one or two paragraphs. We're not getting paid by the word, and all we need here is the gist of it. The nitty gritty, not all the boring details. That's what we do. Summarize things. We're here to give a summary of all knowledge, not all knowledge. Zaereth (talk) 06:27, 3 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with Zaereth - it still needs considerable reduction in length. I think it's honestly more confusing than helpful now.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:08, 3 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I agree, too. Sensible. I personally like "boring details", but these don't belong in this article. Carlstak (talk) 14:19, 3 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Zaereth you are right. I think that the etymology of Viking is quite interesting. Not sure that you can compare it to your examples though! I think that the existing etymology section is too long and complicated but it reflects the fact that there has been a long term dispute among scholars about the origin of this word. Let me remind you. In ON it appears as vikingr (male) and viking (feminine), The male version refers to an activity, the female version to a person. In OE wicing means a pirate. It is not sure that the Old English word has the same origin as the Old Norse word. Other suggestions is that vikingr derives from bay dweller possibly related to the OE wic and Latin vicus meaning dwelling place.The modern invention of the word was popularised by the historian Sharon Turner and the author Sir Walter Scott at the beginning of 19th century. From those beginnings it has become to mean everything Scandinavian in the Viking Age. We don't really understand how or in what context or if indeed it was used at all in the Viking Age. There are numerous hypotheses on this subject, so a separate page would be a very good idea to explore them. Wilfridselsey (talk) 17:13, 3 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, that's why I say, this is all great stuff for an article about the word "Viking", but it has almost nothing to do with the thing this word describes. Words are merely symbols that represent some thing, be it some physical thing or an action, or whatever descriptor that symbol is being used for. I've studied the evolution of languages long enough to have learned that it's a fool's errand to look for some logic behind it all. Languages evolve in erratic, illogical, and unpredictable ways, and the symbols or words we use rarely have any real literal connection to the things they represent. We park in driveways and drive on parkways. There's no rhyme or reason to it. Nobody sat down one day and said, "Let's design the language like this..."
Take ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, for example. Do you think a symbol of a man holding a snake is literally representative of a man holding a snake? Not at all. Hieroglyphics is a phonetic language, so all that symbol represents is a sound, or a series of sounds. The word "Viking" is likewise just a symbol. This article is about the thing that symbol represents.
Now, a symbol is within itself a type of thing, and indeed we do have lots of articles that are solely about words and symbols. But the word and the thing it represents are two entirely different things, and if we're going to get into this level of detail then I think we need to divide them out into separate articles, because having it all here is just confusing the issue. Languages constantly change and evolve unpredictably, meanings of words change, but the thing always remains the same. (A rose by any other name... is still a flower.)
All we really need here is a summary of all that, which I think you just did a pretty good job of summarizing right there. As you said, here're the main points: the word was found in some old Nordic runes with varying translations. It's sole source from Old English (a very German language) was found in what amounts to an Old English-Latin dictionary, next to the Latin word for "pirate". The German writer Bremmen uses it in a Latinized form to describe pirates in very much the modern sense of the word "pirate" (ie: he gives a vivid description of people who attack ships at sea rather than raiding on land, hiding in the fjords in their fast little speed-boats (the equivalent of the Coast-Guard Cutters of their time), and waiting for passing merchant ships so they can steal all their goods and even sell off the ship, crew, and passengers). Then the term fell out of use in English until the 19th century where it was resurrected when it was used in popular German operas of the time (along with the notion of horned helmets and fat ladies singing). That's pretty much the gist of it, right? That's all we really need to say here. All the rest of the detail can simply be moved to Viking (word), and that way we're not confusing the two things as if they were one. Zaereth (talk) 22:19, 3 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
My two eyrir: A) A separate article on the term "Viking" seems in order. Ze Germans usually include a section on what they call "Begriffsgeschichte", scil., "concept history", which bridges the development from the original meaning to present use; "Viking" seems like a prime candidate for this. B) The "double use" of Zaereth's The Thing where it means "medieval Scandinavian in general" in English and "pirate, raider" in Scandinavia is the source of much argument both here at Wiki and elsewhere. IMO it's due to an error, but let's not right this great wrong right now; however, a clarification wrt. to that issue is also in order, among other things to explain usage when interpreting sources of various origins. C) For those who can, I reccommend a glance at the German Wiki article, or for that matter some of the Scandi language ones. T (talk) 18:37, 13 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Atcually, the spread in meaning exist in the Nordic languages and in English (it is reflected in the lede of this article, and you'll find both as separate definitions in e.g. Merriam-Webster). It's not wrong to have this article be about norse people from the period in general, but it is a choice that has been made, and it can be argued over whether it's a good choice. I think that it's useful to have separate terms for people going about raiding and pillaging and the people who did not do such things, but I can live with this arrangement as well.
Andejons (talk) 21:31, 13 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Hi, I guess you're right. Next person to claim that "vikings were farmers and traders, too", I'll refer them to you, though :) T (talk) 03:32, 14 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
In English, there really are two separate terms. As a native English speaker, it's just idiomatic, meaning it comes from the id, that is, people don't know why we speak this way; we just do. When talking about Vikings to another native English speaker, we both know we're not talking about Norwegians or Swedes per se, that is to say, people living on mainland Scandinavia. That word is limited to raiders and settlers of nordic origin. Originally, this term probably was used strictly for pirates, but not anymore. The meaning has changed to exclude pirates altogether and broadened to include both raiders and settlers. Those are two of the most common ways that languages evolve.
Now, I think a lot of people tend to look at these activities through modern eyes, forgetting that the times were very different back then, and in many if not most cases settling a new land was virtually the same as pillaging and raiding, except that when they killed or ran everyone off they didn't leave, but instead built homes and stayed. You have to remember, Rome had recently fallen, economies were in ruin. People lost faith in money or big government. They all but abandoned the big cities of old and retreated into a feudal life in self-sustaining country manors. The very idea of lands uniting as nations was just beginning (sort of a, "You mess with one of us, you mess with the the whole neighborhood" kinda thing). Because settling a new land often meant driving out the people who were already living there. These were violent times of their own accord, and we do a disservice by judging them by modern standards.
That said, no matter what the subject, we are stuck with using the modern language to define it, so wee simply have to work within the constraints of that language. Zaereth (talk) 01:09, 14 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Hi, many good points, as usual. Some rather quirky notions, too, e.g. sourcing idiomatics to Freud and the relevance of "Rome had recently fallen"; a very loose value range for "recently", that, at least ca. 3 centuries. Anyhow, unlike Britain, Gaul and what is now southern Germany, Scandinavia was never under Roman influence, so their demise or not doesn't really matter; i.e. big government and big cities are not likely to appear in Norse society at the time, nor abandoning such. Nations are also far off as a force in politics, it was much more about dynasties up to around the 30 year war. Raiding, killing and settling, though, that's long traditon (viz, USA, Australia, etc.).
I still think a separate article just for the word is a good idea. The rest is going to be detail work (whence the notion that Denmark, Norway and Sweden did not exist in the Viking age?), as usual. See you around. T (talk) 03:32, 14 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Well, actually, things didn't change very rapidly after the fall of Rome, and you sort of have to consider what was going in in those places where Vikings were settling and raiding. Vikings are fascinating from an English perspective, because they were as much our ancestors as the Angles and Saxons, and likely much more if the language says anything about it. (Modern English is based far more French and Scandinavian than what's left of its German roots, enough so that reading French or Swedish is not too difficult because all but the small words are easily recognizable.)
The fall of Rome affected the economies of all Europe and much of Asia. Rome controlled the trade routes, and without them trade became a dangerous thing. People had to go looking for their own resources. Trade almost ground to a halt as each manor sought to be as self-sufficient as possible. Land was the only real wealth, and that had to be fought for and defended at a moment's notice. That's just the world stage at the time. There was a major shift from previous times and it took 900 years for things to return to a normal monetary-economy.
In those times there was no country called Sweden, but there was a land called Sweden, and Norway, and Jutland, Zealand, Saxony, etc., because King Alfred writes some pretty detailed descriptions of them in his History of the World. Descriptions given to him, ironically enough, by a wealthy Norseman he befriended and trusted not to exaggerate things. These consisted of small kingdoms spearated more by cultural differences, but not yet united as nations as England was starting to do. The Vikings were really just living the same lifestyle and doing what the Angles had been doing 200 years prior to the Viking Age, and Asser even mentions this. It is all very violent and un-Christian-like, and we see ourselves today in much the same way as Alfred saw them: as being civilized and superior with our high, modern, Christian-based values compared to these barbaric savages who were living an outdated lifestyle. But that's all part of our English ancestry, and we can't deny it anymore than Americans can deny what we did to the Native Americans. These Vikings, their culture and traditions, are now as firmly engrained in English-speaking cultures as the witches and druids and devils of the Britons is. The pojnt is, we can't project our modern morals onto them or we start to sound like we've watched too much Xena Warrior Princess or Bonanza. People back then had a different way of thinking and a different set of values. Zaereth (talk) 04:29, 14 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Hi, I think you should read some history, it might interest you. Not much changed in England after Rome left? Well, for one thing, the Angles and Saxons came :) A rather large political, demographic and linguistic change there. Same with Francia: not much in common with Gallia Cisalpina etc. And overall - lest you find me too critical - you can't really say in one sentence that "things didn't change very rapidly after the fall of Rome" and then lecture on how trade shifted and Europe got a feudal economy, and other rather fundamental developments.
Either of these, ok, but not both.
Wrt. Scandinavia, we had our own trade routes through the Baltic, thank you, Norway _was_ a trade route, even ... and the so-called Viking Age was precisely the time when the kingdoms there were established, Harald Wireless of Denmark, Harald Dreadlocks of Norway being two examples. The Swedes lagged behind, but then, they're Swedes, so ...
England was culturally undermined by an invasion of fanatics in thrall to some Middle Eastern religious cult, and our local aristocrats had to teach those fellows a lesson, and bring some law and order and culture to yon sceptered isle, including the notion of washing, which was said to appeal strongly to the Anglo-Saxon ladies. I.e., the Vikings did the Raj thing, they just did it first. Backwards, who?
Whether or not one can project one's morals depends, I think, on what morals you subscribe to. They certainly would have recognized our new versions of their War On Terror :)
Regards, T (talk) 15:03, 17 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]

About the section "intermixing with the Slavs"[edit]

Dear Wikipedians,

I am the person responsible for getting the "intermixing with the Slavs" into the article. I was (partly still am) a teen in their angst (and I am partly Slavic origin) when I decided to insert that piece, convinced as I was of some sort of "Germanic" conspiracy whereby everything has to be of Germanic origin and everything Germanic is totally "pure". Reading on, and reading on, in and especially outside Wikipedia, I learned many things, and several ways of looking at them, including objectivity, so I started to stop taking it personally and appreciate things for what they are and look at stuff impersonally. The piece about the intermixing with the Slavs was the only "bad-faith" edit I did, but it was one big time. It was basically a hoax and I am surprised it made it to the stable article without anybody protesting. The piece I added is basically OR (all the nobility connections) + Leszek Gardeła and Natalia Radziwillowicz making some exceptional claims. Everytime I look at this otherwise very good article I feel guilty for putting such stuff into Wikipedia. I think this section should be immediately removed. There are other reasons as well, because I think this type of hoax (that the Vikings significantly intermixed with the Slavs) can be used by both sides of Scandinavian (and non-Scandinavian) extremists (if you think about it you can understand why, otherwise I will explain). Regardless, I don't want to be responsible for this, so I wrote this message, withdrawing my support for this section. If possible I would ask for all my edits on this page to be removed (though I remember something about it being impossible to remove after it enters stable article). P.S.: if it is necessary to successfully delete this stuff, I can provide admins with evidence I am the person who inserted that material into this page. Viking123456789 (talk) 21:11, 28 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]

RfC about whether or nor including hoax about Slavic origin/strong relation to Vikings, itself added by myself when I was an angry teen[edit]

Should we include in this article the section "Intermixing with the Slavs"? As I stated in the previous section, I am the author of that paragraph, and I originally made it as a hoax. It was the only bad faith edit I made, and I am surprised it made it this far. I don't want to have burdens on my conscience, I learned to be objective and that stuff just can't stay in any article. It is WP:OR mixed with POV-pushing and extraordinary claims.Viking123456789 (talk) 20:00, 24 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know if this is all true or not, because I haven't looked through the history to see when it was first added. What I do know, since I started watching this article, is that the section has been edited and added onto many times, with many discussions that can be found in the archives of this page. Maybe you did initially insert it as a hoax, I don't know, but it has apparently attracted the attention of many people of Slavic descent who have been very adamant about expanding it (often with rather poor sources that were usually rejected). Whatever the case, it has apparently grown and changed since it was first inserted.
People often seem to think of these historical peoples as stagnant, as if they did not travel around, intermarry, or otherwise "plant their seed in someone else's garden". None of these peoples were isolated from each other. They traded. They raided. They pillaged and raped, and those actions were by no means limited to the Vikings. It was a different time, just after the Migration Period, and people got around. Whether by choice or by force, they interbred, a lot.
In every generation, people always seem to think we know it all. It takes a genius to realize what they don't know. In todays generation, people think DNA is the end-all/be-all, but what we know about it is miniscule to what we don't. What is known but most people forget is that blending inheritance is not a thing. By family tree, I am of Welsh descendance. By DNA I'm mostly Norse, but my brother's DNA shows he is mostly Celtic, yet we both have the same parents. I have traces of Slavic DNA, as well as a lot of American Native, since my great Grandma was Sioux. Everyone on Earth even has a touch of Neanderthal in them. People intermixed all throughout history, so it's no surprise.
Once something is put in Wikipedia, you no longer have personal control over it. Once it's accepted by the community, you have to gain consensus to delete it. You need to show that the info is wrong, or whatever the case may be. Provide the diffs that show how it was inserted as a hoax. Give us more than just your say so. Zaereth (talk) 22:17, 24 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Zaereth I don't know how much they edited it but it seems pretty close to how I had written it if I remember correctly. I can see it obviously attracted the attention of Slavic editors, not only because it interests Slavs directly but also because it "belittles" or "ruins" the reputation of the Vikings and weakens nationalistic Germanic ideas. For the same reason it is probably in the interest of most mixed people and Celts that this stuff stays in the article. When I wrote this hoax I used to think like everything is controlled by good ones and bad ones, the Germanic people were the bad ones and all the history as told by them is corrupted. But then I started to look at things objectively it turns out, when you speak of Germans and Slavs, that the Germans are definitely not the ones making propaganda and rewriting history with crazy claims. I don't want any of this and I feel so guilty for putting this stuff into Wikipedia and shame on all the editors that let it stay here so long!
Now I will address the problem with the section specifically:
a) It was a bad faith edit, intended to ruin the reputation of the Vikings, the most cherished thing of the Germanic peoples whom I thought were the ones writing history their own way
b) This:
The first king of the Swedes, Eric, was married to Gunhild, of the Polish House of Piast. Likewise, his son, Olof, fell in love with Edla, a Slavic woman, and took her as his frilla (concubine). They had a son and a daughter: Emund the Old, King of Sweden, and Astrid, Queen of Norway. Cnut the Great, King of Denmark, England and Norway, was the son of a daughter of Mieszko I of Poland, possibly the former Polish queen of Sweden, wife of Eric.
is pure OR
c) All the rest are extraordinary claims, made by some apparently qualified people, but who are themselves of Slavic origin, namely Leszek Gardeła and Natalia Radziwillowicz. These extraordinary claims are not enough to require a whole section in this article. Maybe a separate article about the "Theory about Slavic contribution to the Vikings" could be created, but I don't think there is enough coverage for that, and since I think this stuff to be pure folly I would not support its creation
Did they find some Slavic remains on Viking territory? So what. They were (EDIT: and are, and the differences hardly changed since back then) neighbouring peoples. And by the way, how did they establish the woman was Slavic in the Smithsonian study, where btw they say new analysis suggests she was Slavic, not proves. But the craziest thing is how Gardela claims out of this that Scandinavia was "a melting pot of Slavic and Scandinavian elements".
I know that this section could feel appealing to some leftist or liberal Scandinavians, but it is against their interest too to keep this stuff in Wikipedia. All it is going to happen is some people will start to explain the weakness of some Scandinavians with Slavic descent. And to the Balkanic and Slavic editors I beg to have the decency to go and edit on their freaking history and their ethnic-related groups. The Vikings were a great people, we must treat this article with the greatest care. Viking123456789 (talk) 05:29, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

(Invited by the bot) Answering this RFC as-written thoughtfully would require more research than most respondents would invest. Suggest a more thorough talk page discussion at this point (which seems to not have occurred) rather than an RFC. North8000 (talk) 00:17, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

When I looked at the post this morning, I wondered if this confession was a hoax itself. Most of the "Intermixing with the Slavs" section was added with this edit on 17 January 2021 11:59 AM by the now indefinitely blocked sockpuppet account François-Ávila who made some edits to articles on Italian subjects, but mostly on Croatian subjects, and one to the History of Scandinavia article. So? Carlstak (talk) 02:51, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Carlstak I already addressed this on my talk page. What you say is true but wikiguides and rules were created to prevent abuse. Here I am trying to fix a (huge) mistake I made while editing. And no, it is not a hoax that I inserted that piece. And I think I can prove it with some back up from the admins. Viking123456789 (talk) 05:04, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Carlstak: - SPI needed here? Is this a confession to being a sock puppet by the poster?--Ermenrich (talk) 14:46, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@TylerBurden: - if Carlstak is right here, this appears to be a case of sockpuppetry, especially since he does not at all "already address[] this on [his] talk page".--Ermenrich (talk) 19:18, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@Ermenrich: As you say, Viking123456789 does not address this issue on his talk page at all, despite his assertion to the contrary. If he did indeed make the edit I pointed to, then he is the same editor as the indefinitely blocked François-Ávila account, which was a sockpuppet of the sockpuppeteer Sam.WikiKiwi, who was blocked indefinitely as well as locked globally, and whose SPI case may have involved "cross-wiki abuse." I suppose that would make Viking123456789 a new sockpuppet. In any case, this over-earnest confession doesn't pass the smell test, and set off my bullshit detector when I saw it. Carlstak (talk) 00:51, 26 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
I agree it is likely this user is a sock, they are also going around several other articles removing content they deem "POV-pushing". A term they appear strangely familiar with. TylerBurden (talk) 01:32, 29 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
A pretty obvious false flag confession. Sock: very likely; sockmaster: most likely not François-Ávila/Sam.WikiKiwi. –Austronesier (talk) 15:34, 1 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, it's lame. It made me laugh, and continues to be funny, except for the fact that such shenanigans waste editors' time. Carlstak (talk) 19:58, 2 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

The Vikings were never a homogeneous ethnic group; the name itself describes a profession, a way of life and warfare, rather than any particular people. So certainly the intermingling of Scandinavian Vikings with Slavic peoples, as well as Slavs being Vikings or practicing Viking, is a historical fact. Whether this information is important enough to find its place in this article is another matter. Because if she why is there no information about "intermixing" with Greeks, Arabs, Franks, Balts, Scythians, etc.? For this reason, I would be inclined to remove this section, although I will reserve judgment until someone more familiar with the subject takes the floor. Marcelus (talk) 13:38, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Remove Checked the sources of the section, apart from Barford 2001, which I do not have access to. None of those sources state that there where intermixing between Slavs and vikings and the Slavic burial site is circumstantial. I know that with Icelandic vikings, both from Icelandic stories from this period and an genealogy test in the country both show that Icelanders have Celtic women and Norwegian men ancestors.--Snævar (talk) 11:06, 17 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

That there was intermixing between Slavs and Vikings is quite well established, Kievan Rus', Varangians etc. To my knowledge the only people who oppose that are the antinormanism folks, who are for the most part Slavic nationalists. If the existing sources don't make mention of it, there should be a good selection to pick from that can be added. TylerBurden (talk) 14:04, 19 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Unfortunately for you, I have read viking stories from the viking era for years. By that I mean the original texts, not translations. The vikings did do business and errands in the Kievan Rus' but they did not at-large intermix with them. Snævar (talk) 03:58, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]
"Unfortunately for me"? Like I said this link is established and more sources can be added if needed, the Icelandic Vikings are not very relevant since the Vikings going east were mostly from what is now Sweden. TylerBurden (talk) 20:12, 8 October 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Viking123456789, why don't you write out the exact change that you propose to make and see what other talk page participants think? The RFC has problems, but this might easily be resolved by a discussion. North8000 (talk) 14:17, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Dental health[edit]

Swedish archeological investigations[1][2] show that Vikings had horrible dental health – odontogenic infections and tooth decay were common. Majority of vikings were likely plagued by permanent toothaches. I wanted to add this to the article, but found no suitable location.
It could be good to have a section on viking health, including dental health.

Edit: then again, other sources report that vikings had good dental hygiene and remarkably advanced dentistry practices.[3][4]
DrUtrecht (talk) 22:14, 26 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]

This doesn’t strike me as something that belongs in the main article or is even notable or generalizable.—-Ermenrich (talk) 00:23, 27 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ Bertilsson, Carolina; Vretemark, Maria; Lund, Henrik; Lingström, Peter (2023-12-13). "Caries prevalence and other dental pathological conditions in Vikings from Varnhem, Sweden". PLOS One. 18 (12): e0295282. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0295282. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 10718447. PMID 38091309.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: PMC format (link) CS1 maint: unflagged free DOI (link)
  2. ^ Nilsson, Johan (2023-12-26). "Vikingarna plågades av ständig tandvärk". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 26 December 2023. Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  3. ^ "Oväntat avancerad tandläkarkonst hos vikingar". Göteborgs universitet (in Swedish). 2023-12-14. Retrieved 2023-12-26.
  4. ^ Carolina Bertilsson (2023-12-14). "Vikingarna hade koll på tandvård". forskning.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2023-12-26.

Legacy II[edit]

Hi, a bouquet from my latest Florilegium. Can/should it be included, or not? Opinions welcome. T

The Vikings influenced the culture of every nation they came in contact with and in every conceivable way from architecture to language, infrastructure to poetry and place names, military reforms to food and clothing, and certainly in the areas of warfare and shipbuilding.
The Viking system of law contains elements which mirror the ethical codes of many cultures, along with a framework of ownership.
Mr Cooper* explained: "They are still some of the laws we use to this day; don't kill, don't steal. A lot of it related to property and respecting property."
Mr Cooper said: "The Viking system was almost like our current system still works. There was a local Thing, which was a local council. Then there was like, for example, a Shetland-wide Thing. Local Things would send representatives to that. Ultimately there was the King and court in Norway."
In ways, this structure filtered through into egalitarian aspects of Viking society. Mr Cooper said: "Women had rights in Viking times that they lost and didn't regain for 10 centuries. They could own land, they could inherit land, and they could speak at the Things. "They were a fair-minded race. Despite their reputation. they had rules to live by.
(/*Davy Cooper of the Shetland Amenity Trust, my addition/)
Scholars have proposed different end dates for the Viking Age, with most agreeing that it ended in the 11th century. The conversion of Iceland to Christianity in 1000, the death of Harthacnut, the Danish King of England in 1042, and the Battle of Largs in 1263 are some of the events used to mark the end of the Viking Age. However, a "long Viking Age" may have extended into the 15th century, as the Western Isles, the Isle of Man, Orkney, and Shetland remained under Scandinavian authority until the 13th and 15th centuries.
Despite several attempts by Scandinavian kings to regain control of England, the last of which took place in 1086, Viking presence declined in England. The last major Viking raid was led by Eystein II of Norway in 1152.
Between 790 and 800, the first Viking raids began along the coasts of western France, primarily during the summer. The Vikings took advantage of the disputes in the royal family after the death of Louis the Pious to establish their first colony in Gascony. The raids in 841 caused significant damage to Rouen and Jumièges, with the Vikings targeting the treasures stored at monasteries. In 845, an expedition reached Paris, and the presence of Carolingian deniers in Mullaghboden, County Limerick in 1871 suggests they were likely booty from the raids.
Economic Impact
The Vikings also played a role in the development of a monetary system, as their trading activities required the use of coins and other forms of currency. The Vikings introduced the use of silver coins, which facilitated the exchange of goods and services, making trade more efficient. This led to the widespread adoption of coins as a means of payment, which was crucial for the growth of Europe’s economy.
Another impact of the Vikings on Europe’s economy was the expansion of trade centers. The Vikings established trade centers in cities like Dublin, York, and Paris, which became thriving centers of trade and commerce. These trade centers attracted merchants and traders from all over Europe, who brought with them a wealth of goods and ideas. The establishment of these trade centers allowed for the exchange of goods and services on a large scale, and this greatly contributed to the growth of the European economy. (talk) 18:16, 26 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]