I have always been intrigued by the rich histories of various civilizations in my pursuit of inspiration. The Vikings particularly captured my attention thanks to the epic sagas of today’s pop culture, as I have wondered whether they are evil.
I began researching extensively by digging into various historical compilations and online articles to comprehend this further.
As a theologian, I consulted different faiths to get their take on whether they considered Vikings good or bad. So, imagine my excitement last week when, during my theology lesson, one of my students asked if Vikings are evil.
After the productive discussion, I decided to write this article to help others with the same question and share my knowledge on the topic.
So, are Vikings evil?
Although they are not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, Vikings are deemed evil due to their notoriety. This is because they were considered barbaric and savage and were infamous for attacking foreign lands for treasure.
Grab some coffee and embark with me in this article, and let us traverse this fascinating subject matter together as we find out whether all Vikings were bad, why they have a bad reputation, whether there are good Vikings, what made them savage, and more.
Were all Vikings bad?
Not all Vikings were bad. As much as they are known for violence, some were not as depraved. While many of them were terrifying warriors, others were merchants, farmers, and artisans who were seeking to peacefully settle in new territories.
Hence, Viking brutality was of its time but was curtailed by other more virtuous attributes.
Why do Vikings have a bad reputation?
Vikings have a bad reputation because they attacked a society that was more literate than them, and hence, most narratives about them emanated from their victims.
Furthermore, because the Vikings were pagan, they were depicted by the Christian narratives that cast them as diabolical and destructive outside forces.
Are there good Vikings?
There are good Vikings who did good deeds and made positive contributions to human advancement. For instance, they made advancements in maritime and navigation technologies and increased cultural exchange and trade around the globe.
The Viking longships and nautical techniques enabled them to sail the ocean and cruise narrow waterways at good speed.
These naval technologies also established them as one of the early explorers of the world.
Vikings traveled extensively and created settlements and trade routes that connected diverse societies and influenced everything that ensued.
Not all of them were fighters, as many were non-violent settlers and craftspeople who produced numerous decorative arts and refined literature.
They equally fashioned a democratic society and had progressive gender relations for their women.
What made Vikings savage?
Vikings were savage because their missions necessitated them to be. They ravaged numerous parts of Europe in pursuit of treasure, slaves, females, and territories to settle.
Given that other people were unwilling to voluntarily hand over their valuables or land to them, the marauding Vikings became fierce and savage to achieve their ends.
They resorted to brutality, rape, plunder, torture, mass murder, slave trading, female infanticide, violent sports, and animal sacrifices.
Why do people believe the Vikings were evil?
People believe the Vikings were evil because they would frequently attack societies for valuables while capturing slaves during their brutish endeavors.
In addition, even monasteries were not spared in these attacks. They murdered slaves and prisoners at will and did not regard other people as humans.
Every male was also supposed to prove himself on the battleground; thus, wars were started so Vikings could demonstrate their capabilities.
As a theologian, I have always been curious to learn more about the Christian Faith. That is why I pursued a Certificate in Christian Studies, Certificate in Christian Foundations and a Masters in Theology. I also have an immersive experience in editing for numerous websites. I have worked as an editor for over a decade and am currently the editor-in-chief at Christian Faith Guide. I enjoy working as an editor and feel privileged to share my expertise and help spread God’s word. You can read more about me on the about us page.