By Robert Wernick

ISBN-10: 1612307280

ISBN-13: 9781612307282

The Vikings considered themselves because the final warriors. yet this one-dimensional snapshot belies substantial complexity. They have been, actually, as a lot retailers as marauders. one of the commodities they bought used to be one who introduced them the best revenue of all - greater than amber, silver, or pelts. That commodity was once humans. Few humans understand that in their days of dominance, the Vikings have been slavers to the area. right here, during this short-form publication, is their little-told tale.

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Six years later his uncle Sigurd, on business in Estonia, saw a handsome lad in a marketplace, asked who he was - and ransomed Olaf. A sequel to the story of Olaf’s liberation from slavery demonstrates the equivocal relationship that existed between a master and even the most trusted of his thralls. In 995, after a career that had brought him fame and fortune as a Viking raider, Olaf returned to his homeland to lay claim to the throne that had been wrested from his father. The usurper, Earl Hakon Sigurdarsson, was swiftly forced into flight, accompanied by his slave Kark.

Since Roman times, Noirmoutier had been a center for trade in wines and salt - and the Vikings simply took over the franchise. Three years later, Danes directed by a king named Horik staged one of the most spectacular of all Viking invasions. Horik was an exceedingly ruthless leader - as evidenced by the fact that he survived as the ruler of a notably unruly people for twenty-seven years. He was also of eminently pragmatic mind, and he realized that both power and wealth could be better attained by massed forces than by the individual, glory-seeking forays that the Vikings so loved.

For Horik’s main force soon ventured up the Elbe into the interior, where it was soundly defeated and driven from the land by an army of Saxons. On such occasions, Viking raiders were clearly instruments of calculated commercial policy - and, as such, they were a vital force, a light leading toward the end of the Dark Ages that had befallen the world with the collapse of the Roman Empire and with the eighth-century Muslim assault on the Mediterranean world. Communications were disrupted, commerce withered, and the kingdoms of Western Europe entered a long gloomy time of despondence.

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The Vikings: From Marauders to Slavers by Robert Wernick

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