Ship-Men and Slaughter-Wolves
The Vikings enjoy a public name recognition shared with few other ancient cultures today.1 This hold on the imagination has a long pedigree, extending back to the late Middle Ages when they formed the stuff of saga-writing and legend, through their rediscovery during the Enlightenment and their gradual incorporation into the political fan- tasies of National Romanticism. When these were in turn usurped by the darker fictions of the Third Reich and its spurious myths of racial origins, the academic study of the Viking Age would take decades to recover from the contamination. Perennially drawing new audiences through exhibitions, documentaries and books, today they also saturate our popular culture in the form of everything from comics and movies to football teams, brand names, shipping lines and even spacecraft.
KeywordsMass Grave Ninth Century State Sponsorship Pirate Behaviour Gradual Incorporation
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