Buku The Viking Age – The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888 [Quintessential Classics] by Keary Charles Francis
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The Viking Age – The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888 [Quintessential Classics] by Keary Charles Francis

Author:Keary, Charles Francis [Keary, Charles Francis]

Language: eng

Format: azw

Publisher: Quintessential Classics

Published: 2015-11-18T16:00:00+00:00

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The Viking Age – The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888 [Quintessential Classics] by Keary Charles Francis

We have sometimes in the later personal biographies of the Scandinavians incidents which illustrate the process of the Vikings’ conversion, and of what I have called their haunted life before that conversion was completed, which belonged to a great part of the Viking Age. In the story, for example, of Gisli Surson, or Gisli the Outlaw, we have a typical example. This Gisli lived, of course, a century and more after the Vikings who were now beginning to harry Europe; but what they went through in the ninth century the Icelanders were beginning to go through in the tenth and eleventh.[157] Of Gisli we first hear how he and his friend Vesstein go, in the course of a merchant voyage, to Viborg, in Denmark, and for the sake of carrying on trade with the Christians there, allow themselves to be marked with the cross. Afterwards we hear incidentally that, since he had been at Viborg, Gisli had left off heathen sacrifices. Then we have the account of the two dream-wives who visit him, one of whom is soft and mild, the other dreadful and bloody like a Valkyria. ‘I have two women who sit with me in my dreams,’ he says, ‘one is good to me, but the other tells me nought but evil, and her tale is every day worse and worse, and she spaes me downright ruin. But what I just dreamed is this: Methought I came to a house or a hall; into the hall I went, and there I saw many of my friends and kinsfolk, and they sat by fires and drank. There were seven fires; some had burned very low, but some still burned, as bright as bright could be. Then in came my better dream-wife, and said these were tokens of my life, how much of it was to come; and she counselled me so long as I lived, to leave all old misbeliefs and witchcraft and to be good to the deaf and the halt and the poor and the weak.’

This picture — the black and white spirits (so common in Christian folklore), of whom one, a Valkyria, gives bloody counsel, the other, like an angel, is full of Christian maxims; the seven fires (a touch of St. Fursey here); then again the more Eddaic picture of the dead friends and kinsfolk drinking in the hall — it is a true combination of Christian and heathen mythology.

 

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The Viking Age – The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888 [Quintessential Classics] by Keary Charles Francis

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The Viking Age – The Vikings in Western Christendom: A.D. 789-888 [Quintessential Classics] by Keary Charles Francis

Author:Keary, Charles Francis [Keary, Charles Francis] , Date: June 6, 2019

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Author:Keary, Charles Francis [Keary, Charles Francis]

Language: eng

Format: azw

Publisher: Quintessential Classics

Published: 2015-11-18T16:00:00+00:00
We have sometimes in the later personal biographies of the Scandinavians incidents which illustrate the process of the Vikings’ conversion, and of what I have called their haunted life before that conversion was completed, which belonged to a great part of the Viking Age. In the story, for example, of Gisli Surson, or Gisli the Outlaw, we have a typical example. This Gisli lived, of course, a century and more after the Vikings who were now beginning to harry Europe; but what they went through in the ninth century the Icelanders were beginning to go through in the tenth and eleventh.[157] Of Gisli we first hear how he and his friend Vesstein go, in the course of a merchant voyage, to Viborg, in Denmark, and for the sake of carrying on trade with the Christians there, allow themselves to be marked with the cross. Afterwards we hear incidentally that, since he had been at Viborg, Gisli had left off heathen sacrifices. Then we have the account of the two dream-wives who visit him, one of whom is soft and mild, the other dreadful and bloody like a Valkyria. ‘I have two women who sit with me in my dreams,’ he says, ‘one is good to me, but the other tells me nought but evil, and her tale is every day worse and worse, and she spaes me downright ruin. But what I just dreamed is this: Methought I came to a house or a hall; into the hall I went, and there I saw many of my friends and kinsfolk, and they sat by fires and drank. There were seven fires; some had burned very low, but some still burned, as bright as bright could be. Then in came my better dream-wife, and said these were tokens of my life, how much of it was to come; and she counselled me so long as I lived, to leave all old misbeliefs and witchcraft and to be good to the deaf and the halt and the poor and the weak.’

This picture — the black and white spirits (so common in Christian folklore), of whom one, a Valkyria, gives bloody counsel, the other, like an angel, is full of Christian maxims; the seven fires (a touch of St. Fursey here); then again the more Eddaic picture of the dead friends and kinsfolk drinking in the hall — it is a true combination of Christian and heathen mythology.

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