Anglo-Saxons were WORSE than the Vikings and carried out ‘ethnic cleansing’
According to a Danish academic who thinks disgruntled English monks spread ‘ false news ‘ about his ancestors, tales of vicious Vikings may be significantly exaggerated.
Traces of Viking influence on the language can be found in modern English, for example, the use of ‘bairn’ to refer to a child in the North.
However, the Anglo-Saxons worked hard to wipe out all trace of the earlier Celtic language in the same way American English replaced Native American dialects.
The claims are made by Mads Ravn, head of research at Vejle Museums in Denmark in an in-depth article for ScienceNordic. Dr. Ravn traces the beginnings of scholarly hyperbole over Viking raids to 793 AD.
In that year a Northumbrian monk named Alcuin described a raid on Lindisfarne, a holy island off the northeast coast of England.
He wrote: ‘The heathens poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies of saints in the temple of God, like dung in the streets.’
Despite this reputation for ferocity, Dr. Ravn believes it is undeserved. Writing in ScienceNordic, he said: ‘The reported plundering and ethnic cleansing are probably overrated.
‘The Vikings simply had worse “press coverage” by frustrated English monks, who bemoaned their attacks.’ Dr. Ravn claims modern studies of DNA, archaeology, and linguistics depict a more complicated Viking history.
‘They indicate that the Vikings were not the worst invaders to land on English shores at that time. That title goes to the Anglo-Saxons, 400 years earlier,’ he added.
The Anglo-Saxons were a people who inhabited Great Britain from the 5th Century AD.
They were made up of Germanic tribes who emigrated from continental Europe, as well as indigenous Britons who adopted their cultural practices. The Anglo-Saxons were fierce warriors, and tribes often battled one another for territory.
Dr. Mavn says their reign, which he compares to apartheid against the celts, was far more brutal than that of the Vikings. Evidence of this can be found in their attempts to eradicate the languages they encountered.
‘In the 5th and 6th centuries, old English wiped out the earlier Celtic language in a similar way that modern English eradicated the language of the Native Americans in the US in the 19th and 20th centuries,’ he added.
‘The Vikings’ impact was significantly less. Linguists do see some influence from the old Norse of the Vikings in old English. But it doesn’t come close to the eradication of Celtic by the Anglo-Saxons.’
DNA studies also suggest that the Anglo-Saxons came over in large numbers and contribute a large part of the genetic inheritance of British people. The Vikings, however, settled in smaller numbers and likely married with Anglo-Saxons, rather than replacing them.
They also left their own mark on the language, with the word ‘bairn’ from the Old Norse barn, meaning child, still used widely in the North of England.
Other similarities include ’armhole’, from the Danish armhole, for armpit and ‘hagworm’ from the Danish hugorm, meaning adder, which can be found in Old English.