VIKING ARTICLE REPORT 4
TheVikings were ScandinavianNorsemen who raided villages and homelands across Europe. Accordingto Cort (2005), the Vikings got this name after Viken, a place thatidentified their activity in the Oslo fjord.The argument of WilliamFitzhugh is that the Vikings were known to be brutal and the victimsendured raids that lasted for a thousand years. According to theinterview by Nova’s Julia Cort, archeologist William Fitzhughargues that the Vikings carried diverse attacks, which is contrary tothe traditional view about them.
WilliamFitzhugh challenges the traditional view that Vikings attackedvillages in swarms of attackers. Instead, the attacks wereindependently organized and executed by Viking chieftains whoorganized their men into groups (Cort, 2005). Therefore, theyattacked in different areas as organized by different chieftains andnot as people believe that they attacked one area in a swarm. Inaddition, William Fitzhugh characterizes the Vikings asindividualistic people who raided in independent groups and carriedevery valuable from their victims. He therefore characterizes theactions of the Vikings as Normandy and purposeful attacks that weredirected at the targets to get food and supplies, as well as thevaluables in church centers (Cort, 2005).
Tosupport his argument, William Fitzhugh cites examples of areas thatthe Vikings raided so as to give a picture of how the raids happenedand why they were organized. This creates an imagination of theViking actions to the interviewer and the reader. To support hisopinion, William Fitzhugh gives the archeological evidence that wasdiscovered by historians and archeologists regarding the activitiesof the Vikings. He cites the evidence of the discovered Vikings hipas an element that illustrate their raids and traveling. Fitzhughaffirms that the Icelandic sagas were the main written materials thatprovide information about the Vikings (Cort, 2005). In addition, hecites the evidence of the early chronicles from church centers aswell as reports from the kings of the time. Another element ofunderstanding the activities of the Vikings is the early reports ofthe victims that illustrate the attacks from the raiders.
However,William Fitzhugh is careful about the sources he consulted. Thecaution is because there is a contradiction of the informationcontained in the written material evidence and the archeologicalevidence (Cort, 2005). The findings of the archeologists seem not toconcur with the information that has been relied upon for years. Forinstance, archeology shows the Vikings not being raiders, but traderswho travelled to open up new commercial ventures (Cort, 2005). Thisperspective differs totally with the written accounts from the kingsand the victims of the activities of the Vikings.
Theinformation in the article is a reflective historical interview thatexpounds on the knowledge about the Vikings. As an expert opinionfrom the archeologist Fitzhugh,the article provides a secondary account about the topic. The overallpurpose of the interview is to shed light into the existence of theVikings and place their activities in the historical context. Theinterview’s theme is an exploration of the Viking activity andreputation. This theme drives the interviewer to understand thesources of information about the Vikings and how reliable thesesources are. To report on the interview, the article uses archeologyby citing the archeological evidence about Vikings. The article alsouses history by exploring the European and North American times inthe discussion. Moreover, the article uses literature by referring towritten materials to discuss the Vikings and their activities.
Cort,J. (2005). WhoWere the Vikings?Nova Online, Retrieved from,<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/who-were-vikings.html>November 2, 2014