If I.S. have done one good thing for humanity and the world it is to show the horrors of war; of course, they weren’t meaning to do good for humanity and the world. As Simon Schama pointed out at the start of the Civilisations programme with the account of the killing of Khaled al-Asaad, 82, at Palmyra, for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of art pieces, they were doing it to intimidate and threaten, using new information technology.
Art of the Vikings
My interest in Viking culture (500-1100 AD) was inspired by The Vikings movie (1958), and when I was young it was all about their scenic sailing warriordom; as I was intrigued by wild pagan Native American horseriding culture from Hollywood movies.
However, in modern times; I intended starting my travels by taking the ferry to Bergen, Norway, but then changed them as I waited for the Monsters of Rock in late August, and so headed south straightaway, before reaching there for the Midnight Sun Marathon in 2007; I admire Scandinavia for its democratic civilised qualities and environmental initiatives.
In the latest NASA’s Unexplained Files I liked the story of the skydiver seeing a rock fall near him, causing a year-long search. When a NASA worker worked out it must have fallen from his parachute, the Norwegian investigator said he thought everybody would be angry, but they were all happy and congratulatory, because they’d been honest, and science had worked. That’s the kind of scientific ethos I try to have with my writing and research.
In Secret Knowledge: The Art of Vikings I liked the jadeYgrey Buddha statue they found some Vikings had from the 6th Century Swat Valley in the heart of Asia, which was then Buddhist (about 14 minutes of the documentary).
Then just after about 20 minutes of the 30 minutes documentary, Dr. Ramirez says she thinks one of the main interests the pagan Vikings first saw in the Christian religion was the part played by fish, as they were a part of their natural folklore too, and they valued living things the most. This thirty-five piece gold, silver and bronze (me: Olympic medals relevance?) Viking fishtail necklace shows their respect:
Vikings in Historical Context Compared to Monotheism
Inquisition Documentary Shows Christian Horrors
The Yesterday channel series about the Inquisition has showed the horrors of the Christian church in Europe from the 11th Century to the 19th, with the last episode focusing on the British witch trials. Thousands of people were killed, with most being women who were the community healers; or victims of grudges and land grabs. Britain wasn’t as bad as continental Europe, and one man called Matthew Hopkins killed the majority of victims in a three years period 1644-1647.
Muslim Pirates Acting Like Vikings Until 19th Century
Barbary pirates were raiding Europe as the Vikings had done up to the 19th Century, capturing victims for sale as slaves, until European nations united to repel them. Over a million Europeans were enslaved from 1530 to 1780. Some of the enslavers were European ‘converts’.
When I was reading about Iceland around my January visit I saw that it suffered horrific such attacks in 1627, with hundreds of victims killed, and hundreds forced into slavery. (Wikipedia).
I’ve grown out of my childhood and youthful Romantic Viking Hollywood movie inspiration now, and relate more to Odin than Loki of the Valhalla pantheon; wisdom over trickery; especially after seeing the Valhalla Rising film featured heavily in the Scandinavian section of XaW Files!
As Dr. Ramirez pointed out at the end of her Art of the Vikings documentary, the battles for ‘England’ in 1066 were basically a Viking civil war, with the Normans (Norsemen) Vikings who settled in northern France, and those already resident in ‘England’ having strong Viking links after hundreds of years of residency.
I updated my thoughts on the Americas migration, and its connection to the Middle-East, last night on fmpoetry.wordpress.com, arguing that what is most amazing about it is that the Mayans featured similar structures and symbols (500-800 AD) about 20,000 years after their ancestors must have left the Middle-East to start the migration to the Americas, and where the Mesopotamians would signify the importance of the bag-carrying Apkallu around 2500 BC.