A Viking's Civilized World Essay

1425 words - 6 pages

Were the Vikings barbaric, or were they civilized? The Vikings were a civilized and organized culture. The Vikings’ political system was essential to the Vikings’ everyday lives by giving them a stable lifestyle and a reliable colony.Traditions and religion were an important part of the Vikings’ culture. Their interaction with the environment was crucial to survival in the Vikings and their civilization. Interacting with the environment, the Vikings managed to locate and design food and shelter. The civilized traits in the Vikings’ world were demonstrated through its political, culture, and interaction with environment.
In the ancient days of the Vikings, the political aspect of their world consisted of improving the organization and civilization of the Vikings’ lives; the topics that prove this statement were law, structure, and war. As William R. Short stated, “A system of laws was set up whereby people were governed by consensus and where disputes were resolved through negotiation and compromise”(hurstwic.org). Short is conveying the idea that the Vikings had a civilized facet of the political system. Even though the Vikings had an advanced law system, they also had to have a system of punishment so they would be taken seriously. Short also noted that “Not only was there the psychological terror of loneliness due to exclusion from all social contacts, there was also the very real threat of violence and death from unrelated third parties”(hurstwic.org). The Vikings were serious about their law system and had a good way of ensuring these laws were followed, or that proper action would have been taken if the laws were not followed. The Vikings had a system called Thing. Thing was a meeting where certain people would decide the punishment for the crime committed. Law in the ancient Vikings’ world was a very important characteristic in making the Vikings who they were, but it was not the only one.
While law was very important, the political structure of the Vikings' was essential for an organized lifestyle. Norse society was a huge part of the Vikings’ structure. Short claims, “Norse society was male dominated. Each gender had a set of expected behavior, and that line could not be crossed with impunity”(hurstwic.org). This quote confirms the idea of the Vikings having some sort of structure regarding the gender roles. The structure of the political side of their world was important to the survival of the Vikings. According to Short, “Women were routinely carried off as booty to be sold as slaves”(hurstwic.org). Even though women slavery is not ideal, this shows that the Vikings had a sense of development and work ethic.
Along with the political structure of the Vikings’ society, war was another major piece of the political characteristic. Armor and weapons were also a major necessity among the Vikings. Philip Steele communicates, “The Viking raiders needed to be quick on their feet. Generally, they wore little armor, either by choice or...

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