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Author Topic: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on  (Read 5369 times)

Son of the Norse

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If you watch the TV show Vikings (and even thought we know that historically it has many flaws), what are your thoughts on some of the main characters conversion (slowly), from Heathenry to christianity?

I know from reading many history books lately, that the christians forced their beliefs on many, many cultures.  From Scandinavia to the most remote islands in the Pacific.  They also stole many word of mouth tales from Heathen religions and incorporated them into their books.

Do you think most Heathens during the Viking age converted willing, were forced to convert, or did it out of necessity?
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Friendly_Viking

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 09:32:43 am »
Quote from: Son of the Norse;199581
If you watch the TV show Vikings (and even thought we know that historically it has many flaws), what are your thoughts on some of the main characters conversion (slowly), from Heathenry to christianity?

I know from reading many history books lately, that the christians forced their beliefs on many, many cultures.  From Scandinavia to the most remote islands in the Pacific.  They also stole many word of mouth tales from Heathen religions and incorporated them into their books.

Do you think most Heathens during the Viking age converted willing, were forced to convert, or did it out of necessity?


Despite the historical inaccuracies I love this show. Christianity was forced upon people. Most people did not accept it willingly. Take the story of St Patrick for example, he killed people who wouldn't convert in Ireland.

Beryl

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 09:57:47 am »
Quote from: Friendly_Viking;199599
Despite the historical inaccuracies I love this show. Christianity was forced upon people. Most people did not accept it willingly. Take the story of St Patrick for example, he killed people who wouldn't convert in Ireland.

As far as I know, that's about as much a myth as the literal reading (i.e. he probably didn't get rid of literal snakes - because all evidence points to there not having been any since LONG before Patrick's time - OR kill druids and then for some reason they were allegorised as snakes). More info on this topic (including quotes from Celtic Reconstructionist pagans) http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/2012/03/saint-patrick-druids-snakes-and-popular-myths.html

To the best of my knowledge, a fairly high number of Danes, Anglo Saxons and so on willingly converted to Christianity, or at least weren't overly bothered by going along with it when their leaders did. They brought along various traditions and doubtless a lot of the early conversions weren't entirely 'complete' (i.e. they maybe added Christian beliefs but kept their older ones) but within a few generations their descendants were pretty much straightforwardly Christian.

Not saying that Christianity hasn't been behind a lot of bloodshed, just that from what I've read the whole "stole Pagan traditions to trick and force people into conversion" is maybe not all that accurate when it comes to Northern Europe.

That said, the show is pretty inaccurate in a lot of other areas (e.g. which sons were born to which wife and such.)
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 09:58:37 am by Beryl »

Beryl

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 10:05:36 am »
Quote from: Beryl;199601

That said, the show is pretty inaccurate in a lot of other areas (e.g. which sons were born to which wife and such.)

 
But I do enjoy it, and the religion aspects are interesting, particularly the friendship between Ragnar and Grantaire (can't remember his name in this... Aethelstan maybe?)

Friendly_Viking

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 12:00:34 pm »
Quote from: Beryl;199601
Not saying that Christianity hasn't been behind a lot of bloodshed, just that from what I've read the whole "stole Pagan traditions to trick and force people into conversion" is maybe not all that accurate when it comes to Northern Europe.

I have done a lot of research as well into the holiday conversion. If you look at everything you will see that they took pagan holidays and converted them. Jesus was not born in December, it would have been summer time when he was born. I have read that when the census was conducted, people were still letting their flocks roam, which they did not do in December and proves he was not born in December. So why celebrate his birth in December?

Look at Easter as well, Bunnies and eggs came from somewhere. Rabbits and eggs represent fertility and were used in the Spring Equinox of most pagan religions but has nothing to do with Jesus rising from the dead.

I feel I don't need to go into Halloween, most people are familiar. You see where I am going with this though. It doesn't make sense for a religion to have holidays to don't coincide with what the holiday is supposed to be celebrating.

I am a firm believer that Christian holidays were made to help convert the populace.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 01:18:02 pm by Jenett »

Beryl

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 12:19:14 pm »
Quote from: Friendly_Viking;199609

I have done a lot of research as well into the holiday conversion. If you look at everything you will see that they took pagan holidays and converted them. Jesus was not born in December, it would have been summer time when he was born. I have read that when the census was conducted, people were still letting their flocks roam, which they did not do in December and proves he was not born in December. So why celebrate his birth in December?

Look at Easter as well, Bunnies and eggs came from somewhere. Rabbits and eggs represent fertility and were used in the Spring Equinox of most pagan religions but has nothing to do with Jesus rising from the dead.

I feel I don't need to go into Halloween, most people are familiar. You see where I am going with this though. It doesn't make sense for a religion to have holidays to don't coincide with what the holiday is supposed to be celebrating.

I am a firm believer that Christian holidays were made to help convert the populace.

I think points 12-14 on this post and several of the later posts in the same thread cover all these better than I could: http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?12790-What-Christianity-stole-from-Paganism&p=184055&viewfull=1#post184055

This is also a good read: http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/585924.html

Just specifically re: "Rabbits and eggs represent fertility and were used in the Spring Equinox of most pagan religions " - would be interested to know some sources for that, which specific religions did what with rabbits and which specific religions did what with eggs? Most pre-Christian religions in Northern Europe (which tend to be what people mean when they're talking about Easter being "stolen", what with the name and everything) didn't leave much behind by way of detailed information on either belief systems or festival/religious practices.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 12:19:45 pm by Beryl »

Beryl

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 12:23:50 pm »
Quote from: Beryl;199610

Just specifically re: "Rabbits and eggs represent fertility and were used in the Spring Equinox of most pagan religions " - would be interested to know some sources for that, which specific religions did what with rabbits and which specific religions did what with eggs? Most pre-Christian religions in Northern Europe (which tend to be what people mean when they're talking about Easter being "stolen", what with the name and everything) didn't leave much behind by way of detailed information on either belief systems or festival/religious practices.

 
Just to add - from what I've gathered, a LOT of the 'history' we have around these matters tends to be either garbled mythologising fluff by pagan authors, or rooted in the ideas of various Victorian historians who became a bit obsessed with Our Glorious Pagan Past (even though they were pretty much all Christians) and seem to have decided that just about every countryside tradition or anything attached to Christian festivals that wasn't obviously Biblical in origin MUST be Ancient Pagan Symbols. (I think there was also a fair bit of this going on from people who were less keen on the whole thing - basically That's Devil Worship And Must Be Purged.)

Friendly_Viking

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2016, 12:38:15 pm »
Quote from: Beryl;199610
I think points 12-14 on this post and several of the later posts in the same thread cover all these better than I could: http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?12790-What-Christianity-stole-from-Paganism&p=184055&viewfull=1#post184055

This is also a good read: http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/585924.html

Just specifically re: "Rabbits and eggs represent fertility and were used in the Spring Equinox of most pagan religions " - would be interested to know some sources for that, which specific religions did what with rabbits and which specific religions did what with eggs? Most pre-Christian religions in Northern Europe (which tend to be what people mean when they're talking about Easter being "stolen", what with the name and everything) didn't leave much behind by way of detailed information on either belief systems or festival/religious practices.

 
I was reading the posts in the forum you referenced and the claim that Halloween started in Rome was false. The holiday Lemuria was observed in May not October and was a holiday in which Romans Exorcised ghosts from their home.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemuria_(festival)

As far as Easter goes I will do a bit more research before questioning that. As far as Christs birth it is proven that he was born no late than October.

http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/when-was-jesus-born

Jenett

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2016, 01:26:21 pm »
Quote from: Friendly_Viking;199612

As far as Easter goes I will do a bit more research before questioning that. As far as Christs birth it is proven that he was born no late than October.

http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/when-was-jesus-born

 
I'm very dubious about that site for serious historical evaluation of Christianity - there's no information about their perspective, sources, or other things that provide an inquisitive reader with more places to look. That's bad research.

I have an article on my website that expanded on some excellent conversations here (and other places) about various Christian holidays, and includes some better starting references that you may find useful.

It specifically discusses the choice of December 25th for the birth of Christ, which is basically all about people making calendars do 'perfect' calculations, and not so much about reality, but for different reasons than you or the article you linked imply. Also the dates for Easter, which are even more complicated.
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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2016, 01:47:00 pm »
Quote from: Friendly_Viking;199609
Look at Easter as well, Bunnies and eggs came from somewhere.


And what part do those things have to do with the religious holiday of Easter?  Or Paschal, the name it has in variations in most languages, which does not totally erase its connection with the Passover?  ("Easter" exists only in English and German, to my awareness; everyone else actually respects the holiday origins in its name.)

Folk traditions drift around and attach to stuff.  That doesn't make them religious, or even particularly relevant to the religion they're currently hitchhiking on.

Quote
I am a firm believer that Christian holidays were made to help convert the populace.


You are entitled to your own beliefs, but not your own facts.

The facts are that Easter derives explicitly from Passover.  Erasing the Jewish roots of Christianity to manufacture some false pagan narrative of persecution is disgusting.
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Megatherium

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2016, 02:32:21 pm »
Quote from: Friendly_Viking;199599
Despite the historical inaccuracies I love this show. Christianity was forced upon people. Most people did not accept it willingly. Take the story of St Patrick for example, he killed people who wouldn't convert in Ireland.


There are some cases of relatively violent conversions - Charlemange's wars against the Saxons spring to mind. But given the very long and geographically widespread nature of the conversion to Christianity, there was considerable variation in the process in different areas. Often, a ruler would convert for political reasons, and Christian doctrine would slowly percolate down to the population over time. We may also be overestimating the differences between Pagan and Christian outlooks in North Europe, as the practice of Christianity in the immediate centuries following conversion was often heavily influenced by the worldview of the culture it was entering.  
(Both the following sources do an excellent job of explaing this process:
"The Germanization of Medieval Christianity" https://www.amazon.com/Germanization-Early-Medieval-Christianity-Sociohistorical/dp/0195076966
 
"Continuity of Worldviews in Anglo-Saxon England"
http://www.hoap.co.uk/general.htm#aswv )

I will unfortunately have to disagree with you on the holidays. Most Christian holidays dates and religious meanings were formulated in the Mediterranean region long before Christianity spread to Northern Europe. Christmas is no more celebrated on December 25th because of Germanic celebrations of Yule than English is a major language in India because of the influence of American business.

However, people do recognize seasonal changes regardless of their religious outlook, and traditions that has a certain economic or seasonal logic to them before the conversion (such as spending a lot of times indoors with family and feasting due to the relatively still large agricultural surplus during Yule) likely continued after. In other words, though Easter is not an invented holiday to replace Germanic spring festivals, it is likely that some traditions related to the celebration of spring continued after the conversion.
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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2016, 02:38:07 pm »
Quote from: Friendly_Viking;199612
As far as Easter goes I will do a bit more research before questioning that. As far as Christs birth it is proven that he was born no late than October.

http://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/when-was-jesus-born

Nothing is proven. The early Church did not celebrate the Nativity. Actually, the date of celebrating the Annunciation was fixed earlier, and Nativity followed, at exactly 9 months later. We don't worry too much about 'proving' anything. It's a commemoration, not an anniversary.

Easter eggs, on the other side, have everything to do with Pascha being at the end of a seven-week fast from all animal food, resulting in a pile of the (already seasonally plentiful) things.

Hint: Christian traditions aren't nearly as monolithic as you think.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 02:42:24 pm by Chatelaine »
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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2016, 07:03:26 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;199619
Easter eggs, on the other side, have everything to do with Pascha being at the end of a seven-week fast from all animal food, resulting in a pile of the (already seasonally plentiful) things.

And all of Christendom rejoiced with ass-trumpets and sulfurous eggfarts.  For 3 days.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 07:05:07 pm by MadZealot »
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Friendly_Viking

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2016, 07:56:51 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;199615

 Erasing the Jewish roots of Christianity to manufacture some false pagan narrative of persecution is disgusting.

 
In case you did not read all of the posts, I said I had to do more research before another statement after reading some material. I did not erase any jewish roots of Christianity nor did I manufacture a false pagan narrative of persecution.  I am sure you can find a lot of material confirming that Christians did in fact kill or torture people who did not convert. I am not saying every Christian did but to say it did not happen would be ignoring the facts.

I pride myself on doing research and when proved wrong will admit it so please don't assume something about me or insult my intelligence. Thanks.

Son of the Norse

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Re: Do any of you watch Vikings on TV...if so, what are your thoughts on...
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2016, 09:04:57 pm »
Quote from: Friendly_Viking;199639
I am sure you can find a lot of material confirming that Christians did in fact kill or torture people who did not convert.


 
I can confirm this.  My spouse's great grandmother (who was alive in 1993) who was 104 when I met her told me of when she was a small girl and the christian missionary types tried to force english and christ on the little kids.  They used to make her pick up hot stones out of the Umu (underground oven) when she was accused of not "seeming" to take the lords pray with enough seriousness... Repulsive!
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