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You may think that this heartfelt prayer has come down to us unchanged across centuries to give an accurate picture of the terror that the Vikings inspired in the Saxon people of England, but as evocative as it is, all of the evidence points to a more modern source - the phrase was used in the introduction of his book "The Vikings" by Johannes Brøndsted (Harmondsworth/Penguin, 1960), but there is no evidence for it before this time. Indeed, as the knowledge of historians and archaeologists improves year by year, the image of the Viking Age as a time of abrupt violence is becoming merely a footnote, and the enormous cultural heritage of what is known as the Viking Age is coming to the fore.
While the Society concentrates mainly on the 10th Century, we also do events that are set in the wider period from 790 to 1066, with the appropriate modifications to dress and equipment used. Our aim is to provide an accurate and educational portrayal of the Viking period, with an equal emphasis on the daily life of the period, and on the more warlike aspects of life in what was a formative period in European history.
Unlike other societies who insist that new recruits (some of whom may have many years experience in Viking-age re-enactment) act the part of Thralls at their events for a undetermined 'trial' period, The Vikings do not enforce any starting rank or behaviour on recruits. If you want to join and dress as a wealthy Thegn, this is perfectly acceptable as long as you have the right level of kit and costume. This is reflected in the common use of the equal term 'Warrior' for all those who fight regardless of how long they've been around, how they are dressed or what sex they are.
Not only do we do get new recruits dressing as rich Thegns but the reverse is also true. Some of the lowest looking ranked folk on the LH are often the senior group leaders who just want to get on with cooking dinner.