Christianity was The Demise of Vikings

What was that? You ask if I am exaggerating when I profess that Christianity was the demise of Vikings.

Well, I will let you answer that for yourself. But, before you answer, please read the following, making sure you go to each of the referenced materials.

“… Norse kings solidified their control over their territories. This created nations as opposed to Viking fiefdoms. Instead of a number of clans and numerous leaders, Scandinavia transformed into medieval kingdoms under solitary kings. These kings held enough power to hold people in check which reduced the amount of raiding.

As Scandinavian monarchies consolidated their power, Christianity replaced the Norse religion of Odin and Thor. Christianity began making inroads into the Viking territories under Charlemagne. He forced the Northern Europeans to convert by the sword. This led to a cultural struggle between Northern Europe and the rest of the continent. Eventually, Christianity defeated the Norse pantheon.”

ref: The End of the Viking Age, Don Keko, Ancient History Examiner,

Viking “raids slowed and stopped because the times changed. It was no longer profitable or desirable to raid. The Vikings weren’t conquered. Because there were fewer and fewer raids, to the rest of Europe they became, not Vikings, but Danes and Swedes and Norwegians and Icelanders and Greenlanders.”

ref: What happened to the Vikings? Where are they now? Did they die off? Were they conquered?, Hurstwic.

“At the beginning of the Viking Age, mainstream Europe was predominantly Christian. The one exception was the Norse people, who had their own pagan beliefs. Vikings who travelled abroad became more exposed to Christianity. The Norse living in the homelands also became convinced of God’s power by visiting missionaries and priests. The Norse population gradually began to accept Christianity. The old religion slowly disappeared as even those who had strong faith in their pagan gods were cruelly forced by Scandinavian kings to convert to Christianity.

As Christianity spread amongst the Norse people, it contributed to the decrease in Viking power. The Norse people no longer practised their pagan beliefs, which placed such great importance on war. Being killed during a battle was believed to be the highest honour which could be bestowed on a warrior. In contrast, Christianity encouraged a more peaceful way of life. The conversion to Christianity resulted in the Vikings losing interest in raiding and, as an alternative, turning their attention to trading. A combination of all of these factors forced the Nordic countries to emerge, for the first time, as part of Christian Europe.”

ref: The end of the Viking Age, Skwirk Online Education.


About Roland Louis Hansen

I have been: an organization development consultant; a college-level instructor of political science, psychology, and sociology; a public administrator; a social worker; an elected official; a political operative; a community activist; a union official; a shoe salesman and manager, a factory worker; a fast food restaurant employee; and, a custodian.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Danish, Education, History, Musing, People, Religion, Sociology, Websites. Bookmark the permalink.

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