|Comment count is 25|
|EvilHomer - 2015-10-13 |
While I understand, respect. and dare I say even empathize with his position on this matter, in the end I have to disagree with him. "Norse" is a fine term, but "Viking" is SOOOO much cooler, and (I submit), is perfectly OK to use, just so long as we limit this use to Norse settlers descended from raiders, and make an effort to dispel popular myths about Viking culture.
Mr. Purple Cat Esq.
Yeah my hometown was founded by vikings. I didnt watch the video but I'm guessing the title is very clickbaity and/or Lindy is being a pedant in the extreme.
I don't consider it pedantic: "viking" is an occupation (i.e. to go raiding), not a nationality. Think of "pirate" and you have some sense of it: there was no Pirateland where pirates came from, and if you wanted to speak of "pirate culture", it's not clear what you would even mean.
Pedant. His argument is that, since historically, "Viking" was a term reserved for raiders, and not all Norsemen were raiders (even the ones who were raided only part-time), then we shouldn't use the word "Viking" to describe them or their culture.
It's really more of a problem for people who don't know much about Norse history, like the writers on Baywatch Nights, then anything else. I mean, yes, there probably ARE people who'd be shocked to learn that "Vikings" were more likely to be farmers, fishermen, and traders than big hulking warriors, but you won't fix that misconception just by changing the word lay people use to describe them.
Still, at least he's not a Carolignian-apologist like Matt Easton...!
Bort - "there was no Pirateland where pirates came from, and if you wanted to speak of "pirate culture", it's not clear what you would even mean."
What about Jamaica, Port Royal in particular? Nassau? Tortuga? Pre-Roman Cilicia, post-Roman Dalmatia, much of the Barbary Coast, numerous places in East Asia (Tsushima and Iki Island, for example), and arguably even Somalia today?
Also, not to be a pedant myself, but "Viking"/ "Norse" really shouldn't be considered "a nationality" either, given that the concept of a unified nation-state is fairly modern, and was totally alien to those people.
It would be like historians in the 31st century, looking back on us now, arguing over whether ancient Americans should be called "Cowboys" or "Yankees" - given that we did not all have the same occupation, but DID live within the same FEMA Quadrant of the Galactic Reptoid Continuum.
As long as future people know what "Cowboy" culture was actually like, not labouring under the misconception that we Americans all worn horned cowboy hats and went around raping women with our double-bitted video-game controllers, then who cares if "Cowboy culture" is a stupidly anachronistic name?
"What about Jamaica, Port Royal in particular? Nassau? Tortuga? Pre-Roman Cilicia, post-Roman Dalmatia, much of the Barbary Coast, numerous places in East Asia (Tsushima and Iki Island, for example), and arguably even Somalia today?"
Well, you're making my point for me: pirates can come from anywhere, because piracy is a profession, not a nationality.
"Pedant. His argument is that, since historically, "Viking" was a term reserved for raiders"
It was a term that MEANT raiders; it identified the activity. As a former PoE forum member used to call him or herself, Viking Is A Verb. What do you call a Viking who decides to take up farming full time? A farmer, or maybe a Dane or a Norwegian.
No, I mention these places because they were run by pirates, for pirates; they were "Piratelands" where pirates came from, and embodied Pirate culture. While it's true that ETHNICALLY, places like Nassau, Port Royal, and the Wokou islands were highly diverse (less so Dalmatia, Cilicia, and Somalia), culturally? Politically? They were distinctly "Pirate".
Now the examples I have cited still may not be perfect analogues for Viking society, since Pirate societies tended to be smaller and more localized than the Norse kingdoms and their Viking colonies. But nevertheless, the culture exists.
A question for you, Mr Bort - assuming you wish to stick to your guns, then would you agree that there is no point in talking about "Monarchical" societies? After all, being a Monarch is a profession, but in Monarchical societies, only ONE person actually has the job of being King.
The same could go for Feudal societies, Mound Builder societies, any society whose terminology references a specific metal, and of course, the entirety of "-lithic" pre-history, on the grounds that not every caveman was building shit out of stone, all day, every day. In fact, we might as well get rid of names like Celtic (which is a modern Anglicization of a term that probably only applied to a few "Celtic" tribes to begin with) or Latin or hell, even European! You can find reasons to hate on pretty much every single term that has ever been used to describe anyone in history... but, most people would say that doesn't really matter, because sooner or later, you just pick a term and you stick with it.
People like Vikings. Vikings are here to stay. So Vikings is it.
"A question for you, Mr Bort - assuming you wish to stick to your guns, then would you agree that there is no point in talking about "Monarchical" societies? After all, being a Monarch is a profession, but in Monarchical societies, only ONE person actually has the job of being King."
Re-read this after a few hours and let me know if you need me to rebut this.
Well, in the cold light of morning, I probably shouldn't have led with that specific example, on the grounds that "Monarchical" refers to a style of political governance rather than culture - the Mound Builder and -lithic examples being more direct comparisons to the Viking controversy - but, Yes! The underlying pattern ("Term X refers to job X, and is a bad term for describing Society Y, on the grounds that not everyone in Society Y performed job X") is still the same, and I would appreciate you answering the question, if you can.
The type of pedantry endorsed by Lloyd and yourself, it can easily be applied to the terminology we use to describe countless loosely-affiliated historical collectives; I want to know if you're willing to fight the entire system in the name of this mad idea of yours, or if this is actually about *Vikingphobia*, and you're just singling out Vikings for discriminatory treatment.
Sigh. Being a Viking was a job you might have in Scandinavian society. It might not even be your full-time job. It might even be that you'd get on a boat and, depending on circumstances, you'd either raid or trade, depending on what was working out better for you and your little band.
Plus, not all Vikings were Scandinavian; native Irish would sometimes get in on the action, for example.
We might speak of the Mound Builders or what have you because we don't have better names for them. We do have better names for the peoples of Scandinavia: for example, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Geats, and Rednex.
You're missing the point here, Bort. We all agree that the word "Viking" originally meant raider, and that not all people in Viking society participated in raids. That is a perfectly valid point, and one which I think all of us happily concede. The real question, which neither you nor Lindybeige have yet answered, is: why does this matter? ---- So what? ----
"Viking" is a perfectly adequate term: it is widely understood, has been attested since some of the earliest historical accounts, and with the sole exceptions of yourself and Mr Lloyd here, nobody seems to have an issue with it. What else do you need?
If there *is* something intrinsically wrong with using the name of a profession or activity to describe a larger grouping of people, then, once again, I have given you a list of terms whose etymology is similarly afflicted. If "Vikings" is wrong, then clearly the rest of those terms are wrong, too! But I do not think you have a problem with any of the terms I listed, and I put it to you, that the reason you don't have a problem with the terms I listed, is the very same reason why the rest of us don't have a problem with the word "Viking" --- because it doesn't matter. --- The gripe against Vikings is pedantic and pointless.
As for your proposed "better names" - well, no, those aren't adequate at all! I refer you to our discussion about nation-states above: modern regional identities, like "Norwegian" or "Swedish", are later constructs. "Norway", for exampled, wasn't even a unified kingdom until almost a century after *after* the raid on Lindisfarne, and even then, regional identities remained fractured and distinct, arguably until as late as the 19th century and the reign of Christian Fredrick, first great champion of Norwegian nationalism. With this in mind, I put it to you that "Norwegian" is a bad term, on the grounds that this term carries very specific connotations to the modern mind (we parse 'Norwegian" as a national identity), connotations which had no relevancy in the Viking era, and which would make things extremely confusing for modern people trying to understand the Vikings in their proper historical context. It's similar to the confusion caused by calling The Hundred years War a war between "the English" and "the French"; if we're going to be doing any word-policing at all, then we want to encourage terms that result in historical clarity, or at the very least, don't muddy the waters further.
Lloyd's proposal - to just call the Vikings "Norse" - is considerably better. However, I must point out that people DO call the Vikings "Norse"; in fact, the terms "Norse" and "Viking" are used interchangeably by nearly everyone - with the exception of you and your pedantic buddy, of course.
Here's a cool little article about my ancestors' cool little town called Seljord from a little while ago:
Viking revisionists we are.
|Scrotum H. Vainglorious - 2015-10-13 |
|Bort - 2015-10-13 |
This is why we need Viking Is A Verb to come back; he or she kept us in line.
|The Mothership - 2015-10-13 |
In my History of the Vikings class I have never had a student like this.
|baleen - 2015-10-13 |
I tried really, really hard to jerk off to this, but I just couldn't cum. Kind of hot but not really my thing I guess.
|urbanelf - 2015-10-14 |
|ashtar. - 2015-10-14 |
Fuck the Vikings.
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