Die Wikingerzeit - eine Epoche des Wandels by Arnulf Krause

By Arnulf Krause

'Seeräuber' bedeutet das Wort Wikinger eigentlich und diese Bezeichnung spiegelt auch intestine den Schrecken wider, den die Nordmänner vom nine. bis ins eleven. Jahrhundert über die südlich an ihre Gefilde grenzenden Gebiete brachten. Das Wissen um Gold in den Tempeln der Christen lockte sie aus dem Norden. In kleinen Trupps wurden Klöster und Dörfer geplündert, Land in England erobert und besiedelt, Städte in Irland und Russland gegründet und sogar Raubzüge bis ans Mittelmeer unternommen. used to be genau die Völker des heutigen Skandinaviens veranlasste, ihre Heimat zu verlassen und fremde Gebiete heimzusuchen, wird hier näher betrachtet. Der Autor erläutert, warum einfache Bauern und Fischer auf Handels- und Raubfahrt gingen, wie die berüchtigten Drachenschiffe entscheidend zum Erfolg der Beutezüge beitrugen und warum die berühmten, martialisch anmutenden Hörnerhelme eine Ausschmückung der Neuzeit sind. Die Entwicklung dieser Nordvölker mit ihrem immer dreisteren Vordringen über Flüsse ins Inland und dem Ausbau der anfangs nur blitzartigen Überfälle zu lang anhaltenden Belagerungen und Erpressungen wird ebenso geschildert, wie das Entstehen von Bündnissen mit christlichen Herrschern und die Besiedlung der Britischen Inseln und Islands. Warum die Wikingerzeit als Wiege der nordeuropäischen Nationen gilt, wie sich Sprachen und Königreiche herausbildeten, die heidnische Mythologie durch das Christentum abgelöst wurde und wie die speedy überall in der damals bekannten Welt überlieferten und gefürchteten Abenteuerfahrten der Nordmänner vonstatten gingen, berichtet der Historiker und Skandinavist Arnulf Krause.

Arnulf Krause ist promovierter Germanist und Skandinavist, erfolgreicher Sachbuchautor und Experte für germanische Heldensagen und die Dichtung der Edda. Er lehrt als Honorarprofessor am Institut für Germanistik, Vergleichende Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft der Universität Bonn.

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The army, by the middle of the fifth century mostl y German , tended to fa vour an effecti ve civil administration, as it relied on the capacity of the government 10 coHeel (axes for its livelihood. I t had no permanent geographical base, but its centres lay in the northern cities (the North being most liable to invasion) and its relationship with Ravenna was close. The underlying opposition between the Senate and the administration was twofold . First , the Senate tended to regard itself as the legitimate source of authority in the Lat e Roman state, subject only to the emperor.

The first is the absence of evidence for any particular ferven cy for religion along the Lombards at all. Authari's anti-Catholic edict we have already referred to: it was limited to refusing to Lombards the right 10 baptise their children Catholic. Authari certainly had Catholic followers, however; Gregory tells us about one. 13 Arioald and Rothari can be seen in surviving actions 10 respect at least the rights of the Church of Rome over Catholics in Lombard territory. Of Grimoald 's religious sensibilities we know nothing whatsoever - though Paul, our major source here, never admitted any of his kings to be Arian with the sole exception ofRothari.

Droclulf was clhnically a Sueve, and the Lombard confederalion included a large number of different ethnic groups - Saxons, Gepids, Bulgars, Sarmalians, Sueves, Thuringians, Pannonian Romans - and the Saxons can actually be seen acting as a homogeneous group in our sources. Such a mix cannot have helped Lombard political cohesion in the period. By now, Spoleto and Benevento had certainly turned against Byza ntium , and could spread havoc in the peninsula . On the other hand , the Byzantines by 580 had bought the duke ofFriuli , Grasulf, probably the most powerful duke in the North.

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