Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Vikings: more than warriors

When I discovered last fall that I had 24% Scandinavian DNA, I was thrilled. As I've said here, I'm a Celtic Viking. Among the other sites I uploaded my DNA raw data to is a relatively new kid on the block, DNA.Land. Their database is small but growing. Each company has different analysis techniques, which I don't dwell on (science makes my head hurt), aside from noting that DNA.Land reports that I have 3% Sardinian DNA. Oh my. But DNA.Land's map of my DNA origins differed a little from AncestryDNA's. It shows that some of my Scandinavian DNA comes from what is today Iceland. 
My DNA.Land ancestor map

Which brings me to the topic of today's post. In last weekend's Toronto Star is an interview with Anders Winroth, author of a 2014 book, The Age of the Vikings. 

The headline grabbed me: Discovering the softer side of Vikings. It turns out the Icelandic spoken today isn't far off from Ancient Norse. And for their time, they were actually less violent than, for instance, Charlemagne, Winroth says. He asserts that, "There is a need for us to see the Norsemen in their historical context, not just as warriors but as cultural influencers."

Read the interview here. Vikings. My ancestors.

The never ending story continues...

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