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tv   Arthur Herman The Viking Heart  CSPAN  October 16, 2021 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

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their scandinavian descendentssheet history . >> welcome everyone. my name if you don't know is max manfred, director of exhibitions and brands in minnesota. it's my pleasure to have arthur hogan here, author of
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the book the viking heart. how scandinavians conquer the world. i'm excited to have arthur here to talk about his brand-new book. before we begin i want to go over a couple of housekeeping things. arthur will give a presentation and afterwards we will have a q&a session so if you would like submit your questions via the q and a button at the bottom of your screen. if you're on a desktop or laptop that should appear on the bottom of your window. ifyou're on a mobile device you can tap your screen and that button should appear as well. thank you for joining us tonight . with that i'd like to introduce our speaker, arthur. arthur herman received a ba from theuniversity of minnesota . he actually is a fourth generation of arthur herman's
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to graduate from university of minnesota and received an and a phd in history from johns hopkins university and is currently a senior fellow at the hudson institute and author of 10 books including the new york times bestseller how the scots invented the modern world and dottie and churchill which were finalists for thepaula surprise . i think with that alternate right over to arthur. to begin his presentation and then we will take questions after the presentation. arthur. >> thank you very much. and hello everyone. it's good to see you if only virtually. and good to return if only virtually to my birth place where i wasborn . a number of years ago it was
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classified. and also where i was alumnus at the university. as max mentioned all the arthur herman superseded me also received degrees of different kinds. my father got a phd from minnesota. his father got m.d. from the university of minnesota and my great-grandfather from the university ofminnesota . this was during class registration times when a couple of times when i was registering for classes i received notices from the registrar saying i would not be allowed to register until i paid the overdue fine for a textbook on symbols of ecology.
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that required me to go down to the registrar's office and explain to them that they were actually, they would have to get hold of my grandfather because hewas not with us . minnesota: minneapolis, the twin cities was part of my background. both my grandmothers lives including my grandmother who came from norway to the united states just before world war i as did her husband and you raise three children in minnesota. this book is in many ways the most personal of the books i have written because my family does inevitably surface in the course of my discussion which is not just
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about the vikings per se which is really what the first part of the book is about but also how the cultural skill set that the vikings built and i'll talk about that in a minute comes from the skill set the vikings built to survive and thrive in the environment of scandinavia and the dark of your. how that skill set carried over into the history of not just modern scandinavia including today but also the united states and scandinavian immigrants who came over in the 19thcentury but i don't want to get too far ahead of myself .the people ask me to question people ask me is how to write the book and in this case i can tell you the genesis of this book came from a conversation on uncle norman. my mother's brother after my
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book how the scots invented the modern world became a new york times bestseller and i had traveled into scotland to talk about the book and so on . he said to me in typical uncle norman fashion so, you did a pretty good job telling about the scots. when are you going to write about the vikings? i didn't have a good answer over the next decade and a half or more that question remained at the back of my mind . not solely because of the family connection but what my uncle norman was saying was when are you goingto write a book about us ? it was his heritage and all the scandinavians who came over and became partof our history . but it was also an important episode in history, any evil history and german history in world history as iexplained in the book . so the question is that could
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i address both of these needs ? also about the place of the vikings and a proper understanding of their place in history and this book is the result. what it really is about is the idea of this extraordinary continuity in cultural attitudes and in mindsets that travels over from the viking experience, the world in which the vikings made and that made the vikings through scandinavia during the later stages of its place in european history and then to the experience of scandinavian immigrants. that this cultural gift, this cultural skill set applied not only in our region .
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it expands to icelanders, it's part of a common nordic cultural heritage that i call the viking heart.that's my term for thiscultural skill set . and it's watch one in which the importance of which i don't think we've understood even as scandinavian americans or historians. it's one that i think needs to be explored more and i see my book really as starting the exploration and venturing out into this to understand why. >> but this cultural skill set is a combination of a strong belief in community and family but also a recognition of the importance of individual initiative and individual freedom. it really takes root you could say in the pre-viking
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period. it's what makes the age possible. it is the large extent and adaptation of an incredible physical condition under which the scandinavian tribes had to endure. the inhospitable climates, the meager resources including very little land on which to cultivate on which to grow crops, to feed families, feed livestock. that really compel them to look elsewhere for ways in which to make their society survive and prosper. also at the same time this idea of it there's no conditions without resources. that good survival is about everyone having to carry their own weight. everyone having to become part of the trusting that everyone will be part of that combined effort to enable this or to survive those incredible conditions. to survive venturing out into the sea in order to fish, in
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order to draw upon the riches that the sea can offer for survival. and then at the same time for recognition of how important it is that individuals who are free to venture out to go sees opportunities to bring back the goods, the things that would enable the group to survive and that's the beginning. that's exactly what happens. it's the norwegians and swedes, also as i explained in the book also young men who set out on these expeditions to go out and find new opportunity to find new sources for wealth and
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resources to help the community survive and thrive. and what they discover setting up each spring in their long ships is novel technology but also ships with incredibly shallow draft that allows them to travel from seagoing wells to river courses and reach places that ordinarily would be beyond the reach of an oceangoing vessel. and the use of this quarter sale that gives them speed and mobility of the kind that simply rolling can't provide. they soon discover by the end of the century is that there are more prosperous neighbors to the south are vulnerable. the frontiers between the scandinavian tribes and the contours of civilization have
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become permeable. so it becomes possible to prey upon the richer settlements and sites of that more advanced situation in northern europe after the death of charlemagne and to bring back the goods that enable the tribes of norway and denmark to prosper. and the result is it's the transformation of europe at the hands of these viking adventurers. who managed to engage in a series of incredible raids that set them out stretching out across the north sea and the baltic. stretching down along the coastline of the british isles, the first really significant rate in 795 at the monastery in lindisfarne which is usually at the
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beginning of the viking age proper but then down along the coast of northern france and spain through the straits of gibraltar into the mediterranean. as far as gilly but also swedish adventurers who are able to take their long ships across the baltic down the river all the way to the black sea and then to constantinople, the capital of the eastern norman empire becomes vulnerable to viking attack during its heyday, the 200 years of heyday of the viking age. now, that's the part of the viking story that we can tend to run into and discuss in the history books and of course there's also another chapter to this book. the chapter that usually ends up which is the expansion of region of adventurers further
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west. vis-c-vis the atlantic ocean, first to the islands and then to iceland and greenland and finally by the year 1000, lake erickson to the shores of north america. so that's the usual picture we have of the viking age and the age that we have these extraordinary warriors and adventurers is the one that we tend to get in our television series and novels and other sources.and they kind of look like this. you don't mind playing the first slide, i'd appreciate. they tend to have an appearance rather like you got the top?
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there we go. these are warriors from a chess set, medieval chestset discovered on the isle of lewis . probably made some time in the 15th century, little bit after the height of the 18th. but the figures there you see in this ivory chest set, i didn't even know by the way thanks to dna evidence was made from ivory tusks from greenland. from the viking settlement there. but we see that figure there, as the warrior biting his shield. he's usually end up a fight as being a deserter, the kind of extraordinary ferocious warriors who came into prominence in norse legend. they were real. there was no doubt that the
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berserkers were men who summoned up their inner animal nature as part of their fighting skill. they brought it to bear on the battlefield but it's important to realize the berserker as such were these extraordinary fearless and domino warriors are a small part of the wholeviking story . if you get the oppression that every viking sailor is a boat full of chris hemsworth's, super warriors setting out on invincible campaigns against these enemies, it's only part of the viking story. the truth is that these were the lives of the scandinavians at this time
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was that they were farmers, as fishermen, as animal and livestock razors these raids were a way to supplement income. to draw upon income by taking what others had but that they felt they deserved better. the wild viking raids were notorious for the attacks on their neighbors, they had far more attacks on their scandinavian neighbors. attacking the swedes and then swedes retaliating so the image of vikings as warriors although it captures part of reality is only one part of it. the other part is the way in which quickly they made the transition from raters to traders. the way in which they realize
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that they could enrich themselves and their community was not through pillage and plunder as art of europe caught on to the shocking raids that the vikings conducted and learned how to defend themselves. eventually the real answer to scandinavians own problems were growing in population and land either resources and not many places to put people and the other solution was to put them into colonies and settlements outside scandinavia. especially where land was plentiful and anchorage was there for the taking. so we get this extraordinary expansion not just of raids but of breaking communities and the search for land, the search for trade opportunities becomes insatiable. we get to see a figure like lake erickson, if we could go
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to the next slide. and there's thestatue of lake erickson . and the site excavated in newfoundland in which archaeologists of the 1960s discover the natural viking encampment, putting physical reality to the stories and sagas about lake erickson and his wages across the atlantic and north america. we also have these extraordinary peoples are extraordinary and peacetime as they were in wartime. another aspect is we mustn't forget it's worth emphasizing as i emphasize in the book that there's a lot in which women have extraordinary rights and extraordinary responsibilities in the time and place of dark age europe. and the quality and respect they deserved was baffling to outsiders, especially those
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who came from mediterranean cultures who where women tended to be sequestered. they were popping up all over the place. not only accompanying the manifold on expeditions and trading ventures and even across the north atlantic to america but in some cases as we know from archaeological evidence particularly the most famous, most recent being graveyards at guns weeding that they lead some of these expeditions. it was an extraordinary thing and it's something that resonates all through scandinavian culture from that day to this. it's the degree to which women were treated with respect or handed rights which would be pretty minuscule by today's standards but at the time would grow and increase as they gained equality with their men. so there's another aspect
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that again was cultural strength of scandinavia is that sense of solidarity, communal solidarity also allows that freedom within the limits of the culture and time and place. but this also gives a certain energy and vibrancy to scandinavian culture even after the viking age. turn to the next slide. and in fact that's one of the reasons why i think we see by the end of the viking age in the history of scandinavia that it's the viking women who become the most charismatic and most powerful, most effective doers all through the history of scandinavia . it's extraordinary to see and what's amazing to is that although the viking age
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produced some great warriors, the vikings become the ruling class of europe. the conqueror dissented from the norm and conquerors from norway, the great king of denmark and others. no one ever manages to unite all of scandinavia except one and that's margaret of denmark. this is her effigy at her tomb in fact. the union, mark managed through sheer force of will to unite the kingdoms of denmark, sweden and norway into one. it's the kind of undertaking that i say only a woman would conceive of and would pursue and only a woman like margaret of denmark would be
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able toachieve . pastor devin 1412 it is a singular achievement in the history of scandinavia and it's one of the things that makes margaret of denmark one of the most extraordinary women in scandinavian history but also maybe the most extraordinary woman in the whole history of the middle ages . no one can compete in terms of her personal will and effort and that sense of command. post viking age, the middle ages and scandinavia are ones in which the viking culture, that sense of strong belief and solidarity shared values and mutual trust but also creating that individual freedom had goes to enormous changes. new shapes, the christianity,
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i talk about it in more detail inthe book . but then also with the coming of the lutheran reformation. that's one of the associations we always think between scandinavia and lutheran church. but always. i think i explain this in the book it gives a profound impact on the shaping of cultural attitudes and scandinavia. and the evolution of what i'm calling the viking mark. because one of the emphasis of the teachings of the lutheran church was the idea of individual effort. whatever we do as a person to earn a living, to feed and raise our families, whatever that pursuit may be whether it's high social status or the lowest can be calling as long as it's one that works
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and benefits others. it, that's working hard, that being successful in whatever tasks you undertake, you carry out. it's really an expression of the book. it's one of the foundations for what i call the lutheran work ethics. it's one that's going to run deep through scandinavian culture from the 16th century on . and it gives to that viking spirit of entrepreneurship and new kind of all touristic twist. just as christianity brought a new level of compassion and sense of individual consciousness to the scandinavian culture so the roof the lutheran reformation gives this all touristic reach of what we do, that what we entered undertake not only benefits ourselves but also is going to benefit, really touches on that kind of philanthropic impulse that
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we see is so important in scandinavian culture and in scandinavian american culture as well. we think about great figures like alfred nobel forexample . freed hoffman's in. the norwegian explorer or philanthropist and savior of hundreds of thousands of refugees and shattering wake of worldwar i . he see that as part of the lutheran work ethic. and also these communities and additional sense of the importance of what they do and what theyundertake as a family . that comes to include the lutheran faith in scandinavia undertaking to protect the rest of protestant europe against the onslaught of the
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catholic counterreformation in theearly 17th century, early 1600s . this is the background to the involvement of sweden under its great king and also the great military genius ofthe 17th century . king eight office, the story of this saint office has a great commander as a builder of the swedish army and the second in europe is one of the extraordinary stories of the european history. it's also a typical example of scandinavians who are underpopulated with few resources and which are mobilized for a conquest of europe and yet the status pulled it out. the good example of scandinavians once again hitting above their weight just as the status of office
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had done during his wars and conquests in europe 30 years ago. he is an important figure in the history of europe, not just in the history of sweden and scandinavia . after his tragic death on the battlefield, in 1632 he leaves behind his swedish military machine and his successors, the house of divorce up, rulers of sweden find it in capable of resisting and using in their wars ofconquest . that's in the book with both wars of king of sweden and his incessant wars against his neighbors and northern europe. the army and again military genius of such caliber that he was able to take on and defeat the germans, the polls
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, the russians and the danes all at once. so this is all hints of their capacity and vision of an ambitious men like the status alophus. they become players ..
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another population explosion with the populations of norway and sweden almost doubling in the matter of two or three decades. yet there is no place to put them. there is no industrial sector to employ these thousands of swedes and norwegians and danes, and the result is the have to turn to find another place in which to make a living and feed their family. in the middle of the 19th century they turned to hear, to america, and set off as my fathers great-grandfather did in the 1850s and set off for america. next slide. you probably think you know this story because you are in art our land in minneapolis in minnesota, the story of what's called the great migration of
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scandinavia to america and particularly to the midwest, which had a particular draw because there's so much land. they're so much land to cultivate and its flat. it was unimaginable for someone who was raised in poverty, farmed in sweden or norway or finland to be able to see the incredible riches offered by the great plains states, or by the great forests in wisconsin and minnesota. this is a photograph that i acquired from the minnesota historical society just down the street from you swedish lumberjacks. and their experience along with the experience of other scandinavian americans. they become part of the american way of life and become part of
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the story of america, but it also changes america as well and that's an important theme of my book is that what they bring when they cross over the atlantic to america isn't just their own personal baggage and members of the family and others but they also bring that cultural commitment to community, of commitment to the mutual trust that is the binding force of the community, but at the same time recognizing that individual freedom, pursuit of opportunity is necessary because it benefits. again the work ethic, those who work and succeed bring that back and make it possible for the community to thrive with that joint effort that flows from what happens. that is incredible work ethic
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committing to taking pains at every opportunity to get things right, what the sociologist called the instinct of workmanship which he saw as real fundamental to shaping the civilization which is in that scandinavian cultural skill set. skills that make the impact of scandinavian americans way out of proportion to their numbers that do come over during the great migration period up to the beginning of world war i. about 3 million all total. 2 million from norway alone. so the story of 20th century america becomes in part the impact on these scandinavian americans on the way in which
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the cultural skill set becomes part of the american story. i could point to a couple of great examples of this, the danish immigrant who was pioneering efforts in indoor photography, highlighted the incredible depths of urban poverty in a city like new york city, it really created for the first time in america, and awareness of it, the dangers of poverty, the needs of the commune become american community to take steps to change that. it also culminates in the three figures who i described in the book and a talk about them in the book, really kind of -- america during the 1920s and during the era of the jazz age,
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the first one being charles lindbergh. we would drive up from minneapolis to go visit my grandmother. across the atlantic in 1927 recalled the memories of viking explorers and viking adventures across that same atlantic ocean here the second one i will mention, andrew olmsted, congressman from danish extraction who is the author of, joint author of the olmsted act, the legislation that imposed prohibition on america with all of the consequences that flowed from that. maybe not so much of a gift from scandinavia as in the case of the olmsted act and prohibition.
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but then the third one we talk about his role in the book, you can go to the next slide, max, which is newt rockne who came from this evening, came from the same hometown as max father's family, in norway, and whose career -- seybold career at notre dame is focused but we have to remember, newt rockne was not only an invincible football coach come he was also track and field coach at the same time and taught chemistry at university. in fact, one of the heartbreaking moments for professor knute rockne is when the administrators at the university had to tell him this is not going to be time for you to teach chemistry at the same time you're going to be running the football team, if you're going to have a team that's as
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nationally known and has engaged in as many games as yours is, as we had to step down, turn off the bunsen burners and then head for the fieldhouse to work full-time as football coach. but his legacy extends far beyond just notre dame university or even college football. he really is as explained in the book father of not just modern collegiate sports but also professional sports, the way in which fans could identify, connect emotionally to the success and failures of a sporting team and the way in which this became not only a source of community pride and key mcgee solidarity, everybody a fan of the hometown team, but also of monetary
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success as sports as a big business, knute rockne. in the history of the american way of life. there's a direct line, direct land of influence that flows from knute rockne to your own minnesota vikings, in that sense, in the time between american professional sports and the image of sports as a driving force in american culture and, of course, american higher education that comes from knute rockne is legacy. so the legacy of scandinavian american lives on. the legacy of the viking heart lives on. you see that legacy extending on
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and will become so much a part of american culture, we don't even think about these groups. you can go to the last one. the north side as which are written down in epic poems and stories, they were written down by poets and authors in the 13th century and 14th century in iceland that really recorded for the first time the great stories and legends and myths including the myths of the norse gods and goddesses which had always been contained as oral tradition among the vikings themselves but which now took on life as written documents in old norse to be passed on and read to future generations. those stories and ethics would
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have enormous impact on modern european life and also on the shaping of western literature and western culture. this is a carving from -- in norway, the hero from the soccer killing the dragon in order to acquire the treasure hoard that he has been guarding. that story was transferred directly into the authors -- [inaudible] but also the story of the search for the treasure for the magic ring that accompanies it will be transferred directly into the lord of the rings trilogy for
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j.r.r. tolkien and was fluent in old norse as he was in old english, and really the norse myth and mythology becomes foundational for the stories of lord of the rings, and then carried on in the hands of his admirers, george lucas as well as peter jackson in the movies that flow from not just the lord of the rings movies but also of course the star wars films, whose whole atmosphere, characters, the shaping of the story is drawn from the models, the paradigms laid out. the whole cult of superheroes, the fascination we have with the fantasy and fairytale that the
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norse legends provide a glance into and an understanding of reduced to human terms. this is i think in some ways you could argue, i argue it into the book, they are the most important legacy that the vikings has led to the modern world, not just the scandinavian world but also to the world that we inhabit today and our children and grandchildren are going to inhabit from this point on from where we go from here. i would say this is first of all a culture that understands hard work is what benefits the community, not just the individual. it recognizes that the community can reach a bond if there's a bond of trust that binds them all together in a common effort
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in support of that community, in the shared values that hold a community together. but it's also one that recognizes that individuals have to be free, have to be free to pursue their own path to venture out and most everything if necessary to venture out to find new ways in which to benefit the community, to build new life for themselves and are families and for those who depend upon them. that's the cultural skill set, this cultural skill set that vikings and simplified. it's one that it is passed down to their descendents, both in modern scandinavia today but also believe to scandinavian americans here. and it's a cultural skill set which is a test enormous relevance and residents today it's the one that i think it might just be the skill set that
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may still save america and save all of us as we look forward to where we go in venturing forth into what the 21st century has to offer and has in store for all of us. >> well, thank you very much. i'm happy to answer questions or whatever it is --spur i want to say thank you real quick. thank you for that lovely presentation. i have my own copy here of -- you can't now but it is here. virtual screen is hiding it, , t there it is. excellent. i think at least what i'm most excited about is that for me i've always heard bits and pieces of our history at a never
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known how it is tied together so i'm really excited to get into this book to learn how it always together, especially during a timeout when people looking to understand more about their own and other people's histories. this will be real exciting for myself and my heritage, kind discovered that and see where those values carry through. through people's stories and general history. with that i'm going to turn to some questions. so i can ask some here. looks like we have one here from sally. she was told by another historian that all vikings were danish vikings. if so, why? >> probably that's one-third right. because what we do know is that if we're talking about danish
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vikings meaning those coming from the danish peninsula and from the islands around modern denmark, that they were one-third of the overall viking adventure routes and explorations and rating routes. the danes themselves, each of the routes, they tend to follow the same pattern year after year. the danes tended to go across the north sea to the british isles particularly along the eastern seaboard of the british isles, which the danes, for example, who carve out their own settlements in northern england centered around the capital of york, i point out in the book at one point in the middle ages two-thirds of the kingdom of england were under danish rule. that's one reason why danish or i should say in other words, had
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such a huge impact on the english language, over 600 from old norse to english. that is part of that danish legacy. norwegians tended to venture a little bit further out going west towards iceland and greenland and, of course, north america, but also slipping around down on the west side of the british isles to ireland where norwegian vikings did carve up settlements even a principality or two during the height of the viking age and then into the mediterranean. where swedes pushed eastwards and it is of the swedes really are the ones who make their way down through the russian river courses into the black sea and
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established settlements, the most important being the key have which was the viking capital for hundreds of years -- kiev. the very word russian comes from -- which was the term locals had for these swedish adventures which means man who roamed which is a pretty good description of the seagoing swedes and vikings. >> interesting. i didn't know that. language alone you could really dive into a whole bunch of it. >> i talk about it more in detail. >> the many words that come out of, that come from scandinavia as opposed to anglo-saxon roots. >> well great. another question here from
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robert. why did norway respect their rule but detest the rule by sweden? >> why did norway respect the rule by denmark but then came to reject rule by sweden? partly i think there's a major cultural shift that takes place with the rise of norwegian nationalism in the 19th century. i would say, when you think about it, a long period of time that norway was under danish rule. of course the role was in the hands of individual princes and kings, you served the lord who had mastery over the land that you worked or had authority over the district that you lived on
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by whatever, whatever ethnic background, which is the interest that you and no relevance to the question of loyalty here. but then in the 19 century or norwegians become aware that they are norwegians and that they are, in fact, distinct from danish, that norwegian is more than just a dialect of danish which was for a long time the assumption that scholars made about the norwegian language, but there was a distinct language of its own and one with an illustrious history to boot and an awareness in fact, that vikings were not all danish vikings but, in fact, norwegians had a long independent history as great viking kings, chieftains and explorers. and so the switch comes thanks to the congress of vienna at the end of the poly on a course --
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paul janik wars and the swedes give a finland to the russians and an exchange get norway as a consolation prize. norwegians are not very happy about this because increasingly of course and 19 century they would be more and more aware of damage, we deserve to have her own government, have her own rules and labored as a basis of rules. it has to be said that the swedes gave us many concessions as they could norwegian autonomy without relinquishing control altogether. it was a desire to respect norwegians having their own parliament for example. they were certainly not enough to gratify the nationals and as a century on the movie became a very powerful one and in the end was to influential and too demanding for the swedes to ignore, or to try and block it.
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so in 1905 norway gets its independence. that doesn't do anything to diminish norwegian feelings about sweden's. my grandmothers remarks were not particularly flattering, and i remember as a as a boy at s looking at flashcards for national flags and flipping through flags for different countries, panama or romania and bulgaria and what of the flashcards with the flag of sweden came up. my grandmother looked over my shoulder and said what flag is that? i said it's the flag of sweden. she said, yellow, yes, appropriate color for swedes. [laughing] >> i have many stories like that, i know my mom said -- do
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you take cream with your coffee? she said swedish. >> there you go. there you go. i mean, partly said in some but only partly. >> i have read that myself, just kind of in growing up i always thought -- it was based in jokes but as a learned in history they were rude sometimes in betrayal. good. i'm really excited to get into the 18th century myself because as curator i i will he been fascinated with viking stuff. correct me if i'm wrong, but -- after he had been interested in kind of moving the nordics into being civilized people --
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[inaudible] >> and a part of that effort to integrate the scandinavian countries into mainstream european civilization. while at the same time recognizing that their history was unique and at the same time in which they have of thaty as i explained in the book they also have the discovery of their viking roots and at awareness that this is a whole nother chapter, unique chapter come in history of europe for scandinavians generally that gives them the sense of identity both national identity for each of the nation's involved, but also a sense of common identity, to laying the foundations for a nordic identity that bind to the countries together and find them today to finland on the one side and then also to iceland on the other. >> looks like we have time for maybe one or two more questions here. we have one from allison hit. in your book did you write about
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the geography of the scandinavian countries and their boundaries shifting overtime? i heard it was part of the norway. >> i didn't going to quite as much close to deal as that but yes, the opening of the book is about the extraordinary geography and the geographic contrast and differences between the three main nordic countries, and particularly the way which denmark is really distinct from norway and sweden, sweden's typography is fairly similar and, of course, very similar to finland as well but denmark's has more agricultural land, doesn't have the kinds of forbidding mountain ranges that the swedes and norwegians have to contend with. and also to denmark's physical link, they're geographically to
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the rest of the continent of europe means that danish history is going to take a different direction. it will remain part of the scandinavian and the nordic world but it also be more subject to influences flowing up from the south, particularly from germany over the course of history and that's going to do a lot to shape the history of denmark after the viking age in ways that, well, continue down to today as well. and there is the issue is about boundaries. the boundaries between germany and denmark, particularly who gets -- becomes a source of what of the most devastating moors in the scandinavian history, the prussian danish war in 18 sicced for which i talk a lot the book and is a -- is hugely important
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in shaping of modern europe particularly the rise of germany as a unified nation but which was also taught to danes l lesson in the dangers of trying to play power politics or try d to hit above your weight when you don't have the resources or the demographics to support continued against countries like germany, france, russia, and denmark's destiny like that of norway and sweden went in a different direction, namely towards the entanglements in european power politics and in great wars, if you could possibly stay out of them and have an important step towards denmark's neutrality and stance of neutrality to the great power conflicts unleashed through the rest of the 19 century into the 20th century.
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>> i'm excited. good. looks like we're just about done here at the bottom of the hour but now that you've written a book about the vikings, the was another question. are you inspired now to write more about nordic history? >> i'm sorry, about which? >> to write more about nordic history. >> i think it's a topic which is subject to, i think this book just opens the discussion, particularly the connections between the scandinavian american experience that so many of us share and, but also the trends and mainstream of events and culture in modern scandinavia in the same way. and and i see this book in a personal way is just beginning
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my own exploration of those kinds of issues and looking for to doing a lot more, a lot more in this area. >> i'm looking forward to getting started on the book. for those of you who still want a copy with a few remaining here left at norway house and i also have a few more at -- but i want to thank everyone for joining this evening and thank th, arthur, for joining us tonight to talk about your new book, "the viking heart: how scandinavians conquered the world." i i look forward to hopefully hearing more from you. >> look forward to it very much. it's been a great pleasure, thank you all for listening and for your questions. >> as is in norwegian --e
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television for serious readers. >> good eating virtual audience and welcome. thank you for joining us tonight. i name is hillary car and on behalf of harvard book store i'm pleased to introduce this event

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