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May 14

Vikings and Law by Andrea Cooper

Please welcome Andrea Cooper to my website today. Her topic is one of my favorites-Vikings!

images (47)Many have the image of Vikings as raiders, pillagers, and worse. Blond men who wield sword and axes hungry for blood. Savages.

However, the reality of the Vikings is more complex. Many were farmers and rather than bloodthirsty warriors, they were searching for land more so than gold.

They were the cleanest compared to Europeans of the time so much so that “an English cleric accused the Vikings of washing so frequently (typically once a week on Saturday) to seduce Christian women.”1

Viking women were allowed to divorce their husbands – something women in Britain were not permitted to do until 1857 – and that was only if she was abused or if he left her.

The largest and yet most unknown contribution that Vikings have given society is law.

The word ‘law’ in English is a Viking word. The Thing was an assembly similar to a court, which included a jury. The jury could be twelve, twenty-four or thirty-six individuals who would hear and judge the trial. The accused was judged by a group of their peers.

They believed in free will and freedom.

So the next time you get that jury duty summons, thank the Vikings.

images (48)

Bibliography

1 http://www.history.com/shows/vikings/articles/viking-history-season-2-episode-4

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/womensrights.htm

http://viking.no/e/life/elaws.htm

Women in the Viking Age by Judith Jesch(Oct 24, 1991)

Images – Thanks to Google Images – Free to use or modify, even commercially

Here is an excerpt from my historical romance, Viking Fire, with Bram (a Viking) explaining to Kaireen (a feisty Irish lass) about the importance of freedom in his country. Previously, he has tried to force her into agreeing to their betrothal, but now realizes his mistake.

“Bram?” Trepidation flooded her.
“I was going to tell you tomorrow, but it’s probably best that you know it now.”
He took a breath and Kaireen felt as if she stopped. A gnawing fear inside her made her want to double over, but she locked her legs.
“I have wronged you.” He held up a hand at the shake of her head. “In my country we believe that an individual’s freedom can overshadow the rights of kings. Even though I am no king, I have not given you your freedom to choose. Consistently you have told me that you do not wish to marry me. I’ve only wished to make you happy, and it is evident to me now that I cannot. I will honor your wishes and I release you from our marriage commitment.”
“Will you and Rebec-?” she couldn’t get the words out.
He grasped her hand turning it over to bring the palm up to his lips. His kiss brought shivers through her body. “No. I will not marry her or anyone.”

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Viking Fire blurb:

856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.
Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?
Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?
With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels. 

Reviews:

“Andrea Cooper weaves a tantalizing tale of life in a not-too-civilized Ireland. Best of all she weaves in the unique thread of a courtship filled with fun, fury, and fighting that leads to a love that show how true loves are willing to give their lives to protect each other. Good entertainment.” –Long and Short Reviews

“The story is fast paced with almost constant action. The love story is sweet as Kaireen matures into an incredible and strong woman. Sinister plots and violent betrayals tell a compelling story. A very enjoyable story.” –Night Owl Reviews

Andrea’s Bio: Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn’t until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.Bio Pic

What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).

Andrea writes fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.

She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

Viking Fire is her second novel with Crimson Romance and is a historical romance. Her debut novel, The Garnet Dagger Book 1 Legends of Oblivion is a fantasy/ paranormal romance series. Cursed in Shadow Book 1.5 and Son of Dragons Book 2 Legends of Oblivion are also available.

She has also written a historical short story romance, The Proxy, as part of a collection with five other authors – each writing in a different romance genre – look for Six Shades of Romance on Amazon.

 

 

23 comments

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  1. Andrea

    Thank you for having me on your wonderful blog today.

  2. Melissa Keir

    I didn’t realize how much Vikings have given us. Wonderful group of people. Loved the excerpt too! Tweeted!!

    1. Andrea

      Melissa,

      Thank you 🙂

  3. Daryl Devore

    Yikes – having to do math to prove I’m human. I’m in big trouble. Great post learned something. Wow – math problems and learning stuff all in one day. That’s it my brain’s overloaded.

    1. Andrea

      Daryl,

      Right – math – it might not work for the bots 😉 Thank you for coming by.

  4. Liza O'Connor

    Very interesting article. Vikings sound like far better humans than the Brits. I have a theory that cold weather makes a better civilization. The warmer the weather, the more pugnacious and troublesome the country. But then there is always an exception. Russia comes to mind. But given it’s size, the leader stays in the warmer area, where, as far as I can tell, he’s gone mad.

    Now back to the Vikings. I’m not surprised they had better laws than the English. The English men did a dismal job of protecting the young and women.

    1. Andrea

      Liza,

      Good theory. I think it’s great that Vikings had such laws to help people and women had more rights at the time than any European country – yet they were called Pagans and Savages.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Deborah O'Neill Cordes

    Excellent post, Andrea. I appreciate authors who do their research. May you have much continued success with your novels!

    1. Andrea

      Deborah,

      Thank you! I’ve always loved history – especially before the Industrial Revolution. I’m glad you came by.

  6. Elizabeth Meyette

    Andrea, this is what I love about historical romance – learning new stuff along the way. I never knew that about Vikings influencing our law. I admit I had the stereotypical view of them, and I thank you for enlightening me!

    1. Andrea

      Elizabeth,

      I’m so glad you found the article enlightening. History is also written by the winners, so you may be surprised at other things 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

  7. Toni Kelly

    Super interesting blog and much of it really does contrast with what Hollywood potrays as Vikings. Thanks for the education!

    1. Andrea

      Toni,

      I agree. There is lots that Hollywood portrays that is exaggerated or even untrue. But those are what sales. Thank you for coming by 🙂

  8. TF Walsh

    Great post, Andrea. Love anything on Vikings, and I’m always up for learning new things:)

    1. Andrea

      T.F.,

      Thank you! Vikings are popular right now. I’m glad you stopped by.

  9. Georgia Lyn Hunter

    interesting article on the Vikings, Andrea.
    I’m so glad I could add those numbers and post this. Math and I, not close friends, I’m afraid 🙂

    1. Andrea

      Georgia,

      I know about the math problems, but unfortunately this isn’t my blog, so I can’t change it. I’m just glad the math problems are not geometry because I’m pretty sure I failed that and the teacher just pushed everyone through with D’s 😉

      Thank you for coming by.

  10. Rose Gorham

    I enjoyed your article, Andrea. Thanks for sharing. Viking Fire sounds like a great read. Added it to my must read list!

    1. Andrea

      Rose,

      Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the story. I’m working on a sequel now.
      I’m glad you came by. All the best.

  11. joanna lloyd

    Loved the post and the interesting information about our laws. I thought the gorgeous Bram was special amongst his people but he was obviously a product of his culture. Great book and look forward to the sequel.

    1. Andrea

      Joanna,

      I think of Bram as special 🙂 I don’t know too many men who would have been as patient as he was. Thank you so much for coming by.

  12. Rowena O'Sullivan

    Hi Andrea

    Fascinating stuff. I never knew that about Vikings – as to law and that they were more farmers and believed in free will. I learned something today.

    1. Andrea

      Rowena,

      I was surprised myself when I researched Vikings years ago. The History Channel’s Vikings is bringing some of this to light.

      Thank you for coming by.

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