Vikings , christianity.

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by RusticMusic, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. RusticMusic

    RusticMusic Itsoktobelost

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    Hi.
    I am going to tread lightly on this subject in order to NOT upset anyone or instigate an argument . Just rational dialogue if you will .
    Today I was drawing a picture of a sort of devilish figure on the water and then a thought occured: Devils (I've seen in religious art since I was a little boy) have horns. And often Vikings in movies, cartoons etc. have horned helmets. I thought about this a little more and then wikipedia-ed viking decline.
    Viking decline began around the 11th century , due in part to a steady Christian influence in Europe. Then I read a few things about the Northern Crusades : "The Northern Crusades[1] or Baltic Crusades[2] were crusades undertaken by the Catholic kings of Denmark and Sweden, the German Livonian and Teutonic military orders, and their allies against the pagan peoples of Northern Europe around the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea." The vikings. I picture a people and a governing king(s) so freaked out by these norsemen that popular tales would circulate and form a sort of "fables". Perhaps this was an influence of later christian artists?

    I searched the web for 11th century art and came across a whole section on Gothic era art and artists. I guess I was searching for when devils started to appear in religious art. I did'nt find anything before the 1600s . This would be around the time the King James Bible circulated? I looked further into that and found that the KJB new testament was translated from a greek text and the old testament from the Masoretic Hebrew text.
    I don't have time right now to continue researching where this famous icon came from (devil with horns) but I wanted to just put it out there.
    I don't mean to offend anyone , I tend to look at things with a historical sense , my apologies if I have. Anyone have any more information on this ?
    Thank you ,
    R.m.
     
  2. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Rusty, :) (I won't ever use that particular nickname again if you object.)

    Have you caught some of the History Channel's stuff about the Dark Ages? Also, the program, "Hell, The Devil's Domain" presents some ideas about the art history of the evolving representations and caricatures.

    I know there are times when the History Channel is rather misleading, but many programs cite reliable sources for consideration.

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Aren't there statues and pictures of Moses with horns? Don't we have a thread around here somewhere...
     
  4. RusticMusic

    RusticMusic Itsoktobelost

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    Would love to see that thread. Do You know where it is?
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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  6. RusticMusic

    RusticMusic Itsoktobelost

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    I'm sorry I don't see any correlation between a translation problem resulting in "moses with horns" and Alexander the great having two horns . The question remains, did the viking, norsemen or any scandinavians have influence on the gothic era horned devils , dantes inferno etc.?
     
  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Rustic,

    You may be interested to know we have an idiomactic expression in the Japanese language. We say someone has horns, meaning they are angry. Horns as a symbol of negativity seems to be universal.
     
  8. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    I don't have any references near me right now to cite, but I have learned that in many "pagan" traditions, horns on someone's (artistically represented) head were an indication of wisdom.

    I will paste some links, because I just remembered that Cerrunnos, a celtic deity, is called "The Horned One." Closer to Dionysus than the Devil, he probably wasn't a part of the later Christian co-option of Celtic culture, but he wasn't a demon either--far from it, he was part of the personification/deification of the seasonal cycle, invoked at Beltane. A bronze relief of Cerrunos (or is it Cerrunnos?):

    [​IMG]

    Here's a scandalous, modern-day interpretation. (Kiddies and The Easily Shocked, beware!)

    I've also found that many indigenous people made masks with horns:
    http://www.buyafricanantiques.com/images/Lega-horned.jpg
    http://www.african-art-work.com/large/QQ16-makushi-horned-mask.jpg
    http://imagesource.art.com/images/-...Century-Wood-Horn-Giclee-Print-C11727004.jpeg
    http://mrc.spps.org/sites/6810d8a6-6d85-4ae6-aba1-a07df5a1d1cc/uploads/horned_mask_ivory_coast_2.jpg

    If you scroll down a bit after clicking this link, you will find a Hopi Antelope Kachina (unfortunately, for sale, like a lot of those masks up there).

    Oh yeah, and then there are all those great sculptres of Moses with horns (I love that!), but wil already pointed us in that direction.

    I don't know about Vikings and the Devil, though. :D

    And as far as idiomatic expressions go, I can't help but pointing out that when someone in America has horns, they are "horny." They don't really of course grow horns, but depending on their biological sex, something on them might grow. So I wonder if there is a connection between this idiom of "horny" and the fertility status of the divine stag Cerrunos.
     
  9. antianira

    antianira New Member

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    .......I am going to tread lightly on this subject in order to NOT upset anyone or instigate an argument . Just rational dialogue if you will .
    Today I was drawing a picture of a sort of devilish figure on the water and then a thought occured: Devils (I've seen in religious art since I was a little boy) have horns. And often Vikings in movies, cartoons etc. have horned helmets. I thought about this a little more and then wikipedia-ed viking decline......



    The devil with horns/cloven feet most probably comes from Pan of Greek mythology. He represented a rather lustful, untamed type of sexuality that was very unpopular with the early church. During their early attempts to convert pagans, the pagan gods were often represented as satanic. (an attitude that still continues today)

    Oddly this was mentioned in another group I'm in: the word Hell comes from Hel, norse mistress of Niflheim, the ice cave were the dead went (those unworthy of Valhalla), she was a daughter of Loki who was a trickster god. He was sometimes good, and sometimes very, very bad. He too was often depicted as being the devil (just as Pan had been, sort of a "if you won't worship our god, we'll make yours evil") The fire and brimstone of Hell owes much to the poet Dante (12C), but, in the final level of his inferno, Satan resides in, guess what, an ice cave, frozen up to his chest. Interesting, don't you think?
     
  10. antianira

    antianira New Member

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    I think the image of the devil with horns/cloven feet, comes mostly from Pan, the satyr and trickster god of Greek mythology. He represented a lustful, untamed sexuality that was not popular with the early christianity. Christians often depicted pagan gods as evil (an attitude that still exists today) during the early days of forcing people to convert.

    The norse connection was mentioned in one of my other groups. The word hell comes from Hel, mistress of Niflheim, an ice cave that was home of the dead (those unworthy of Valhalla). She was the daughter of Loki, also trickster god, sometimes he was good, and sometimes he was very, very bad. He too came to be demonized during the era of christianity vs. the vikings (sort of a "if you won't worship our god, we'll make yours evil") The fire and brimstone of hell owes much to the poet Dante (12C). Interestingly, Dante depicted the 9th circle (where satan lives) to be, guess what, an ice cave with satan frozen up to his chest.
     
  11. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    No true viking... Or any true warrior would wear a horned helmet into battle lol... Only an idiot with a death wish would... Obviously with horns you have a great advantage point... You come at me with a horned helmet on, I can take control of your head... By simply grabbing..... Having control of your head, I have control of your movement and direction.... Basically... your ass is mine.... I will kill you. :) I think you will find, The Norse and other Germanic tribes before them wore horns.... Oh and vikings didn't really have wings either on their helmets....

    Go with christ brah!
     
  12. RusticMusic

    RusticMusic Itsoktobelost

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    LoL. ok point taken. No pun intended.
     
  13. Cyris Ali

    Cyris Ali Asik

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    Everything I've ever read about the Vikings told me that the horned helmets were ceremonial and, of course, a reflection of romanticism by the painters who immortalized them on canvass.

    Concerning the Devil.... most Scandinavians who know anything about their culture, know that the story generally places them as descending from the Israeli tribes of Dan and Naphtali.
     
  14. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and what, pray, are the sources for this??

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  15. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Who me? I wasn't trying to make a point... lol nice pun btw... I was just educating ;)
     
  16. Cyris Ali

    Cyris Ali Asik

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    Start with the word "Teutonic".
     

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