Saturday, 11 June 2016

Viking Morality?

"Some vikings grumbled that they should have been let at the women. Hadding answered that with their shares of the winnings they would soon find plenty of willing wenches."
-Poul Anderson, War Of The Gods (Tor Books, New York, 1999), p. 89.

("...winnings..." = loot.)

Does this mean that our hero disapproves of rape or just that he is canny in not offending the local population too much? How often do the realities of war impinge on heroic fiction? ERB's John Carter led the green hordes that sacked Zodanga, a city of the red men but the enemy of Helium.

ERB's Barsoom had a racial hierarchy:


Under Carter's leadership, the reds of Helium became dominant and were allied with the greens of Thark. On Earth, racism of skin color did not exist until the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Carter was a Confederate. Such issues at least did not exist back in the Roman or viking periods.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The Arabs also made a point of trafficking in black slaves, many of whom, if male, they castrated and turned into eunuchs. Europeans were not the only ones who had skin color racism!


David Birr said...

Paul and Sean:
I've often wondered how any modern blacks could see an appeal in the religion espoused by the Arab slave-traders. Of course, the religion of the Dixie slave-owners didn't always serve blacks all that well, either....

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

I agree! I fail to see why ANYONE can be attracted as bad as Islam, which I consider not only theologically false but also advocating theocratic views of the state and society which ends up being quasi-totalitarian in nature and consequences.

The difference between Christian and Muslim slave traders is that, eventually, some of the former at least became ASHAMED of this sordid way of making money. Christianity disapproved of slavery while Islam does not (at least not when the slaves were non Muslim).