Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Religion in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe

Early Vikings.

The term "Viking" has been used to refer to inhabitants of Scandinavia and the northern regions (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden). The native religion of these people was polytheistic (that is, involving worship of more than one deity) and revolved around a pantheon (a system of gods and goddesses) that was anthropomorphic—that is, featuring gods with human characteristics. Viking societies were also reputed to be polygamist, allowing multiple spouses within a family. Some scholars have gone so far as to attribute the invasions to the south and east, which began after 800, to a crisis of overpopulation linked to the polygamist practices of certain Scandinavian groups. Little is known about the actual religious practices of the Vikings before the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Most of the information on this era comes from Icelandic sagas that had...

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This section contains 2,016 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion Encyclopedia Article
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Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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