Tobss first International Symposium ‘The Era of King Brian Boru’ Full Programme Saturday 2 July 2016


Dr Clare Downham (University of Liverpool): ‘What Have the Vikings Done for Us?’



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12.15 Dr Clare Downham (University of Liverpool): ‘What Have the Vikings Done for Us?’

Over the past decades there has been a dramatic revision in perceptions of vikings as purely destructive, heathen, barbarian raiders to a more positive evaluation of their longer term economic impact as skilled craftsmen, urban entrepreneurs and mercantile adventurers. This paper seeks to provide a critical evaluation of these opposing stereotypes, shaped as they have been by different social and political agendas. Drawing information from contemporary sources and comparative migratory studies, the conclusion is that both sets of stereotypes hinder rather than help our understanding of what really went on in Viking Age in Ireland.






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