Vikings as neighbours, far from being the berserk Dark Age equivalent of a coven of Hell's Angels moving in next door, proved a boon to the community when they put down roots in 11th-century Britain. Researchers at Cambridge think we could learn a thing or two from them today about the assimilation of immigrants.
Once the axe-wielding seafarers had tired of raping and moderated their habits of pillage, they no doubt won the civic blue riband, buying jam at fetes and taking their plaited daughters to pony clubs. Still, it is only months since the president of Iceland boasted that his people's Viking blood ideally fitted them for banking and investment in the modern world. Iceland has since sunk beneath a glacier of debt. So we might think twice before emulating other Viking virtues.
Friday, March 13, 2009
The Vikings at No 42 - Telegraph