Hunger For Power In The Vikings

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The Vikings, also called the Northmen, or the Rus, were citizens of a heroic culture. By looking at the lives of Vikings through the three readings, one can argue that the Vikings were motivated primarily through hunger for power. Whenever there were disputes, negotiations would take place, and If a resolution was not reached, the two parties would fight, and the last man standing would win the argument. Hunger for power is a key recurring theme in Viking society. In the first chapter of the Saga of Gilsi, Bjorn challenges Ari to a fight after he refused to make him the master of his(Ari’s) house, and his wife, Bjorn murders Ari after he refuses to follow Bjorn’s wishes. However, his brother Gisli decides to challenge Bjorn, because he thought that it was better to “fall on the island than bear this shame" (Saga of Gisli).
Another great example of hunger for power is clear in the Saga of Gisli. After Gisli defeats Bjorn, he refused to give back the sword that he had borrowed from Kol, his father in-law. Gisli
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Likewise, in the Saga of Gisli when Bjorn defeated Ari, the text states that he “thought he had won Ari’s wife” (Saga of Gisli).
Out of the three online reading the Risala of Ibn Fadlan is the least trustworthy, and is likely influenced by the author’s bias. In the Risala of Ibn Fadlan, the author gives the reader her comments on certain aspects of the Rus society, like when she states “They are the filthiest of God's creatures. They have no modesty in defecation and urination, nor do they wash after pollution from orgasm, nor do they wash their hands after eating” (Risala of Ibn Fadlan), instead leaving out his opinion, and reporting a less subjective account of the
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