A group of scientists under the leadership of Tim Neufeld of Georgetown University has found evidence that the Vikings transition from paganism to Christianity was facilitated by the eruption of Eldgja in Iceland more than a thousand years ago. Previously it was known that in the same period, the influence of the Catholic preachers in Scandinavia increased.
Experts say that the powerful eruption was followed by drought and cold winters in Eurasia, and that this cataclysm, according to scientists, is reflected in epic songs “the Prophecy of Velva” from the “Elder Edda”, which he gave foretells the death of the old gods. Universal cataclysm, she speaks, as suggested by the authors of the study, and began the eruption. That we are talking about the awakening of the volcano Eldgja, experts said, comparing the approximate date of the writing of the song and the date when, judging by the traces of ash in the appropriate layers of ice, the eruption happened.
Experts suggest that it is the event interpreted as the death of the gods, forced the Vikings to abandon paganism and convert to Christianity.
The study was published in the journal Climatic Change.
Last year archaeologist Annika Larsson and her colleagues from Uppsala University has suggested that some Vikings in the IX-X centuries, practiced Islam. In favor of this assumption is evidenced by previously discovered a fragment of silk cloth on which was embroidered the name of Allah and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, Ali Ibn Abu Talib. According to scientists, if the Vikings were among the Muslims, this could explain the popularity of silk in Scandinavia of those times.
Previously, researchers from the Danish technical University have suggested that many Vikings wore swords for decorative purposes, and last September the Oxford genetics announced that the members of this warlike civilization was “cat people”, and sometimes were even buried with their Pets.
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