". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, April 3, 2015

Vikings - Anniversary of Paris 845 Siege 'n Sack

In the 9th century, 845, when Paris was part of the kingdom given to Charles the Bald, one of Charlemagne's grandsons.*  I don't know though, exactly when 

Charles the Bald enthroned.

Easter took place in 845, but the siege began in March.

It surely has delighted the History Channel's Vikings team to begin their interpretation of the Siege of Paris with episode 7, which broadcast last night, three days before Easter.

As well as extracting an enormous weight of silver, the Vikings' siege of 845 taught Monsieur Bald to build fortified bridges leading up to, into, the city.

Nevertheless this was not the end of invasions from the Norse, attacks on Paris 
and danegeld (or, gafol, in 11th century sources).  For that matter this wasn't the first invasion of the Norse into Francia, but this one really brought the gafol home!


*   Fans of the History Channel's Vikings series (of whom I am one), please take note this sentence in the above-link to the history of the siege:  
In March 845,[5] a fleet of 120 Danish Viking ships[1][6] containing more than 5,000 men[7] entered the Seine under the command of a Danish chieftain[8] named "Reginherus", or Ragnar.[1] This Ragnar has often been tentatively identified with the legendary saga figure Ragnar Lodbrok, but the historicity of the latter remains a disputed issue among historians.[5][7]

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