Here's How Vikings Survived and Got Away With Murder
We’re all quite aware that different populations of people live under laws that are suited to their cultures, needs and expectations. There are certain ideas and beliefs that some cultures deem more important than others. It’s safe to say that certain actions and deeds that are tolerable to a group of people, may not sit well and may come across as offensive to another culture. That’s just the way it is and it’s just a matter of how existing laws and human acts of all kinds are perceived and viewed in different countries with a wide spectrum of belief systems at the end of the day.
It’s obvious that it’s never right to kill and most people believe that killing another human being is morally wrong in this day and age. It is said that to kill a person is the ultimate evil that one man can cause another because it is not reversible and something that should be punishable by law. However, when it came to Viking murders, this was not always the case.
Viking murders can actually be justified and it may come as a shock for a typical person living in the 21st century. When a Viking initiated violence, there was actually a possibility that he could get away with it as long as he was honest about it, swore to an oath and absolutely was willing to pay for misconduct-related fees.
According to Anne Irene Riisøy in an interview with forskning.no, the Vikings didn't have the same distinctions compared to today where police, investigators and other authorities take their time to distinguish if a particular murder is premeditated murder, an intentional one or a manslaughter kind of case.
The kind of punishment these killer Vikings were receiving depended on the time of the day they committed the murders and how they acted/defended themselves during the “Thing”, a governing assembly where decisions were made, disputes were settled, fines were paid, etc. This was also a time when violators were either sentenced to death, imposed different punishments like outlawry, beheading executions or given another chance to get away with their acts of violence among others.
Vikings viewed “arson” or killing someone at night as the worst kind of murder. It was a highly loathsome and disgraceful act for them because they looked at it in a way that victims weren’t given a chance to defend themselves because it was dark and not a lot of people could have witnessed the violence taking place. On the other hand, if Vikings killed someone in public, they weren’t penalized as much since they were doing it out in the open and people were given the chance to observe and take notice of the crime taking place.
So that’s it. That’s how Vikings survived and got away with murder. Their honor and legal system may seem complicated but what we can take from this is that as long as they would show up during the “Thing” and were not afraid to take responsibility and own up for their bad behavior then they could save and spare themselves a ton of suffering.