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Recap / A Thing of Vikings Chapter 37 "...Their Side..."

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Book II, Chapter 6

Prior to the Norse Reformation of 1044 AD/AM 4804/435 AH/ArO 0, the Norse pagan religion was in the process of dying out under the onslaught of a semi-organized campaign of Christianization. Iceland, Norway, the North Sea Islands, and Denmark had all been forcibly converted over the prior century, and were at least nominally Christian, although Norse beliefs were still held by much of the populace through folk transmission. King Olaf I, Magnus the Good's father, was personally responsible for much of the Christianization of Norway, having engaged in the torture and execution of Norse priests and the destruction of Norse temples. Sweden remained a bastion of resistance, with the Norse cult at Uppsala having a mutual nonaggression agreement with the Swedish kings dating back to 990 AD, but the status of the traditional faith was eroding steadily there.

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Around the Eirish Sea and Alban Hebrides, there were various overtly Norse cults and tribes; many of these were close allies in an increasingly Christianized region, bound by treaties and marriage ties. These tribes included the Bog Burglars of Wales, the Meatheads of the Outer Hebrides, and of course the Hooligans of Berk, to name the three largest examples. But their numbers were dropping from their heydays of a century prior.

The general consensus of historians of the period is that, without the Norse Reformation, it is unlikely that the Norse religion would have survived another century in the face of the aggressive Christian efforts to render it extinct.

Instead, the Crusades against the North Sea Empire over the following century only helped revive and entrench the reformed faith, especially due to the martyring of ethnically Norse Christians by the Crusaders...

The Second Flowering Of Yggdrasil: An Analysis Of The Norse Resurgence, 1710
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