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Heathen

Heathen:

1. A person whom believes in the existence of multiple gods and / or goddesses.

2. Christian leadership used “heathen” as a derogatory slang term to single out Norse pagans and Vikings, and to give the impression that these people were uncivilized and should not be trusted. Many years later some of these people began embracing the term and using it to identify themselves and their beliefs with pride.

3. A slang term sometimes used to label a person or people who run wild or are especially energetic. This slang likely came from the image of Vikings aggressively pillaging villages.

Note: Vikings were a mostly peaceful people made up of explorers, traders, fishermen, farmers, and craftsmen (like any society). They didn’t get aggressive until after the English began attacking them, pushing them out of areas where they had lived peacefully for years, and sought to depopulate their homelands.

Note2: It is also worth noting that there is solid evidence to prove that Vikings discovered what is now North America, and traded peacefully with the Natives long before the English arrived.


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