Herland Report: VIKING TV series host, Hanne Nabintu Herland speaks to Halvor Tjønn about the Viking Age, Harald Hardrada, Novgorod, Kiev, Russia, Constantinople and the fearlessness of Scandinavian vikings.
After pursuing a career as a journalist, leading commentator and author for 30 years, Tjønn has acquired extensive knowledge about the conflicts of our time:
The Cold War era, DDR, Germany, Poland and the Soviet Union. Tjønn was also the correspondent for Norway’s leading newspaper, Aftenposten, in Moscow for several years.
His relentless pursuit for new and updated information from a variety of angles adds value to his knowledge about the Soviet Union, the Boris Jeltsin epoque and the early years of Vladimir Putin, as Russia went from being a worn down Communist state to an active and relevant big player on the international scene.
The old Viking culture was famously expanding from the time period of 750 till 1100 AD. We know this period now from the TV series “Vikings”.
As proud Scandinavians, we therefore set out to make a VIKING TV series about our heritage. Watch the Halvor Tjønn program here.
Halvor Tjønn says: “”Scandinavian Vikings founded Rus or Russia, they were brothers. It is quite clear that the Viking age was quite a unique period in the history of Northern Europe and Europe altogether. The technological basis for the Viking age was the design of the Viking ship.”
“The Vikings developed a certain kind of ship that made them superior to all other groups in the European area.”
“Not at least the fact that Viking ships could cross the high oceans, go inland to land and they could land their men on land and they could make raids at a very rapid scale, made the Vikings or the northern Europeans, or those Scandinavians, this made them militarily superior.”
- Lars Magnar Enoksen interview on VIKING TV series, Glima, Heathenry, Odin, Thor.
- Fryktløse Nordmenn TV serie: Vikingenes dramatiske ekspansjon – Halvor Tjønn
- VIKING TV series: Snorri Sturluson and the Warrior Stories of Scandinavia.
- The rebellion against Emptiness, by Hanne Herland. Foreword in Odd Nerdrum’s book Crime and Refuge.
- Se Georg Olafr Reydarsson program Fryktløse Nordmenn, sett av flere enn 1 million nordmenn.
Halvor Tjønn, VIKING TV series: “With this superiority they had a huge economic advantage because they made Viking warrior ships, and also ships for trade, which were also quite advanced for that time.”
“If you read the sagas written down in Iceland by Snorri Sturason in the 13th century, you will see the very close connection between Scandinavia and what was called “Rus” in the Viking times, and also later in the medieval Europa.”
“That is based on the fact that the Russian state of Rus was more or less founded by Scandinavian warriors who came to the Russian rivers.”
“They found the trade routes from the Gulf of Finland, and down to the Black Sea, to the even to the Caspian Sea. The reason why they wanted to find these trade routes was the need to get silver. On the way down to Byzantium, through the Caspian Sea, they founded the Russian state.”
“Later in history, the rulers in Novgorod and Kiev, had armies that were made up by Scandinavians, and when they needed to strengthen their military power, they went to Scandinavia and got warriors to make up the nucleus of their armies.”
“When the Scandinavian kings had to flee from Norway, they fled to Kiev and could speak their mother tongue there. Important segment of the population spoke Scandinavian languages. It was no problem to communicate with the rulers in Kiev at the time.”
“From the Icelandic sagas of Snorri Sturluson Heimskringla, we have the story about Harald Hardrada or Harald Sigurdsson, when he served as a leader in the lifeguard for the East Roman Emperor, and how he fought in Sicily, went to the Holy Land, Bulgaria. He became a rich man.”
Halvor Tjønn: “Based on all the riches he made in the service of the emperor in Byzantium, he married the daughter of the prince of Kiev, Elizabeta, who became the Norwegian queen for 20 years from 1046 to 1066 AD. This was a very important formative period for Norwegian state.”
“One of the most important sources of modern democracy was the old Viking system in which the power was based on the people. The people at the “thing”, assembly or what we call a parliament today, gave the laws and the laws were superior to everyone. The king had to abide to the law. If the king broke the law, the people had not only their possibility, but the duty to kill the king.”
- TV interview about the Viking age, Sorcery, Runes, Odin and Valhalla – Lars Magnar Enoksen
- Russland blir til. Fra vikingene til Ivan den Grusomme – Halvor Tjønn
- Boken Fryktløse Nordmenn om vikingtidens ledere som grunnla Norge – anbefaling Halvor Tjønn
“There was no royal tyranny which you had, for instance, in China, India, in the Muslim world. In Scandinavia, there was the superiority of the law. When power emerges from the people, it is one of the basic foundations of modern democracy. It is no coincidence that democracy and modern democracy emerged in northern Europe.”
“Modern democracy emerged in the countries that had the medieval thinking of the superiority of the law, the notion that the king was not superior above the law, but he had to abide to the law.”
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Hanne Nabintu Herland is a Scandinavian historian of comparative religions, bestselling author, commentator and TV producer, known from the media for sharp analysis and fearless speech.
She was born and raised in Africa, has lived in Europe, South America, in the Middle East, and traveled extensively in Asia.