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The worship of Thor until the 11th century in Ireland surprised me. While I knew there are the odd few psuedo-pagans today, I had no idea that formal pagan rituals were that recently in their original form. That’s only 900 years ago and I’m not sure why but that really surprises me. Today there are christians who believe in an actual an “Rapture”, Islamic Jihadists who believe that there will be 72 virgins waiting for them (though most probably the correct translation is white raisins not pure maidens). Anyway, while it is always a conscious choice what to believe in for some reason real paganism in the 11th century still surprises me.

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2 thoughts on “Viking longevity.

  1. I think that it may be surprising that paganism was present in the 11th century because Christianity is seen as such a strong force during that time. By the 11th century, Christianity had spread over much of the known world, and it played such a large role in the history of the Middle Ages that it is what comes to mind when people think of the period. The condemnation of devil-worshipers, and the burning of witches (particularly in the later middle-ages) also comes to mind, and makes it hard to believe that pagan religions could exist significantly during this time period, especially in a country that became so strongly Christian.

  2. It may be surprising that Paganism still existed in the 11th century but it is important to note that most pagan beliefs predate the belief in “God” by a thousand years or more. In fact most pagan religions even if they are now no longer practiced can still be considered to have had a longer run than that of Christianity, Roman Catholic etc. to date.

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