Early Medieval Viking bronze-gilt Crucifix with an extremely abstractive image of Jesus Christ seemed from the Vikings perspective.

First known of this type.

In the Viking Age most of Europe had converted to Christianity, but the Vikings were very satisfied with their own gods and held on to them. Therefore the early missionaries, who came to Denmark in the 700s and 800s to spread the message of Christianity, had a hard job in convincing the Vikings that it was not the norns’ threads or Odin’s will that determined their path to the afterlife.
Christianity was regarded as a necessary evil by the Viking merchants in Europe, if they were to participate in trading contact with different believers. Therefore whilst abroad Viking traders often agreed to be marked with the sign of the cross – they renounced the old Nordic gods without necessarily receiving baptism.

The Vikings chose Christianity during the 900s, partly because of the extensive trade networks with Christian areas of Europe, but also particularly as a result of increasing political and religious pressure from the south. By the end of the Viking period, around 1050, most Vikings were Christians. They were baptised, went to church and were buried in a Christian manner.

Source: National Museum of Denmark

Material: Bronze-gilt
Period: Early Medieval, 10th – 11th century AD
Size: 35 x 22 mm
Condition: Fine condition


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