Although Vikings did not shy from diplomacy, force was inevitable. Everything conditioned them toward achieving material goals, from religion to fame. Odin, their god of war, combined fierceness and heroism on the battlefield with cunning and treachery, and so it is no surprise that stratagems were a key part of Viking warfare. All hope for future renown was conditioned on what one did while alive; good deeds, unlike in Christian beliefs, were not a prerogative for salvation. The Viking lived in a world where chaos was the reverse side of order and where order could be imposed only by physical confrontation.
— Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels, p. 143
January 4, 2022