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Source Analysis Three: Viking and Hungarian Raiders

Using the “Viking and Hungarian Raiders Reading” link, which is attached to this assignment (and can also be found in the “Readings” section on Blackboard), write a 300-500 (one-to two-double-spaced pages) word examination of the piece.  The focus of your paper should be to explain what this description of Viking and Hungarian Raids says about the cultures described in the document.  Keep in mind that more than one culture is described.  There are the aggressors and there are victims (Germanic tribes).  Use evidence in the document to support what you are saying.

Your paper should be organized into three distinct sections: an introductory paragraph, a body, and a conclusion.  In the first paragraph (the introduction), you should address the overall topic of the document, who wrote it (if known) and when, and, in a single sentence, explain what the document says—what is the major point the author is trying to convey in a nutshell?  This sentence, which generally comes at the end of your introduction, answers the questions “what does this document say about this period of history?” and “what does this description of Viking and Hungarian Raiders say about the Vikings, the Hungarians, and the German people described in the document?”  The document’s importance is what it says about the people or culture it describes, not that it helps historians today.  In the body of your paper, discuss the evidence found in the document that complements or reinforces your interpretation of what the document tells us about the past.  Finally, conclude by restating your overall interpretation.

Once your paper is written, someone from a different class who has not read the document should be able to read it and explain to me what the document is all about and what it says about the cultures it describes.  In other words, as you write this paper, you will practice (1) identifying the main point of a primary document, (2) articulating what that point is in a systematic, clear way, and (3) supporting your interpretation (your understanding of the main point) with evidence from the document itself.

The Viking and Hungarian Raiders assignment is due via Turnitin by the end of day (11:59 PM) on Thursday, April 7th.  A link to Turnitin can be found below on Blackboard (in the Assignments section at the bottom of the folder titled “Source Analysis Three: Viking and Hungarian Raiders”).  However, if a problem occurs, you may submit your paper as an email attachment or as a hardcopy.  This paper is 20% of your overall grade.

This assignment reflects the following learning objectives:

Analyze primary documents

Consider the actions of various cultures from the perspectives of those cultures

Practice postponing judgment while learning about both familiar and foreign cultures

Articulate interpretations of the past orally and in writing

Organize materials to show how they came to their particular interpretation

A separate primary source analysis paper rubric is also attached.

Viking and Hungarian Raiders

From the Annals of Fulda

(Circa 883 CE) The Northmen, ascending the Rhine, plundered and burnt many villages. Liutbert, archbishop of Mainz, with a small band of troops, attacked them and, after killing many of them, recovered much of the booty which they had taken. Cologne was rebuilt, except its churches and monasteries, and its walls with their gates and towers were restored.

 (Circa 885 CE) The Northmen entered the territory about Liège, collected all kinds of provisions, and prepared to spend the winter there. But Liutbert, archbishop of Mainz, and count Heimrih, with others, fell upon them suddenly, killed many of them, and drove the others into a small stronghold. They then seized the provisions which the Northmen had collected. The Northmen, after enduring a long siege, during which they suffered from hunger, finally fled from the stronghold by night.

From Thietmar of Merseburg:

(Circa 950 CE) Michael, bishop of Regensburg, after governing his diocese well for some years, gathered his troops and joined the other Bavarian nobles in resisting an invasion of the Hungarians. In the battle which followed, our troops were defeated. One of the bishop’s ears was cut off, and after receiving many other wounds he was left for dead on the field. One of his personal enemies had fallen at his side, and, by feigning death when the Hungarians searched the battle-field, he escaped with his life. When he saw that he was alone with the bishop whom he hated, he seized a lance and tried to kill him. But the bishop, having recovered consciousness, was able to defend himself, and, after a fierce struggle with his enemy, succeeded in striking him down. After a long and perilous journey the bishop found his way back to Regensburg, greatly to the joy of his flock. All his clergy welcomed him as a bold warrior, his flock honored and cherished him as an excellent pastor, and his wounds and maiming redounded to his honor.

The first two excerpts are from the Annals of Fulda, M. G. SS. Folio, I, pp. 398 ff, and the third is from Thietmar of Merseburg, II, 27; M. G. SS. Folio, III, pp. 752 f, all of which can be found in Oliver J. Thatcher and Edgar H. McNeal, eds., A Source Book for Medieval History (New York: 1905), pp. 65-66.