I was reading a review of a book “The Age of the Vikings” by Anders Winroth, published by Princeton University Press, in which the reviewer noted that any historical accounts of the middle ages to the Renaissance were documented by people who could write; obviously but who could write during those times? Christian monks, of course, and being monks, and thus possessed of ‘religious’ minds, in which faith always trumps reality, or in which faith allows one to jump from fact to fiction, it is hardly surprising that documented history could be problematical, fact wise. Not for the faithful, of course, who blindly follow the dictates of their faith(s), and hence assume that what is documented is true.
I’ll have to read Winroth’s book but the image we modernists have of berserker Vikings with horned helmets raping and pillaging during the 9th and 10th centuries CE may have been the result of monkish fabrication rather than anything else. And in terms of Gunnar Heinsohn’s phantom 700 years, it might be alternatively explained as Nordic people dealing with a global catastrophe/calamity that abruptly terminated the Roman period, and ushered in the Medieval period from which we are still recovering from.
Geologically those times make the mainstream uniformitarian model rather problematical, because if we have the present misunderstood, then so too the past, especially when we have to rely on documentation by writers who were first and foremost religiously devout.
This book seems to have opened a rather large can of worms, methinks.