There is a new theory trying to explain the motivations of these Scandinavian people who wanted to invade Europe and especially France in the 9th and 10th centuries. It would mainly be a question of looking for wives and concubines to fill the young Vikings wishing to affirm their social status and therefore their authority. Were the latter therefore more thirsty for women than for war and conquest?
War is above all an integral part of the history of this people since numerous raids have been carried out over several centuries, particularly in France. Brittany was plundered, while the city of Paris was besieged several times in the year 845, 856, 861 and between 885 and 887.
It was not until the year 1015 that these conquests stopped in Europe. The new theory explained in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior is amazing, but would hold water. The Vikings would have been in search of female partners, which allowed young people to assert themselves in a very polygamous and hierarchical society according to the wealth of each. Indeed, a man with many wives was likely to possess much wealth.
« Polygamous marriage increases male-male competition and creates a group of unmarried men », indicates the study conducted by Mark Collard, an anthropologist from Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada).
This accumulation of marriages would have left many men on the side and it is this kind of « shortage » which would have been one of the main motivations of the Viking raids. The theory is mainly based on recent archaeological analyzes of mass graves, but also on ancient texts such as the Sagas of the Icelanders.
The « risky » behaviors of the Viking society would therefore have increased to find a balance in some way. However, this motivation would not have concerned all single men:
« We’re not saying all the Vikings are gone. Many did, some didn’t. Social life in the Viking Age was as complicated as today’s social life. »