Sunday, December 3, 2017

Anecdote for the Day

Hastein was a notable Viking chieftain of the late 9th century who made several raiding voyages.  The following anecdote will be familiar to viewers of the Netflix series Vikings.

On one occasion Hastein had set his eyes on Rome. Unable to breach the walls, he feigned near death and a couple of his men carried him on a stretcher to the gates of the city where they told the guards Hastein wished to convert to Christianity before his death.

The good Christians let them in where he received the sacraments and then died.  Touched, the occupants of the city allowed fifty of his men through the gates for the funeral.

Hastein, who had only feigned death, jumped off his stretcher, and he and his men who had weapons under their robes promptly sacked the town.  

It was during their victory celebrations that Hastein discovered they were not in Rome but in a city called Luna, some 250 miles from their intended target.

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