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Ibn Fadlan - Vikings - Neanderthals (?)


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#1    Abramelin

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:47 PM

http://en.wikipedia....ers_of_the_Dead

The novel is set in the 10th century. The Caliph of Baghdad Al-Muqtadir sends his ambassador, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, to the king of the Volga Bulgars. He never arrives but is instead conscripted by a group of Vikings to take part in a hero's quest to the north. Ahmad ibn Fadlan is taken along as the thirteenth member of their group to comply with a soothsayer's requirement for success. There they battle with the 'mist-monsters', or 'wendol', a tribe of vicious savages (possibly relict Neanderthals) who go to battle wearing bear skins.


When you read the book, you will know these "Wendol" were a very hairy people (covered form head to toes with fur, except the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet), big heads, rather small but very muscular arms and legs but with big hands and feet, they were cannibals, they had protruding eyebrows and a protruding lower face (jaws).

Fadlan has been proven to have given a very accurate account of the 10th century Vikings, or "Rus".

Although Crichton, in the appendix of his book, doubts that this tribe, these "Wendol", were real Neanderthals (he thinks they were just common humans but with a primitive culture), the description given by Ibn Fadlan will no doubt give everyone reading it the impression that he had seen Neanderthals or maybe even a tribe of Homo Erectus in Scandinavia.


#2    Rafterman

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:54 PM

Is the book better thant he movie, because that sucked.

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#3    Taun

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:23 PM

View PostRafterman, on 23 December 2013 - 09:54 PM, said:

Is the book better thant he movie, because that sucked.

The book is excellent...   I got the impression when reading it that the Wendol were Neanderthals... Even though there is no
evidence to support any Neanders living until such recent times, if they had it would definitely explain legends of trolls/ goblins etc...


#4    Abramelin

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:33 PM

View PostRafterman, on 23 December 2013 - 09:54 PM, said:

Is the book better thant he movie, because that sucked.

I agree with Taun: the book is lots better than the movie. Although I must say I liked the movie too, lol.

=

And yes, when you read Fadlan's description of these "Wendol", all you can think of is "Neanderthal", but not the clean and shaven, almost modern human looking ones as appear to be their popular image at this moment.

.

Edited by Abramelin, 23 December 2013 - 10:34 PM.


#5    Abramelin

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:05 PM

Btw, although the Wiki talks about a "novel", in fact it is a translation of Fadlan's narrative.

In short: non-fiction.


#6    ShadowSot

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:45 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 23 December 2013 - 11:05 PM, said:

Btw, although the Wiki talks about a "novel", in fact it is a translation of Fadlan's narrative.

In short: non-fiction.
I dont have my copy on me, but checking the wiki article and the one for Ibn, the book written by Chriton is a combination of Ibn's personal account and a plot inspired by Beowulf. It is told by way of presenting it as a actual historical document.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
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#7    third_eye

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:30 AM

NOn fiction and fiction is not so discernible in those days ... and to be branded a liar or a teller of tales is pretty much a lifelong death sentence on death row ~

That is perhaps why the Gods of the day are always invoked as 'witnesses'

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#8    PersonFromPorlock

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:44 AM

I suspect that 'Eaters of the Dead' is to anthropology as 'Jurassic Park' is to paleontology and 'Andromeda Strain' is to microbiology. Crichton is one of my favorite fiction writers, though.


#9    Abramelin

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:45 AM

View PostShadowSot, on 23 December 2013 - 11:45 PM, said:

I dont have my copy on me, but checking the wiki article and the one for Ibn, the book written by Chriton is a combination of Ibn's personal account and a plot inspired by Beowulf. It is told by way of presenting it as a actual historical document.

At the end of Crichton's book is a list of sources, and all are translations of Ibn Fadlan's narrative. He also added a list of books about the Vikings, as general information, and these are books where he based his footnotes on.


#10    DieChecker

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:46 AM

I read Eaters of the Dead quite a while ago, and found it a good read. The part where they get to Norway (or is it Sweden?) and they see the fires coming in the fog was an excellent mental image.

I liked the characters and the ending of the Movie, but really it is impractical to believe there was only one  female and thousands of warriors.

The book did make me think Neanderthals also. I don't think Neanderthals would ever have collected into such an army, and likely never would have acted so warlike.

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#11    OverSword

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:49 AM

View PostRafterman, on 23 December 2013 - 09:54 PM, said:

Is the book better thant he movie, because that sucked.
You're nuts.  That movie is great!


#12    Abramelin

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:57 AM

View PostShadowSot, on 23 December 2013 - 11:45 PM, said:

I dont have my copy on me, but checking the wiki article and the one for Ibn, the book written by Chriton is a combination of Ibn's personal account and a plot inspired by Beowulf. It is told by way of presenting it as a actual historical document.

Uhm, yes, I think you are right:

http://www.jasoncola...val-russia.html

Well, then this will be a very short thread, lol.


#13    ShadowSot

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:04 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 24 December 2013 - 12:57 AM, said:

Uhm, yes, I think you are right:

http://www.jasoncola...val-russia.html

Well, then this will be a very short thread, lol.
Speaks to the quality of his writing that you took his book seriously enough to be credible.

:tu:

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
-Terry Pratchett

#14    DieChecker

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:12 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 24 December 2013 - 12:57 AM, said:

Uhm, yes, I think you are right:

http://www.jasoncola...val-russia.html

Well, then this will be a very short thread, lol.

From the quoted link.

Quote

Crichton also cites the fictitious Necronomicon of Abdul Alhazred in the novel’s bibliography!

HA HA HA! Now I'm going to have to go dig out my copy and see if this is true. :tsu:

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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#15    Rafterman

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 05:28 AM

View PostOverSword, on 24 December 2013 - 12:49 AM, said:

You're nuts.  That movie is great!

http://www.rottentom...m/13th_warrior/

Yeah, I'M nuts.

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