An African king named Gormund ruled Ireland during the Anglo-Saxon period in England reports the medieval historian Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Halfdan the Black was the first Africoid king to unite Norway.
When the British Isles were invaded by the Vikings some of these Norse raiders were Africoid. In fact, different varieties of ‘Viking’ Africans lived in Scandinavia during the middle ages and are frequently mentioned in Viking sagas.
There were Black Huns! The dictionary describes the Huns as “a fierce barbaric race of Asiatic nomads who led by Attila, ravaged Europe I the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.” The Gothic writer Jordannes described their infamous leader, Attila the Hun as having “a flat nose and swarthy complexion.” He describes the types of Huns he had seen as “of dark complexion, almost black… broad shoulder, flat noses and small eyres.”
The African Moors dominated southwest Europe during the
Middle Ages for 700 years: 711-1492 A.D. African Moors ruling southwest Europe centuries, darkened whites in this area, especially Portal, which was “the first example of a Negrito (African) republic in Europe?”
Moors ruling Scotland in the 10th century mixed with whites until the black skin color disappeared.
Black Celts (Silures) & Black Vikings vexed with the Scandinavia people. A prominent Viking of the eleventh century was Thorhall, who was aboard the ship that carried the early Vikings to the shores of North America. Thorhall was “the huntsman in summer and in winter the steward of Eric the Red. He was a large man and strong, black, and like a giant, silent, and foul-mouthed in his speech, and always egged on Eric to the worst; he was a bad Christian.”
Another Viking, more notable than Thorhall, was Earl Thorfinn, “the most distinguished of all the earls in the Islands.” Thorfinn ruled over nine earldoms in Scotland and Ireland, and died at the age of seventy-five. His widow married the king of Scotland. Thorfinn was described as “one of the largest men in point of stature, and ugly, sharp featured, and somewhat tawny, and the most martial looking man. It has been related that he was the foremost of all his men.”
The black blood type is common even in Nordic Europe where intermixing has been happening since antiquity.
Black slavery lasted in England for about 400 years (1440-1834), during which time much intermixing occurred.
(more at the link)
In other words: yes, there should be PoC in movies that take place in Europe in any time period.
There are many good reasons why there should be more PoC in films taking place in medieval and early modern Europe. Owing to trade, commerce, Christian missions, the slave trade (medieval and early modern) and various wars and invasions, Europe really was a lot more racially varied than one might think.
- The Iberian Peninsula definitely was under Muslim rule for a time in the medieval period and its proximity to the Middle East and Africa means that, yes, there was definitely a lot of racial variety in that region.
- Also, the slave trade (medieval and early modern) was responsible for an influx of people from the Middle East and Africa into Europe under various conditions.
However, some of the claims made above are problematic and are not the best foundation for the very valid vargument that PoC need to be better represented in films set in Europe.
The red flags for me are going up because of a few pretty well-known facts accepted by many historians:
- Geoffrey Monmouth had a flair for the fantastic and fictional and really needs to be taken with a grain of salt with regards to just about everything he ever wrote. Generally speaking, historians have to be very careful about how they use primary sources which describe events that occurred more than a few generations before the author’s time.
- Most often, when individuals were referred to as ‘the dark one’, ‘dark’, or ‘the black’ in the British Isles and Scandinavian countries, it denoted the colour of their hair/eyes or their demeanour (example a dark or mean personality), not of their skin.
I’m not saying that the claims made above are impossible but many of the sources used by the original author appear to a) have been taken out of context or b) are extremely outdated and unreliable. Furthermore, the fact that the claims in quotes appear to have been plucked from obscurity (no footnotes, page numbers or direct acknowledgement of where the quote came from) and that the sources were very difficult to trace back (no page numbers and broken links) all smacks of poor scholarship.
I was really reluctant to post any of this without sources, but I’ve been all over every database I can think of looking for peer-reviewed articles and books that deal with the topic of African rulers of Scotland or Ireland or Scandinavia (whether they debate it or support it) and I can’t find a single thing aside from websites with no citations, sources or means of verifying their information. Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, but that means that the best we can do is speculate about - not state with absolute certainty - these claims.
I absolutely agree.
There was another post that turned up in my dashboard a while ago, which claimed that there was a black king of Scotland who ruled in the tenth century, which linked to this site here. No references, nothing, and any other site that referenced it as fact clearly came from the same source.
origin: wingsandtails | via: glitterywitch
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