Was their still enough Anglo Saxon pagan elements for a reversion to happen?
Absolutely not. Anglo-Saxon England was unfortunate enough to suffer Christianisation from both the top down and bottom up simultaneously and by the time the Vikings invaded England was thoroughly Christianised, even if folk traditions still persisted.

Of course, there's no record of people who might have converted from Christianity to paganism during the Danelaw. It's improbable that it didn't happen, of course.
 
I agree with @Emperor-of-New-Zealand that there might be too late for a reversion to happen in both Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Britain and Ireland, but I expect that will still happen a great del of syncretism between Celtic/Anglo-Saxon Christianity and this organized Norse paganism to the point that the mainland Christians would condemn the Insular Christianity as heretical. I have plans for this ATL Celtic christianity and how this syncretism might happen hence the tag.

It should be said that Ribe have a lot of potential as a town
Thank you for your feedback. Indeed Ribe lost its importance to Altona/Hamburg and later to Esberg but in this timeline it would stay as an important gateway to Europe and Britain and eventually reach its full potential.
You however ended your sentence with "But we could". Was you meant to finish it?

Of those three I'd recommend The Frankish Kingdom under the Carolingians, 751-987 by McKitterick
Thank you. Ill look at it. I think such a overview would be enough for my timeline. While my timeline has Scandinavia and paganism as a main focus, the Carolingians would without doubt have a major influence in its development.
 
I agree with @Emperor-of-New-Zealand that there might be too late for a reversion to happen in both Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Britain and Ireland, but I expect that will still happen a great del of syncretism between Celtic/Anglo-Saxon Christianity and this organized Norse paganism to the point that the mainland Christians would condemn the Insular Christianity as heretical. I have plans for this ATL Celtic christianity and how this syncretism might happen hence the tag.


Thank you for your feedback. Indeed Ribe lost its importance to Altona/Hamburg and later to Esberg but in this timeline it would stay as an important gateway to Europe and Britain and eventually reach its full potential.
You however ended your sentence with "But we could". Was you meant to finish it?

It was part of some other thoughts I had, but which I thought would diverge from the point. The weakness of Ribe is the fact that it lack hydropower and wind power is not yet a thing. So I made some thought about other potential towns in Denmark, as example the Silkeborg Lakes have access to hydropower, was the center of Danish (bog) iron production until the 17th century thanks to the large forests of the region (which had disappeared in the 17th century).

But a interesting factor is that both Ribe and Hedeby was the first towns of Denmark and both failed in the long term mainly because of the borders of the duchy of Schleswig. Of course in the short term they also ended outcompeted by Hamburg and Lübeck. Ribe could have rivaled Altona with no trouble as the main port of Danish oxen trade.
 
But a interesting factor is that both Ribe and Hedeby was the first towns of Denmark and both failed in the long term mainly because of the borders of the duchy of Schleswig.
What do you mean by this? Hedeby disappeared in the 11th century, long before Schleswig became a separate Duchy from the Danish Kingdom, and the town that rose to replace it was an important town for centuries forward.
 
Absolutely not. Anglo-Saxon England was unfortunate enough to suffer Christianisation from both the top down and bottom up simultaneously and by the time the Vikings invaded England was thoroughly Christianised, even if folk traditions still persisted.

Of course, there's no record of people who might have converted from Christianity to paganism during the Danelaw. It's improbable that it didn't happen, of course.

Damn
 
What do you mean by this? Hedeby disappeared in the 11th century, long before Schleswig became a separate Duchy from the Danish Kingdom, and the town that rose to replace it was an important town for centuries forward.

I see Slesvig By as the successor to Hedeby and Slesvig stayed important until it ended up part of Gottorp after the partition after which Flensburg took over as the main town of Schleswig. I would say in a world where Gottorp Amt (county) had ended up in Oldenburg hand and Flensburg Amt in “Gottorp” hands, Slesvig would outcompeted both Flensburg and Kiel, instead of ending up a minor provincial town.
 
I would say in a world where Gottorp Amt (county) had ended up in Oldenburg hand and Flensburg Amt in “Gottorp” hands, Slesvig would outcompeted both Flensburg and Kiel, instead of ending up a minor provincial town.
Right I can follow that train of thought, just confused by what time period you were referring to.
 
Whats happening to the Saxons here the POD is about six years after their finale revolt was put down. Will the see a resurgence in the chaos caused by the Danish raid on Aachen?
 
Saxon Wars, part 1 New
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The Saxon Wars (772 - 818) was a holy war. Made in the name of the Christian god and in the name of fanaticism. The greatest achievement of Karl the Cruel but also his greatest failure. To us the Saxon Wars was both a political, religious and cultural war. We fought to defend our land the Franks forcibly took from us, we fought to restore democracy that the Christians had robbed from us and we fought to preserve our religious freedoms.
Excerpt of “Saxon Wars from a modern perspective”

Saint Karl the Great and father of Europe was one of the most important figures of history. He was crowned as emperor in 800 by Pope Leo III, and ruled over a vast expanse of Europe. Besides his campaign of military conquest, Karl the Great was also known for his many reforms, including the economy, education, and government administration. His rule ushered Europe into a renaissance, a period of spirited cultural and intellectual activity within the Christian Church.

However, to the people in the north outside the Christian Europe, he was known as Karl the Cruel.

Karl the Cruel was determined to wage war on the Saxons until they had either been overcome and subjected to the Christian faith or face total extermination. To the end he had embarked on a thirty years of military campaign of conquest against the Saxons, instituted a forced mass baptism, massacred those who resisted the corvension to the Christian faith and imposed laws that reduced Saxons to merely serf and robbed them of their lands and their political privileges.

But this aggressive conquest of Saxland had also forced the fierce tribes of the Danes further north to respond in a way that Europe never had expected. This was the beginning of an era of raiding, colonisation, exploration and trade all together with the rise of Heathenry as an organised religion separated from the Abrahamic religions. The so-named Viking Age

While there was much debate among scholars what drove the sudden expansion of the Norsemen, there was common agreement that Saint Karl’s campaign to force Saxons to convert to Christianity was one of major links in a long chain of circumstances that drove the Norsemen to go aboard seeking adventure.

The conflict between the Saxons and the Franks had raged for generations on the borderland between Rhine and Weser, a territory of easily traversable plain that lacked impassable mountain ranges or dense forests. Due to this easily obtained wealth of the Rhineland, Saxons developed an affinity for raided the borderland with ease by which the Franks became greatly irritated and attempted to invade and subjected the borderland to their control without much luck.

When the Saxons sacked and burned the church of Deventer in mid-january 772, king Karl had it enough and sought advice from the servants of God and gathered a great army, invoking the name of Christ and departing for Saxland with bishops, priests, and abbots in tow. According to Christian dogma, the Saxons had been bound by the chains of the devils and King Karl believed it was his duty to submit the Saxons to the soft and sweet yok of Christ.

Conversion of the Saxons to the correct faith would ensure salvation for these people and the king himself, whose stock would rise in the eyes of God for having spread the Christian faith. Furthermore he wanted to ensure that their vows of obedience to the king were made with the binding power of Christianity sworn on sacred relics as he didn’t trust the words of these heathens.

He marched into Saxland, where with his army, he laid waste to everything with fire and sword, and his first action was to burn the idol which was called Irminsul by the Saxons in an attempt to destroy the faith of the heathens..

The Irminsul was a sacred pillar of a tree trunk erected in the open air, very much similar to Yggdrasil the World-tree, a great symbol of the Saxon faith and the very connection between the spiritual world and the mortal world. The Axis Mundi of their world view. Its destruction was far from the first event of its kind.

This was one of the weapons used by missionaries against the heathens designed to demonstrate the impotence of their gods. By violating sacred places without incurring divine retribution, both king Karl and the missionaries sought to prove the power of their God and the powerlessness of the heathen gods.

One of these sacred sites was near present day Paderborn and it took three days to destroy the site. According to Royal Frankish Annals, during this time the army became parched due to a recent lack of rainfall. This prompted the Christian God reportedly to miraculously cause water to erupt from the side of a nearby mountain, filling a dry riverbed and providing enough water for the whole army.

Unfortunately this didn’t work as they intended as unlike the Christian god, the pagan gods didn’t care about happenings in the mortal world other than receive sacrifices. So the Saxons continue to resist the Franks unconvincingly about the power of the Christian god. However these sacred sites were not only religious centres but also political and cultural centres.

These sites were also home to Þing and besides serving as an assembly, it was also a place to trade, to host religious festivals, and to establish social ties between communities. The Þing was the very center of Saxons political and cultural life. as well as a means to unite the communities.

Hence the destruction of these sacred sites was not only an attack on the Saxon faith but also an attack on the very fundament of Saxon legal system, trade and culture. Destruction of the Irminsul and the desecration of the sacred site was also a crime to the Saxons.

Discontent spread among the Saxons and they used the opportunity in the Frankish invasion of the Italian kingdom of Lombards to ravage the territories of the Hessians. They attempted to burn a church in Fritzlar, but their poorly organized raid was easily defeated by the Franks. According to the Frankish Annals, they were forced to abandon their efforts due to divine intervention. They reportedly were driven away by a sudden terror sent by God when two young men in white appeared to defend the church from fire.

King Karl returned to Saxland in the campaign season of 775, after successfully concluding his siege of Pavia in 774 and took Desiderius’s kingdom for his own. In Saxland king Karl devastated everything, burning and plundering while killing a great number of Saxons who attempted to resist the conquest. He pushed his conquest towards Oker before as he had in years past securing the customary oaths and hostages and returned to winter in Francia with great rewards.

However the conflict between Franks and Saxons had forced many Saxons to find refuge in Daneland. Those who fled refused to convert to Christianity, lost their land, their political privilege or preferred to live according to their ancient customs.

The exiled Saxons assembled and elected a hertug (war leader) to lead the Saxon resistance and to organize the warriors into a more cogent force. This hertug called himself Widukind, a name that means “Child of the Woods” in obvious reference to old myths and fitting to the hit-and-rut tactics used by his forces.

A violent Saxon rebellion broke out in the following year organized by Widukind whilst king Karl was dealing with another uprising in Italy. Karl brought his army on the perfidious and treaty-breaking people of the Saxons once again and swiftly crushed any resistance. All of Saxland except Nordalbingia was pacificated and was brought under the Frankish control, though Widukind fled back to safety in Daneland.

Another so-called miracle was recorded in 776. According to the Frankish Annals, a church at Syburg was protected by an miracle emanating from the building, which sows terror and descruction among the Saxons, causing their death as the Christian god sook revenge.

In the year 777, king Karl called for a royal diet on Saxon soil in the newly founded Karlsburg, later Paderborn, to integrate Saxland fully into the Frankish kingdom. All of the defeated Saxon jarls were in attendance, save Widukind. Those at present surrendered themselves fully to the power of the king and acknowledged that they would be deprived both of their estate and their freedom should they breach the king’s decrees.

According to the Frankish Annals, they were deeply repentant that they sought forgiveness for their error in rebelling against king Karl, after which he pardoned them mercifully. He had those who declared they wished to become Christians baptized.

In truth they began to fear the wrath of king Karl and his victories had also made them believe that the Christian god was stronger than their sovereign god Týr, the god of victory, war, justice and assembly. Though the consequences for disobedience or falsely converting to the Christian faith had yet extended to death. It had also been suggested that the Frankish Annals chose to interpret their conversion as voluntary rather than compulsory.

Saxland was divided into Westphalia, Angria and Eastphalia, and Karl recruited Anglo-Saxon missionaries to promote the conversion of the Saxons. He strived to use the church with its monasteries, its educational institutions, and its administration as his administrative instrument in Saxland. Missionaries began to travel from village to village and preached the Christian faith while the converted skálds told the tales and deeds from the bible.

However in his absence from the Royal Diet, Widukind traveled to Lejre, the royal seat of the kings of the Skjöldungar, in Zealand in search of an alliance against the Franks.

Daneland was at the time the most centralized kingdom beyond the Christian Europe as it had over the last century consolidated itself under pressures from its surrendering neighbors and eventually united for the first time in the late 8th century. The kingdom at the time of the Saxon Wars was ruled by Sigurd from the Skjöldungar dynasty.

The Franks were the king’s least concern as the Danes had many hostile neighbors surrounding themselves. They lived between the Saxons to the west, the wends to the east, and to the north Geats, Svears, Gutes and other Norsemen. This was one of the major reasons why Daneland was the first centralized kingdom, created exactly so they could protect themselves against their neighbors. King Karl did also do a favor to the Danes by destroying the Saxons which were a threat to the Danes constantly. Besides, the Danes received the Saxon refuges, which was just as beneficial for them, as they were a great boost in their manpower to man their defensive systems.

Yet king Sigurd was very much concerned about the rapidly expansive Frankish empire. Their trade was likewise disturbed when the Franks conquered Frisia and cut them off from the trade network. Soon or later the Franks would become their neighbors and then they would become a far greater threat then the Saxons even were.

In the end king Sigurd felt that the Franks seemed to be the worse of the two and he knew very well that it was a question of the lesser evil. Thus he agreed to enter an alliance with the Saxons and married his daughter Geva away to Widukind for limith support to the rebellion.

In 778, King Karl campaigned in Al-Andalus, hoping to gain a number of cities from the Moors there. On his return through the Pyrenees, the rearguard was ambushed and slaughtered by Basques at the Battle of Roncesvalles. This prompted the Saxons to rebel once again. Widukind and his rebel army laid waste and both destroyed churches and pro-Frankish estates within Saxland with the intention not to plunder but to exact vengeance.

An alliance of Frankish and Alemanni troops intercepted them and inflicted such a great slaughter upon the rebels that only few, including Widukind, managed to escape back to Daneland. King Karl returned the following year and once again invaded Saxland with full retribution and received oaths and hostages before wintering at Worms.

Deeply irritated by the oath-breaking and treacherous Saxons, king Karl demanded several jarls and karls to meet him at Ohrum, on the river Oker in 880, and after settling their affairs forcibly converted them to the Christian faith in a mass baptism, and forced them to swear new oaths of faith to the king in the name of the Christian God. He divided Saxland further into mission areas.

Following the mass baptism, king Karl departed for Pavia, where he stayed for the winter before traveling to Rome the following spring to meet with Pope Adrian. His son Pippin was baptized, and both his two sons Pippin and Louis anointed as kings of South Francia and West Francia respectively by the hands of the Pope.

It was unknown what king Karl and Pope Adrian discussed in Rome, but it was very likely that they spoke on the difficulties in finding a lasting solution to the rebellious Saxons. King Karl was deeply frustrated by his inability to subjugate and convert a people who had plagued in the last ten years.

When king Karl returned to Saxland with the blessing of the Pope and the Catholic Church in the next year, he initiated the next phase of the Saxon Wars.

A particularly brutal stage in the Saxon Wars.

772: First military campaign against the Saxons

773: Frankish invasion of the Italian kingdom of Lombards

774: King Karl crowned as king of the Lombards

775: Second military campaign against the Saxons

776: First Saxon rebellion and completed pacification of Saxland

777: Frankish National diet and Widukind emerged as a rebel leader

778: King Karl’s campaign in Al-Andalus and Second Saxon rebellion.

779: Retribution campaign against the Saxons.

780: Mass baptism of the Saxons

781: Pippin and Louis anointed as co-kings
 
Uh, looking forward to see where this is going.

I heard somewhere that Charlemagne walked an army to the border of Denmark, and was met by a manned Dannevirke. I don't know if it actually happened but if it did that's an interesting prospect.
 
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Bastiram - as early as 782 Danish King Sigfred send emissaries to the Emperor Karl residing at Lippe. Godfred moves his Army and Cavalry to Sliesthorp during 804 to demonstrate his strength to Karl who had camped an Army south of the Elbe. Godfred 808 capture Reric and moves the merchants to Hedeby; being allies of Karl his son Karl moves an Army to intercept Godfred whose nephew Reginald is killed during the fighting. Post this Godfred rebuilds/strengthen Dannevirke by adding the stonewall (if you watched Gåden om Danmarks første konge you're aware of this). Next year Karl? dad or son builds a fortress at Itzehoe.
If not this chain of events the next Frankish Army is the one led by Harald Klak 815 during the civil war of the branches of the Danish Royal line going as far as possibly Eiriksø near Fredericia but not crossing the Lillebælt.
 
Nice TL Zillian - will pop in from time to time to see where you're taking this. Have to read about the literacy of the Vikings first - which have always been my interpretation.. ;)
 
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