But I’m reminded of the Danegeld. Now that was ransom bigtime. The English tried baptism, danegeld payments, built huge fleets that were destroyed, they built burrhs, even tried ethnic cleansing (St Brice’s Day Massacre). None of it worked.
The master at Danegeld was Cnut Sveinsson, aka Cnut the Great, or more commonly Canute. He, or his predecessors started out small, then 16,000 pounds, then a few years later incrementally ran it up by 50% to 24,000, then later to 36,000, then 48,000, then to 72,000. Don’t recollect where he stopped. But eventually he got the entire treasury when he became King of England. He was also King of Denmark, Norway, a huge chunk of southern Sweden, and parts of northern and western Scotland.
His reign as King of England started a thousand years ago in 1016 AD and lasted for 19 years to his death in 1035. At least one historian has called him <i>"the most effective king in Anglo-Saxon history"<i> even though he was a Dane and not English. Too bad his sons were not as wise as he. With infighting they only lasted another seven years before the Saxons took back the crown. I have to wonder if Duke William of Normandy would ever have invaded England if Cnut was still around?
Too bad the History Channel series ‘Vikings’ does not cover Cnut's era instead of Ragnar’s. Or perhaps the author Bernard Cornwell should write of Cnut instead of the so-called Alfred the Great in his Saxon tales.