On this day:
Viking raids: 793–850
In the final decade of the 8th century AD, Norse raiders attacked a series of Christian monasteries located in the British Isles. In the British Isles, Christian monasteries had often been positioned on small islands and in other remote coastal areas so that the monks could dwell there in seclusion, devoting themselves to worship without the interference of other elements of society. At the same time, it made them isolated and un-protected targets for attack. Historian Peter Hunter Blair remarked that the Viking raiders would have been astonished “at finding so many communities which housed considerable wealth and whose inhabitants carried no arms.” These raids would have been the first contact many Norsemen had with Christianity, but such attacks were not specifically anti-Christian in nature, rather the monasteries were simply seen as ‘easy targets’ for raiders.
Lo, it is nearly 350 years that we and our fathers have inhabited this most lovely land, and never before has such a terror appeared as we have now suffered from a pagan race, nor was it thought that such an inroad from the sea could be made. Behold the church of St Cuthbert spattered with the blood of the priests of God, despoiled of all its ornaments.
Archbishop Alcuin of York on the sacking of Lindisfarne.
The first known account of a Viking raid taking place in Anglo-Saxon England comes from 789, when three ships from Hordaland (in modern Norway) landed in the Isle of Portland on the southern coast of Wessex. They were approached by the royal reeve from Dorchester, whose job it was to identify all foreign merchants entering the kingdom, and they proceeded to kill him. It is likely that other raids (the records for which have since been lost) occurred soon after, for in 792 King Offa of Mercia began to make arrangements for the defence of Kent from raids perpetrated by “pagan peoples”.
The next recorded attack against the Anglo-Saxons came the following year, in 793, when the monastery at Lindisfarne, an island off England’s eastern coast, was sacked by a Viking raiding party on 8 June. The following year they sacked the nearby Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey.
In 795 they once again attacked, this time raiding Iona Abbey on Scotland’s west coast. This monastery would be attacked again in 802 and 806, when 68 people dwelling there were killed. Following such devastation, the monastic community at Iona abandoned the site and fled instead to Kells in Ireland.
In the first decade of the 9th century AD, Viking raiders began to attack coastal districts along Ireland. In 835, the first major Viking raid in southern England took place and was directed against the Isle of Sheppey.
Born on this day:
Primož Trubar or Primož Truber[nb 2] (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (1508[nb 1] – 28 June 1586) was a Slovenian Protestant Reformer of the Lutheran tradition, mostly known as the author of the first Slovene language printed book, the founder and the first superintendent of the Protestant Church of the Duchy of Carniola, and for consolidating the Slovene language. Trubar introduced Lutheranism in Slovenia, but after the Austrian Habsburgs introduced the Counter-Reformation only a small community remained in the Prekmurje region. Trubar is the key figure of Slovenian cultural history and in many aspects a major historical personality.
Life and work
Trubar was born in the village of Rašica (now in the Municipality of Velike Lašče) in the Duchy of Carniola, then under the Habsburgs. In the years 1520–1521 he attended school in Rijeka, in 1522–1524 he continued his education in Salzburg. From there he went to Trieste under the tutorship of the Roman Catholic bishop Pietro Bonomo, where he got in touch with the Humanist writers, in particular Erasmus of Rotterdam. In 1527 the bishop Pietro Bonomo assigned Trubar a priest position in Loka pri Zidanem Mostu. In 1528 he enrolled at the University of Vienna, but did not complete his studies. In 1530 he returned to the Slovene Lands and became a preacher. He gradually leaned towards Protestantism and was expelled from Ljubljana in 1547.
In 1550, while a Protestant preacher in Rothenburg, he wrote the first two books in Slovene, Catechismus and Abecedarium, which were then printed that year in Schwäbisch Hall by Peter Frentz. Catechismus also contained the first Slovene musical manuscript in print.
Altogether, Trubar authored 22 books in Slovene and two books in German. He was the first to translate parts of the Bible to Slovene. After the exhortation by Pier Paolo Vergerio, he translated the Gospel of Matthew in 1555 and until 1577 in three parts published the translation of the entire New Testament. In period between 1561 and 1565 Trubar was the manager and supervisor of the South Slavic Bible Institute.
Trubar died in Derendingen, Holy Roman Empire (now part of the city of Tübingen, Germany), where he is also buried.
The monument to Primož Trubar by Franc Berneker (sl). White marble, 1910. The statue stands in Trubar Park opposite the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana.
In 1986, the Slovenian television produced a TV series, directed by Andrej Strojan with the screenplay written by Drago Jančar, in which Trubar was played by the Slovenian actor Polde Bibič.
Trubar was commemorated on the 10 tolar banknote in 1992, and on the Slovenian 1 euro coin in 2007. In 2008, the Government of Slovenia proclaimed the Year of Primož Trubar and the 500th anniversary of Trubar’s birth was celebrated throughout the country. A commemorative €2 coin and a postage stamp were issued. An exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Primož Trubar, and the achievements of the Slovenian Reformation Movement was on display at the National Museum of Slovenia from 6 March to 31 December 2008.
In 2009, the Trubar Forum Association printed Trubar’s Catechism and Abecedarium in modern Slovene, in a scholarly edition that includes both the Trubar-era Slovene and the modern Slovene translation with scholarly notes. The “Sermon on Faith”, a portion of the Catechism, is available in modern Slovene, English, German and Esperanto.
Since 2010, 8 June is commemorated in Slovenia as Primož Trubar Day. Google celebrated his 505th birthday anniversary with a dedicated Google Doodle.
Centuries before the modern seismograph, Armenian monks measured quakes with this tilting pillar.
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