“God, in his goodness and justice so much offended by our sins, had thus worn down the lands and kingdoms of the Christians.”
That’s a quote from Prudentius of Troyes, who was struggling to explain why the Franks met abysmal failure every time they fought the Scandinavians. While that quote came from from across the channel, and was written years before the disaster at the Battle of Reading, it gives us the lens that the Christians of Western Europe used to view these events. It’s surprising how many writers from this period, when looking at these events, look to the Bible for an explanation and see things in terms of divine retribution or divine intervention. That Biblical perspective is something I want you to keep in mind when you hear the story I’m going to tell you today.