Essay: Eaters of the Dead
Ibn Fadlan and his men are not physically strong but their courage helps them fight and win the battle. On the other hand, the Wendol are brave and strong but after loosing their leader, their physical strength ends since they do not have the intelligence to organize theirselves. The only savior is the leader of the Wendol who helps in planning for the battles but after she passes on, they can no longer win since they do not have the strategies. It is therefore true to argue that knowledge and intelligence is able to conquer physical strength as it is stated, “Cleverness in battle…is accounted a greater virtue than pure strength in warriorship” (ibid 119).
With knowledge and intelligence, one is able to succeed in life and this offers the best from of courage. King Rothgar has been physically strong by considering “the way he has placed his settlement. He dares the gods to strike him down, and he pretends he is more than a man” (ibid 76-77). This does not make the Wendol beat the Northmen forever since they do not since they are too proud and thus are tried by the gods in form of the Northmen and loose. They make the worst mistake of forgetting defenders and enable the Northmen move as if the land was theirs. The king has “wisdom and richness” (ibid 96) although he “forgot defense” (ibid 96). The Northmen depends on the death angel who helps them in their problems through “bones she cast upon the ground” (ibid 48).
Bulwilf helps the Venden people to build defenses they were unable to build under the leadership of the king showing the power associated with intelligence and knowledge.