Viking Age

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Viking Age

I made these typologies of #VikingWeapons in for the book 'Vikinger i krig' (​ 'Vikings At War'). They are primarily based upon the work of Jan. Many translated example sentences containing "Viking Age" – German-English dictionary and search engine for German translations. Viking Age Exhibition duration: August 23 – September 21, Inspired by Norse mythology and referring to the gallerists' ancestry, Japanese artist Shintaro​.

Carolingian-Ottonian disc brooches: early Christian symbols in Viking age Denmark

Inhalt: This carefully crafted ebook: "Eric Brighteyes (A Novel of Viking Age Iceland)" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. The Viking Age: A Reader, Third Edition (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures) | Somerville, Angus A., McDonald, R. Andrew | ISBN. The North West in the Viking Age is a project led by Dr Clare Downham, a medieval historian at the University of Liverpool. Using the app, you.

Viking Age Art of the Viking Age Video

The Viking Age Explained

The remains of these ships are on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. In , archaeologists uncovered two Viking boat graves in Gamla Uppsala.

They also discovered that one of the boats still holds the remains of a man, a dog, and a horse, along with other items.

Viking society was divided into the three socio-economic classes: Thralls, Karls and Jarls. Archaeology has confirmed this social structure.

Thralls were the lowest ranking class and were slaves. Slaves comprised as much as a quarter of the population.

Thralls were servants and workers in the farms and larger households of the Karls and Jarls, and they were used for constructing fortifications, ramps, canals, mounds, roads and similar hard work projects.

According to the Rigsthula, Thralls were despised and looked down upon. New thralls were supplied by either the sons and daughters of thralls or captured abroad.

The Vikings often deliberately captured many people on their raids in Europe, to enslave them as thralls. The thralls were then brought back home to Scandinavia by boat, used on location or in newer settlements to build needed structures, or sold, often to the Arabs in exchange for silver.

Karls were free peasants. They owned farms, land and cattle and engaged in daily chores like ploughing the fields, milking the cattle, building houses and wagons, but used thralls to make ends meet.

Other names for Karls were 'bonde' or simply free men. The Jarls were the aristocracy of the Viking society. They were wealthy and owned large estates with huge longhouses, horses and many thralls.

The thralls did most of the daily chores, while the Jarls did administration, politics, hunting, sports, visited other Jarls or went abroad on expeditions.

When a Jarl died and was buried, his household thralls were sometimes sacrificially killed and buried next to him, as many excavations have revealed.

In daily life, there were many intermediate positions in the overall social structure and it is believed that there must have been some social mobility.

These details are unclear, but titles and positions like hauldr , thegn , landmand , show mobility between the Karls and the Jarls.

Members of the latter were referred to as drenge , one of the words for warrior. There were also official communities within towns and villages, the overall defence, religion, the legal system and the Things.

Like elsewhere in medieval Europe, most women in Viking society were subordinate to their husbands and fathers and had little political power.

Most free Viking women were housewives, and the woman's standing in society was linked to that of her husband.

Norse laws assert the housewife's authority over the 'indoor household'. She had the important roles of managing the farm's resources, conducting business, as well as child-rearing, although some of this would be shared with her husband.

After the age of 20, an unmarried woman, referred to as maer and mey , reached legal majority and had the right to decide her place of residence and was regarded as her own person before the law.

Concubinage was also part of Viking society, whereby a woman could live with a man and have children with him without marrying; such a woman was called a frilla.

A woman had the right to inherit part of her husband's property upon his death, [] and widows enjoyed the same independent status as unmarried women.

Such a woman was referred to as Baugrygr , and she exercised all the rights afforded to the head of a family clan, until she married, by which her rights were transferred to her new husband.

Women had religious authority and were active as priestesses gydja and oracles sejdkvinna. Examinations of Viking Age burials suggests that women lived longer, and nearly all well past the age of 35, as compared to earlier times.

Female graves from before the Viking Age in Scandinavia holds a proportional large number of remains from women aged 20 to 35, presumably due to complications of childbirth.

Scandinavian Vikings were similar in appearance to modern Scandinavians ; "their skin was fair and the hair color varied between blond, dark and reddish".

Genetic studies show that people were mostly blond in what is now eastern Sweden, while red hair was mostly found in western Scandinavia.

Men involved in warfare, for example, may have had slightly shorter hair and beards for practical reasons. Men in some regions bleached their hair a golden saffron color.

The three classes were easily recognisable by their appearances. Men and women of the Jarls were well groomed with neat hairstyles and expressed their wealth and status by wearing expensive clothes often silk and well crafted jewellery like brooches , belt buckles, necklaces and arm rings.

Almost all of the jewellery was crafted in specific designs unique to the Norse see Viking art. Finger rings were seldom used and earrings were not used at all, as they were seen as a Slavic phenomenon.

Most Karls expressed similar tastes and hygiene, but in a more relaxed and inexpensive way. Archaeological finds from Scandinavia and Viking settlements in the British Isles support the idea of the well groomed and hygienic Viking.

Burial with grave goods was a common practice in the Scandinavian world, through the Viking Age and well past the Christianization of the Norse peoples.

The sagas tell about the diet and cuisine of the Vikings, [] but first hand evidence, like cesspits , kitchen middens and garbage dumps have proved to be of great value and importance.

Undigested remains of plants from cesspits at Coppergate in York have provided much information in this respect. Overall, archaeo-botanical investigations have been undertaken increasingly in recent decades, as a collaboration between archaeologists and palaeoethno-botanists.

This new approach sheds light on the agricultural and horticultural practices of the Vikings and their cuisine.

The combined information from various sources suggests a diverse cuisine and ingredients. Meat products of all kinds, such as cured , smoked and whey -preserved meat, [] sausages, and boiled or fried fresh meat cuts, were prepared and consumed.

Certain livestock were typical and unique to the Vikings, including the Icelandic horse , Icelandic cattle , a plethora of sheep breeds, [] the Danish hen and the Danish goose.

Most of the beef and horse leg bones were found split lengthways, to extract the marrow. The mutton and swine were cut into leg and shoulder joints and chops.

The frequent remains of pig skull and foot bones found on house floors indicate that brawn and trotters were also popular. Hens were kept for both their meat and eggs, and the bones of game birds such as black grouse , golden plover , wild ducks, and geese have also been found.

Seafood was important, in some places even more so than meat. Whales and walrus were hunted for food in Norway and the north-western parts of the North Atlantic region, and seals were hunted nearly everywhere.

Oysters , mussels and shrimps were eaten in large quantities and cod and salmon were popular fish. In the southern regions, herring was also important.

Milk and buttermilk were popular, both as cooking ingredients and drinks, but were not always available, even at farms. Food was often salted and enhanced with spices, some of which were imported like black pepper , while others were cultivated in herb gardens or harvested in the wild.

Home grown spices included caraway , mustard and horseradish as evidenced from the Oseberg ship burial [] or dill , coriander , and wild celery , as found in cesspits at Coppergate in York.

Thyme , juniper berry , sweet gale , yarrow , rue and peppercress were also used and cultivated in herb gardens. Vikings collected and ate fruits, berries and nuts.

Apple wild crab apples , plums and cherries were part of the diet, [] as were rose hips and raspberry , wild strawberry , blackberry , elderberry , rowan , hawthorn and various wild berries, specific to the locations.

The shells were used for dyeing, and it is assumed that the nuts were consumed. The invention and introduction of the mouldboard plough revolutionised agriculture in Scandinavia in the early Viking Age and made it possible to farm even poor soils.

In Ribe , grains of rye , barley , oat and wheat dated to the 8th century have been found and examined, and are believed to have been cultivated locally.

Remains of bread from primarily Birka in Sweden were made of barley and wheat. It is unclear if the Norse leavened their breads, but their ovens and baking utensils suggest that they did.

This suggests a much higher actual percentage, as linen is poorly preserved compared to wool for example.

The quality of food for common people was not always particularly high. The research at Coppergate shows that the Vikings in York made bread from whole meal flour—probably both wheat and rye —but with the seeds of cornfield weeds included.

Corncockle Agrostemma , would have made the bread dark-coloured, but the seeds are poisonous, and people who ate the bread might have become ill.

Seeds of carrots, parsnip , and brassicas were also discovered, but they were poor specimens and tend to come from white carrots and bitter tasting cabbages.

The effects of this can be seen on skeletal remains of that period. Sports were widely practised and encouraged by the Vikings.

This included spear and stone throwing, building and testing physical strength through wrestling see glima , fist fighting , and stone lifting.

In areas with mountains, mountain climbing was practised as a sport. Agility and balance were built and tested by running and jumping for sport, and there is mention of a sport that involved jumping from oar to oar on the outside of a ship's railing as it was being rowed.

Children often participated in some of the sport disciplines and women have also been mentioned as swimmers, although it is unclear if they took part in competition.

King Olaf Tryggvason was hailed as a master of both mountain climbing and oar-jumping, and was said to have excelled in the art of knife juggling as well.

Skiing and ice skating were the primary winter sports of the Vikings, although skiing was also used as everyday means of transport in winter and in the colder regions of the north.

Horse fighting was practised for sport, although the rules are unclear. It appears to have involved two stallions pitted against each other, within smell and sight of fenced-off mares.

Whatever the rules were, the fights often resulted in the death of one of the stallions. Icelandic sources refer to the sport of knattleik.

A ball game akin to hockey , knattleik involved a bat and a small hard ball and was usually played on a smooth field of ice. The rules are unclear, but it was popular with both adults and children, even though it often led to injuries.

Knattleik appears to have been played only in Iceland, where it attracted many spectators, as did horse fighting. Hunting, as a sport, was limited to Denmark, where it was not regarded as an important occupation.

Birds, deer , hares and foxes were hunted with bow and spear, and later with crossbows. The techniques were stalking, snare and traps and par force hunting with dog packs.

Both archaeological finds and written sources testify to the fact that the Vikings set aside time for social and festive gatherings.

Board games and dice games were played as a popular pastime at all levels of society. Preserved gaming pieces and boards show game boards made of easily available materials like wood, with game pieces manufactured from stone, wood or bone, while other finds include elaborately carved boards and game pieces of glass, amber , antler or walrus tusk, together with materials of foreign origin, such as ivory.

The Vikings played several types of tafl games; hnefatafl , nitavl nine men's morris and the less common kvatrutafl.

Chess also appeared at the end of the Viking Age. Hnefatafl is a war game, in which the object is to capture the king piece—a large hostile army threatens and the king's men have to protect the king.

It was played on a board with squares using black and white pieces, with moves made according to dice rolls. The Ockelbo Runestone shows two men engaged in Hnefatafl, and the sagas suggest that money or valuables could have been involved in some dice games.

On festive occasions storytelling , skaldic poetry , music and alcoholic drinks, like beer and mead , contributed to the atmosphere.

The Vikings are known to have played instruments including harps , fiddles , lyres and lutes. Viking-age reenactors have undertaken experimental activities such as iron smelting and forging using Norse techniques at Norstead in Newfoundland for example.

The remains of that ship and four others were discovered during a excavation in the Roskilde Fjord. Tree-ring analysis has shown the ship was built of oak in the vicinity of Dublin in about Seventy multi-national crew members sailed the ship back to its home, and Sea Stallion arrived outside Dublin's Custom House on 14 August The purpose of the voyage was to test and document the seaworthiness, speed, and manoeuvrability of the ship on the rough open sea and in coastal waters with treacherous currents.

The crew tested how the long, narrow, flexible hull withstood the tough ocean waves. The expedition also provided valuable new information on Viking longships and society.

The ship was built using Viking tools, materials, and much the same methods as the original ship. Other vessels, often replicas of the Gokstad ship full- or half-scale or Skuldelev have been built and tested as well.

Elements of a Scandinavian identity and practices were maintained in settler societies, but they could be quite distinct as the groups assimilated into the neighboring societies.

Assimilation to the Frankish culture in Normandy for example was rapid. Knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century.

According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons and were permitted to carry them at all times.

These arms indicated a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking had a complete ensemble of a helmet , shield , mail shirt, and sword. However, swords were rarely used in battle, probably not sturdy enough for combat and most likely only used as symbolic or decorative items.

Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less "honourable" than melee weapons.

Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The warfare and violence of the Vikings were often motivated and fuelled by their beliefs in Norse religion , focusing on Thor and Odin , the gods of war and death.

Such tactics may have been deployed intentionally by shock troops , and the berserk-state may have been induced through ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, such as the hallucinogenic mushrooms, Amanita muscaria , [] or large amounts of alcohol.

The Vikings established and engaged in extensive trading networks throughout the known world and had a profound influence on the economic development of Europe and Scandinavia.

Except for the major trading centres of Ribe , Hedeby and the like, the Viking world was unfamiliar with the use of coinage and was based on so called bullion economy, that is, the weight of precious metals.

Silver was the most common metal in the economy, although gold was also used to some extent. Silver circulated in the form of bars, or ingots , as well as in the form of jewellery and ornaments.

A large number of silver hoards from the Viking Age have been uncovered, both in Scandinavia and the lands they settled.

Organized trade covered everything from ordinary items in bulk to exotic luxury products. The Viking ship designs, like that of the knarr , were an important factor in their success as merchants.

To counter these valuable imports, the Vikings exported a large variety of goods. These goods included: []. Other exports included weapons, walrus ivory , wax , salt and cod.

As one of the more exotic exports, hunting birds were sometimes provided from Norway to the European aristocracy, from the 10th century.

Many of these goods were also traded within the Viking world itself, as well as goods such as soapstone and whetstone.

Soapstone was traded with the Norse on Iceland and in Jutland , who used it for pottery. Whetstones were traded and used for sharpening weapons, tools and knives.

This trade satisfied the Vikings' need for leather and meat to some extent, and perhaps hides for parchment production on the European mainland.

Wool was also very important as a domestic product for the Vikings, to produce warm clothing for the cold Scandinavian and Nordic climate, and for sails.

Sails for Viking ships required large amounts of wool, as evidenced by experimental archaeology. There are archaeological signs of organised textile productions in Scandinavia, reaching as far back as the early Iron Ages.

Artisans and craftsmen in the larger towns were supplied with antlers from organised hunting with large-scale reindeer traps in the far north.

They were used as raw material for making everyday utensils like combs. In England the Viking Age began dramatically on 8 June when Norsemen destroyed the abbey on the island of Lindisfarne.

The devastation of Northumbria 's Holy Island shocked and alerted the royal courts of Europe to the Viking presence. Not until the s did scholars outside Scandinavia begin to seriously reassess the achievements of the Vikings, recognizing their artistry, technological skills, and seamanship.

Norse Mythology , sagas, and literature tell of Scandinavian culture and religion through tales of heroic and mythological heroes. Many of these sagas were written in Iceland, and most of them, even if they had no Icelandic provenance, were preserved there after the Middle Ages due to the continued interest of Icelanders in Norse literature and law codes.

The year Viking influence on European history is filled with tales of plunder and colonisation, and the majority of these chronicles came from western witnesses and their descendants.

Less common, though equally relevant, are the Viking chronicles that originated in the east, including the Nestor chronicles, Novgorod chronicles, Ibn Fadlan chronicles, Ibn Rusta chronicles, and brief mentions by Photius , patriarch of Constantinople, regarding their first attack on the Byzantine Empire.

Other chroniclers of Viking history include Adam of Bremen , who wrote, in the fourth volume of his Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum , "[t]here is much gold here in Zealand , accumulated by piracy.

These pirates, which are called wichingi by their own people, and Ascomanni by our own people, pay tribute to the Danish king. Early modern publications, dealing with what is now called Viking culture, appeared in the 16th century, e.

Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus History of the northern people of Olaus Magnus , and the first edition of the 13th-century Gesta Danorum Deeds of the Danes , by Saxo Grammaticus , in The pace of publication increased during the 17th century with Latin translations of the Edda notably Peder Resen's Edda Islandorum of An important early British contributor to the study of the Vikings was George Hickes , who published his Linguarum vett.

During the 18th century, British interest and enthusiasm for Iceland and early Scandinavian culture grew dramatically, expressed in English translations of Old Norse texts and in original poems that extolled the supposed Viking virtues.

The word "viking" was first popularised at the beginning of the 19th century by Erik Gustaf Geijer in his poem, The Viking.

Geijer's poem did much to propagate the new romanticised ideal of the Viking, which had little basis in historical fact. The renewed interest of Romanticism in the Old North had contemporary political implications.

The Geatish Society , of which Geijer was a member, popularised this myth to a great extent. Fascination with the Vikings reached a peak during the so-called Viking revival in the late 18th and 19th centuries as a branch of Romantic nationalism.

In Britain this was called Septentrionalism, in Germany " Wagnerian " pathos, and in the Scandinavian countries Scandinavism. Pioneering 19th-century scholarly editions of the Viking Age began to reach a small readership in Britain, archaeologists began to dig up Britain's Viking past, and linguistic enthusiasts started to identify the Viking-Age origins of rural idioms and proverbs.

The new dictionaries of the Old Norse language enabled the Victorians to grapple with the primary Icelandic sagas. Few scholars still accept these texts as reliable sources, as historians now rely more on archaeology and numismatics , disciplines that have made valuable contributions toward understanding the period.

The romanticised idea of the Vikings constructed in scholarly and popular circles in northwestern Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries was a potent one, and the figure of the Viking became a familiar and malleable symbol in different contexts in the politics and political ideologies of 20th-century Europe.

In Germany, awareness of Viking history in the 19th century had been stimulated by the border dispute with Denmark over Schleswig-Holstein and the use of Scandinavian mythology by Richard Wagner.

The idealised view of the Vikings appealed to Germanic supremacists who transformed the figure of the Viking in accordance with the ideology of a Germanic master race.

The cultural phenomenon of Viking expansion was re-interpreted for use as propaganda to support the extreme militant nationalism of the Third Reich, and ideologically informed interpretations of Viking paganism and the Scandinavian use of runes were employed in the construction of Nazi mysticism.

Other political organisations of the same ilk, such as the former Norwegian fascist party Nasjonal Samling , similarly appropriated elements of the modern Viking cultural myth in their symbolism and propaganda.

Soviet and earlier Slavophile historians emphasized a Slavic rooted foundation in contrast to the Normanist theory of the Vikings conquering the Slavs and founding the Kievan Rus'.

They argued that Rus' composition was Slavic and that Rurik and Oleg' success was rooted in their support from within the local Slavic aristocracy.

These have included novels directly based on historical events, such as Frans Gunnar Bengtsson 's The Long Ships which was also released as a film , and historical fantasies such as the film The Vikings , Michael Crichton 's Eaters of the Dead movie version called The 13th Warrior , and the comedy film Erik the Viking.

Vikings appear in several books by the Danish American writer Poul Anderson , while British explorer, historian, and writer Tim Severin authored a trilogy of novels in about a young Viking adventurer Thorgils Leifsson, who travels around the world.

The character also appears in the film The Avengers and its associated animated series. The appearance of Vikings within popular media and television has seen a resurgence in recent decades, especially with the History Channel's series Vikings , directed by Michael Hirst.

However, the conclusions remain contentious. Vikings have served as an inspiration for numerous video games , such as The Lost Vikings , Age of Mythology , and For Honor Modern reconstructions of Viking mythology have shown a persistent influence in late 20th- and early 21st-century popular culture in some countries, inspiring comics, movies, television series, role-playing games, computer games, and music, including Viking metal , a subgenre of heavy metal music.

Since the s, there has been rising enthusiasm for historical reenactment. Furthermore, during the Viking period the old Nordic religion and its gods were replaced by Christianity.

Read also about the magnate from Mammen , who in was buried with significant furnishings, including an ornamental axe and a candle — the old Nordic burial customs combined with the new Christianity.

The grave from Mammen. According to later Icelandic histories, some of the early Viking settlers in Greenland supposedly led by the Viking hero Leif Eriksson , son of Erik the Red may have become the first Europeans to discover and explore North America.

The midth-century reign of Harald Bluetooth as king of a newly unified, powerful and Christianized Denmark marked the beginning of a second Viking age.

Large-scale raids, often organized by royal leaders, hit the coasts of Europe and especially England, where the line of kings descended from Alfred the Great was faltering.

Crowned king of England on Christmas Day in , William managed to retain the crown against further Danish challenges.

The events of in England effectively marked the end of the Viking Age. Today, signs of the Viking legacy can be found mostly in the Scandinavian origins of some vocabulary and place-names in the areas in which they settled, including northern England, Scotland and Russia.

In Iceland, the Vikings left an extensive body of literature, the Icelandic sagas, in which they celebrated the greatest victories of their glorious past.

But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. The Viking Age brought change not only to the regions of Europe plundered and conquered by the Nordic warriors, but to Scandinavia itself.

Beginning around A. While the exact reasons for Vikings venturing out from their homeland are uncertain; some have suggested it was Advances in Shipbuilding and Navigation Perhaps the most striking of Viking achievements was their state-of-the-art shipbuilding technology, which allowed them to travel greater distances than anyone before them.

Their signature longboats—sleek wooden vessels with shallow Not even St. Patrick himself could protect Ireland from the Vikings.

The Jarl of Orkney and Shetland, however, claimed supremacy. In his attempt to unite Norway, he found that many of those opposed to his rise to power had taken refuge in the Isles.

From here, they were raiding not only foreign lands but were also attacking Norway itself. He organised a fleet and was able to subdue the rebels, and in doing so brought the independent Jarls under his control, many of the rebels having fled to Iceland.

He found himself ruling not only Norway, but also the Isles, Man, and parts of Scotland. A fleet was sent against them led by Ketil Flatnose to regain control.

On his success, Ketil was to rule the Sudreys as a vassal of King Harald. His grandson, Thorstein the Red , and Sigurd the Mighty , Jarl of Orkney, invaded Scotland and were able to exact tribute from nearly half the kingdom until their deaths in battle.

Ketil declared himself King of the Isles. Ketil was eventually outlawed and, fearing the bounty on his head, fled to Iceland. The Norse-Gaelic Kings of the Isles continued to act semi independently, in forming a defensive pact with the Kings of Scotland and Strathclyde.

Magnus and King Edgar of Scotland agreed on a treaty. The islands would be controlled by Norway, but mainland territories would go to Scotland.

The King of Norway nominally continued to be king of the Isles and Man. However, in , The kingdom was split into two. His kingdom was to develop latterly into the Lordship of the Isles.

In eastern Aberdeenshire , the Danes invaded at least as far north as the area near Cruden Bay. The Jarls of Orkney continued to rule much of northern Scotland until , when Harald Maddadsson agreed to pay tribute to William the Lion , King of Scots, for his territories on the mainland.

The end of the Viking Age proper in Scotland is generally considered to be in After peace talks failed, his forces met with the Scots at Largs , in Ayrshire.

The battle proved indecisive, but it did ensure that the Norse were not able to mount a further attack that year.

Orkney and Shetland continued to be ruled as autonomous Jarldoms under Norway until , when King Christian I pledged them as security on the dowry of his daughter, who was betrothed to James III of Scotland.

Although attempts were made during the 17th and 18th centuries to redeem Shetland, without success, [55] and Charles II ratifying the pawning in the Act for annexation of Orkney and Shetland to the Crown , explicitly exempting them from any "dissolution of His Majesty's lands", [56] they are currently considered as being officially part of the United Kingdom.

Wales was not colonised by the Vikings as heavily as eastern England. The Vikings did, however, settle in the south around St.

David 's, Haverfordwest , and Gower , among other places. Place names such as Skokholm, Skomer, and Swansea remain as evidence of the Norse settlement.

According to Sagas, Iceland was discovered by Naddodd , a Viking from the Faroe Islands, after which it was settled by mostly Norwegians fleeing the oppressive rule of Harald Fairhair in While harsh, the land allowed for a pastoral farming life familiar to the Norse.

According to the saga of Erik the Red , when Erik was exiled from Iceland, he sailed west and pioneered Greenland.

A contemporary reference to Kvenland is provided in an Old English account written in the 9th century.

It used the information provided by the Norwegian adventurer and traveller named Ohthere. Kvenland, in that or close to that spelling, is also known from Nordic sources, primarily Icelandic, but also one that was possibly written in the modern-day area of Norway.

All the remaining Nordic sources discussing Kvenland, using that or close to that spelling, date to the 12th and 13th centuries, but some of them—in part at least—are believed to be rewrites of older texts.

The society, economy, settlement and culture of the territory of what is in the present-day the country of Estonia is studied mainly through archaeological sources.

The era is seen to have been a period of rapid change. The Estonian peasant culture came into existence by the end of the Viking Age.

The overall understanding of the Viking Age in Estonia is deemed to be fragmentary and superficial, because of the limited amount of surviving source material.

The main sources for understanding the period are remains of the farms and fortresses of the era, cemeteries and a large amount of excavated objects.

The landscape of Ancient Estonia featured numerous hillforts, some later hillforts on Saaremaa heavily fortified during the Viking Age and on to the 12th century.

The Curonians [65] were known as fierce warriors, excellent sailors and pirates. They were involved in several wars and alliances with Swedish , Danish and Icelandic Vikings.

According to some opinions, they took part in attacking Sweden's main city Sigtuna in Engaging in trade , piracy , and mercenary activities, they roamed the river systems and portages of Gardariki , reaching the Caspian Sea and Constantinople.

Contemporary English publications also use the name " Viking " for early Varangians in some contexts. The term Varangian remained in usage in the Byzantine Empire until the 13th century, largely disconnected from its Scandinavian roots by then.

Having settled Aldeigja Ladoga in the s, Scandinavian colonists were probably an element in the early ethnogenesis of the Rus' people , and likely played a role in the formation of the Rus' Khaganate.

It was the time of rapid expansion of the Vikings in Northern Europe; England began to pay Danegeld in , and the Curonians of Grobin faced an invasion by the Swedes at about the same date.

In , the Finnic and Slavic tribes rebelled against the Varangian Rus, driving them overseas back to Scandinavia, but soon started to conflict with each other.

As the Volga route declined by the end of the century, the Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks rapidly overtook it in popularity.

The scholarly consensus [76] is that the Rus' people originated in what is currently coastal eastern Sweden around the eighth century and that their name has the same origin as Roslagen in Sweden with the older name being Roden.

In these years, Swedish men left to enlist in the Byzantine Varangian Guard in such numbers that a medieval Swedish law, Västgötalagen , from Västergötland declared no one could inherit while staying in "Greece"—the then Scandinavian term for the Byzantine Empire —to stop the emigration, [84] especially as two other European courts simultaneously also recruited Scandinavians: [85] Kievan Rus' c.

In contrast to the intense Scandinavian influence in Normandy and the British Isles, Varangian culture did not survive to a great extent in the East.

Instead, the Varangian ruling classes of the two powerful city-states of Novgorod and Kiev were thoroughly Slavicised by the end of the 10th century.

Old Norse was spoken in one district of Novgorod, however, until the 13th century. Viking Age Scandinavian settlements were set up along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea , primarily for trade purposes.

Their appearance coincides with the settlement and consolidation of the Slavic tribes in the respective areas. Scandinavian arrowheads from the 8th and 9th centuries were found between the coast and the lake chains in the Mecklenburgian and Pomeranian hinterlands, pointing at periods of warfare between the Scandinavians and Slavs.

In the historical context, Frisia was a region which spanned from around modern-day Bruges to the islands on the west coast of Jutland.

This region was progressively brought under Frankish control Frisian-Frankish Wars but the Christianisation of the local population and cultural assimilation was a slow process.

There is evidence that Frisians sometimes became Vikings themselves [95]. At the same time, several Frisian towns, most notably Dorestad were raided by Vikings.

On Wieringen the Vikings most likely had a base of operations. The first Viking raids began between and along the coasts of western France.

They were carried out primarily in the summer, as the Vikings wintered in Scandinavia. Several coastal areas were lost to Francia during the reign of Louis the Pious — But the Vikings took advantage of the quarrels in the royal family caused after the death of Louis the Pious to settle their first colony in the south-west Gascony of the kingdom of Francia, which was more or less abandoned by the Frankish kings after their two defeats at Roncevaux.

The Viking attackers sought to capture the treasures stored at monasteries , easy prey given the monks' lack of defensive capacity.

In an expedition up the Seine reached Paris. The presence of Carolingian deniers of ca , found in among a hoard at Mullaghboden, County Limerick, where coins were neither minted nor normally used in trade, probably represents booty from the raids of — Robert's victory later paved way for Rollo's baptism and settlement in Normandy.

In exchange, Rollo pledged vassalage to Charles in , agreed to be baptised , and vowed to guard the estuaries of the Seine from further Viking attacks.

During Rollo's baptism Robert I of France stood as his godfather. The Scandinavian expansion included Danish and Norwegian as well as Swedish elements, all under the leadership of Rollo.

The Normans conquered England and southern Italy in 11th century, and played a key role in the Crusades. In , according to an account by the Norman monk Dudo of Saint-Quentin , a Viking fleet, probably under Björn Ironside and Hastein , landed at the Ligurian port of Luni and sacked the city.

The Vikings then moved another 60 miles down the Tuscan coast to the mouth of the Arno , sacking Pisa and then, following the river upstream, also the hill-town of Fiesole above Florence , among other victories around the Mediterranean including in Sicily and North Africa.

After , when the Vikings set up a permanent base at the mouth of the Loire river, they could strike as far as northern Spain. In some of their raids they were crushed either by Asturian or Cordoban armies.

These Vikings were Hispanicised in all Christian kingdoms, while they kept their ethnic identity and culture in Al-Andalus. In , a Viking fleet entered the river Minho and sacked the episcopal city of Tui Galicia ; no new bishop was appointed until In , many dozens of drakkars appeared in the "Mar da Palha" "the Sea of Straw", mouth of the Tagus river.

They left after 13 days, following a resistance led by Alah Ibn Hazm and the city's inhabitants. Another raid was attempted in , without success.

The Viking-Age settlements in Greenland were established in the sheltered fjords of the southern and western coast. While harsh, the microclimates along some fjords allowed for a pastoral lifestyle similar to that of Iceland, until the climate changed for the worse with the Little Ice Age around They created a small settlement on the northern peninsula of present-day Newfoundland , near L'Anse aux Meadows.

Conflict with indigenous peoples and lack of support from Greenland brought the Vinland colony to an end within a few years.

The Vikings were equipped with the technologically superior longships; for purposes of conducting trade however, another type of ship, the knarr , wider and deeper in draft, were customarily used.

The Vikings were competent sailors, adept in land warfare as well as at sea, and they often struck at accessible and poorly defended targets, usually with near impunity.

The effectiveness of these tactics earned Vikings a formidable reputation as raiders and pirates. The Vikings used their longships to travel vast distances and attain certain tactical advantages in battle.

They could perform highly efficient hit-and-run attacks, in which they quickly approached a target, then left as rapidly as possible before a counter-offensive could be launched.

Because of the ships' negligible draft, the Vikings could sail in shallow waters, allowing them to invade far inland along rivers. The ships were agile, and light enough to be carried over land from one river system to another.

The use of the longships ended when technology changed, and ships began to be constructed using saws instead of axes, resulting in inferior vessels.

While battles at sea were rare, they would occasionally occur when Viking ships attempted to board European merchant vessels in Scandinavian waters.

When larger scale battles ensued, Viking crews would rope together all nearby ships and slowly proceed towards the enemy targets. While advancing, the warriors hurled spears, arrows, and other projectiles at the opponents.

When the ships were sufficiently close, melee combat would ensue using axes, swords, and spears until the enemy ship could be easily boarded.

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