Vikings Essay, Research Paper
The word Viking is derived from the Norse word for Fjord, Vik. Thus the term Viking indicates Water Traveler. In Modern history the word Viking has become synonymous with barbarian sea plagiarists and pillagers, but there is more to these seafaring Norses. The Vikings included Danes Swedes and Norwegians. These people raided big countries of eastern and western Europe and changed the continent everlastingly.
The portion of history know as the “Viking Age” is considered to hold started in the twelvemonth 793. This was the twelvemonth of the first big Viking foray. It occurred at the monastery of Lindisfarme on the nor’-east seashore of Britain. Viking motions occurred both to the E and the West of the Norse states. The Swedish Vikings went east while the Danish and Norse Vikings went to the West. The cause of this enlargement of Viking peoples most likely was the consequence of two factors. One was the consolidation of power under male monarchs in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. This new authorization may hold caused many of the people of these lands, who had antecedently enjoyed the freedom that comes with extremely decentralized authorization to seek
independency and autonomy elsewhere ( 1 ) . The other factor may hold been the necessity to colonise because of the overcrowding of the limited cultivable lands in Scandinavia, merely as the ancient Greek metropolis provinces in the millenary before the Viking age had done ( 2 ) .
In the E the Swedish Vikings sailed their ships up the rivers of northern Russia, making Kiev by 825. Along the manner they established colonies along the river routes. A major colony was located at Novgorod. The Swedish Viking, Rurik became its first swayer. This country subsequently became Moscow ( 2 ) . At Kiev, the Varangians, as the Swedish Vikings were called, under Rurik’s replacement Duke Oleg, set up the first Russian province. From this base of operations the Swedish Vikings traveled south along the Dnieper river to the capital of the eastern Roman imperium, Constantinople. There they tried to capture the metropolis in 865 but were non successful. The emperor nevertheless made a trade with the Swedish Vikings to allow them particular trading privileges ( 1 ) . This was the extent of Viking enlargement in the E.
The travels of the Vikings in the West were more extended. Following the onslaughts on the monasteries at Lindisfarne and Jarrow in Britain the Vikings developed a gustatory sensation for the wealths they found in such topographic points. With their ships they could voyage both the unfastened sea and the shallow estuaries of Britain and Europe. This gave them the ability to put big Numberss of warriors without warning at any topographic point that bordered a river or ocean. This included most of the major metropoliss and towns of Europe. Few topographic points could defy the Viking onslaught. Every summer busting parties of Vikings would see the monasteries and towns of Britain, Ireland and France. In 841 a big Viking fleet sailed up the Seine river in France and plundered the metropolis of Rouen ( 1 ) . In 843 it the metropolis of Nantes along the Loire river that was the mark.
A new stage in the Viking age in the West began in 851. Viking fleets wintered at Thanet on the Thames river in Britain and at Noiremutier on the Noire river in France. Previously the Vikings had gone place following the summers busting. Now they were remaining over the winter. This allowed them to acquire an early start to their foraies in the spring which in turned allowed them to progress further into the bosom of Continental Europe ( 5 ) . In the following 40 old ages the western Vikings raided all the major towns of western France. In 844 the Vikings attacked throughout the vale of Garonne in France every bit good as going South to Spain and plundering Seville. In France over the following few old ages Bordeax, Tours, Blois, Orleans, Poitiers and Paris were attacked by the Vikings. In Spain the Vikings traveled through the heterosexual of Gibralter and attacked southern France and northwesterly Italy. By 880 western Europe had been exhaustively raided by Viking fleets.
A Viking fleet sailed up the Siene river to Paris in 885. The commanding officers of the Viking force offered non to loot the metropolis in exchange of free transition of their fleet past the metropolis. The offer was refused by the local swayer of Paris so the Vikings began a two twelvemonth besieging of Paris. Emperor Charles the Fat, taking a strong German ground forces raised the besieging. The Viking forces withdrew. Because of their mobility and ability to concentrate big forces quickly the Vikings were highly hard to get the better of. Following this onslaught on Paris a new scheme was formulated to halt the Vikings. This was to figh
t Vikings with other Vikings. In 911 Charles the Simple ( male monarch of the Franks 893-923 ) ceded the oral cavity of the Siene river to a Viking leader named Rollo ( 1 ) . This meant that Viking forces trying to assail Paris would hold to acquire past their fellow Northsmen in this new Viking land. Thus the Duchy of Normandy was established. This general scheme served to restrict farther onslaughts on inshore Gallic metropoliss and towns.
Meanwhile in Britain the Vikings had made more significant and lasting additions. By 877 east Anglia, Northumbria and most of Mercia had come under Viking control ( 2 ) . These were more than Viking foraies. The Vikings had begun a conquering of Britain. The Anglo-Saxon male monarch, Alfred of Wessex led the forces against the Vikings in eastern Britain ( 2 ) . By 885, against all odds he was successful plenty to do the Danish Vikings willing to negociate a peace pact ( 1 ) . The consequence was that the Anglo-Saxons got west Merica, Wessex and the lands South of the Thames river. The Danish Vikings kept east Mercia and east Anglia ( Lincolnshire and Yorshire ) . The pact of Wedmore set up this Danish Viking country which became known as the Danelaw. Additionally as portion of the colony Alfred insisted that the Danish Vikings be baptized and accept Christianity.
While there was now peace in eastern Britain the Vikings were busy assailing metropoliss and towns in the North and in Ireland.Viking colonies in Ireland were established at Dublin, Wexford and Waterford ( 3 ) . Later, Orkney, Hebrides, Sheltands and the Isle of Mann besides came under Viking control. 874 saw the first Viking colonies in Iceland. Later a colony in Greenland was established by Erik the Red who had been exiled from Iceland. Eric the Red’s male parent had been exiled from Norway for perpetrating slaying. This enlargement in the northern Atlantic opened the manner for ocean trips to North America. Eric the Red’s boy, Leif Ericsson led such an expedition to North America. The country of the landing was called Vineland. Its exact location is in some difference. But there is grounds of a Viking colony in Newfoundland, Canada, at L’Anse aux Meadows.
The terminal of the Viking age came with the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066. William, Duke of Normandy, a descendant of the Vikings who had been given land at that place by Charles the Simple in exchange for guarding the oral cavity of the Siene river from other Vikings, began a two tined invasion of the Anglo-Saxon land of King Harold. In the north Harald Hardrada of Norway and Tostiq ( Anglo-Saxon king Harold’s half brother ) led a force against King Harold. They both were defeated and killed at the conflict of Stamford Bridge in 1066 by King Harold. At about the same clip William of Normandy and his forces were set downing in the South of Britain. King Harold rapidly marched his forces south and the two ground forcess met a Hastings. William was winning and Harold was killed in conflict. As a consequence of this conflict the direct ascendants of the Vikings now controlled most of France and Britain. In the E, members of the Viking lineages would command Russia until the Mongol invasions of Gengis Khan. But these were no longer the seaborne plunderers who had come all of a sudden and fiercely from Scandinavia at the start of the Age of Vikings.They had adopted the linguistic communication, imposts and faith of the people they had come to suppress. The adaptability and flexibleness that made the Vikings so successful during this period of history besides meant that they were “civilized” by the conquered peoples and became assimilated into the class of European history.
At the same clip, the Vikings were developing new outstations in Iceland, Greenland, and North America. The Vikings foremost reached Iceland. This became a launching point for all expeditions across the ocean, into North America.
It is difficult to state precisely how much the universe was changed by the Vikings and their extended raiding. Scandenavian people are found all over Europe and parts of North America. Languages have been influenced by the Vikings native toung. It is clear that the universe is different because of their socialization into in-between Europe.
1. Magnus Magnusson, Vikings! , ( New York: Dutton, 1980 )
2. Gwyn Jones, A History of the Vikings, ( London: Oxford University Press, 1968 )
3. Graham-Campbell, James, erectile dysfunction. Cultural Atlas of the Viking World, New York: Facts on File, 1994.
4. Ingstad, Helge. Westward to Vinland. Erik J. Friis, Trans. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1969.
5. Barlow, Frank. Edward the Confessor. Berkley: University of California Press, 1970.