An introduction to the history of the vikings

Known for their fighting prowess and instilling fear into those they besieged, was there more to the Vikings than marauding? The Introduction to the Vikings Diploma Course takes you on a voyage through history that considers more than just their atrocities, looking at their impressive innovations in travel, trade and technology. To understand the Vikings, we first need to consider who they were. Through studying the Introduction to the Vikings Diploma Course, you will learn of their origins, from Stone Age Scandinavia through to the Migration Period of the Iron Age, and the reasons they set out on

An introduction to the history of the vikings

Enjoy the Famous Daily The Vikings: Their misfortune is the first clearly dated event in the saga of the Vikings - the last and most dramatic exodus in the long story of migration from Scandinavia, the original home of the Goths and Vandals.

The name Viking is thought to derive from vikingr, a word for 'pirate' in the early Scandinavian languages. It accurately describes the Norsemen who for two centuries raid the coasts of Britain and of northwest France. But in many places the Scandinavians also settle - in the islands of the north Atlanticin the British Isles, in Normandy, in Sicily and in the very heart of Russia.

It is impossible to assign the various Viking groups at all precisely to places of origin. But broadly speaking, adventurers from the coast of Norway raid the north of England and continue round the Scottish coast to Ireland.

Vikings from the same region later settle in the Scottish islands, Iceland and parts of Ireland. The Vikings invading eastern Britain and northwest Franceand eventually settling in both regions, come mainly from Denmark. The Swedes raid across the Baltic and penetrate deep into Russia as traders.

The Vikings and the British Isles: One of the most famous islands, Iona, is raided three times in a decade inand Even monasteries which seem secure, pleasantly sited on inland rivers, fall victim to Viking longships rowing upstream.

But gradually, during the 9th century, the raiders settle. Soon all the Scottish islands and the Isle of Man are in Viking hands, and the intruders are even seizing territory on the mainland of both Britain and Ireland.

In Norwegians capture Dublin and establish a Norse kingdom in Ireland. From the Danes settle in eastern England. The Danish invaders now consolidate each year's gains by establishing a secure base from which they can continue a campaign of harassment - which invariably ends with the settled English buying peace from their footloose tormentors.

York is taken in and becomes, as Yorvik, the Danish capital in England. Nottingham falls inThetford in By now the kings of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia have made terms with the invaders.

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Next in line is Wessex. In the Danes advance into Wessex, capturing Reading where they meet the most determined opposition thus far. During the next year nine battles are fought in this district.

Inat Ashdown on the Berkshire downs, the English win their first significant victory of the war; a Danish king and nine earls are killed on the field of battle.

Even so, it proves impossible to recapture Reading.

An introduction to the history of the vikings

Wessex, like the other English kingdoms, makes peace with the Danes - who withdraw to winter in London. But the victory at Ashdown has introduced a figure of significance in English history.

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The Wessex men are commanded that day by a year-old prince of their ruling family - Alfred, brother of the king of Wessex.

Alfred and the Danes: And there is a valid basis for this heroic status. He is the first Anglo-Saxon ruler to be accepted as something akin to a national leader. The English see him as such in those regions resisting Danish domination. With good cause he is the only king of England to be accorded the title 'the Great'.

His authority derives from his successes against the Danes. His kingly virtues can also be seen, with hindsight, in his encouragement of learning.

But his central achievement is the quarter-century of struggle which follows his victory over the Danes at Ashdown in In that same year,Alfred's elder brother dies and he becomes the king of Wessex.

One of his first acts is to establish the beginnings of an English fleet. The Danes draw much of their strength from their swift Viking longships. It makes sense for the Anglo-Saxon islanders to reply in kind. By Alfred can claim a small naval victory which is nevertheless a significant beginning.(The Vikings Living History).

To honor their gods, the Vikings offered sacrifices.

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A chieftain-priest called a gothi conducted these sacrifices. They were held either inside a temple or at sacred location outside. Vikings could offer anything of value to be sacrificed. See The Viking Thing and Viking burial mound. In Ireland, the Vikings raided around the coasts and up the rivers.

In Ireland, the Vikings raided around the coasts and up the rivers. They founded the cities of Dublin, Cork and Limerick as Viking strongholds.

Lars Brownworth's "The Sea Wolves" is a nice introduction to the Vikings. The strength of the book is that it aims at a general audience, refusing to get bogged down in scholarly disputes (some of which are noted in passing, others of which are passed over silently)/5().

The history of the Vikings is closely linked to their role as masters of the sea. They were feared as fierce and ruthless pirates. However this does not complete the story of the Vikings.

The era known as the Viking age lasted for more than years, from the late 8th century to the late 11th century. The history of the Vikings is closely linked to their role as masters of the sea.

Viking raids on England began again in , and the country ultimately became part of the empire of Canute. Nevertheless, the native house was peacefully restored in , and the Viking threat ended with the ineffective passes made by Canute II in the reign of William I.

Vikings - HISTORY