A history of vikings

Over time, the word viking became synonymous with piracy, and the Vikings garnered a reputation as brutal plunderers that endured for a thousand years. While ruthless, Viking attacks were more about survival than subjugation, historians now say.

A history of vikings

Print this page Viking raids Raids by seaborne Scandinavian pirates on sites in Britain, especially largely undefended monastic sites, began at the end of the eighth century AD.

By the end of the ninth century there were large-scale settlements of Scandinavians in various parts of Britain, and they had achieved political domination over a significant territory. Early in the 11th century the king of Denmark became king of England as well.

A history of vikings

And in there were separate invasions by the king of Norway, Harald Hardrada, and duke of Normandy, William, the latter the descendant of Scandinavian settlers in northern France.

Many monasteries in the north were destroyed, and with them any records of the raids. Yet the most significant development of the period was an indirect result of Scandinavian involvement in the affairs of Britain - the emergence of two kingdoms of newly unified territories, England and Scotland.

In AD, an anguished Alcuin of York wrote to the Higbald, the bishop of Lindisfarne and to Ethelred, King of Northumbria, bemoaning the unexpected attack on the monastery of Lindisfarne by Viking raiders, probably Norwegians sailing directly across the North Sea to Northumbria. It is clear from the letter that Lindisfarne was not destroyed.

Alcuin suggested that further attack might be averted by moral reform in the monastery. Over the next few decades, many monasteries in the north were destroyed, and with them any records they might have kept of the raids.

The western seas, Vinland, and Ireland

We know no historical details of the raids in Scotland, although they must have been extensive. Iona was burnt in AD, and 68 monks were killed in another raid in AD. Other monasteries in Scotland and northern England simply disappear from the record. Lindisfarne was abandoned, and the monks trailed around northern England with their greatest possession, the relics of St Cuthbert, until they found a home in Durham in AD.

Top England and Scotland We cannot be sure of the impact the Vikings had on Scotland due to a real scarcity of written material from the area. But the surviving place names show us that the Orkneys and Shetlands, and the mainland of Caithness and Sutherland, were heavily settled by Norwegians.

Those Norwegians were probably involved in the greatest political upset in the north - the disappearance of the kingdom of the Picts. The Vikings began to assemble larger armies with the clear intent of conquest. In the eighth century, the Picts had one of the most important kingdoms in Britain.

By the end of the ninth century they had vanished.

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In their place was a kingdom of Scotland, controlled by the Scots, who were the descendents of immigrants from Ireland in the fifth and sixth centuries. They wove a new national history, which emphasised or invented many links between the Scottish and Pictish dynasties.

They also promoted the idea that St Columba, the founder of the monastery of Iona, was the apostle of all those in the north. The Viking raids in England were sporadic until the s AD, but in the s Viking armies began to winter in England, and in the s they began to assemble larger armies with the clear intent of conquest.

He led the Viking army to a conquest of Mercia in AD, organised a parcelling out of land among the Vikings in Northumbria in AD, and in AD moved south and forced most of the population of Wessex to submit.

A history of vikings

The Vikings had conquered almost the whole of England. Famously, he hid in the marshes near Athelney Somerset in AD, but then emerged, re-formed his army, and defeated the Vikings later that year at Edington Wiltshire. After the peace that Alfred forced on the Vikings, the Viking army seems to have moved across the Channel it established winter quarters in Paris in ADgiving the king some time to organise for war.

He built fortresses, established a defensive strategy, and built up a navy. By the time the Vikings returned in the s, the West Saxons were able to resist, leaving Alfred, at his death in AD, king of the only independent English kingdom.

Like Charlemagne, Alfred was deeply interested in promoting literacy and learning, and he sponsored and perhaps even took part in the translation of various Latin works into English.Vikings probably arrived in the Faroes in the eighth century and they used this as a stepping-stone to sail further west across the Atlantic.

In the mid-ninth century a series of Viking voyages came across Iceland and in the year colonists led by Ingólf Arnarson settled on the island. Viking, also called Norseman or Northman, member of the Scandinavian seafaring warriors who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the 9th to the 11th century and whose disruptive influence profoundly affected European history.

These pagan Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish warriors were probably prompted to undertake their . Mar 29,  · The story of the Vikings in Britain is one of conquest, expulsion, extortion and reconquest.

Their lasting legacy was the formation of the independent kingdoms of England and Scotland. Raids by. The History of Vikings is dedicated to retelling the incredible history of the Viking people, and the gods they worshiped!

If you love Viking history and Norse Mythology, then this is the show for you! HISTORY OF THE VIKINGS including Pirates, Vikings and the British Isles, Danes in England, Alfred and the Danes, Norwegians in Ireland, Brian Boru and the Vikings, Vikings in .

By History of Vikings on Saturday, May 26, Odin the Allfather in Norse myth was a complicated and unpredictable character.

Due to his complexity and mystery, Odin might have obtained many symbols that represented his power and presence.

BBC - History - Overview: The Vikings, to