The Vikings have their origin in the Nordic villages of Scandinavian origin, inhabited this region in the Medieval Era between the years 750 and 1,100, were characterized by being great merchants, artisans, sailors and conquerors, also for being fearful looters.
Social Organization of the Vikings
Its social system was hierarchical where there were social classes that dominated, the social system was organized by the following social classes:
- Konungr and jarl:the upper class that dominated the entire town, their wealth was measured by the amount of land they owned. It was constituted by an elected or self-proclaimed king.
- Jarl warriors: theywere conquerors and protectors of their people, they were successful militarily speaking.
- Farmers karl: theywere dedicated to the administration of the lands, they were free people with civil rights.
- Karl merchants and artisans: theyhad trade skills, not everyone owned land, but they were all free men.
- Slave thrall: theywere prisoners who were taken in battles and looting, were destined to work as slaves for the most important Vikings.
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It was based mainly on agriculture and livestock, although trade was also very important in the economic development of this civilization, the Vikings transported merchandise by boat to regions of Europe, marketed products such as sheep and camel wool, silk, linen, Materials such as iron, ivory, gold and silver.
Religion of the Vikings
They were characterized by having gods and characters of Norse mythology, very important to them, however, about the year 1,000 when the end of the Viking era approached, they converted to Christianity, due to contact with the European lands that had been conquered .
Gods of the Vikings
- Odin:the most important god, is the god of wisdom, war and death.
- Thor:god of thunder mainly, but also represented protection, justice, agriculture, battles, weather and travel.
- Freyr:god of the sun, rain and fertility, is represented with the sword of summer.
- Loki:represented the evil god, manipulator and trickster with the other gods.
Contributions of the Vikings
- Ships:the Vikings specialized in carving wood, so shipbuilding was an art, made fast and resistant boats
- Runes: theyformed the writing system of the Vikings and some Nordic peoples, this type of language was used both to transmit messages and for cults to the gods.
- Ornamentation:for the Vikings its appearance was very important, so the creation of jewelry was essential, even for its economy. They made metal brooches, chains, necklaces, earrings, they also created the comb for wives to comb their husbands’ hair and help maintain a good appearance.