The Vikings or the Norsemen were members of Scandinavian sailors who were famous warriors, traders and pirates. They have plundered and colonized the largest parts of Europe since the eighth century and up to the eleventh century. They used their long ships to travel far and wide to Constantinople and Russia to the east and to Newfoundland to the west. The Viking expansion period is commonly known as the Viking era. The region they controlled was through the imposition of taxes and represented a first form of imperialism that resembled the Roman Empire. The Vikings were known for their raids and looting. They began their attacks along the coastal monasteries that were defenseless within the British Isles, and during the following 300 years,
In the year 793AD it marked the beginning of the Viking era when a monastery in the north of England, off the coast of Northumberland, was attacked. Unlike other invaders, the Vikings had never had respect for religious institutions like monasteries. Two years later the Vikings struck again the monasteries of Iona and Skye in parts of the present Irish coast. Initially, the Vikings were engaging in a series of attacks against most of their targets in different regions across Europe. In the end, they became bold due to the conflicts in Europe and extended their attacks inland. When Emperor Louis of France, present-day France and Germany died at 840AD, the son made friends with the Vikings to support him in a power struggle against his brothers. Since then, other Vikings have noted that the Frankish leaders were willing to pay them to attack their subjects.
Chief Rollo the Viking
Chief Rollo, the Viking adventurer, was exiled from Norway due to the illegality of 900AD. He was a successful raider and went to Scotland where he married a Christian woman. Later he went to Ireland and France, where looting and looting offered opportunities for wealth. In 911AD the king of the Western Franks gave Rouen and the nearby area a treaty for the Viking chief Rollo in exchange for the protection of the Seine from other raiders. The region is located in northern France, now known as Normandy. Rollo converted to Christianity and was baptized by the Archbishop of Rouen.
The religion of the Norwegians or the Vikings was known as Paigants or Norse paganism. They practiced polytheistic religion, where they had different deities. Currently this type of cult is called Asatru. The gods and goddesses of the Vikings were modeled on their way of life. Some deities include Odin, Freya, Loki, Thor and many others. For example, Aesir was the god responsible for the law, while Vanir was the gods of the earth, magic, fertilization and women.
Myths about the Vikings
There is always the mistaken belief that the Vikings wore helmets with horns, but there is no evidence to support the myth. Although the Vikings had helmets, they were not horned as presented in stories and films. There is also the belief that the Vikings have plundered as the only way to live, which is not true. Most Vikings were artisans, farmers and traders. The Vikings who took to the sea used pillage as one of the many ways of their expeditions. Most of the Vikings were peaceful and settled in different parts of Europe such as Greenland and Iceland.
Vikings – Norsemen Raiders
|Era of the Vikings||8th-11th Century AD|
|Best known for||Sailing, Raid and Conquests|
|Religion||Nordic mythology (initially) and Christianity (later)|