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Page history last edited by John Karpe 10 years, 5 months ago


At the end of the 8th century Scandinavian raiders began to pillage settlements in England and Western Europe. The attacks were brutal and abrupt, performed by grizzled men who came from the sea in long-ships, to plunder the wealthy monasteries and colonies of their European neighbors. Horrific accounts spread of the strength and frenzy the North men inflicted upon their victims. These raiders became known as Vikings and the era in which they embarked on their campaigns (A.D. 793-1066) has become known as the Viking Age. Originating in what is now Norway, Denmark and Sweden, Viking influences and settlements reached west to Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland, down south to northern Africa and the Middle East and deep into modern day Russia. They are remembered as ferocious warriors, afflicting victims with great misery. However, as skilled as they were in battle and plunder, they were equally accomplished navigators, tradesmen, farmers and craftsmen. Biased chronicles from their victims and popular culture’s caricature have incompletely portrayed Vikings and their lifestyle. This essay is attempts to accurately and fully detail what a Viking was in contrast to the conventional belief that Vikings were nothing more than murderous thieves.


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