Viking Age

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Viking Age

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Aristocratic burial in late Viking Age Denmark: Custom, regionality, conversion. Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceeding › Book. The Viking Age: A Reader, Third Edition (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures Book 14) (English Edition) eBook: Somerville, Angus A., McDonald. Carolingian-Ottonian disc brooches: early Christian symbols in Viking age Denmark. Maria Panum Baastrup, Uta von Freeden (Editor), Herwig Friesinger.

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The Viking Age (– AD) was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest More info The Last Kingdom (TV series). Viking Age. By Groove (BETSOFT) Payout / Return To Player (RTP) %: Volatility: Mid: Deposit Bonus: % Match Up To £* Payment Methods: Visa Debit, PayPal, PayViaPhone, Skrill, Trustly + More: Play For Real. New players only. Wagering occurs from real balance first. 50x wagering the bonus, contribution may vary per game. The wagering. While the mighty double-edged sword is considered to be the poster child for Viking military might, the reality is that very few Viking warriors actually owned one. During the Viking Age, swords were very expensive to make, so only the wealthy and powerful fought with them. Erlebe die Welt der Wikinger, wo Freiheit, Macht & Furcht regieren. Ohne Download spielen! Wikingerzeit ist ein Begriff der Geschichtswissenschaft. Er wird auf Nordeuropa angewendet, soweit es von den Wikingern bevölkert war, und auf Mittel-, Süd- und Westeuropa, insofern sie von deren Angriffen betroffen waren. The Viking Age: A Reader, Third Edition (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures Book 14) (English Edition) eBook: Somerville, Angus A., McDonald. The Viking Age: A Reader, Third Edition (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures) | Somerville, Angus A., McDonald, R. Andrew | ISBN.
Viking Age Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Roulette Casino Online ed. Nicolle, D, Turnbull, S In Scandinavia, the 17th-century Danish scholars Thomas Bartholin and Ole Worm and Swedish scholar Olaus Rudbeck were the first to use runic inscriptions and Icelandic Sagas as primary historical sources. Archived from the original on 11 October Inaccording to the Annals of Ulstera serious attack Oz Lotto Division made on Lindisfarne's mother-house of Ionawhich was followed in by Download Permainan Domino upon the northern coast of Ireland. The Viking Age had begun. Historians use the term the Viking Age to describe the turbulent expansion of the Scandinavian people into Europe and Russia. Beginning in A.D. with the Lindisfarne raid, Norwegians, Swedes and Danes set to raiding. Find the latest Minnesota Vikings news, rumors, trades, free agency updates and more from the insider fans and analysts at the Viking Age. The Viking Age (– AD) was the period during the Middle Ages when Norsemen known as Vikings undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, conquest and trading throughout Europe, and reached North America. It followed the Migration Period and the Germanic Iron Age. The Viking Age. Danish prehistory culminated in the Viking Age, the period from until AD. During the Viking Age the first kings appeared, who ruled an area roughly corresponding to present-day Denmark. On King Harald Bluetooth’s rune stone at Jelling, Denmark is named for the first time around AD. At the end of the Viking Age. Play Viking Age - Open the door to a world of ruthless, fearless warriors who laugh in the face of death and danger.

Instead, the Varangian ruling classes of the two powerful city-states of Novgorod and Kiev were thoroughly Slavicised by the end of the 10th century.

Old Norse was spoken in one district of Novgorod, however, until the 13th century. Viking Age Scandinavian settlements were set up along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea , primarily for trade purposes.

Their appearance coincides with the settlement and consolidation of the Slavic tribes in the respective areas. Scandinavian arrowheads from the 8th and 9th centuries were found between the coast and the lake chains in the Mecklenburgian and Pomeranian hinterlands, pointing at periods of warfare between the Scandinavians and Slavs.

In the historical context, Frisia was a region which spanned from around modern-day Bruges to the islands on the west coast of Jutland.

This region was progressively brought under Frankish control Frisian-Frankish Wars but the Christianisation of the local population and cultural assimilation was a slow process.

There is evidence that Frisians sometimes became Vikings themselves [95]. At the same time, several Frisian towns, most notably Dorestad were raided by Vikings.

On Wieringen the Vikings most likely had a base of operations. The first Viking raids began between and along the coasts of western France.

They were carried out primarily in the summer, as the Vikings wintered in Scandinavia. Several coastal areas were lost to Francia during the reign of Louis the Pious — But the Vikings took advantage of the quarrels in the royal family caused after the death of Louis the Pious to settle their first colony in the south-west Gascony of the kingdom of Francia, which was more or less abandoned by the Frankish kings after their two defeats at Roncevaux.

The Viking attackers sought to capture the treasures stored at monasteries , easy prey given the monks' lack of defensive capacity. In an expedition up the Seine reached Paris.

The presence of Carolingian deniers of ca , found in among a hoard at Mullaghboden, County Limerick, where coins were neither minted nor normally used in trade, probably represents booty from the raids of — Robert's victory later paved way for Rollo's baptism and settlement in Normandy.

In exchange, Rollo pledged vassalage to Charles in , agreed to be baptised , and vowed to guard the estuaries of the Seine from further Viking attacks.

During Rollo's baptism Robert I of France stood as his godfather. The Scandinavian expansion included Danish and Norwegian as well as Swedish elements, all under the leadership of Rollo.

The Normans conquered England and southern Italy in 11th century, and played a key role in the Crusades. In , according to an account by the Norman monk Dudo of Saint-Quentin , a Viking fleet, probably under Björn Ironside and Hastein , landed at the Ligurian port of Luni and sacked the city.

The Vikings then moved another 60 miles down the Tuscan coast to the mouth of the Arno , sacking Pisa and then, following the river upstream, also the hill-town of Fiesole above Florence , among other victories around the Mediterranean including in Sicily and North Africa.

After , when the Vikings set up a permanent base at the mouth of the Loire river, they could strike as far as northern Spain. In some of their raids they were crushed either by Asturian or Cordoban armies.

These Vikings were Hispanicised in all Christian kingdoms, while they kept their ethnic identity and culture in Al-Andalus.

In , a Viking fleet entered the river Minho and sacked the episcopal city of Tui Galicia ; no new bishop was appointed until In , many dozens of drakkars appeared in the "Mar da Palha" "the Sea of Straw", mouth of the Tagus river.

They left after 13 days, following a resistance led by Alah Ibn Hazm and the city's inhabitants. Another raid was attempted in , without success.

The Viking-Age settlements in Greenland were established in the sheltered fjords of the southern and western coast.

While harsh, the microclimates along some fjords allowed for a pastoral lifestyle similar to that of Iceland, until the climate changed for the worse with the Little Ice Age around They created a small settlement on the northern peninsula of present-day Newfoundland , near L'Anse aux Meadows.

Conflict with indigenous peoples and lack of support from Greenland brought the Vinland colony to an end within a few years.

The Vikings were equipped with the technologically superior longships; for purposes of conducting trade however, another type of ship, the knarr , wider and deeper in draft, were customarily used.

The Vikings were competent sailors, adept in land warfare as well as at sea, and they often struck at accessible and poorly defended targets, usually with near impunity.

The effectiveness of these tactics earned Vikings a formidable reputation as raiders and pirates. The Vikings used their longships to travel vast distances and attain certain tactical advantages in battle.

They could perform highly efficient hit-and-run attacks, in which they quickly approached a target, then left as rapidly as possible before a counter-offensive could be launched.

Because of the ships' negligible draft, the Vikings could sail in shallow waters, allowing them to invade far inland along rivers.

The ships were agile, and light enough to be carried over land from one river system to another. The use of the longships ended when technology changed, and ships began to be constructed using saws instead of axes, resulting in inferior vessels.

While battles at sea were rare, they would occasionally occur when Viking ships attempted to board European merchant vessels in Scandinavian waters.

When larger scale battles ensued, Viking crews would rope together all nearby ships and slowly proceed towards the enemy targets.

While advancing, the warriors hurled spears, arrows, and other projectiles at the opponents. When the ships were sufficiently close, melee combat would ensue using axes, swords, and spears until the enemy ship could be easily boarded.

The roping technique allowed Viking crews to remain strong in numbers and act as a unit, but this uniformity also created problems.

A Viking ship in the line could not retreat or pursue hostiles without breaking the formation and cutting the ropes, which weakened the overall Viking fleet and was a burdensome task to perform in the heat of battle.

In general, these tactics enabled Vikings to quickly destroy the meagre opposition posted during raids.

Together with an increasing centralisation of government in the Scandinavian countries, the old system of leidang — a fleet mobilisation system, where every skipreide ship community had to maintain one ship and a crew — was discontinued as a purely military institution, as the duty to build and man a ship soon was converted into a tax.

The Norwegian leidang was called under Haakon Haakonson for his expedition to Scotland during the Scottish—Norwegian War, and the last recorded calling of it was in However, already by the 11th and 12th centuries, European fighting ships were built with raised platforms fore and aft, from which archers could shoot down into the relatively low longships.

This led to the defeat of longship navies in most subsequent naval engagements—e. Exactly how the Vikings navigated the open seas with such success is unclear.

While some evidence points to the use of calcite "sunstones" to find the sun's location, modern reproductions of Viking "sky-polarimetric" navigation have found these sun compasses to be highly inaccurate, and not usable in cloudy or foggy weather.

The archaeological find known as the Visby lenses from the Swedish island of Gotland may be components of a telescope.

It appears to date from long before the invention of the telescope in the 17th century. One important centre of trade was at Hedeby.

Close to the border with the Franks, it was effectively a crossroads between the cultures, until its eventual destruction by the Norwegians in an internecine dispute around However, those items could also have been Byzantine imports, and there is no reason to assume that the Varangians travelled significantly beyond Byzantium and the Caspian Sea.

A genetic study published at bioRxiv in July and in Nature in September examined the population genomics of the Viking Age. It was found that there was a notable foreign gene flow into Scandinavia in the years preceding the Viking Age and during the Viking Age itself.

This gene flow entered Denmark and eastern Sweden , from which it spread into the rest of Scandinavia. The study also found that despite close cultural similarities, there were distinct genetic differences between regional populations in the Viking Age.

These differences have persisted into modern times. Inland areas were found to be more genetically homogenous than coastal areas and islands such as Öland and Gotland.

These islands were probably important trade settlements. The Vikings were found to have left a profound genetic imprint in the areas they settled, which has persisted into modern times with e.

The study also showed that some local people of Scotland were buried as Vikings and may have taken on Viking identities. The genetic data from these areas affirmed conclusions previously drawn from historical and archaeological evidence.

During, and as a result of the Viking Age, Scandinavia moved from a loose coexistence of tribes and petty kingdoms to the three Nordic countries that still exist today.

The long-term linguistic effect of the Viking settlements in England was threefold: over a thousand Old Norse words eventually became part of Standard English ; numerous places in the East and North-east of England have Danish names, and many English personal names are of Scandinavian origin.

The system of personal pronouns was affected, with they, them and their replacing the earlier forms. Old Norse influenced the verb to be ; the replacement of sindon by are is almost certainly Scandinavian in origin, as is the third-person-singular ending -s in the present tense of verbs.

There are more than 1, Scandinavian place names in England, mainly in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire within the former boundaries of the Danelaw : over end in -by , the Scandinavian word for "village"—for example Grimsby, Naseby and Whitby ; [] many others end in -thorpe "farm" , -thwaite "clearing" , and -toft "homestead".

The distribution of family names showing Scandinavian influence is still, as an analysis of names ending in -son reveals, concentrated in the north and east, corresponding to areas of former Viking settlement.

And they came to the church of Lindisfarne, laid everything waste with grievous plundering, trampled the holy places with polluted feet, dug up the altars, and seized all the treasures of the holy church.

They killed some of the brothers; some they took away with them in fetters; many they drove out, naked and loaded with insults; and some they drowned in the sea.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 7 December Contemporary countries.

Denmark Finland Iceland Norway Sweden. Other topics. Rituals and worship. Main article: Viking expansion. Main article: Scandinavian Scotland. Main article: Kingdom of the Isles.

Main article: Kvenland. Main article: Viking Age in Estonia. Main article: Curonians. Further information: Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages.

Norse people. Scandinavia History. WikiProject Norse history and culture. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. April Main article: Viking raids in the Rhineland.

Main article: L'Anse aux Meadows. Through their raids and military campaigns, they conquered new lands and eventually settled in many of them. Much of their success can be attributed to their hardened Norse mindset, fierce fighting style, elite combat skills, and their distinct weaponry.

Axes were the weapon of choice for the common Viking warrior who could not afford to carry a sword into battle. The axes used for combat were light enough to swing with one hand but still capable of delivering a mortal wound.

Viking axes were also instrumental in building the famed Viking longboats. With a single blow, a Viking axe could dismember armored limbs and crack shields and helmets in two.

Battles were half won by the mere sight of a battalion of fearless Viking warriors advancing forward with their battle-axes raised. Besides an axe, a shield was critically important in Viking combat.

See The Viking shield: Why is it round, wooden and painted? The biggest reasons that Vikings are so closely associated with axes are that these implements were practical , functional , and, perhaps most importantly, affordable.

During the Middle Ages, certain materials were either very scarce or very expensive. Such was the case with metals like iron and steel , from which the business end of swords and axes were typically made.

While the mighty double-edged sword is considered to be the poster child for Viking military might, the reality is that very few Viking warriors actually owned one.

During the Viking Age , swords were very expensive to make, so only the wealthy and powerful fought with them. This took much of the economic incentive out of raiding, though sporadic slaving activity continued into the 11th century.

Scandinavian predation in Christian lands around the North and Irish Seas diminished markedly. The kings of Norway continued to assert power in parts of northern Britain and Ireland, and raids continued into the 12th century, but the military ambitions of Scandinavian rulers were now directed toward new paths.

In , Sigurd I of Norway sailed for the eastern Mediterranean with Norwegian crusaders to fight for the newly established Kingdom of Jerusalem , and Danes and Swedes participated energetically in the Baltic Crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries.

A variety of sources illuminate the culture, activities, and beliefs of the Vikings. Although they were generally a non-literate culture that produced no literary legacy, they had an alphabet and described themselves and their world on runestones.

Most contemporary literary and written sources on the Vikings come from other cultures that were in contact with them.

The most important primary sources on the Vikings are contemporary texts from Scandinavia and regions where the Vikings were active.

Most contemporary documentary sources consist of texts written in Christian and Islamic communities outside Scandinavia, often by authors who had been negatively affected by Viking activity.

Later writings on the Vikings and the Viking Age can also be important for understanding them and their culture, although they need to be treated cautiously.

After the consolidation of the church and the assimilation of Scandinavia and its colonies into the mainstream of medieval Christian culture in the 11th and 12th centuries, native written sources begin to appear in Latin and Old Norse.

In the Viking colony of Iceland, an extraordinary vernacular literature blossomed in the 12th through 14th centuries, and many traditions connected with the Viking Age were written down for the first time in the Icelandic sagas.

A literal interpretation of these medieval prose narratives about the Vikings and the Scandinavian past is doubtful, but many specific elements remain worthy of consideration, such as the great quantity of skaldic poetry attributed to court poets of the 10th and 11th centuries, the exposed family trees, the self images, the ethical values, that are contained in these literary writings.

Indirectly, the Vikings have also left a window open onto their language, culture and activities, through many Old Norse place names and words found in their former sphere of influence.

Some of these place names and words are still in direct use today, almost unchanged, and shed light on where they settled and what specific places meant to them.

Viking influence is also evident in concepts like the present-day parliamentary body of the Tynwald on the Isle of Man. Some modern words and names only emerge and contribute to our understanding after a more intense research of linguistic sources from medieval or later records, such as York Horse Bay , Swansea Sveinn 's Isle or some of the place names in Normandy like Tocqueville Toki's farm.

Linguistic and etymological studies continue to provide a vital source of information on the Viking culture, their social structure and history and how they interacted with the people and cultures they met, traded, attacked or lived with in overseas settlements.

It has been speculated that the reason for this was the great differences between the two languages, combined with the Rus' Vikings more peaceful businesses in these areas and the fact that they were outnumbered.

The Norse named some of the rapids on the Dnieper , but this can hardly be seen from the modern names. The Norse of the Viking Age could read and write and used a non-standardised alphabet, called runor , built upon sound values.

While there are few remains of runic writing on paper from the Viking era, thousands of stones with runic inscriptions have been found where Vikings lived.

They are usually in memory of the dead, though not necessarily placed at graves. The use of runor survived into the 15th century, used in parallel with the Latin alphabet.

The runestones are unevenly distributed in Scandinavia: Denmark has runestones, Norway has 50 while Iceland has none.

The Swedish district of Uppland has the highest concentration with as many as 1, inscriptions in stone, whereas Södermanland is second with The majority of runic inscriptions from the Viking period are found in Sweden.

Many runestones in Scandinavia record the names of participants in Viking expeditions, such as the Kjula runestone that tells of extensive warfare in Western Europe and the Turinge Runestone , which tells of a war band in Eastern Europe.

Other runestones mention men who died on Viking expeditions. Among them include the England runestones Swedish : Englandsstenarna which is a group of about 30 runestones in Sweden which refer to Viking Age voyages to England.

They were engraved in Old Norse with the Younger Futhark. The Jelling stones date from between and The older, smaller stone was raised by King Gorm the Old , the last pagan king of Denmark, as a memorial honouring Queen Thyre.

It has three sides: one with an animal image, one with an image of the crucified Jesus Christ, and a third bearing the following inscription:.

Runestones attest to voyages to locations such as Bath , [] Greece how the Vikings referred to the Byzantium territories generally , [] Khwaresm , [] Jerusalem , [] Italy as Langobardland , [] Serkland i.

Viking Age inscriptions have also been discovered on the Manx runestones on the Isle of Man. The last known people to use the Runic alphabet were an isolated group of people known as the Elfdalians , that lived in the locality of Älvdalen in the Swedish province of Dalarna.

They spoke the language of Elfdalian , the language unique to Älvdalen. The Elfdalian language differentiates itself from the other Scandinavian languages as it evolved much closer to Old Norse.

The people of Älvdalen stopped using runes as late as the s. Usage of runes therefore survived longer in Älvdalen than anywhere else in the world.

Traditionally regarded as a Swedish dialect, [] but by several criteria closer related to West Scandinavian dialects, [] Elfdalian is a separate language by the standard of mutual intelligibility.

Residents in the area who speak only Swedish as their sole native language, neither speaking nor understanding Elfdalian, are also common.

Älvdalen can be said to have had its own alphabet during the 17th and 18th century. Today there are about 2, native speakers of Elfdalian.

The burial practices of the Vikings were quite varied, from dug graves in the ground, to tumuli , sometimes including so-called ship burials.

According to written sources, most of the funerals took place at sea. The funerals involved either burial or cremation , depending on local customs.

In the area that is now Sweden, cremations were predominant; in Denmark burial was more common; and in Norway both were common.

There have been several archaeological finds of Viking ships of all sizes, providing knowledge of the craftsmanship that went into building them.

There were many types of Viking ships, built for various uses; the best-known type is probably the longship.

The longship had a long, narrow hull and shallow draught to facilitate landings and troop deployments in shallow water.

Longships were used extensively by the Leidang , the Scandinavian defence fleets. The longship allowed the Norse to go Viking , which might explain why this type of ship has become almost synonymous with the concept of Vikings.

The Vikings built many unique types of watercraft, often used for more peaceful tasks. The knarr was a dedicated merchant vessel designed to carry cargo in bulk.

It had a broader hull, deeper draught, and a small number of oars used primarily to manoeuvre in harbours and similar situations.

One Viking innovation was the ' beitass ', a spar mounted to the sail that allowed their ships to sail effectively against the wind.

Ships were an integral part of the Viking culture. They facilitated everyday transportation across seas and waterways, exploration of new lands, raids, conquests, and trade with neighbouring cultures.

They also held a major religious importance. People with high status were sometimes buried in a ship along with animal sacrifices, weapons, provisions and other items, as evidenced by the buried vessels at Gokstad and Oseberg in Norway [] and the excavated ship burial at Ladby in Denmark.

Ship burials were also practised by Vikings abroad, as evidenced by the excavations of the Salme ships on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. Well-preserved remains of five Viking ships were excavated from Roskilde Fjord in the late s, representing both the longship and the knarr.

The ships were scuttled there in the 11th century to block a navigation channel and thus protect Roskilde , then the Danish capital, from seaborne assault.

The remains of these ships are on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. In , archaeologists uncovered two Viking boat graves in Gamla Uppsala.

They also discovered that one of the boats still holds the remains of a man, a dog, and a horse, along with other items.

Viking society was divided into the three socio-economic classes: Thralls, Karls and Jarls. Archaeology has confirmed this social structure.

Thralls were the lowest ranking class and were slaves. Slaves comprised as much as a quarter of the population.

Thralls were servants and workers in the farms and larger households of the Karls and Jarls, and they were used for constructing fortifications, ramps, canals, mounds, roads and similar hard work projects.

According to the Rigsthula, Thralls were despised and looked down upon. New thralls were supplied by either the sons and daughters of thralls or captured abroad.

The Vikings often deliberately captured many people on their raids in Europe, to enslave them as thralls. The thralls were then brought back home to Scandinavia by boat, used on location or in newer settlements to build needed structures, or sold, often to the Arabs in exchange for silver.

Karls were free peasants. They owned farms, land and cattle and engaged in daily chores like ploughing the fields, milking the cattle, building houses and wagons, but used thralls to make ends meet.

Other names for Karls were 'bonde' or simply free men. The Jarls were the aristocracy of the Viking society. They were wealthy and owned large estates with huge longhouses, horses and many thralls.

The thralls did most of the daily chores, while the Jarls did administration, politics, hunting, sports, visited other Jarls or went abroad on expeditions.

When a Jarl died and was buried, his household thralls were sometimes sacrificially killed and buried next to him, as many excavations have revealed.

In daily life, there were many intermediate positions in the overall social structure and it is believed that there must have been some social mobility.

These details are unclear, but titles and positions like hauldr , thegn , landmand , show mobility between the Karls and the Jarls.

Members of the latter were referred to as drenge , one of the words for warrior. There were also official communities within towns and villages, the overall defence, religion, the legal system and the Things.

Like elsewhere in medieval Europe, most women in Viking society were subordinate to their husbands and fathers and had little political power.

Most free Viking women were housewives, and the woman's standing in society was linked to that of her husband.

Norse laws assert the housewife's authority over the 'indoor household'. She had the important roles of managing the farm's resources, conducting business, as well as child-rearing, although some of this would be shared with her husband.

After the age of 20, an unmarried woman, referred to as maer and mey , reached legal majority and had the right to decide her place of residence and was regarded as her own person before the law.

Concubinage was also part of Viking society, whereby a woman could live with a man and have children with him without marrying; such a woman was called a frilla.

A woman had the right to inherit part of her husband's property upon his death, [] and widows enjoyed the same independent status as unmarried women.

Such a woman was referred to as Baugrygr , and she exercised all the rights afforded to the head of a family clan, until she married, by which her rights were transferred to her new husband.

Women had religious authority and were active as priestesses gydja and oracles sejdkvinna. Examinations of Viking Age burials suggests that women lived longer, and nearly all well past the age of 35, as compared to earlier times.

Female graves from before the Viking Age in Scandinavia holds a proportional large number of remains from women aged 20 to 35, presumably due to complications of childbirth.

Scandinavian Vikings were similar in appearance to modern Scandinavians ; "their skin was fair and the hair color varied between blond, dark and reddish".

Genetic studies show that people were mostly blond in what is now eastern Sweden, while red hair was mostly found in western Scandinavia.

Men involved in warfare, for example, may have had slightly shorter hair and beards for practical reasons. Men in some regions bleached their hair a golden saffron color.

The three classes were easily recognisable by their appearances. Men and women of the Jarls were well groomed with neat hairstyles and expressed their wealth and status by wearing expensive clothes often silk and well crafted jewellery like brooches , belt buckles, necklaces and arm rings.

Almost all of the jewellery was crafted in specific designs unique to the Norse see Viking art. Finger rings were seldom used and earrings were not used at all, as they were seen as a Slavic phenomenon.

Most Karls expressed similar tastes and hygiene, but in a more relaxed and inexpensive way. Archaeological finds from Scandinavia and Viking settlements in the British Isles support the idea of the well groomed and hygienic Viking.

Burial with grave goods was a common practice in the Scandinavian world, through the Viking Age and well past the Christianization of the Norse peoples.

The sagas tell about the diet and cuisine of the Vikings, [] but first hand evidence, like cesspits , kitchen middens and garbage dumps have proved to be of great value and importance.

Undigested remains of plants from cesspits at Coppergate in York have provided much information in this respect.

Overall, archaeo-botanical investigations have been undertaken increasingly in recent decades, as a collaboration between archaeologists and palaeoethno-botanists.

This new approach sheds light on the agricultural and horticultural practices of the Vikings and their cuisine.

The combined information from various sources suggests a diverse cuisine and ingredients. Meat products of all kinds, such as cured , smoked and whey -preserved meat, [] sausages, and boiled or fried fresh meat cuts, were prepared and consumed.

Certain livestock were typical and unique to the Vikings, including the Icelandic horse , Icelandic cattle , a plethora of sheep breeds, [] the Danish hen and the Danish goose.

Most of the beef and horse leg bones were found split lengthways, to extract the marrow. The mutton and swine were cut into leg and shoulder joints and chops.

The frequent remains of pig skull and foot bones found on house floors indicate that brawn and trotters were also popular. Hens were kept for both their meat and eggs, and the bones of game birds such as black grouse , golden plover , wild ducks, and geese have also been found.

Seafood was important, in some places even more so than meat. Whales and walrus were hunted for food in Norway and the north-western parts of the North Atlantic region, and seals were hunted nearly everywhere.

Oysters , mussels and shrimps were eaten in large quantities and cod and salmon were popular fish. In the southern regions, herring was also important.

Milk and buttermilk were popular, both as cooking ingredients and drinks, but were not always available, even at farms. Food was often salted and enhanced with spices, some of which were imported like black pepper , while others were cultivated in herb gardens or harvested in the wild.

Home grown spices included caraway , mustard and horseradish as evidenced from the Oseberg ship burial [] or dill , coriander , and wild celery , as found in cesspits at Coppergate in York.

Thyme , juniper berry , sweet gale , yarrow , rue and peppercress were also used and cultivated in herb gardens. Vikings collected and ate fruits, berries and nuts.

Apple wild crab apples , plums and cherries were part of the diet, [] as were rose hips and raspberry , wild strawberry , blackberry , elderberry , rowan , hawthorn and various wild berries, specific to the locations.

The shells were used for dyeing, and it is assumed that the nuts were consumed. The invention and introduction of the mouldboard plough revolutionised agriculture in Scandinavia in the early Viking Age and made it possible to farm even poor soils.

In Ribe , grains of rye , barley , oat and wheat dated to the 8th century have been found and examined, and are believed to have been cultivated locally.

Remains of bread from primarily Birka in Sweden were made of barley and wheat. It is unclear if the Norse leavened their breads, but their ovens and baking utensils suggest that they did.

This suggests a much higher actual percentage, as linen is poorly preserved compared to wool for example. The quality of food for common people was not always particularly high.

The research at Coppergate shows that the Vikings in York made bread from whole meal flour—probably both wheat and rye —but with the seeds of cornfield weeds included.

Corncockle Agrostemma , would have made the bread dark-coloured, but the seeds are poisonous, and people who ate the bread might have become ill.

Seeds of carrots, parsnip , and brassicas were also discovered, but they were poor specimens and tend to come from white carrots and bitter tasting cabbages.

The effects of this can be seen on skeletal remains of that period. Sports were widely practised and encouraged by the Vikings. This included spear and stone throwing, building and testing physical strength through wrestling see glima , fist fighting , and stone lifting.

In areas with mountains, mountain climbing was practised as a sport. Agility and balance were built and tested by running and jumping for sport, and there is mention of a sport that involved jumping from oar to oar on the outside of a ship's railing as it was being rowed.

Children often participated in some of the sport disciplines and women have also been mentioned as swimmers, although it is unclear if they took part in competition.

King Olaf Tryggvason was hailed as a master of both mountain climbing and oar-jumping, and was said to have excelled in the art of knife juggling as well.

Skiing and ice skating were the primary winter sports of the Vikings, although skiing was also used as everyday means of transport in winter and in the colder regions of the north.

Horse fighting was practised for sport, although the rules are unclear. It appears to have involved two stallions pitted against each other, within smell and sight of fenced-off mares.

Whatever the rules were, the fights often resulted in the death of one of the stallions. Icelandic sources refer to the sport of knattleik.

A ball game akin to hockey , knattleik involved a bat and a small hard ball and was usually played on a smooth field of ice. The rules are unclear, but it was popular with both adults and children, even though it often led to injuries.

Knattleik appears to have been played only in Iceland, where it attracted many spectators, as did horse fighting. Hunting, as a sport, was limited to Denmark, where it was not regarded as an important occupation.

Birds, deer , hares and foxes were hunted with bow and spear, and later with crossbows. The techniques were stalking, snare and traps and par force hunting with dog packs.

Both archaeological finds and written sources testify to the fact that the Vikings set aside time for social and festive gatherings.

Board games and dice games were played as a popular pastime at all levels of society. Preserved gaming pieces and boards show game boards made of easily available materials like wood, with game pieces manufactured from stone, wood or bone, while other finds include elaborately carved boards and game pieces of glass, amber , antler or walrus tusk, together with materials of foreign origin, such as ivory.

The Vikings played several types of tafl games; hnefatafl , nitavl nine men's morris and the less common kvatrutafl. Chess also appeared at the end of the Viking Age.

Hnefatafl is a war game, in which the object is to capture the king piece—a large hostile army threatens and the king's men have to protect the king.

It was played on a board with squares using black and white pieces, with moves made according to dice rolls. The Ockelbo Runestone shows two men engaged in Hnefatafl, and the sagas suggest that money or valuables could have been involved in some dice games.

On festive occasions storytelling , skaldic poetry , music and alcoholic drinks, like beer and mead , contributed to the atmosphere. The Vikings are known to have played instruments including harps , fiddles , lyres and lutes.

Viking-age reenactors have undertaken experimental activities such as iron smelting and forging using Norse techniques at Norstead in Newfoundland for example.

The remains of that ship and four others were discovered during a excavation in the Roskilde Fjord.

Tree-ring analysis has shown the ship was built of oak in the vicinity of Dublin in about Seventy multi-national crew members sailed the ship back to its home, and Sea Stallion arrived outside Dublin's Custom House on 14 August The purpose of the voyage was to test and document the seaworthiness, speed, and manoeuvrability of the ship on the rough open sea and in coastal waters with treacherous currents.

The crew tested how the long, narrow, flexible hull withstood the tough ocean waves. The expedition also provided valuable new information on Viking longships and society.

The ship was built using Viking tools, materials, and much the same methods as the original ship. Other vessels, often replicas of the Gokstad ship full- or half-scale or Skuldelev have been built and tested as well.

Elements of a Scandinavian identity and practices were maintained in settler societies, but they could be quite distinct as the groups assimilated into the neighboring societies.

Assimilation to the Frankish culture in Normandy for example was rapid. Knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century.

Rollo and his successors brought about rapid recoveries from the raids. The Scandinavian colonization was principally Danish, with a strong Norwegian element.

A few Swedes were present. The merging of the Scandinavian and native elements contributed to the creation of one of the most powerful feudal states of Western Europe.

The naval ability of the Normans would allow them to conquer England and southern Italy , and play a key role in the Crusades.

After , when the Vikings set up a permanent base at the mouth of the Loire River, they could strike as far as northern Spain. In some of their raids they were crushed either by Kingdom of Asturias or Emirate armies.

These Vikings were Hispanised in all Christian kingdoms, while they kept their ethnic identity and culture in Al-Andalus. In , a Viking fleet entered the river Minho and sacked the episcopal city of Tui Galicia ; no new bishop was appointed until In , many dozens of drakkars appeared in the "Mar da Palha" "the Sea of Straw", mouth of the Tagus river.

After a siege, the Vikings conquered Lisbon at the time, the city was under Muslim rule and known as Al-Ushbuna.

They left after 13 days, following a resistance led by Alah Ibn Hazm and the city's inhabitants. Another raid was attempted in , without success.

They created a small settlement on the northern peninsula of present-day Newfoundland, near L'Anse aux Meadows.

Conflict with indigenous peoples and lack of support from Greenland brought the Vinland colony to an end within a few years.

The long-term linguistic effect of the Viking settlements in England was threefold: over a thousand Old Norse words eventually became part of Standard English ; numerous places in the East and North-east of England have Danish names, and many English personal names are of Scandinavian origin.

The system of personal pronouns was affected, with they, them and their replacing the earlier forms. Old Norse influenced the verb to be ; the replacement of sindon by are is almost certainly Scandinavian in origin, as is the third-person-singular ending -s in the present tense of verbs.

The distribution of family names showing Scandinavian influence is still, as an analysis of names ending in -son reveals, concentrated in the north and east, corresponding to areas of former Viking settlement.

The Vikings were equipped with the technologically superior longships; for purposes of conducting trade however, another type of ship, the knarr , wider and deeper in draft, were customarily used.

The Vikings were competent sailors, adept in land warfare as well as at sea, and they often struck at accessible and poorly defended targets, usually with near impunity.

The effectiveness of these tactics earned Vikings a formidable reputation as raiders and pirates. Chroniclers paid little attention to other aspects of medieval Scandinavian culture.

This slant was accentuated by the absence of contemporary primary source documentation from within the Viking Age communities themselves.

Little documentary evidence was available until later, when Christian sources began to contribute. As historians and archaeologists have developed more resources to challenge the one-sided descriptions of the chroniclers, a more balanced picture of the Norsemen has become apparent.

The Vikings used their longships to travel vast distances and attain certain tactical advantages in battle. They could perform highly efficient hit-and-run attacks, in which they quickly approached a target, then left as rapidly before a counter-offensive could be launched.

Because of the ships' negligible draft, the Vikings could sail in shallow waters, allowing them to invade far inland along rivers. The use of the longships ended when technology changed, and ships began to be constructed using saws instead of axes.

This led to a lesser quality of ships. While battles at sea were rare, they would occasionally occur when Viking ships attempted to board European merchant vessels in Scandinavian waters.

When larger scale battles ensued, Viking crews would rope together all nearby ships and slowly proceed towards the enemy targets. While advancing, the warriors hurled spears, arrows, and other projectiles at the opponents.

When the ships were sufficiently close, melee combat would ensue using axes, swords, and spears until the enemy ship could be easily boarded. The roping technique allowed Viking crews to remain strong in numbers and act as a unit, but this uniformity also created problems.

A Viking ship in the line could not retreat or pursue hostiles without breaking the formation and cutting the ropes, which weakened the overall Viking fleet and was a burdensome task to perform in the heat of battle.

In general, these tactics enabled Vikings to quickly destroy the meagre opposition posted during raids.

Changes in shipbuilding in the rest of Europe led to the demise of the longship for military purposes. By the 11th and 12th centuries, European fighting ships were built with raised platforms fore and aft, from which archers could shoot down into the relatively low longships.

The nautical achievements of the Vikings were exceptional. For instance, they made distance tables for sea voyages that were remarkably precise.

The archaeological find known as the Visby lenses from the Swedish island of Gotland may be components of a telescope. It appears to date from long before the invention of the telescope in the 17th century.

An archaeological find in Sweden consists of a bone fragment fixated with in-operated material; the piece is as yet undated.

These bones might be the remains of a trader from the Middle East. This wiki. This wiki All wikis. Sign In Don't have an account?

Main article: Viking expansion. Main article: Scandinavian Scotland. Main article: Kingdom of the Isles. Further information: Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages.

Main article: L'Anse aux Meadows. Further information: Viking ship , Viking Age arms and armour. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , p. Northern Shores: a history of the Baltic Sea and its peoples.

London: John Murray. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings. A bibliography of French-language", Caen, Centre for research on the countries of the North and Northwest, University of Caen, , p.

Online Medieval and Classical Library. Retrieved 7 June Other Scandinavian areas have only scattered finds: 1, from Denmark and some from Norway.

Byzantine coins have been found almost exclusively in Gotland, some See Arkeologi i Norden 2. Stockholm See also Gardell, Carl Johan: Gotlands historia i fickformat ,

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