Viking And The Viking Age

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The word “viking” derives from the Old Norse word “víkingr”, which was defined as someone who explores and goes on expeditions, usually by boat. The word “viking” then evolved to the definition we are more familiar with today, which is means the medieval inhabitants of what is now present-day Scandinavia, made up of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. However, when most people think of Vikings, they think specifically of the Scandinavian pirates and raiders that went on infamous raids throughout north-western Europe during the 8th to 11th century. This period of time is now known as the Viking Age. During the time that the Scandinavians were known as Vikings, it was the end of the Iron Age and Scandinavia was becoming more centralized in power.…show more content…
The Vikings raided Lindisfarne, a monastery in England. Lindisfarne, or ‘Holy Island,’ was one of Britain’s most sacred holy places. This was the first recorded Viking raid, in which English monk Alcuin wrote, “the harrowing inroads of heathen men made lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine and slaughter.” They killed the monks, slaughtered all the animals, and seized the valuables stored there. This raid signaled the beginning of what we know as the Viking Age, a period of pillaging and bloodshed. But what provoked all this violence? Why would the Vikings travel the long distance from Scandinavia to England to raid these monasteries? As quickly as it had started, the Viking Age came to an end in 1066 A.D. What was the reason for this as well? The cause of the Viking Age is explained by several factors, such as Charlemagne’s reign, technological advances, and religion. The reason for its end is also explained by several factors, including the successful Christianization of Scandinavia and the assimilation of the Viking settlers in their new…show more content…
The Scandinavian land isn’t too suitable for agriculture, and it couldn’t sustain the growing population. Thus, the demand for land greatly increased. This emigration began around 780 when Vikings found and settled in the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, and Orkneys. They assumedly settled in these islands peacefully, as there were no accounts of “heathen men” from any of the natives living in those areas at the time. It was only when the Vikings reached Britain, the land long occupied by the Celtics, that violence arose. Some people decided to turn to piracy in order to survive the lack of resources caused by the population boom. This was the moment when all the violent raids associated with Vikings began, starting with the raid of Lindisfarne in England. From this moment on, England, as well as the majority of Europe suffered brutal raids by the
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