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Vikings A History of the Norse People von Dougherty, Martin J (eBook)

  • Verlag: Amber Books Ltd
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'From the fury of the Northmen, good Lord deliver us.' - Anonymous monk, Noirmoutier, France, 9th century AD Beginning in 789AD, the Vikings raided monasteries, sacked cities and invaded western Europe. They looted and enslaved their enemies. But that is only part of their story. In long boats they discovered Iceland and America (both by accident) and also sailed up the Seine to Paris (which they sacked). They settled from Newfoundland to Russia, founded Dublin and fought battles as far afield as the Caspian Sea. A thousand years after their demise, traces of the Vikings remain all the way from North America to Istanbul. They traded walruses with Inuits, brought Russian furs to Western Europe and took European slaves to Constantinople. Their graves contain Arab silver, Byzantine silks and Frankish weapons. In this accessible book, the whole narrative of the Viking story is examined from the eighth to the eleventh centuries. Arranged thematically, Vikings: A History of the Norse People examines the Norsemen from exploration to religion to trade to settlement to weaponry to kingdoms to their demise and legacy. But today questions remain: what prompted the first Viking raids? What stopped their expansion? And how much of the tales of murder, rape and pillage is myth? Illustrated with more than 200 photographs, maps and artworks, Vikings: A History of the Norse People is an expertly written account of a people who have long captured the popular imagination.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 224
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781782740827
    Verlag: Amber Books Ltd
    Größe: 29930 kBytes
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The threat of further Viking raids caused the monks to abandon Lindisfarne. It was not until around 1150 AD, after the end of the Viking Era, that the site was reoccupied and Lindisfarne Priory was built.


History became aware of the people who are today referred to as Vikings in 793 AD, when a force of raiders from across the North Sea landed on Lindisfarne Island and sacked the monastery there. This was no chance landfall, nor was it the first time that Viking ships had landed on the Northumbrian coast.

The raiders knew about the monastery and the easy plunder to be had there from their previous expeditions. The origin of these raiders is open to some debate. Most historians agree that they were Scandinavians, although it has been suggested that they might have been Frisians. It is most likely that they were of Danish or Norwegian origin, possibly sailing from settlements in the Orkney or Shetland Islands. Contemporary sources refer to them as coming 'from the north' or 'from the land of robbers', which suggests that enough raids had occurred previously for these seafarers to have acquired a reputation long before they struck Lindisfarne.

These greenstone tools date from 7500 to 5500 BC, a time when Jutland and the Danish Islands were sparsely populated by small farming communities.

The sacking of Lindisfarne was a dramatic event, and is now seen as the emergence onto the stage of a new and frightening people. It is a simple and clear-cut starting point for the Viking Age, but the men of the north did not simply wake up one morning and decide to ravage the coasts of Europe for the next 300 years. So why did they do so? Where did they come from and what drove them to such brutality?
Early Habitation

Humans may have inhabited Scandinavia more than 200,000 years ago, before the last Ice Age. Any human population of that era was driven out or killed off by climatic conditions, and it was not until 8000-9000 BC that humans returned to the area. There is evidence of Old Stone Age habitation in Denmark during the period 8000-4000 BC , such as stone carvings.

Farming and livestock herding allowed a more settled lifestyle during the New Stone Age (4000-1500 BC ) and numerous settlements from this era have been discovered. The introduction of bronze tools around 2000-1500 BC allowed improved farming and industrial techniques that could support a larger population - and of course made conflict between rival groups more deadly.

Flint daggers of this sort began to be replaced by bronze around 1700 BC. Bronze use was at first limited, but its clear advantages over stone tools led to a rapid expansion of metalworking in Scandinavia.

In the Bronze Age, society in Scandinavia was based around small communities with some individuals being rich enough to afford lavish burials surrounded by bronze tools and weapons. Many of these weapons show signs of hard use, suggesting that conflict was commonplace. Trade was also widespread, with some areas of Scandinavia importing large quantities of metal for use by local craftsmen.
The Iron Age

The climate in Bronze Age Scandinavia was warmer than it is today, although a cooling that occurred around 500 BC may have made life much harder for the people of the region. At around the same time the use of iron became far more prevalent. At first it was used mainly by bronzesmiths to make their bronze-working tools but eventually a move to iron tools and weapons took place. This made the large-scale importation of metals less necessary, as iron was available locally and in abundance.

Although the Roman Empire never reached into Scandinavia, the people of the region traded with Roman territories and undoubtedly absorbed elements of Roman culture and technology. Roman writings of the period show a vague familiarity with Scandinavian names and some concepts that migh

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