"Vikings" is a term used to refer to people living in parts of Sweden, Denmark and Norway during the medieval times. In modern language, "Vikings" is popularly used to refer to "pirates" basically because of the negative reputation they inherited during the 9th century, when raiding and prowling had became a widespread insurgent act all across Europe. The Vikings are group of people who are originally form North-western Europe. They used to hunt animals for food, propagate plants, and settle on lands that were remnant of the melted glaciers during the Ice Age. The land that they had occupied is what we know today as Scandinavia
Physically, Vikings are popularly represented as large and tall people. Modern studies tell us that Vikings have average heights, that is anywhere from 66 in. - 69 in. High-ranking Vikings are relatively taller people compared to normal Vikings, which could be down to having better nutrition.
Vikings are famous for their great knowledge in the art of warfare. They have created ingenious weapons and employed battle strategies that are still being used until this day. They have created ships, defensive weapons and also initiated their own techniques and strategies of incursion. The Viking ship is one of the most popular weaponry they spearheaded. The ship was designed to withstand the fury of the sea and their enemies. Vikings used their ships to raid coastal monasteries and other British and European settlements.
According to popular belief, Vikings are known to be pagans and unbelievers of the Christian faith. But in fact, Vikings have a lot of gods even before they reached the land of Scandinavia. The Vikings commonly terrorized monasteries not because they are advocates of anti-Christianity but mainly because monasteries are abundant in wealth and food, has a poor defence and are easier targets for attacks. When Vikings encountered Christianity along their raids, some of them adopted the religion especially when they reached the countries of Ireland, Normandy and British Isles.
The Viking Age began with the onset of the North Germanic expansion. This is the period when Vikings began to raid and conquer the lands of Gaul, Iberia and other British Isles, including England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The earliest record of Vikink raids dates back as early as the 790's. It was in 787 when Vikings set sail to Dorset, Portugal. One royal officer mistook the group of men as legitimate merchants and tried to escort them to king's palace to pay trading taxes for their commodities. The Vikings killed the royal officer and from that day on, raids ensued. A second attack was recorded in 793 at the Lindisfarne Monastery in England. The next twenty decades had a series of Vikings attacks and forays all over Europe.
In addition to being great warriors, Vikings are great navigators. Erik the Red, a Viking himself, discover a piece of land that we know today as the country of Greenland. Vikings explored a lot of lands from north to west and colonized several lands including Shetland, Faroe Islands, Oakney, and Newfoundland.
Original Authors: Jennifer Tumanda
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 22/05/2007