History of Europe

From 790 to 1100:Viking raids

Life of the Vikings:

The Vikings came from the Scandinavian peoples. . They are from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Many of them are farmers, artisans or fishermen. In general they live with several families in a large and long common house which belongs to a chief. They work to live, eat and sleep there.

But the Vikings are mostly defined as being half-pirate men. , mid-dealers . The word “Viking” probably comes from the expression “pillage operation” and they are often depicted as fearsome-looking warriors who sow terror and death in their path.

Norse Beliefs:

The Vikings believe that their warriors battle dead go to Valhalla , the home of their god Odin . Valhalla is for them a kind of paradise, and after their death, the warriors would feast there every night in the company of beautiful maidens, the Valkyries .

In Scandinavian mythology, the main gods are Thor (god of Lightning and War) and Odin (wise god of the dead and Warriors who need cunning). There are also two crows which represent “Thought” and “Memory”.

Funeral rites:

The Vikings bury their dead with food, treasure, slaves and animals to accompany them in the afterlife. Some brave warriors are buried in a drakkar to allow them to join Valhalla.

The Viking Longship:

The Vikings were intrepid explorers and they built strong and fast boats, the drakkars . They allow them to transport goods and go to war. They are usually adorned with a sculpted dragon's head and are fantastic tactical tools as their shape allows for a quick and efficient change of course.

CIRCA 790:Beginning of Viking looting

As they are sorely lacking in land to exploit, the Vikings decide to leave to explore other parts of the world. They begin by plundering the European coasts , trade there and end up settling there. For more than 300 years, they terrorized European populations by infiltrating towns and villages with the help of their fast longships.

CIRCA 830 to 900:Lightning attacks in the British Isles and France

The Vikings invade vast territories such as England, Scotland , Ireland , France and Italy .

CIRCA 860:The Vikings settle in Russia

Boats loaded with many Viking settlers arrive in Eastern Europe. They are called the “Rus ” (Les Roux) and it was they who gave its name to Russia .

CIRCA 900 to 911:The Vikings settle in Normandy

While the initial quest of the Vikings was rather to get rich and obtain glory, they end up wanting to settle, which requires a higher degree of organization. Many Vikings arrive in this way to settle in the North of France. They are called the “Normans ” (men of the North) and it is they who give its name to Normandy .

CIRCA 983 to 986:The Vikings begin to colonize Greenland

Banned from Island for Murder, Eric the Red (nicknamed “The Red” because of the red color of his hair and beard) sets out to explore Greenland and founded the first European colony there. (His father before him had also been banished from Norway for murder)

CIRCA 1000:Leif Ericson reaches North America

Leif Ericson (says Leif the Lucky ), son of Eric the Red, ventures west and reaches America . The land he discovers and calls “Vinland ” (the country where the vine grows) would be located on present-day Newfoundland. Leif Ericson set up a colony there, but the Indians attacked and the Vikings took refuge in Greenland.

TOWARDS 1100:End of Viking looting

Many Vikings converted to Christianity and become less violent .