History Of Vikings

History Of Vikings – Vikings: Rise and Fall is a new documentary series from National Geographic that immerses the viewer in the complex and often brutal society of Scandinavian raiders.

CHOOSE A WORD to describe the Vikings and the word ‘terrible’ seems to be not far from the tip of the tongue. But are the Scandinavian raiders really that bad – or are they victims of bad PR? And where exactly did those stories in the air end, and their history begin?

History Of Vikings

History Of Vikings

Aims to address some of the persistent questions about these attackers directly. Over six weeks and covering two centuries, this series looks at the Viking age in its entirety – and it may (or may not) cause you to rethink the most legendary person to ever set sail. Here’s a little something for you to read.

The Rise Of The Vikings

Back home in Scandinavia, Viking society was a complex one, often competing for chiefs—which placed a very high value on bravery and honor both within and between groups. ‘Rival brothers may try to make a name for themselves by winning a war outside the kingdom,’ says Professor Søren Michael Sindbæk of Aarhus University, Denmark.

With the importance of honor gained through violence instilled in children from a young age, it is fair to say that the Vikings had a different view of death – and one that made them ruthless enemies, due to their unwavering belief that perishing in battle is nothing. afraid. Quite the opposite, in fact: glory awaited beyond the sword. Professor Terry Gunnell of the University of Iceland says: “It seems that Valhalla is intended as a reward. “Another good way to get people ready to die in battle…is rewarded by dying in battle.”

Because of this attitude, however, the Vikings were cunning in their trade – and the evidence shows that they were indeed cunning – just doing business left a gap in their thirst for the honor they won in battle. But there was a way to satisfy both. As Professor Stefan Brink of the University of Cambridge put it

The sacred island of Lindisfarne was believed to be the main target for Viking raiders outside of Scandinavia. Taking advantage of the sanctity of the church, they chose the place of easy access, its unguarded nature and the wealth inside. The abbey and castle of Lindisfarne were added later.

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When it came to choosing their first targets, the Vikings showed some logic, which – combined with their brand of superstition – made their first attack seem ferocious. Early raiders targeted monasteries, which had the many advantages of peace, solitude, easy access to water – and dripping in small fortunes. While he was invulnerable to the Christians, to the heathen assailants he fell an easy prey, and without effort was overcome by the shock and fear of the savage attack.

As a result, the attack on Lindisfarne in 793AD was, as Dr Clare Downham of the University of Liverpool explains in the exhibition, “a momentous moment of emotional impact on the English people.” This idea spread from the first attack on Lindisfarne to the monastery. Jarrow a year later, Iona in 795AD – and most notably Portmahomack, Scotland, in a series of raids that culminated around 800AD.

Viking raids and slave abductions in the late 10th century in an undisclosed location in England, as depicted in a 19th century woodcut.

History Of Vikings

The Vikings had their own rituals, too: one was to burn their targets as they left, as happened at Portmahomack, which is one of the few places where signs of the raid have been found. For their part, it was to destroy the evidence – but also to make sure no vengeful spirits followed them home. For Christians it was a terrible way to end a terrible act—and the church used it to its advantage. The attackers, dressed in their strange clothes and carrying strange weapons that they “trampled on the bones of the saint,” were suitable characters for Christians to inspire the believers, and show the power of God’s wrath. (After plundering France and Spain, the Viking raiders set their sights on Rome.)

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Later Anglo-Saxon accounts of the attack on Lindisfarne state that ‘great storms, showers of lightning and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air’ in the days before the attack – which led to many attacks by Christian leaders as to who was at Lindisfarne. to hold the ‘big debt’ that caused that revolution.

The Viking Age was followed by a period of climate instability, and mass migration. The fall of the Roman Empire and the resulting closing of the gap caused the Migration Period, which lasted from about 300AD to 800AD, and which saw the movement of many different peoples across Europe to settle their former territories—the Huns, the Goths and the Franks among them. . Then followed what some scholars call the ‘Late Antique Little Ice Age’ – a period of global cooling – which grew rapidly around 570AD, and is attributed to the effects of a large volcanic eruption, which made life more difficult in the north. you were alive. (A giant volcano after the world’s mysterious apocalypse has been discovered.)

Scandinavia, with its rugged terrain and harsh winters, offered little in the way of natural resources to the Vikings, who were forced to travel beyond its shores not just in search of wealth – but rich land.

The century saw a warm period, which brought prosperity to Europe, and gave Scandinavians – whose natural resources were scarce at the best of times – very itchy feet. This, combined with the fearsome rule of kings like Harald Fairhair, led them to improve their seamanship and venture beyond the horizon.

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Finding warmer, more fertile land suitable for farming and a more favorable climate, the Viking raiders gradually tended to go home – and instead began to settle, and assimilate their culture with their conquered armies. This period of more stable roots – the placement seems to have found a renewed purpose with the arrival of Ivar the Boneless – ‘king’ of the different Vikings, so that he was – under his campaign of bloodshed the Viking army arrived in the East of England and began to fight. march to York. His goal was not plunder, but conquest – and, it seems, revenge.

This type of gruesome, gruesome murder has gained profile thanks to on-screen depictions and video games in recent years – but the jury is out on whether the truth (or not) was sent to people who deserved a brutal end. It is thought that this was a tragedy that would befall Ælla, King of York, to avenge the death of the leader Ragnar Lodbrok – father of Ivar the Boneless, who is said to have inflicted the punishment as the Vikings conquered York.

A stone statue in TheLärbro St. Hammars I on the Swedish island of Gotland displays images believed to be of Viking life. This shows various acts of violence, and shows in the center of the picture a figure who seems to be bent over a dias or altar and attacked with a weapon from behind, while the figure is holding a bird – perhaps an eagle – and the symbol of Odin’s knot. on top. Many believe this represents the tradition of the blood eagle as a human sacrifice.

History Of Vikings

The sources, as was usual for the Vikings – who did not keep records and whose history was woven orally in legendary sagas for generations – are murky, and no direct archaeological evidence has been found. But the available information suggests a practice that could have been a ritual sacrifice to Odin, or a way of avenging a grave sin (or at least conveying a message of deep displeasure) to one’s enemy. According to the definition in

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, the unfortunate victim received a scalpel incision, a severe cut to the ribs in the back and a lung extraction, which was then spread out like wings – hence, ‘eagle’ (and indeed, ‘blood.’)

By medical and historical scholars have recently discussed the blood eagle in detail, concluding that the cruelty was possible – although given the physical injuries and the quick evacuation, it was intended to be considered as a symbolic message to death rather than a long-term end. in life. The study concludes: ‘So the bloody eagle was not just torture: it had meaning.’

Means work; it was not the name of a people or a culture. Those around the Vikings added an organized community of merchants, artisans, skilled boat builders and navigators. The final version was a certain body of water; according to Professor Søren Michael Sindbæk in

, the sail was “unused, until then, in Scandinavia. Putting a big boat under sail… was a big obstacle. It costs a lot [of money] to produce such a sail, with all the ropes and cords needed.” The 120 square meter sails are made from flax or wool – the latter from the wool of around 200 sheep – by more skilled weavers.

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