Vikings Essay

2160 words - 9 pages

VIKINGS EXPLORATIONThe Viking period in history stretches for about three to four hundred years from 790 A.D. to 1100 A.D. During this period, Viking warriors raided nearby lands, explored uncharted seas, and searched for and found trade routes throughout Britain, Ireland, Southern Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia therefore the Vikings were great explorers.This adventuring spirit led them to Labrador and new discoveries. They went on to populate Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and the Shetland Islands, the Orkney's, the Hebrides and the island of Man. They founded states in Ireland and in Britain. They conquered Normandy in France and founded an empire, which lived and ruled far into the Middle Ages.They built merchant towns in Birka (Sweden), Hedeby (Denmark) and Kaupang (Norway). Vikings also started to settle in Russia and built trade stations along the rivers all the way down to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. They went to Constantinople and Baghdad, Gurgan and Chorezm. They attacked London, Lisbon, Santiago, Seville, and Mallorca and sold European slaves in North Africa.During a quarter of a century, from 8th June 793 until 15th October 1066, these men would come in waves, often young and seeking a fight, and extremely skilled as sailors and warriors. Their activities left traces for eternity. Over 900 of the most common English words come from the Vikings for example: sky, skin, scrape, skirt, husband (or husbonde) and window (vindue). Wherever Vikings went, they adopted the language of the area. They eventually became French, Russian, Scottish, and Irish themselves.Most people spent their time at home, farming and trying to run the matters in general. One of the main reasons for their success is the fact that Europe at the time had a hard time getting along each other. The Vikings from birth were taught how to fight well (and encouraged by their religion to do it) and how to operation a boat. When they started to take horses on board the boats, the Vikings were more or less invincible when attacking a town and now they have found, used, and traded timber, weapons, jewels, pottery, falcons, Arab furs, feathers, wheat, glass, spices, slaves, walrus ivory, soap stone, tin, gold, sword blades, hides, cloth, honey, amber, wine, silk, and fish.Laws of the late Viking period show that all free men were expected to own weapons, and magnates were expected to provide them for their men. The main offensive weapons were the spear, sword and battle-axe, although bows and arrows and other missiles were also used. Weapons were carried not just for battle, but also as symbols of their owners' status and wealth. They were therefore often finely decorated with inlays, twisted wire and other adornments in silver, copper and bronze.The spear was the commonest weapon with an iron blade on a wooden shaft, often of ash and 2 to 3m in length. It was used for both thrusting and throwing. The blades varied in shape from broad leaf shapes to long...

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