The Decline of the Vikings
The 300-year period of the Viking Age from 793 to 1066 A.D. was a colourful saga in the European history.
The Vikings were Scandinavian warriors who colonised, raided and pillaged the lands and coasts of Europe. Also known as Norsemen, the Vikings did not just go about raiding the islands. With their excellent voyaging skills, they settled across the different lands and helped improve the economy with their good trading skills. The Norsemen demonstrated their trading skills in the ports of Hedeby and other lands.
The Viking raids across Europe are the most interesting part in the Viking saga. The very first raid occurred in 793 A.D., when the Scandinavian warriors raided the Lindisfarne monastery. The Vikings often attacked religious places during that time because these monasteries were money-laden. From then on, a series of onslaughts along the British islands followed. Among these were in Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Greenland and Iceland. They also settled across the smaller parts of Southern and Western Europe, as well as some parts of Asia, America and Africa.
The long and well-made Viking ships were instrumental in the success of the Viking Age. The Norsemen possessed exceptional navigating skills. From the signature dragon-shaped hull of a typical Viking ship, they designed and built other ships that they used to settle, conquer and raid far-flung islands.
Europe during that time was made up of smaller kingdoms. The Europeans were struggling to be united, but due to lack of proper communication channels, it became easy for the Viking raiders to take over their land.
However, the Scandinavian warriors were not always successful in taking over an entire town of people. In England, the Viking leaders were killed, forcing the raiders to escape because the resistance of the people surprised them. This started when they attacked a monastery in Jarrow of River Tyne, England.
The warriors escaped only to have their crewmen killed by the locale people. From this reception, they moved on to Ireland, Scotland and the rest of Europe where the raids and explorations continued.
During the three-century reign of the Vikings during the Viking Age, the warriors did not just raid the people. On the positive side, they contributed a lot to the development and foundation of the great British Islands which are known today.
Take a look at some of the contributions of the Norsemen warriors:
1. The Vikings founded cities in Dublin, Ireland, Kiev in Russia and York in
2. The English language was populated with words of Scandinavian origin.
You cannot occupy an entire continent of people without having some influence over the language. The Norsemen left a legacy in the British language, with thousands or words and name places with a Scandinavian origin that are still being used today.
3. The Vikings greatly influenced the economy, the people and the politics of the lands that they conquered.
With their excellent skills as tradesmen and seafarers, they created ships, invented navigating methods and traded their products all across Europe.
With the killing of the King Haraldr of Norway, the slew of Viking raids started to end. Although there was no particular incident pointing to how the Viking saga has ended, the resistance among the European people eventually led to the death of the attacks.
Christianity was later on introduced in Scandinavia, which made the Vikings have a less savage attitude towards the people. By the time that the kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark and other European countries settled for a more peaceful environment, the onslaught of the Viking raids eventually ceased, signalling the end of the long and colourful Viking saga.
Original Authors: Jennifer Tumanda
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 15/07/2008