The Viking Raids
You have seen it all before: period movies showing a thousand or so extras in horned helmets, weapons and full battle gear fighting with each other in their quest to rule over the land. This is what might come into your mind when you think about the raids during the Viking Age in European history.
The Viking Age started from 796 A.D., and lasted for three centuries. This period consists of Viking warriors raiding, pillaging and sailing all throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
When Viking warriors left their homeland, they started conducting small raids through several lands in Europe. These Viking warriors are Norsemen who originated from Scandinavia. They were primarily seafarers with superior navigational, fighting and trading skills.
The famous Viking ships were instrumental in their success over the raiding of the European coasts. From the first slew or raids that they conducted in the earlier part of 793 A.D., they have moved on to explore the rest of the British Isles.
One of the most fascinating aspects in the Viking Age was the raid conducted by the Viking warriors. Just picture an army of huge, blond men who carry weapons to use for pillaging and raiding lands. The extent of their exploration, as well as their exceptional skills made the world-famous Viking raids successful.
Here are some factors that are believed to have contributed to the success of Viking raids:
1. The Viking ships
The ships used by Viking warriors during their time were truly cutting-edge. As compared to the ships designed then, a Viking ship is symmetrical ingenuously constructed. The body of the ship is long, the sail square and the hull or head of the ship built like a dragonhead. The efficient Viking ship sails through the ocean with sufficient speed and made it possible for these Scandinavian traders to sail through the coasts of the British islands.
2. The sailing expertise of the Vikings.
Another factor contributing to the success of Viking raids all throughout Europe are their exceptional seafaring and navigational skills. The Vikings were trained to use different methods of navigating from one coast to another. Their skills in crafting different ship designs also resulted to an evolution and emergence of other designs of Viking ships.
3. The conflict between the small European kingdoms during the Viking Age.
The success of the Vikings may be connected by the fact that the European nations were far from united during that time. The entire continent was subdivided into small kingdoms, making it easier for the Scandinavian warriors to settle over the lands, and pillage and raid the people. They often attacked farms, monasteries and churches.
The Norse or Viking raids all throughout England, Ireland, France and the rest of Eastern Europe all involved trading, raiding, exploration and settling on the land.
The Vikings looked for people to be sold as slaves. They also raided to get loots such as jewellery, clothing, weapons and tools. The Vikings usually launch a sudden attack, surprising the people, thus making the raids more shocking yet effective.
The start of the decline of the Viking raids was in 1066, when the King of Norway died. From here, the influence of the Vikings gradually decreased, signalling the end of the Viking age on that era.
Original Authors: Jennifer Tumanda
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 07/07/2008