The Viking Age Essay Research Paper The

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The Viking Age Essay, Research Paper The Vikings were one of the most successful groups of people, that we know of and enough about, ever to have existed on this planet. The Vikings were very unique and their accomplishments as a collective are astounding. The Viking expansion that began at the end of the 8th Century, gained primarily through their advanced naval technology combined with brute force, was so great that it rivals the accomplishments of the Roman Empire and in some instances the accomplishments of the Vikings belittle those of the Romans. This essay will explore, in depth, the Vikings’ expansionist conquests, their exploratory journeys and the ships that made their accomplishments possible. The essay will also touch upon the topics of Viking culture and their

way of life, their origins and homelands, their weapons, their religion and their legacy. “They were the Vikings, the Norsemen, the men who poured out of the northlands, and so formidable was their impact that they gave their name to an era. To this day, the period from the Eighth midway through the 11th Century is referred to by historians as ‘the Viking Age’.” The Vikings came from Scandinavia to wreak havoc on, virtually, the entire continent of Europe. Scandinavia is a term used to describe a geographical area in northern Europe which includes the countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and ,in some broader interpretations, it is said to include Finland and Iceland also. All of these countries are known for their harsh climates and landscapes. The Vikings,

characteristically, reflected their homeland environment: they were “a tough, virile and very lusty people”. Most Vikings came from either Norway(the Norwegians), Sweden(the Swedes) or Denmark(the Danes). Initially, however, it is believed that the Norsemen migrated north from the shores of the Black Sea. Written evidence exists, within the Sagas and the Eddas(Viking literature), that confirms this migratory path. There is also archaeological evidence that has been uncovered, from the Black Sea area, that collaborates these claims and further suggests that this is where the Viking people originated from. However, it was from the countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark that the Vikings began their piratical raids on the rest of Europe. The way of life exhibited within these

countries was one that had a self-sustaining theme that included agricultural activities such as farming and cattle breeding. These people were also hunters and fishermen who had the knowledge and ability to extract iron and quarry certain forms of rock in order to fashion whetstones, cooking utensils, armour, weapons, tools, etc. The Viking people were dependant on the trading of and for certain goods. Their chief export products were iron, whetstones and soapstone cooking pots. Salt was their major import. Archaeological excavations have shown evidence of homesteads, farms and marketplaces; the archaeological evidence found there suggests a common everyday life. As the Viking period progressed, society changed; leading Chieftan families accumulated sufficient land and power to

form the basis for kingdoms, and the first towns were founded. These market places and towns were based on craftmanship and trade. The Viking people demonstrated great craftsmanship and had wonderful artistic mentalities. This is evident when examining their weapons, ships, clothing and other art forms. Regarding their clothing, they had great skill in weaving and without getting in depth; their attire did not include menacing helmets with horns protruding from them. The great artistic abilities of the Vikings is showcased in “a most wonderful collection of antiquities which stand unrivalled in Central and Northern Europe for their wealth of weapons and costly objects of gold and silver “. “We find among their remains .repousse work of gold or silver, bronze, silver and