Who Were The Vikings?

By | January 31, 2019

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The landing of the Norsemen on the coast of North America in the 11th century. From The History of Our Country, published 1899. Source: (Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

Throughout history, Vikings have been characterized as a barbaric breed. They hailed from Scandinavia and traveled the Norwegian and Baltic Seas for the purpose of trading. Vikings were known to be pirates, often raiding other ships and conquering villages and settlements throughout parts of Europe. Along the way, they were said to have imposed their domination and pillaged Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Slavic settlements at random.

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Illustration of Viking trading port. Source: (thornews.com)

Vikings traded goods including furs, tusks, seal fat, used for boat sealant and medicinal salves.

Vikings are typically lumped into the category of “Scandinavian seafaring pirates and traders that raided and settled in many parts of Northwestern Europe in the eighth-eleventh centuries.” The earliest recorded Viking raids began in the '790s. They had a vast influence in Northern Europe and took advantage of their power.

The period of the '790s until 1066 is considered to be the Viking Age; roughly the eighth-eleventh centuries.