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CULTURE CORNER May 20, 2009

Posted by priscilaraposo in Uncategorized.
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(by Priscila Raposo)

The Vikings: 8th – 10th century AD

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In 793 the monks on the island of Lindisfarne, off the northeast coast of England, are unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of violent raiders from the sea. Their misfortune is the first clearly dated event in the saga of the Vikings – the last and most dramatic exodus in the long story of migration from Scandinavia, the original home of the Goths and Vandals.
The word Viking is Scandinavian for ‘pirate’, and it accurately describes the Norsemen who for two centuries raid the coasts of Britain and of northwest France. But in many places the Scandinavians also settle – in the islands of the north Atlantic, in the British Isles, in Normandy, in Sicily and in the very heart of Russia.

It is impossible to assign the various Viking groups at all precisely to places of origin. But broadly speaking, adventurers from the coast of Norway raid the north of England and continue round the Scottish coast to Ireland. Vikings from the same region later settle in the Scottish islands, Iceland and parts of Ireland.
The Vikings invading eastern Britain and northwest France, and eventually settling in both regions, come mainly from Denmark. The Swedes raid across the Baltic and penetrate deep into Russia as traders.

 

DID YOU KNOW..?

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…that Viking raiders founded Dublin during the 9th century?

…that About the year 1000, the Viking boarded a fleet of 80 “dragon ships,” which carried 100 soldiers, and launched an attack on Britain.

…that the largest slave market in the world belonged to the Vikings who resided in Dublin?

…that a Viking chief dreaded dying in peace within the comforts of his own bed? This was considered one of the worst ways to die for this group of people.

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