Usually they think of the Vikings as frightening people, cruel and bloodthirsty who lived only plunder and pillage, but this view is wrong. The history of the Viking people is much richer and more complex. As we discuss in this article: wars, conquests, kingdoms and trips are the hallmarks of this civilization . Where did the Vikings settle?
Origin of the Vikings
The Vikings have their origin in the Germanic peoples who inhabited Scandinavia in the Medieval Era . Specifically, they were peoples who lived in this region of Scandinavia between the years 750 and 1100 approximately. They dedicated themselves to commerce, crafts and peasant activities . Later, around the ninth century, they increasingly dedicated themselves to exploring new lands in search of treasures, they sailed the seas in search of new towns to plunder and thus be able to sell the loot, doing it by force, which made them terrifying before the European kingdoms. When they had the opportunity they established colonies in the conquered lands. There is evidence of Viking travel eastward to the early 7th century .
The Vikings were warriors and great travelers, both by land and by sea (his specialty) , roamed the seas in search of new lands leaving their home and so brought their culture in different parts of the world, being paramount for Europe.
Characteristics of the Viking civilization
The Vikings were a people with great aspirations, they dedicated themselves to war and the search for new territories, however they also sought political and economic stability, thus they founded colonies in different places and organized around the Assemblies.
- Less than 100 years after the death of Charlemagne , when the great French empire began to decline, the Vikings had founded kingdoms in Ireland, in the north and east of England and Russia, they also settled in Iceland . Where did the Vikings settle?
- They traveled west to America north and east to the basin of the Volga River in Russia . They also were among the first people to explore the Arctic .
- They settled in territories as far as the Byzantine Empire occupying places in government and in the army of this empire as mercenaries .
- They were polytheists , they believed in gods and other divinities. Then they gradually convert to Christianity.
- The Viking era begins in 763 with the attack on Lindisfarne in Great Britain, and ends in 1066 with the Battle of Stamford Bridge also on British territory.
Vikings religion Where did the Vikings settle?
The Viking religion is characterized by being full of characters from Norse mythology , gods who became very important to them . Some of the Viking stories relate the fight between the gods and also between gods and giants. Its main gods are the following:
- Odin : who is the most important god, considered the god of war and wisdom.
- Thor : he was the son of Odin, who considered himself the god of thunder in charge of protecting his people.
- Frey : this represented the god of fertility and peace.
In addition, the Vikings believed in women who rode with Odin during battles, known as the Valkyries, who also had the task of taking the warriors who had died in battle to Valhalla, considered the paradise of the Vikings , where they met with the kings. The Vikings also believed in female deities, the gods were not all men . For example, in Freya , goddess of love.
Subsequently, the Vikings became to the Christianity gradually , through the Middle Ages , about the year 1000, near the end of the Viking Age . This happened through contact with Europeans from the conquered lands. Not long after, Viking culture disintegrated between the 11th and 12th centuries, due to conflicts between the Vikings and the British. Where did the Vikings settle?
Where did the Vikings settle
The main route of the Danes was the west, although there was also a Norwegian presence. It had two variants. The first went north: England, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. The second, to the south: France, Spain, North Africa, Italy and the Byzantine Empire.
The Norwegians set out on the northern route, which led them along the northern coast of Scandinavia to Russia.
The Baltic Sea was the area in which the Swedes moved most comfortably.
The eastern route led from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and the Byzantine Empire. She was, for the most part, Swedish.
The North zone Where did the Vikings settle?
The Danes ruled for a century or so a territory called Danelaw in England. Later, for less time, the Norwegians settled, who were driven out by the Saxons at the Battle of Stanford Bridge. In a few weeks, curiously, the Saxons would lose England to William the Conqueror and his Normans, descendants of Vikings. Where did the Vikings settle?
In Ireland they ended up mingling with the local population. They even founded cities as important as Dublin, current capital of the country.
The presence in Scotland is so important that even the birth of this state was a consequence of the Nordic invasions. The Scotos and Picts united to make a common front against the enemy. This is how present-day Scotland was born.
They also colonized Iceland, which remained independent and somewhat of a democracy until the 13th century, when it joined Norway. From there they jumped to Greenland and an area of the eastern coast of Canada.
Vikings in the southern zone
In France there were attacks, looting and incursions along the entire Atlantic coast. Even Paris suffered Viking violence. But it was in Normandy where they settled, led by the leader Rollon. King Charles III the Simple made him Duke of Normandy and founded a dynasty that would eventually come to the throne of England with William the Conqueror.
In Spain it is remarkable that Ramiro I of Asturias managed to defeat them and expel them after they sacked La Coruña in the middle of the 9th century. They continued south and conquered Cádiz, which helped them to continue to Seville.
Still, they were no match for the powerful Muslim state of Al-Andalus. Some decades later they managed to attack the city of Pamplona twice, kidnapping the king on duty twice.
In southern Italy, the Normans began arriving as mercenaries and eventually found the kingdom of Sicily. Where did the Vikings settle?
Vikings in Eastern Europe
The Swedes entered Russia, Ukraine and the lands of the Baltic Sea. After colonizing its inhabitants, they rebelled and drove them out, but soon began to fight among themselves. Thus, they were called upon to bring order, and the Germanics became rulers of Slavs, Balts, and Finns. It is the origin of present-day Russia.
In the Byzantine Empire we meet the famous Varangian guard of the emperor, made up of Swedish mercenaries.
t is impossible to discuss in one article all that these peoples did, where they arrived (I have not named all the sites where Viking presence is known) and the important consequences of their actions.
And it is that the Vikings were one of the main assets in the formation of an era that saw the birth of present-day Europe. Where did the Vikings settle?