Presentation on theme: "THE VIKINGS Viking age – mid 700 to 1100s CE. The Myth of the Vikings Victorian Britain responsible for the modern view of Vikings Term “viking” virtually."— Presentation transcript:
THE VIKINGS Viking age – mid 700 to 1100s CE
The Myth of the Vikings Victorian Britain responsible for the modern view of Vikings Term “viking” virtually unknown until 19 th century Interest in archeological sites, sagas translated, searched for Viking bloodlines Wrote ballads and illustrated children’s books; envisioned Vikings with long blond locks, decorated horned helmet, flashing sword, and elaborate cross-gartering.
Who Were the Vikings ? Commonly called the North men or Norsemen From Scandinavia Farmers,traders and colonists The word “viking “means one who lurks in a ”vik” or bay, in effect, a pirate.
Who Were the Vikings? 1.Norwegian and Danish Vikings settled Iceland, Greenland and Vineland. 2.Norwegian and Danish Vikings raided then settled in the British Isles and Normandy 3.Swedish Vikings traded and settled along the Dnieper and Volga rivers.
What made them Successful? 1.Europe was weakened after collapse of Charlemagne's empire 2.Naval technology Drekar, or dragon-headed longships, were stealthy troop- carries. They could cross open seas under sail and then switch to ores for lightning-fast hit-and-run attacks. They could achieve speeds for 14 knots, were highly maneuverable and could navigate shallow surf and river estuaries. The biggest longship yet found is 119 feet long with room for at least 72 oars and a crew of 100. It had a draft of only about three feet and had a huge 2, 175 square-foot sail. 3.Took advantage of established trade routes 4.They were able to adapt their tactics from raiding to extortion Figureheads would be raised at stem and stern as a sign of war.
When Thorald was about twenty years old he made up his mind to go on a Viking expedition, so his father gave him a longship. Evind and Obir joined him with another longship and a good number of men, and they spent the summer plundering. There was plenty of loot so each man got a good share. That's how things were for a number of years - every summer they'd go on Viking expeditions and every winter they would stay at home with their families and parents. Thorold brought his parents a lot of valuable things
One of the earliest Icelandic Manuscripts in Old Norse, the Viking language. How do we know about the Vikings? 1.Ruins of settlements 2.Written accounts by monks monastic chronicles such as the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, Frankish, and Irish Annals. 3.Norse oral stories; “Saga” voyages to North America Family history of Erik the Red who founded Greenland, and his son Leif Erickson who discovered North America
Rune Stone Legacy Sweden, ca 1010-1050 “Torgard erected this stone after Assur, her mother’s brother died. THE GOOD FARMER GULLE HAD FIVE SONS. AT FYRIS FELL ASMUND, THE UNFRIGHTENED WARRIOR, ASSUR DIED OUT EAST IN GREECE, HALVADNA WAS IN DUEL SLAIN, KARE DIED AT THE CAPE, DEAD IS BOE TOO. Uppland, Sweden. ESTRID HAD THESE STONES RAISED IN MEMORY OF OSTEN, HER HUSBAND WHO ATTACKED JERUSALEM AND MET HIS END IN GREECE. Uppland, Sweden ca 11 th century. 20 stones along a casusway. JARLABANKI HAD THESE STONES RAISED IN MEMORY OF HIMSELF WHILE ALIVE, AND MADE THIS BRIDGE FOR HIS SPIRIT, AND HE ALONE OWNED ALL OF TABYR. MAY GOD HELP HIS SPIRIT.
Death Rituals Burials are our main source of archeological information Great man or lady merited a fully fitted ship Lesser men in boats, others had graves covered by stones arranged in outline of boat Buried with weapons, household utensils and food
The Viking Warrior no professional standing army fought for and with your jarl, king. aim was glory in battle The famous Berserker warriors fought in groups, and believed that Odin, their god of war, gave them both protection and superhuman powers so they had no need for armor – that was just the magic mushrooms talking! Berserker battles were intense and it’s said they bit on their shields and could ignore the pain of wounds.
Berserkers...men asked Halfdan to attack Hardbeen and his champions man by man; and he not only promised to fight, but assured himself the victory with most confident words. When Hardbeen heard this, a demoniacal frenzy suddenly took him; he furiously bit and devoured the edges of his shield; he kept gulping down fiery coals; he snatched live embers in his mouth and let them pass down into his entrails; he rushed through the perils of crackling fires; and at last, when he had raved through every sort of madness, he turned his sword with raging hand against the hearts of six of his champions. It is doubtful whether this madness came from thirst for battle or natural ferocity.
Offensive Weapons spear, sword, and battle-axe. spear – iron blade on wooden shaft, 2-3 meters Swords – costly to make; double edged; up to 90 cm.. shields - circular; up to one meter across; made of wood; may have been leather covered; coloured with simple patterns armor – sagas mention mail armor but few examples found Most padded themselves with reindeer hide helmets Defensive Weapons
Not much of a theology – gods were not all powerful or immortal. Norse view of the world was a practical one with little assurance for the future Immorality of a sort came if you died fighting warrior maids called Valkyries would carry you to Valhalla, Odin’s hall, to banquet on mead and pork until the end of the world. At the end of the world the gods will die in battle. Vikings converted to Christianity in the 10 th century Viking Religion
What were their goals? Raid and loot not the sole reason. Goal to gain new resources Gold, silver, slaves They drove people out and took their money and other valuables they had. targeted the churches and monasteries major sources of wealth Monks did not fight back, mostly But then they changed: it became easier to extort money. then they chose to settle in the lands they once pillaged. An accurate depiction of what a Viking looked like.
Vikings go West – Expansion and Settlement 960s Erik the Red exiled from Norway, moves to Iceland 982-985 Erik the Red exiled from Iceland for murder Sails and finds Greenland; convinces people to join him c 1000 his son, Leif Erikson, sails west and explores eastern coast –Find grapes, calls it “Vineland” –Return with lumber,pelts and grapes –Clash with ‘skraelings’ Natives L’Anse aux Meadows –First permanent European settlement in North America Vineland - too far from home, too many dangers Greenland - by 1350 gone - environmental changes, population growth, economic and climatic downturn
Vikings in Normandy - Settlement Vikings raids along the coast of France, Spain and even into Italy in 862. They attacked, plundered and left. 845 Charles the Bald, king of Franks, pays off raiders with 7000s livers 885 led by Siegfried, Vikings attack Paris; they appeal to Emperor Charles for help. Charles allows Northman to plunder the country of Sens and gives them 700 pounds of silver on the promise that they will return home in spring and not return. 911 Viking leader Rolo becomes vassal of French King Charles the Simple, who gives Rolo the duchy of Normandy and Rolo converts to Christianity. Norsemen settle in Normandy and become farmers, build cities In 1066 descendant William, Duke of Normandy, conquers Britain.
Vikings in Britain - Expansion 789 first Viking ships arrived on shores of Wessex. Local reeve sent to greet them and was killed on the spot. 793 considered staring point of Viking raiding with the attack on Lindisfarne –‘on 8 june 793 AD ravages of heathen men miserably destroyed God’s church on Lindisfarne with plunder and slaughter’ (Anglo Saxon Chronicle) Pillaged monasteries along the coast repeatedly 850s began to winter in England
Vikings in Britain – Settlement By late 800s had conquered almost whole of England Alfred the Great of Wessex able to fortify and regroup Retreated to Danelaw - area where the Danish Vikings settled. Late 900s rebirth and growth of monasteries and church building Economic stability = $$ ‘second Viking age” Raiding focus now was extortion
The Danegeld 991 - 4 500 kg of silver –Oleg of Norway attacked –Ethelred Unready collected tax 994 – 7000 kg – Oleg returned with Svein of Denmark 1002 – 10 000 kg 1007 – 16 000 kg 1012 – 22 000 kg –Ethelred drained coffers and then fled Swein’s son Knut becomes king of England, Denmark, Norway and part of Sweden. $7 million
Three Vikings Battles for Britain 1. Battle of Stamford Bridge Duke William of Normandy Harald Hardrada of Norway Harold II 2. Battle of Hastings Harold II Descendant of Viking settlers in Normandy William the Conquer becomes King of Britain in 1066 Last Anglo-Saxon King of Britain Claimed throne as kinsmen of Cnut. Defeated at Stamford Bridge.
Swedish Vikings - Expansion Traded furs, amber, honey, wax, weapons and slaves from Baltic to Caspian and Black Sea Occupied fortified towns where they could exchange boats –Novgorod, main trading center, ruled as princes –Kiev Known as the Rus Made 4 attempts on Constantinople (Miklagard, the big city) Greeks were impressed by the ‘ax-bearing barbarians” and hired them as mercenaries for kingdom Serve as emperor’s personal Varangian Guard.
Kievan Rus – Settlement Rurik dynasty began in Novgorod in 860s –Only ended in the 16 th century. 11 th century, Kiev commercial, cultural and spiritual center Sent emissaries shopping for a religion Islam demanded abstinence – Vladimir replied “Drink is the joy of the Rus. We cannot exist without that pleasure” Probably chose Greek Orthodox Church in order to strengthen his ties to Byzantium 988 - subjects walked into the Dnieper for a mass baptism.
Assimilation Yaroslav the Wise (978-1054) “ Father in law of Europe” Children –Elizabeth married Harald Hardraada, King of Norway –Anna become Queen of France –Anastasia married Andrew I of Hungary –Son Vsevolod married daughter of Byzantine emperor –Four sons had royal marriages Two to three generations in they borrowed Slavic language, customs and beliefs and married Slavic women 9-10 th century princes had Viking names, but later one’s were all Slavic They integrated so much into the local population that they left almost no discernible mark on the culture.
What happened to the Vikings? Vikings became citizens of many places in Europe. Conversion to Christianity lead to the downfall of the Norse religion and culture. Kings instituted taxes and the economy changed so that you could get along better off as a trader than a raider. The Viking invasions caused European kingdoms to be more centralized and focused. European kingdoms learned how to protect themselves and gain by trading and negotiating with the Vikings instead of battling them.