We have arrived at
the museum ,please mind your head while getting down.
WELCOME TO THE
This page consists of info on the Viking
trade and Raid as well . So
scroll on down --~~
The word "Vikings" has been used to identify all the
people who lived in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden in early medieval
times. They earned the name "Vikings", and the bad
reputation that went with it, because in old Norse, the word Viking
meant "pirate", a reference to their raiding and pillaging
of settlements across Europe at the turn of the ninth century.
The mobility of their shallow draft vessels allowed the Vikings to
travel far up the rivers which flow into the seas surrounding the
European continent. The
Swedes seem to have specialized in trading down the river systems
from the Baltic into central Europe and so to Constantinople.
They called the place “Miklagard”, literally “The
Great City”. From
this trade route, luxury goods like silk and spices were brought
north and sold in specialist trading communities .
And from this one can assume that "Mikla-gard" (as
they called it) was the main
trading partner of the Vikings and traded in goods like spices
,cloth especially silk , they also imported items like wine and
other drinks of that time .To the Vikings Constantinople was also a
place to repair damaged boats and buy raw materials like wood
for the construction of ships.
Norwegian and Danish Vikings tended to look more to the west.
They traded and raided around the western seaboard of Europe
and its islands. It was
the Norwegians who explored and settled Iceland, Greenland and
finally North America. There is now no doubt that there was a Viking settlement in
it is not clear as to what items they traded in. It is
believed that when Leif Erikson went to North
America, he did so knowing that it was there.
It was likely that the expedition went there for wood more
than from the pure spirit of exploration.
It is fun to speculate, though, on a report that Cortez brought
back. He said he was
initially welcomed by the inhabitants of South America as a
representative of those pale-skinned seafarers who had visited that
part of the world centuries before .…….
It must have seemed like a continuing nightmare to the largely
peaceful settlements around the coasts of Europe and its islands.
Suddenly, in the closing years of the eighth century, the
Viking raids began. They often came in on the morning sea mists, their
shallow-draft vessels creeping quietly through the river reeds or
sliding silently up on sandy beaches.
Quickly, the raiding party would assemble and work its way
inland. Their early
targets were the churches and monasteries, looking for silver, gold
and slaves. Soon, these
were depleted and the raiders attention turned to the more
mundane victims of farm and village.
years slipped by, so the sea raiders came more and more
often. Sometimes, they
would stay over-winter and gradually the raids turned into
settlements. At one
time, most of England was under the Viking heel and they called
this part of the country the Danelaw.
the turn of the millennium there followed a period of state
invasion. Hundreds of
ships would turn up regularly each year with thousands of men.
They were intent upon making Britain politically part of
Scandinavia and they could only be bought off with ever increasing
sums of Danegeld, as it became known. 20,000 pounds weight of silver was a not unusual sum and it
proved a crippling load on the economy of the English state.
in 1016, the English Witan turned to Knut, king of Denmark and asked
him to become king of England.
He proved to be a good king and spent much of his early reign
giving law, settling the affairs of ravaged parts of the kingdom
and re-settling them. For
instance, there is some evidence that he spent a whole year in the
Isle of Wight, setting things to rights there.
the reign of Knut (or Canute) represented a decrease in Viking
military incursions into England, although there were sporadic raids
around the coast for some time.
The last great fete of Scandinavian arms in this country was
in 1066, when king Harold Godwinsson, last Saxon king of the
English, brought King Harald Hardrada of Norway to open battle at
Stamford Bridge near York. In
a decisive victory, King Harold broke the power of the Scandinavian
kings to wage overseas war on a large scale.
It was the last serious attempt by a Scandinavian nation to
take over the English state.
Our Last Stop On Our Journey Will
Be To come back to this museum tomorrow to learn about The
Viking Warships and Navy.