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Viking Families Become Traders and Nobility


As new times did come along and it was very hard for the Vikings to continue their long journeys and other people out in the world became better to defend themselves.

Vikings started to develop their own Country instead. In the big Viking City Birka ,Bjorko the King sent some family's up North to establish trade.

Two of the families is well known the ancient Bure and the ancient family Hindersson witch origin was from Finland. The Hindesson family was later up north then the Bure

The term Viking (from Old Norse víkingr) is customarily used to refer to the Norse (Scandinavian) explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, and settled in wide areas of Europe and the North Atlantic islands from the late eighth to the mid-eleventh century. These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland, and as far south as Al Andalus. This period of Viking expansion – known as the Viking Age – forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, Britain, Ireland and the rest of Europe in general.

Popular conceptions of the Vikings often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and written sources. A romanticized picture of Vikings as Germanic noble savages began to take root in the 18th century, and this developed and became widely propagated during the 19th-century Viking revival. The received views of the Vikings as violent brutes or intrepid adventurers owe much to the modern Viking myth which had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations are typically highly clichéd, presenting the Vikings as familiar caricatures



Etymology

The Old Norse feminine noun víking refers to an expedition overseas. It occurs in Viking Age runic inscriptions and in later medieval writings in set expressions such as the phrasal verb fara í víking "to go on an expedition". In later texts such as the Icelandic sagas, the phrase "to go viking" implies participation in raiding activity or piracy, and not simply seaborne missions of trade and commerce. The related Old Norse masculine noun víkingr appears in Viking Age skaldic poetry and on several rune stones found in Scandinavia, where it refers to a seaman or warrior who takes part in an expedition overseas] The form also occurs as a personal name on some Swedish rune stones. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age. Regardless of its possible origins, the word was used to indicate an activity and those who participated in it, and not to any ethnic or cultural group.

In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, "Widsith", which probably dates from the 9th century. In Old English, and in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term is synonymous with pirate. As in the Old Norse usages, the term is not employed as a name for any people or culture in general. The word does not occur in any preserved Middle English texts.

In the modern Scandinavian languages, the word Viking usually refers specifically to those people who went on Viking expeditions.

The word Viking was introduced into Modern English during the 18th-century "Viking revival", at which point it acquired romanticized heroic overtones of "barbarian warrior" or noble savage. During the 20th century, the meaning of the term was expanded to refer not only to seaborne raiders from Scandinavia, but secondarily to any Scandinavian who lived during the period from the late eighth to the mid-eleventh centuries, or more loosely from c. 700 to as late as about 1100. As an adjective, the word is used to refer to ideas, phenomena or artifacts connected with Scandinavians and their cultural life in these centuries, producing expressions like "Viking age", "Viking culture", "Viking art", "Viking religion", "Viking ship", and so on. The people of medieval Scandinavia are also referred to as Norse, although this term properly applies only to the Old-Norse-speaking peoples of Scandinavia, and not to the Sami.

[edit]The sources

The most important primary sources for information on the Vikings are different sorts of contemporary evidence from Scandinavia and the various regions in which the Vikings were active.[6] Writing in Latin letters was introduced to Scandinavia with Christianity, so there are no native documentary sources from Scandinavia before the late 11th and early 12th centuries. The Vikings did write inscriptions in runes, however, but these are usually very short and often hard to understand. The contemporary documentary sources upon which modern knowledge is based therefore consist mostly of texts written in Christian and Islamic communities overseas, that had often been negatively affected by Viking activity. These texts reflect varying degrees of bias and reliability, but not more so than is usually the case in early medieval writings, and they remain very important. Since the mid-20th century, archaeological sources have helped build a more complete and balanced picture.[8] The archaeological record is particularly rich and varied, and provides knowledge of rural and urban settlement, crafts and production, ships and military equipment, and pagan and Christian religious artifacts and practices. Archaeology also provides the main source of evidence for circumstances in Scandinavia before the Viking Age.

Evidence from after the Viking Age can also be important for understanding the Vikings, although it needs to be treated very cautiously. After the consolidation of the church and the assimilation of Scandinavia and its colonies into the mainstream of medieval Christian culture in the 11th and 12th centuries, native written sources begin to appear, in Latin and Old Norse. In the Viking colony of Iceland, an extraordinary vernacular literature blossomed in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, and many traditions connected with the Viking Age were written down for the first time in the Icelandic sagas. The reliability of these medieval prose narratives about the Scandinavian past is often doubtful, but some elements remain worthy of consideration, such as the great quantity of skaldic poetry attributed to court poets of the tenth and eleventh centuries that was included in these writings. The linguistic evidence from medieval and later records and Old Norse place-names in Scandinavia and elsewhere also provides a vital source of information for the social history of the Viking Age Scandinavia and the Viking settlements overseas.

[edit]The Viking Age

Main article: Viking Age

 

The Gokstad Viking ship on display in Oslo, Norway.

The period from the earliest recorded raids in the 790s until the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 is commonly known as the Viking Age of Scandinavian history. The Normans, however, were descended from Danish Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in northern France — the Duchy of Normandy — in the 10th century. In that respect, descendants of the Vikings continued to have an influence in northern Europe. Likewise, King Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England who was killed during the Norman invasion in 1066, had Danish ancestors.

Geographically, a "Viking Age" may be assigned not only to Scandinavian lands (modern Denmark, Norway and Sweden), but also to territories under North Germanic dominance, mainly the Danelaw, including Scandinavian York, the administrative center of the remains of the Kingdom of Northumbria, parts of Mercia,[10] and East Anglia.[11] Viking navigators opened the road to new lands to the north, west and east, resulting in the foundation of independent settlements in the Shetland, Orkney, and Faroe Islands; Iceland; Greenland;[12] and L'Anse aux Meadows, a short-lived settlement in Newfoundland, circa 1000 A.D.Many of these lands, specifically Greenland and Iceland, may have been originally discovered by sailors blown off course.[citation needed] They also may well have been deliberately sought out, perhaps on the basis of the accounts of sailors who had seen land in the distance. The Greenland settlement eventually died out, possibly due to climate change. Vikings also explored and settled in territories in Slavic-dominated areas of Eastern Europe, particularly the Kievan Rus. By 950 AD these settlements were largely Slavicized.

 

A reconstructed Viking Age long house

As early as 839, when Swedish emissaries are first known to have visited Byzantium, Scandinavians served as mercenaries in the service of the Byzantine Empire.[14] In the late 10th century, a new unit of the imperial bodyguard was formed which traditionally contained large numbers of Scandinavians. This was known as the Varangian Guard. The word "Varangian" may have originated in Old Norse, but in Slavic and Greek it could refer either to Scandinavians or Franks. The most eminent Scandinavian to serve in the Varangian Guard was Harald Hardrada, who subsequently established himself as king of Norway (1047–66).

Important trading ports during the period include Birka, Hedeby, Kaupang, Jorvik, Staraya Ladoga, Novgorod and Kiev.

There is archaeological evidence that Vikings reached the city of Baghdad, the center of the Islamic Empire. The Norse regularly plied the Volga with their trade goods: furs, tusks, seal fat for boat sealant and slaves. However, they were far less successful in establishing settlements in the Middle East, due to the more centralized Islamic power.[citation needed]

Generally speaking, the Norwegians expanded to the north and west to places such as Ireland, Iceland and Greenland; the Danes to England and France, settling in the Danelaw (northern/eastern England) and Normandy; and the Swedes to the east. These nations, although distinct, were similar in culture and language. The names of Scandinavian kings are known only for the later part of the Viking Age. Only after the end of the Viking Age did the separate kingdoms acquire distinct identities as nations, which went hand in hand with their Christianization. Thus the end of the Viking Age for the Scandinavians also marks the start of their relatively brief Middle Ages.

[edit]Viking expansion

Main article: Viking expansion

 

Map showing area of Scandinavian settlement in the eighth (dark red), ninth (red), tenth (orange) and eleventh (yellow) centuries. Green denotes areas subjected to frequent Viking raids.[image reference needed]

The Vikings sailed most of the North Atlantic, reaching south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople and the Middle East, as looters, traders, colonists, and mercenaries. Vikings under Leif Eriksson, heir to Erik the Red, reached North America, and set up a short-lived settlement in present-day L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

The motives driving the Viking expansion form a topic of much debate in Nordic history. One common theory posits that the Norse population had outgrown the agricultural potential of their Scandinavian homeland.[citation needed] For a coastal population with superior naval technologies, it made sense to expand overseas in the face of a youth bulge effect. However, this theory does little to explain why the expansion went overseas rather than into the vast, uncultivated forest areas on the interior of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It should be noted that sea raiding was easier than clearing large areas of forest for farm and pasture in a region with a limited growing season. No such rise in population or decline in agricultural production has been definitively proven.

Another explanation is that the Vikings exploited a moment of weakness in the surrounding regions. For instance, the Danish Vikings were aware of the internal divisions within Charlemagne's empire that began in the 830s and resulted in schism.[citation needed] England suffered from internal divisions, and was relatively easy prey given the proximity of many towns to the sea or navigable rivers. Lack of organized naval opposition throughout Western Europe allowed Viking ships to travel freely, raiding or trading as opportunity permitted.

The decline in the profitability of old trade routes could also have played a role. Trade between western Europe and the rest of Eurasia suffered a severe blow when the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century.[16] The expansion of Islam in the 7th century had also affected trade with western Europe.[17] Trade on the Mediterranean Sea was historically at its lowest level when the Vikings initiated their expansion.[citation needed] By opening new trade routes in Arabic and Frankish lands, the Vikings profited from international trade by expanding beyond their traditional boundaries.

The end of the Viking Age

During the Viking Age, Scandinavian men and women travelled to many parts of Europe and beyond, in a cultural diaspora that left its traces from Newfoundland to Byzantium. But this period of energetic activity also had a pronounced effect in the Scandinavian homelands, which were subject to a variety of new influences.[18] In the 300 years from the late 8th century, when contemporary chroniclers first commented on the appearance of Viking raiders, to the end of the 11th century, Scandinavia underwent profound cultural changes.

In the late 11th century, royal dynasties legitimised by the Church were asserting their power with increasing authority and ambition, and the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden had taken shape. Towns were appearing which functioned as secular and ecclesiastical administrative centres as well as market sites, and monetary economies were beginning to emerge based on English and German models.[19] By this time the influx of Islamic silver from the East had ceased for more than a century, and the flow of English silver had come to an end in the mid-11th century.[20] Christianity had taken root in Denmark and Norway with the establishment of dioceses during the 11th century, and the new religion was beginning to organise and assert itself more effectively in Sweden. Foreign churchmen and native elites were energetic in furthering the interests of Christianity, which was now no longer operating simply on a missionary footing, and old ideologies and lifestyles were transforming. It was not until 1103, however, that the first archbishopric was founded in Scandinavia, at Lund (then part of Denmark).

The assimilation of the nascent Scandinavian kingdoms into the cultural mainstream of European Christendom altered the aspirations of Scandinavian rulers and those Scandinavians able to travel overseas, and changed their relations with their neighbours. One of the primary sources of profit for the Vikings had been slave-taking. The medieval Church took the position that Christians should not own fellow Christians as slaves, so chattel slavery diminished as a practice throughout northern Europe. This took much of the economic incentive out of raiding, though sporadic slaving activity continued in the 11th century. Eventually, outright slavery was outlawed, and replaced with serfdom at the bottom rung of medieval society. Scandinavian predation in Christian lands around the North Sea and the Irish Sea diminished markedly.

 

Blar a' Bhuailte, site of the Vikings' last stand in Skye

The kings of Norway continued to assert power in parts of northern Britain and Ireland, and raids continued into the 12th century, but the military ambitions of Scandinavian rulers were now directed on new paths. In 1107 Sigurd I of Norway sailed for the eastern Mediterranean with a host of Norwegian crusaders to fight for the newly established Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the Danes and Swedes participated energetically in the Baltic Crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries

[edit]Weapons and warfare

Main article: Viking Age arms and armor

Our knowledge about arms and armor of the Viking age is based on relatively sparse archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century.

According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons, as well as permitted to carry them at all times. These arms were also indicative of a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking would have a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, chainmail shirt, and sword. A typical bóndi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles, and at sea, but tended to be considered less "honorable" than a hand weapon. Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The Húscarls, the elite guard of King Cnut (and later King Harold II) were armed with two-handed axes which could split shields or metal helmets with ease.

Archaeology

Good-quality written historical sources for Scandinavia during the Viking Period are scarce, but the archaeological record is rich.

Runestones

Main article: Runestone

The vast majority of runic inscriptions from the Viking period come from Sweden and date from the eleventh century. Many runestones in Scandinavia record the names of participants in Viking expeditions, such as the Kjula runestone which tells of extensive warfare in Western Europe and the Turinge runestone which tells of a warband in Eastern Europe. Other runestones mention men who died on Viking expeditions. Among them are around 25 Ingvar runestones in the Mälardalen district of Sweden, erected to commemorate members of a disastrous expedition into present-day Russia in the early 11th century. The runestones are important sources in the study of Norse society and early medieval Scandinavia, not only of the 'Viking' segment of the population.

Runestones attest to voyages to locations such as Bath,[24] Greece,Khwaresm,Jerusalem, Italy (as Langobardland), London, Serkland (i.e. the Muslim world),England, and various locations in Eastern Europe.

The word Viking appears on several runestones found in Scandinavia.

 
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