The Vikingss
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 The Vikingss

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مُساهمةموضوع: The Vikingss   2011-12-27, 15:41

The Vikingss

About the year 800, bands of fierce raiders began to attack
our coasts. They were the Vikings. They came across the North Sea, just
as the Anglo-Saxons had done 400 years earlier.

In time, like the Anglo-Saxons, they made their home here. They drove the Saxons out of part of the country and took it for themselves.

King Alfred, Saxon king of Wessex, fought them in a great
battle, but he could not drive them right away and had to let them have
part of the country, called Danelaw.

Where did the Vikings come from?

The Vikings lived over one thousand years ago and came from the three countries of Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Who were the Vikings?

Vikings were also known as the Norsemen. They
were great travellers and sailed to other parts of Europe, where they
traded, raided, and often settled

They were also farmers, fishermen, trappers and traders.
Viking craftsmen made beautiful objects out of wood, metal and bone;
Viking women were skilful weavers, produced fine, warm textiles.

<table width="360" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0"> <tr> <td width="462" bgcolor="#FFFF99">
Norsemen means 'people from the North'
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Many Vikings were great travellers and sailed all over Europe and the Atlantic Ocean in their long ships.

A model of a Viking longboat

When did they invade Britain?

The Viking Age in Britain began about
1,200 years ago in the 9th Century AD and lasted for 300 years. The
Vikings first invaded Britain in AD 793 and last invaded in 1066 when
William the Conqueror became King of England after the Battle of Hastings.

The first place the Vikings attacked in Britain was the monastery at Lindisfarne,

a holy island situated off the Northumberland coast in the north east of England. A few years later the island of Iona (off the west coast of Scotland), came under attack and its monks were slaughtered.

Soon no region of the British Isles (Britain
and nearby islands) was safe from the Vikings. They attacked villages
and towns in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and England.

No matter how many times the Vikings were
beaten, they always came back, and in the end all their efforts paid
off. It was the Vikings (Norse) of Normandy who finally conquered
England in 1066 and changed British history for ever.
Alfred the Great and Danelaw

Rather than face defeat, Alfred the Great, king
of Wessex, paid the Vikings (Danes) to leave his kingdom alone. He
bought just five years of peace. In that time the Vikings took over one
third of England. Then they returned to take Wessex. Alfred fought and
defeated the Vikings and their leader, King Guthrum, asked for peace.
The Vikings settled peacefully in an area of Britain which became known
as Danelaw
Other countries were attacked by the Vikings too

The Vikings also attacked settlements along
the coasts and rivers of Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and France. The
area they settled in France became known as Normandy, meaning land of
the Northmen

Why did the Vikings invade Britain?

Most Vikings who sailed overseas were
simply searching for better land for their farms. Their land was not
very good for farming. Norway was very hilly, Sweden was covered in forests, and Denmark had a lot of sandy home land.
Where did the Vikings settle in Britain?

The area eventually settled by Vikings was called the Danelaw .
It formed a boundary separating Anglo-Saxon England from Viking
England and was defined in a treaty between the English King Alfred and
Viking King Guthrum in AD 880. It lay north of Watling Street, a Roman
road running from London north-west to Chester and covered northern and
eastern England. It included counties north of an imaginary line
running from London to Bedford and then up to Chester.

The Vikings settled in:

  • Islands off the coast of Scotland -
    Shetland, Orkney and The Hebrides
  • Around the north and north west coast of Scotland
  • Parts of Ireland - Dublin is a Viking city
  • The Isle of Man
  • Small parts of Wales
  • Parts of England known as Danelaw

Place Names

We can tell where the Vikings settled by place names of towns
and villages today. Some of the names of places in Britain are made up
of Viking words.

Place names ending in –by eg. Derby, Rugby, Whitby, Selby, Grimsby
–by meant farm or homestead (village). These places mark the earliest Viking settlements.

Derby - A village where deer are found

Place names ending in –thorpe (or -thorp, -throp or –trop) eg. Scunthorpe and Grimethorpe
-thorpe meant

Place names ending in –toft or-tofts.
A -toft referred to the site of a house or a plot of land.

Viking Words

hus = house
holm = islet; dry place in a marshy area
orm = Serpent or Dragon

What religion did the Vikings follow?

The Vikings worshipped many different gods, but there were three that were especially important.

Odin - the leader of the gods - god of knowledge and war

Thor, provided protection from cold hunger, giants and other dangers.

Thor (Tor in Scandinavian languages) is the god of thunder.
Thor is also
god of protection against the Giants (Jotun; Swedish pronunciation)

  • the Rimturs - giants of the cold world; (rim = rime, thurs = thirst; Swedish)
  • the Bergresar - giants of the mountains; berg = mountain, res = giant; Swedish)

Frey (or Frej in
Swedish) - god of agriculture and fertility he was worshipped on a
regular basis all through-out the year for future prosperity. He was the
brother of Frey.

Freya - goddess of love and beauty

The Vikings believed that men who died in
battle went to Valhalla (Old Norse Valhöll, "Hall of the slain") and
feasted with the gods.

Soon after settling in England (Angle Land) the Vikings changed the religion to Christianity.

Interactive Activity

Information on Viking Gods

Viking Houses

people lived on farms. The Vikings lived in long rectangular houses
made with upright timbers (wood), wattle and daub or stone. They were
one room with a cooking fire in the middle. The smoke escaped
through a
hole in the roof.

Animals and people lived in the same building.
The animals lived in a byre at one end of the house and the people lived
at the other.
More about Viking Homes
History of Houses


Men wore tunics and trousers and women
wore a long dress with a pinafore over it. Their clothes were fastened
with belts and brooches. They made their clothes from wool and linen.


First invasion by the Vikings. They raided monasteries on the coast including Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumbria.


First raids on Scotland and Ireland.
820 Viking raids continue around the English coast


Wessex becomes the Supreme Kingdom


Great Viking Army from Denmark Invades England


Danes capture York (which the Vikings called Jorvik) and make it their kingdon (land ruled by a king)
871 King Ethelred, the West Saxon king, and his brother Alfred, defeat the Viking army at the Battle of Ashdown (in Berkshire).
876 Vikings from Denmark, Norway and Sweden settle permanently in England.


Alfred the Great defeats the Vikings but allows them to settle in
Eastern England (the Kingdoms of York and East Anglia) This area on
England becomes known as Danelaw and is ruled by the Viking King Guthrum.


Eastern England (Danelaw) is conquered by the English
950 Vikings from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Hebrides raid Wales, particularly the coastal monasteries.
954 Eric Bloodaxe, the last Viking King of Jorvik, is thrown out of York.


New Viking Raids on England


Olaf of Norway
and Sven 'Forkbeard', son of the Danish king, lead an invading Danish
army in an unsuccessful siege of London, and subsequently ravage the


King Canute (Cnut) of Denmark captures the English Crown


Edward the Confessor becomes King (A Saxon King)
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The Vikingss
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