793 AdJan 19th, 2006
The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). During this period, the Vikings, Scandinavian warriors, leidangs and traders, raided and explored most parts of Europe, south-western Asia, northern Africa and north-eastern North America. Apart from exploring Europe by way of its oceans and rivers with the aid of their advanced navigational skills and extending their trading routes across vast parts of the continent, they also engaged in warfare and looted and enslaved numerous Christian communities of Medieval Europe for centuries, contributing to the development of feudal systems in Europe, which included castles and barons (which were a defense against Viking raids).
Viking society was based on agriculture and trade with other peoples and placed great emphasis on the concept of honour both in combat and in the criminal justice system.
It is unknown what triggered the Vikings expansion and conquests, but historians have suggested that technological innovations imported from Mediterranean civilizations along with a milder climate led to population growth due to a long period of good crops. Another factor was the destruction of the Frisian fleet by Charlemagne around 785, which interrupted the flow of many trading goods from Central Europe to Scandinavia and led the Vikings to come looking for it themselves.
The beginning of the Viking Age is commonly given as 793, when Vikings raided the important British island monastery of Lindisfarne (although a minor incursion was recorded in 787); and the end of the Viking Age is traditionally marked by the failed invasion of England, attempted by Harald Hårdråde, who was defeated by the Saxon king Harold Godwinson (himself an Anglicised Viking), in 1066. Godwinson himself was next defeated that same year by another Viking descendant, William, Duke of Normandy (Normandy had itself been acquired by Vikings (Normans) in 911).
The clinker-built longships used by the Scandinavians were uniquely suited to both deep and shallow waters, and thus extended the reach of Norse raiders, traders and settlers not only along coastlines, but also along the major river valleys of north-western Europe. Rurik also expanded to the east, and founded the first Russian state, with a capital at Novgorod, (which means, "new city"). According to one author, the word "Rus" originally meant "Viking raider", as distinct from the native slavic peoples. Other Norse people, particularly those from the area that is now modern-day Sweden, continued south on Russian rivers to the Black Sea and then on to Constantinople (which had been established in 667 B.C., and was re-named Constantinople in 330 A.D. by Constantine the Great). Whenever these viking ships would run aground in shallow waters, the Vikings would reportedly turn them on their sides and drag them across the land, into deeper waters.
France, "the Kingdom of the Franks" (a Germanic tribe who settled in Gaul, after the fall of the Roman Empire, and whose famous King was Charlemagne, who had re-united the Kingdom by 771), was particularly hard-hit by these raiders, who could sail down the Seine River with near impunity. The region now known as Normandy (after the Viking "Norsemen, men from the north") was profoundly disrupted during this period.
In 911, the French king, Charles the Simple, was able to make an agreement with the Viking warleader Hrolf Ganger, later called Rollo. Charles gave Hrolf the title of duke, and granted him and his followers possession of Normandy. In return, Hrolf swore fealty to Charles, converted to Christianity, and undertook to defend the northern region of France against the incursions of other Viking groups. The results were, in a historical sense, rather ironic: several generations later, the Norman descendants of these Viking settlers not only thereafter identified themselves as French, but carried the French language, and their variant of the French culture into England in 1066, after the Norman Conquest, and became the ruling aristocracy of Anglo-Saxon England. These Norman Viking descendants, although converting to Christianity, maintained their warlike nature, and eventually adopted chivalry, which joined learning to fight on horseback (like their Moorish enemies in Spain) with becoming knights or "holy warriors" of the Cross. One of their pass-times was jousting, or tournaments of armored knights fighting with lances (the Celtic "lancia") on horse-back.
Now from history I understood this as the Middle Ages, or a part of the Middle Age period. Which means dark and barbaric.
Viking is a romantic term made up in the 19th cventury by Romantics, so that shouldn't gel with the time, because they weren't called Vikings.
Heathen and Pagan are derogative from Christian conquest of the Asatru people,
and because Asatru is a term that is an Old Norse term I would say the Age should be called the Norman age like the Roman era or something?
What do you guys think?