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Essay: The Viking Age

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  • Subject area(s): History essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
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  • Published: 17 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 611 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)

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One of the biggest historical events for the Vikings is considered to be the Viking Age. The Viking Age is a period in history of Viking exploration caused by raiding and conquering. The Viking age started in one particular moment where the Vikings got their horrible reputation. In England, ‘monks were killed, thrown into the sea to drown, or carried away as slaves,’ (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Age). Vikings then got the reputation of ‘wolves among sheep,’ (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Age).  ‘The population of the Vikings started to increase,’ so they tried to conquer land to make room for all of the people (http://www.viking-mythology.com/vikings.php). ‘The Vikings did not leave any land that they believe was uninhabited and left it unoccupied,’ (http://www.viking-mythology.com/vikings.php). The Vikings took all of the vacant land and occupied it with people. By the time they were settled on the new land, it didn’t take them long to be productive. For example, they started ‘cutting down trees, hunting down unsuspecting animals for meat and their products for trade and planting crops,’ (http://www.viking-mythology.com/vikings.php). Eventually when the vacant land ran out, the Vikings had to start to conquer territories own by others. ‘Due to the frequent sea attacks, many developments were made in developing fortifications in the forms of walled-in harbors and sea-facing stone walls,’ (http://www.livescience.com/32087-viking-history-facts-myths.html). These developments were ‘quite effective at deterring raids,’ (http://www.livescience.com/32087-viking-history-facts-myths.html). While expanding, they continued to raid lands like England. ‘The Norwegian Vikings were exploring the Western areas of Europe to Iceland and went as far as Greenland for trade and land,’ while all of the others were raiding and pillaging (http://www.viking-mythology.com/vikings.php). Vikings have been found to have explored all the way to Baghdad. No matter how far each Viking explored or raided they would return ‘to their homeland at the end of each season with treasure, slaves and goods to survive yet another winter,’ (http://www.livescience.com/32087-viking-history-facts-myths.html). Within the conquering and exploring one major Viking stood out.  Harald H??rfagre was not like usual Vikings. He didn’t do the usually exploring and raiding that many others did but he ‘united the disparate warring tribes of the Viking nation,’ (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/norway/history). Norway became united under Harald, when ‘he was victorious in from one of world history’s few civil wars in 872,’ (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/norway/history). He also didn’t rule like many other Vikings. For example, his inspiration came from ‘a woman who taunted the king by refusing to have relations with a man whose kingdom wasn’t even as large as tiny Denmark,’ (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/norway/history). He continued to extend his rule until his death in 930. Before Harald died, he planned and led an invasion. In 1066, the Vikings were defeated by the Saxon king, their rivals (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Age). Just like the Viking Age started in England it also started to go downhill in England. Not only did Harald’s loss in battle contributed to the end of the Viking Age, but also ‘the establishment of royal authority in the Scandinavian countries and the establishment of Christianity as the dominant religion,’ (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Age). One specific battle was the official ending of the Viking Age: ‘The Battle of Stiklestad in 1030,’ (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Age). The end of the Viking Age led into the Middle Ages with the expanding growth of Christianity.

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