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					THE VIKINGS!
Who were the Vikings?
• The Vikings were a group of
  people from a region of
  Northern Europe called
  Scandinavia.

• Today, Scandinavia includes the
  nations of Norway, Sweden,
  Finland, Denmark, & Iceland.

• During the Middle Ages, people
  who came from Northern
  Europe, like the Vikings, were
  known as Norsemen.

• They were most active during
  the years 793 AD to 1066 AD
How did Vikings make a living?

• Sailing
• Fishing
• Raising livestock
• Craftwork
• Beekeeping
• Trade: silver, gold, furs
• Raiding
Why did Vikings go on raids?
              1. Increased wealth and
                   trading within Europe
              2.   Fine treasures in
                   monasteries & churches
              3.   Political instability in
                   Scandinavia
              4.   Time of political unrest with
                   frequent warfare among
                   kings, nobles, & would-be
                   kings
              5.   Over-population (only 3%
                   of Norway’s land is good for
                   farming & grazing)
How did Vikings travel?
• Longboats:
  – Long & narrow
  – Carved prows
  – Carried 50 men
  – Bank of oars & a sail
  – Shallow keel allowed
    boats to travel up rivers
    easily & make inland raids
  – Made for quick getaway
Where did the Vikings travel and
settle outside of Scandinavia?
• Perhaps the most well-traveled of all Medieval
  Europeans

• North Sea, Baltic Sea, North Atlantic,
  Mediterranean Sea

• Visited & settled lands that would become
  Russia, Germany, France (Normandy), England,
  Scotland, Iceland, & Canada
How do we know about the Vikings?
1. runestones: large stones w/inscriptions written in
    runes (Northern European alphabet created before the
    period of Christian conversion)

2. annals or chronicles: histories written by monks whose
   monasteries were attacked

3. sagas: Vikings’ stories based on oral history (retold
   from memory). Ex. Vinland Saga

4. archaeology: bone artifacts from Viking settlements
   (Ex. Viking ship burials)
Did Vikings travel to America
before Christopher Columbus?
• The Vikings were the first Europeans to travel to North
    America.
•   A Viking named Eirik the Red discovered Greenland in
    985 after he was exiled from Iceland
•   Eirik’s son, Leif Eiriksson, was the first European to reach
    North America in 1000 AD.
•   He made several landings, including an area that he
    called “Vinland”.
•   It is thought to be modern-day Newfoundland, Canada.
•   The story of this discovery is retold in the Vinland Sagas.
•   Evidence has been found of a short-term Viking
    settlement in Newfoundland at a site called L’anse aux
    Meadows.
              Vy govorite po Rossii
    The Swedes went beyond the Baltic away from
    Christian Europe into Russia, Constantinople, an
    Baghdad.
•   The Swedish Vikings
    influenced the
    growth of the early
    Russian state
    around Kiev.
•   The Slavic people
    called them “Rus”.
    They were ruled by
    Vikings for a long
    time that the land
    was named Russia.
 What are the modern impacts of
 the Vikings?
• Days of the week:

  – Tyr’s day = the god of war
  – Woden’s day = the chief god
  – Thor’s day = god of thunder
  – Frigga’s day = Woden’s wife

				
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