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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.

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who were 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
How did Vikings make a living?
  • Sailing
  • Fishing
  • Raising livestock
  • Craftwork
  • Beekeeping
  • Trade: silver, gold, furs
  • Raiding
why did vikings go on raids
Why did Vikings go on raids?
  • Increased wealth and trading within Europe
  • Fine treasures in monasteries & churches
  • Political instability in Scandinavia
  • Time of political unrest with frequent warfare among kings, nobles, & would-be kings
  • Over-population (only 3% of Norway’s land is good for farming & grazing)
how did vikings travel
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
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
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
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
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