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On this part of the Norway Wiki we are going to write about the Vikings. Post your piece of research about the Vikings - and add your own conclusion to the question:

Were the Vikings good for Norway?

Norway before the Vikings,

and

The beginning of them.....

By: Jessica, Patrick, and Maren

Maren:
The viking ages is known to have been during the time period of 790-1066. During this time vikings from Norway, Denmark and Sweden raided the rest of Europe in their legendary longboat ships. But where did these people come from? How did they become vikings? And what was Norway like before the vikings coloured our history with tales of great adventures?

Norway before the vikings:
Before the viking age there were several other time epochs in Norway. Stone age, Bronze age, and the Iron age. People in the stone age were known to be hunters and gatherers, surviving using stone tools and objects made from wood. It is not before the early humans discovered how to plant and grow crops of their own that they became permanent settlers. The bronze age is known because of the discovery and efficient use of(....guess what?) bronze. Bronze is created when copper and tin are melted together and form one substance. In the iron age we got even more sophisticated, learning how to use and form iron. We managed to make swords and other tools that were vital for the Vikings to be able to, well, be vikings. You might think, yeah right iron, WOW(sarcastic). But iron played a major part in how vikings were able to go of to all sorts of different countries to plunder, trade and explore. What would the vikings be without iron swords, nail(for the ships), helmets and shields?

The beginning of the vikings:
It's hard to say exactly when the vikings started and why, but people say the age of the vikings started when they attacked the abbey on Lindisfarne in 793. The vikings probably never planned to become vikings, but there were probably 3 main reasons why they became vikings:

1. Adventure- Living on the same farm from the day you were born to the day you died, doing the same things over and over again every year must have been rather boring after some time. Especially in the summertime when there was not really anything to do(crops planted but not ready to be harvested, and mending fences might have been a bit dry)

2. Stories- Anytime there is something unknown there are stories and myths surrounding the place. These stories probably had some truth in them, and the vikings wanted to find out how much. Tales of unimaginable richness, gold, jewelry, people just waiting to become slaves. How could you not say yes to explore these fables.

3. It was beneficial- After their first attacks the vikings must have seen how beneficial going on raids were. The vikings came back with everything the needed and more, it was like going on a shopping spree, except everything was free and it was waaaaaaaaaay more exiting. The vikings also had the opportunity to find new land. Norway was perhaps getting a bit crowded so you needed a new place to live.

Jessica:

Since Lindisfarne has said to be the start of the vikings I think we should have a look at the Island.

Lindisfarne is a tidal island found at the north-east coast of England. Lindisfarne is also called the Holy island. The name Lindisfarne or Farne means "retreat". The date of the attacking is quite precise, as they say it is the 8th june 793. Some say this is an incorrect date, so lets just say it was in june 793. The Viking attacked a monastery.

This description on what happened was written by the monk Simeon:

”Og så kom de til kirken i Lindisfarne, la alt øde med blodig plyndring, trampet på de hellige steder med skitne føtter, gravde opp altrene, og stjal alle skattene i den hellige kirken. De drepte noen av brødrene; noen førte de med seg i lenker; mange ble jaget ut, nakne og med skjellsord haglende over seg; og noen ble druknet i havet.”

For you who dont know norwegian it says that the vikings attacked the monastery and some of those who lived there. They stole things and violated the monks. Just in better words..

Two years after attacking Lindisfarne, the vikings attacked the other holy island, Iona.








Culture

Ghazal - Food, clothes
Ada - Religion
Julie - Language
Sarina - Weapons


Food


The vikings ate two times a day. Their first meal, (dagmál) was eaten in the morning, and the second was their evening snack, (náttmál) which was eaten at the end of the day. The times would vary, depending on the hours of daylight.

The vikings mostly consumed food like:
Beef, lamb, goat, pork, horse, deer, hare, whales, fish, apples, berries and plums.

For preparing their food, they used a special fireplace or hearth for cooking in a clay or soapstone pot. The fire itself was called ''máleldr'' which means meal-fire.
Reconstruction showing how suspended clay pots were used in cooking over an open fire.
Reconstruction showing how suspended clay pots were used in cooking over an open fire.

Did you know...?

Alcoholic drinks were very often consumed, because it was a good way to preserve carbohydrate calories for the cold winter weather, and consisted usually of ale. They sometimes used hops and/or bog myrtle to flavor the ale.


Clothes

The viking men used a set of woolen shirt and trousers under their normal clothes, which was a sleeved jerkin

or a three-quarter coat, and a belt. On their feet they would use socks and soft leather shoes of long leather boots.


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The viking women wore a long linen dress which was either plain or pleated. Over that, they'd wear a

woolen tunic, a bit like an apron. Their legs were covered with woollen sock and leather shoes that kept

warm all winter.


Religion


Vikings believed that the earth was created by the skull of the giant “Yme” his blood made the sea and his knuckles and teeth made cliffs and mountains.
Before Christianity beacame the most common religion in Norway the vikings believed in many gods and their gods lived in "Åsgård", and were called "Æser", the gods looked just like humans, but were much bigger and stronger." Jotunheimen" was the home of "Jotnene", They were big giants and enemies of the Æser.
The vikings had to sacrefice thing to the gods, so that everything should go well. They killed animals at "hov" and painted the remaining blood over the walls, afterwards they cooked the meat and had a fiest to honour the gods.
Tor the thundergod, who made thunder and lightning with his hammer, was the god of all fishermen and farmers. Odin was the god of the warriors, and also wisdom. He owned a horse with eight legs and two ravens. He lived in Valhall which is where every fallen warrior goes. Everyone who died at "Valplassen" would get the honour of sitting by his table.


Language


The language of the Vikings was known as dönsk tunga (the Danish tongue) or Old Norse. It is the root language for our modern Scandinavian languages, as well as being closely linked to our moden English, Dutch and German languages.
The written language of the Vikings used an alphabet which is more than slightly different to our modern-day alphabet. Known as the futhork runic alphabet, it consisted of 24 letters to start with, but was then changed to 16 letters, to make it more simple.


Weapon Offensive

The vikings used the spear, sword and battle axe, bows, arrows and other missiles as their main offensice weapons.

The weapons weren't only carried around for protection, but also to show the status and wealth of the person. Therefore it was often decorated with wires and carved symbols.

Shields

Their shield was traditionally made of linden wood and would last no longer than one battle. Towards the end of the Viking age, the shields became wider, providing better protection for the legs.

Armour

The most common armour at the Viking age, was the mail shirt. It was made from iron rings which were punched from wound or plates from drawn wire.

------END OF CULTURE SECTION------

War tactics of the Vikings

One of the most famous Viking tactics was the berserk. The berserker would get high on mushrooms then run with bears skins and spears towards the enemy and go into a frenzy killing everything around them and severely damaging the enemies numbers and courage so when the actual army came they would be full of fear and dread.

Another tactic they used was the boar formation which was that they would go into groups from about 5-10 and walk in as spear formation where there flanks were protected and anything in front of them would fall for their axes and spears.

Even though they seemed ruthless and disorganised they had very planned war tactics.


Tactic(Ahmad)
Vikings had no tactics on the battleground, they just attacked without ant strategy and they believed that Odin help them to defeat the opponent side. They rushed and run straight on people. They did not wait for others to get ready and fight. If they saw an opponent while sleeping or something. They just annihilated them and killed them. Also they robed them.

By Kevin and Bruno

The End of the Vikings


After roaming great parts of Europe for almost 500 years, the Viking Age took to an end in year 1263, when the last great viking king, Hakon Hakonarson was defeated in Scotland at the Battle of Largs following the failed viking invasion in 1066 at Stamford Bridge in England. However, most Scandinavian historians claim that the Viking Age ended at the establishment of Christianity as the dominant religion and the establishment of a royal authority somewhere in the 11th century.
Considered one of the primary reasons to the decline of viking raids was the Christianisation of Norway which took place between the 9th and 12th century, which was described by Snorri Sturluson, an icelandic historian, poet and politician, as a brutal process. Those who did not give up paganism were banished and had both hands and feet cut off, and many were also hanged, as explained in St. Olaf's saga. Though the Christian religion was established as the main religion in Norway, it took considerably longer for actual Christian beliefs to establish themselves among the people¹, as the previous Norse Gods had provided them with structure and security for centuries.
As well as the establishment of Christianity across Scandinavia, a central authority and improved coastal defence, ensured a decline in Viking raids, and when slavery, which was significant in viking trade, was discouraged by the church, the viking era slowly came to a halt, before the final defeat in Scotland and at Stamford Bridge, England. After centuries of plunder and trade, the Viking Age fell at the rise of the civilised world.

There are a lot of traces from the Viking Age, including sagas, many written by the Islandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson, as well as linguistic effects on the English language and archeological discoveries such as houses, burial sites, runes and other carvings on stone. During the Viking Age, the runic alphabet, also called Futhark (named after the first seven letters of the runic alphabet) was utilised to communicate, as well as the spoken language at the time. The runic letters would be engraved into pieces of rock and stone, later to be discovered by archeologists today. Upon these stones, Runestones, the participants of viking raids might have been engraved, or important events, such as the extensive warfare in Western Europe. Not only have they become an important resource for further research of the Vikings, but also the Norse belief and medieval Scandinavia.
In addition to archeological discoveries, the Viking settlement in England had great effects on the English language. No less than a thousand English words have proven to be of Scandinavian influence, many of which had sk- sounds, such as skirt, sky, and skin. Other words originating from Scandinavian influence include: landing, score, beck, fellow, take, busting, steersman, again, awkward, birth, cake, dregs, fog, freckles, gasp, law, moss, neck, ransack, root, scowl, sister, seat, sly, smile, want, weak, and window. In addition to common English words, many locations in England bear Norse or Scandinavian names, such as Grimsby, Naseby and Whitby. (The term by meaning town.)

References



1. Schön, Ebbe. (2004). Asa-Tors hammare, Gudar och jättar i tro och tradition. Fält & Hässler, Värnamo.
2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. www.wikipedia.org





Exploration

We should all write 100 words each!!!!!!

The Vikings journeys
The Vikings main transport were the impressive ships which were the best ships in the ocean during this time. For this reason the Vikings mostly explored the coast lines of countries, but they also went into canals to come deeper into countries, also some times they went into the open ocean to get to places like Iseland, Greenland and America also known as Vinland.

The Vikings were manly in England and France where there is recorded most plunderers with a total of 94 in England and 214 in France which is most likely on the mild side since not everything is recorded. The adventurous Vikings also went to other close places like Germany,Nerdeland, Luxembourg and Belgian. Sometimes though the adventure lasted longer and got them to places like Spain, Portugal, Marokko, Italy and Tyrkia.

Leif Eriksson is probably the best known explorer from the Viking age. He was born in about 973 and died about 1020. He is known for discovering North America in about year 1000. It is said that LeifEriksson and his crew were the first European people to take foot on America. Leif Eriksson arrived in Newfoundland. His journey started in Greenland and went from there to a location close to Cape Aston which he called "Helleland" after being there for some time he went further south and arrived at a place which he called "Markland" which was actually full of forest and sandy beaches so for farming this was no good place to be. This is located around to days "Labrador" at the east coast of Canada. After being there for some time he and his crew sailed further south for two days before they finally came to what he calledVinland which had nice farm land and plenty of fish. Here Leif Erikson decided to stay for the Winter and build himself a shelter. Leif Erikson never staid there for ever because of the Indians who constantly attacked them.

George:
With all forms of exploration comes new discovery and items to be traded. The Vikings traded all over Europe, and as far east as Central Asia! They were great explorers travelling far and vast distances.

The Vikings looked for goods and materials such as silver, silk, spices, wine, jewellery, glass and pottery. In return, they sold items such as honey, tin, wheat, wool, wood, iron, fur, leather, fish and walrus ivory. They made many deals all over the world and traded with many cultures and people.

Everywhere the Vikings travelled, they bought and sold slaves. Traders of the Vikings and most traders in fact all carried folding scales. These folding scales were for weighing coins to make sure that they always got a fair deal.

The Vikings were brave and somewhat described as ‘fearless’ sailors and also extremely talented explorers. Families were ready to risk their lives on long, dangerous journeys to find new land to farm and start a new.

Although the Vikings are stereotyped for their aggressive, brutal and vulgar behaviour, they were also very respectable farmers and cared passionately about their jobs and family.

Vikings settled in Britain, but also sailed out into the North Atlantic Ocean and south to the Mediterranean Sea in their handcrafted longboats. They sailed to the Faeroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland.

A Viking ship was small very small in comparison to our modern day cargo ships. A Viking ship typically weighed in at only 20 tonnes as for the cargo ships, they weigh in at more 100,000 tonnes! But brave Vikings still sailed their ships far across the oceans in their small wooden boats, they were probably the most advanced ships of the time sailed by the most advanced warriors.

The Vikings typically found their way by looking for landmarks, such as islands and distant mountains. This was a very clever technique and is partially what made their mapping skills so successful.

To conclude from my section, you can notice that the Vikings were very talented warriors and explorers; they travelled to many countries and islands all over the world trading goods and slaves.

The Vikings were an essential part of Norwegian history and the modern Norway as its known today would probably not exist if it wasn’t for the Vikings.
Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk



Katja:
Eirik Raude was one of the brave vikings that went even further than Iceland on his adventures. He lived in Norway late 900 but killed two men and had to get away from Norway so he wouldn't be killed himself, so he went to Iceland. On Iceland he killed two more men and had to go away from there for three years, so instead of going to the Faroe islands or Ireland (the closest countries) Eirik went exploring for a new country! He found Greenland and settled. After the three years of exile he went back to Iceland and brought hundreds of ship and people with him. The people who survived the trip stayed on Greenland.


Sources
http://www.arild-hauge.com/reiser.htm
http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leiv_Eiriksson
http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking
Aschehoughs Illustrerte Norgeshistorie by Unni LøkkeBø and Margit Løyland.
Hallvard, George, Ayoub & Katja.



EVERYDAY LIFE OF THE VIKINGS


Leo, Saria, Marie and Axel

Introduction (Axel)
Vikings were actually quite normal people, and their everyday life much resembles that of todays farmers. In those days, there was very little, if any at all, infrastructure, and people had to find a way to survive without the help of a government. Because of that, most people set out to find a place to farm, build a house, and have a family. Most of the men would only go out and plunder during the summer, and the ones that plundered the most often would usually end up as chief or king.Vikings are often thought of as vicious, careless beasts, but that is because most people only know about their raids in foreign countries. This is why it is very important that people learn about the everday side of the vikings, so that they realize they were so much more than that.




Houses (Axel)
The viking houses contained very few objects, and pretty much everything people that lived there owned they had made themselves; their clothes, their childrens toys, their weapons. There were a few exceptions, like objects made of iron and necklaces, but most things were made by the owners of the houses themselves.
The houses were moslty made from wood, in rare cases rock. They were in a rectangular shape, they could be up to 83 meters long, but usually only 5 meters wide. Up to 50 people would live in the same house.
There would also usually be a stable close to the house where animals would be kept. The "arne" was the midpoint of the house, and this is where the cooking was done, where the heat came from and also the light.
This is how a viking house might look:

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(Sources: http://www.vikingdenmark.com/viking-houses-architecture-inside-layout.html, the book "Vikingens Verden")


Food (Axel)

The food the vikings ate consisted mostly of meat and fish. They would get meat from their own cows, sheep, pigs, goats and chicken.
The meat and fish were smoked, dried and salted during the summer and autumn to last through the cold winter months.
The meat was usually cooked in a homemade pottery or in an iron pot over a fire. In some cases it would be roasted.
Bread was baked using barley, rye and "belgfrø" (in more rare cases wheat).
Vegetables were grown in the fields, and berries, together with other fruits, were picked in the forest.
Cheese was, of course, made from the milk from cows, sheep and goats, probably as a way to use the surplus of milk production from the animals.
(Sources: the book "Vikingenes Verden")


There were three classes of people in the Viking world- upper-class vikings called Jarls (origin of the word earl), merchants,farmers and craftsmen who were called Karls, and slaves called thralls. Jarls and Karls enjoyed a nice, comfortable life while thralls had no rights, and were sold like cattle.Most Vikings lived in farms, rather than in towns. Most families had at least one cattle.The merchants made their living by trading with the Byzantine Empire in west Asia and northern Africa, exporting fur, honey, beeswax, and walrus tusks for silk, glass, spices, wool and wine. Viking Craftsmen, who were also Karls, included black/bronzesmiths, leather tanners, saddlers, coopers, shoemakers, jewellers and so on. Viking women and children did the necessary jobs around the home, like collecting firewood, weaving cloths, and making food, which took a long time to do.For viking farmers (which there was a lot of), dosmetic animals were very important because they were the Viking's source to meat and transportation on land. Horses were especially important. They also grew wheat, barley, oats, and vegetables such as onions, beans and cabbages.Viking lived in houses made out of wood, stones, blocks etc., and the houses were rectangular with sloping roofs. The floor was often dug below ground-level to keep out the draughts. Most of the houses had one big room for the family to share, but rich vikings had houses with an entrance hall, living room, kitchen, bedroom and storage. The Vikings didn't have so much furniture, only some like tables and wooden beds. There were no bathrooms inside the houses, so the vikings had to go outside to pits dug in the ground, called cess-pits. (Marie)


Let's have some rather nasty Viky Business shall we? Just as now, men and women were pretty different in many ways in our society. First of all it was normal for the Viking men to take slave women, and have them do the nastiest of jobs. Isn't life fair. The men would even allow themselves the use of rape if they weren't satisfied in some way, but this wasn't too often of an occurance. What a wonderful world. Here's a real nasty thing; when men did something considered criminal they were often castrated... With no nothing. No relaxant no nothing, just a quick chop and that was all. They most probably died of infection or bleeding to death after that. Women were punished in cruel ways too, for instance torture. Always look on the bright side of life. Another form of punishment was being banned from the hood, which would usually result in you starving to death. Food, glorious food!

Talking about the way the Vikings had it, what about their ways of war were. These guys would wear chain mails and as tradition goes, work themselves into a frenzy (berserk) before a fight. Which is also where we get our word berserk. It is not known how they got the frenzy, but by guessing we could say they used some kind of drugs.

These guys were smart too. Fish was a vital food resource. Cod and herring was a favourite. Raising pigs, cattle, sheeps and goats were also common, sheeps and goats were used for the milk. Vikings had geese and chickens too, but the vikings could not grow enough food to keep their tummy full druring the harsh winter, so in autumn they killed many animals and salted/smoked the meat to preserve it. Not bad for being so long ago. (Leo)

Hallvard, George, Ayoub & Katja.