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Vikings Essay, Research Paper


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Typically, the image of a Viking is a barbarian, bearded adult male pillage and destructing a adjacent small town. This is really the stereotyped point of view. In actuality, Vikings, have a really different image. For illustration, Vikings did non wear furred boots or furred armour, they did non hold horned helmets, they invaded Britain, and they besides were the first to detect America! They were besides experts in maritime engineering, trades, trading, warfare and many other accomplishments ( Jonsson 1 ) . With all of these traits, the Vikings seem like an unstoppable force in the European continent. But, who were the Vikings? The Vikings were really audacious mariners. This means that they were travellers who were invariably researching and looking for new countries of land. There roots can be traced all the manner back to 6000 B.C. were mobile work forces traveled in crude trades up the Denmark seashore. Fast frontward two millenary and these mobile people have established lasting places, but still utilizing the boat for nutrient and travel. As stated before, they were non merely plunderers, although they did make this often, but they were really adept bargainers, merchandising all around the universe. It wasn T until around 793 A.D. that a Viking detonation took topographic point in northern Europe ( Jonsson 2 ) . Raids began to take topographic point on neighbouring small towns and their topographic points of worship. To some this is the lone type of cognition they have about Vikings. However, their civilization was something to be admired. Trading, faith, and mundane life are all of import parts of a Viking civilization.

Trading was a critical portion to the civilization life of a Viking. This undertaking brought in many of import goods that the Vikings needed to populate an ordinary life. The Vikings were the international shopkeepers of their clip. In Constantinople ( Istanbul ) they traded silk and spices for slaves that they had brought from Russia. They Amber they found in the Baltic country and they brought pelts, teguments, and seahorse ivory tusk to the trading towns in Western Europe from the northern parts of the universe such as Greenland. The Vikings founded trading metropoliss in Scandinavia such as Birka, Ribe, Hedeby and Skiringsal. In Ireland they founded terrific trade in Dublin and, in England, they made the metropolis of York flourish to go the most of import trading town outside of London ( La Fay 149-150 ) . At a clip when old trade paths between Es and west through the Mediterranean were closed or insecure, the Vikings kept the trade path between Byzantium and the West unfastened by manner of Kiev and Russia. It s interesting to observe that Viking Gravess frequently contain Arab Ag, Byzantine silks, Frankish arms, Rhenish glass, and other merchandises of an extended trade. Silver coins from the Caliphate and Anglo-Saxon coins from England flowed into the Viking lands and farther stimulated economic growing ( 151 ) .

As stated before, York was one of the biggest trading countries for that Vikings. This brilliant metropolis for trade was discovered by the Vikings on one of their many foraies against England. The Vikings appreciated the metropoliss location and used it to their advantage to derive entree to other big trading paths. York grew and grew in importance as a trading centre throughout the Vikings rein. Today, it is one of the larger metropoliss in England ( La Fay 25 ) .

In the beginning, the Vikings faith centered on heathen rites which center around three chief Gods, Odin, Thor, and Frey. Odin was the God of warriors and conflicts, but was besides the God of wisdom and poesy. The brooding topographic point of Odin was the palace Valhall in Asgard, and was the topographic point falling warriors went to when they were killed in conflict ( Jensen 200 ) . Thor was the God of boom, husbandmans and mariners. When he rode through the sky on his chariot pulled by caprine animals, boom and lightening were all around him. The arm he carried was a cock, which was called Mjollnir, and he used it to protect the people from the monsters of the under universe ( 211 ) . The 3rd God was Frey, the God of birthrate, matrimony and growing. To delight Frey, the husbandmans placed staff of life, eggs, and some beer into a hole in the center of their Fieldss. This was their manner of pacifying the God, therefore leting their harvests to boom ( 213 ) .

It was besides portion of their faith to execute forfeits. For the God Odin, it was an ordinary event to execute a human forfeit. At three different points during the twelvemonth, a forfeit was made. At Yuletide, or Christmas, a forfeit of nutrient and drink was made in hopes of a new twelvemonth. Spring was the most of import clip for a forfeit since the harvests were get downing to turn and they were really of import to the household. And eventually, there was a summer forfeit thanking the Gods for the plentiful harvests, which was sometimes called a Thanksgiving forfeit ( Jensen 197 ) . Religious ceremonials were traditionally held outdoors in the unfastened air. Subsequently on, sheds or little huts were used, since they were in a cold country of Europe. It is besides interesting to observe the most of the church names ended with the postfix hov.

However, this type of faith was non the lone type used by the Vikings. Christianity was besides used among the Vikings in their later to middle old ages of being, likely get downing before 995 A.D. , which is the twelvemonth that an English travel and several other priests claim to hold brought the Christian faith to Norway. It besides seemed that the two faiths were populating side by side, coexisting together in one civilization. It was discovered that both Thor s cock and the Christian cross were placed on headstones of Vikings ( Jensen 107 ) . However, as clip continued, the heathen characteristics began to float off, but they are still seeable in our mundane life when we mentioned that yearss Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. These yearss are related to the Viking Gods like Thor and Odin.

Throughout a Vikings daily life, their chief concerns of the

household were on nutrient, vesture, and lodging. All members of the household shared in these undertakings, more on one individual depending on how affluent the family was. The household normally lived in big groups, with an drawn-out household. The adult male of the family, who was either the male parent or the eldest boy who took over the farms, was in charge of supplying the nutrient for the household s endurance. The married woman or lady of the house was in charge of doing the nutrient last, particularly during the long winters. She was besides accountable for doing cheese and butter, drying and smoking meat and fish, medical specialty, the farm animate beings, and the whole farm in instance of the adult males absence ( Wernick 95 ) . If the household was rich plenty to have slaves, some of the load could be placed on them. Slaves could be treated without respect and had no legal rights ( 96 ) .

Certain nutrients that the Vikings Ate included porridge, meat and fish, and shortbread and were typically in largely all Viking towns. The chief meat in the diet came from the domesticated animate beings such as beef, porc, mouton and lamb, poulet and goose. Sometimes the meat of hunted animate beings and birds, particularly cervid, hares, moorland birds, forest birds and water bird, was portion of their diet. The fish that was consumed came from the rivers and from the sea, though sea fish became more of import in the 11th century. Even shellfish was eaten ( Wernick 120 ) . Even though the Vikings Ate a batch of meat, they still needed the basic nutrients for endurance. The veggies we are familiar with today would hold been available in their clip, including scallions, carrots, peas, field beans, parsnips, Beta vulgaris and chou. A assortment of fruits and berries were eaten, amongst them plums, cherries, Allegheny plums, apples, blackberries, raspberries, running blackberries, bourtrees, hawthorn berries and rowanberries. Honey was used for dulcifying and was besides fermented to do Mead. Hop remains have been found in during the diggings of many Viking metropoliss, demoing that beer brewing went on ( 121 ) .

The vesture that a Viking wore during his life was likely made from wool. Consequently, the sheep was critical to their lives. Wool was woven into vesture by the adult females, giving them yet another occupation in the house. They used dyes from minerals and veggies, which in bend gave the apparels red, green, brown, xanthous, and bluish colourss ( Wernick 69 ) . Everybody wore many beds, sing the temperatures they had to cover with. Men foremost put on a long woollen shirt and long fabric pants that were held up by a sash or a drawing string. On top of this was worn a sleeved jerkin or a three-quarter coat with a belt. On his pess he would have on socks and soft leather places or long leather boots. In conflict he would have on an Fe helmet and a mail-chain to protect himself. Women, on the other manus, wore a long linen frock, either field or pleated. Over the frock they wore a long woollen adventitia, a small like an apron. It was held up by a brace of broachs, sometimes joined by a concatenation or twine of beads. Over the tunic she might have on a shawl. Her legs and pess were covered with thick woolly socks and soft leather places. Both work forces and adult females wore fur or woollen chapeaus and cloaks in cold conditions. The cloaks were fastened at the shoulder with a pin ( 71 ) .

Most Vikings lived in a type of brooding called a longhouse. The longhouse had normally one big room. The walls were made of wood, but normally in countries where it was plentiful, and the roof was covered with sod. In countries such as Iceland, where there were few trees, walls were made of peat blocks and wooden boards were placed on the interior of the walls. Benchs for sitting or kiping on were common around the walls. They were covered with pelts, teguments or fabrics for heat and comfort. Beds were merely used in the wealthier houses. A cardinal fire was the chief beginning of visible radiation and heat in the hall and there was a hole in the roof to allow out the fume. Wooden thoraxs were used to hive away furs covers and other family goods ( La Fay 50 ) . When it was clip to bathe, a Viking would take a trip to a type of privy near the farm. In some countries, it was really called a Sauna. Another type of lodging the Vikings used has late been discovered. They are called cavity house. The name reasonably much describes what these houses are. Vikings would delve a hole, approximately 3 metres in diameter, and so they built a roof on it. Sometimes, the underside would hold a round form, but other cavity houses have been discovered with a square underside ( 53 ) . The nice things about a cavity house that was utile to the Vikings is that they kept the heat in.

When compared to our civilization in the U.S. , we portion the same basic demands of mundane life, faith, and exchange of goods with the Vikings. In mundane life, every one of us is in hunt of the right nutrient, the best and warmest vesture, and the perfect topographic point to populate. Religion is still of import to the American people, merely like it was to the Vikings manner back so. And even today, the American people exchange goods through the usage of trading. However, in the present, we use plentifulness of money to acquire the supplies we need to last. The Vikings civilization can be seen as a manner of endurance. If they didn t work hard plenty to acquire the points they needed to last, they would decease off. So, the Vikings were more than a clump of wild work forces running about northern England destroying metropoliss and killing people. They strived to take a healthy life to the fullest extent possible during their clip. Many people in northern England who are posterities of the Vikings are proud to be a offspring of such a dominant and esteemed civilization.


La Fay, Howard. The Vikings: Washington, D.C. , National Geographic

Society, 1972

Jensen, Ole Klindt. The World of the Vikings: London, England. Berne

Convention, 1967

Wernick, Robert. The Vikings: Morristown, New Jersey. Time-Life Books

Inc. 1979