• Amanda Roraback



  • "Viking" simply means "raider"

  • Norse = north

  • Norsemen = Men from the north

  • Scandinavia = Norway, Sweden, Denmark

  • Skraelingar = derogatory term for "wretched ones"

British Isles

  • Attacked monastery of Lindisfarne in 793

  • Began the "Viking Age"

  • 878 Danelaw

  • Name to the part of England in which the laws of the Danes were more in use than those of the Anglo-Saxons

  • Agreed upon by the King of Wessex, Alfred the Great and the Danish warlord, Guthrum after Guthrum's defeat at the Battle of Edington

  • Alfred granted Guthrum the kingdom of East Anglia on condition that he convert to Christianity

  • At his baptism, Guthrum adopted Anglo-saxon name Ethelstan II.

  • Danlaw coins often included Christian sybols nd inscriptions and featured both the name of a Norse ruler nd n Anglo-Saxon moneyer

  • Others had Thor's hammer with the name of St. peter.

  • In 886, the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum was formalized, defining the boundaries of their kingdoms.


  • Caraolingian Empire

  • Danish raiders infested waters in Charlemagne France around AD 800

  • Danish king called Godfred laid waste to the northern regions of teh Caroingian Empire

  • Rivers (Seine, Loire, Elbe, Rhine) became routes to heart of WEstern europe

  • First seige of Paris 845 (ships sialed up Senie)

  • Defeated king's rmy and hanged 111 of his men as sacrifice to Odin, then occupied the city

  • How Frankish rulers tried to deal with Vikings

  • Converted them to Chrsitiantity

  • Became friends with their leaders

  • Pitted them against each other

  • Normandy

  • Norwegian raider called Rollo granted lands in northwest Frnce in 911

  • In return for converting to Christianity

  • and loyalty to Charles the Simple, king of West Franks

  • Rollo along the Seine

  • Stopped other priates sailing up the river to attack further inland.

  • As a Christian

  • Rollo would not attack monasteries

  • But he still sacrificed slaves to pagan gods (Odin and Thor) on his deathbed just in case

  • Nuisance

  • Rollo changed allegiances few times and became a nuisance.

  • Assimilation

  • Nordmanni ("Northmen") assimilated

  • Married local woen

  • Spoke local language (by early 11th c. no one spoke Norse language)

  • Region became known as Normannia ("Land of the Northmen") or Normandy

  • Norse place names around the coast (where Scandinavian settlement was most concentrated)


The Rus were descended from Norse traders 9mostly Swedes)

who crossed Baltic sSea and sailed up waterways

862 a Norse prince called Rurik established his base in Novgorod

Power center shited south to Kiev where they formed Kievan Rus



From 912 to 945 ruler of Kievan Rus was Igor, wife was Olga

Igor comes from Ivarr (a norse name)

Yngvarr and Olga come from Helga

Their son, Svyatoslav was a typial Slavic ruler

Worshipped Slavic gods Perun (thunder and lighttingin) n Volos (god of flocks0

Enemies covered his skull in gold and used it as a drinking vesse


  • William the Conquer

  • Descendent of Rollo

  • Crossed English Channel

  • shattered Ango-Saacon England in 1966

  • Normans were "Northmen" only in name

  • Bayeux Tapestry

  • Hairstyles (shaved at back and long at the front)

  • Normans hold up war banners depicting ravens (assoc. with Norse rulers and wariors)

  • God Odin was said to be accompanied by two ravens - Huggin ("thought") and Muninn ("memory")

  • rvens are carrion birds - emblems of croprpes and battles

  • Fest on flesh

  • Battle of Stamford Bridge (outside York)

  • Harald Hardrada killed by Harold Godwinson


  • Place names

  • Kirkwall, Twatt (cleared piece of land) and any island ending in ay)

  • Vikings assimilated

  • Vikings did not wipe out the pre-existing population

  • Some stone sculptures have Norse mythology

  • Like Sigurd the dragon-slayer or one-eyed god Odin

  • some stones have Christian crosses

  • Norse names

  • "by = farm

  • "thorpe" = village

  • "thwaite" = cleared area of land

  • others have mixed anaguae

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