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Vikings pres

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  • 1. The Vikings An ahistorical depiction of a Viking
  • 2. How do we know about the Vikings? • Sources and Contemporary Accounts • Vikings left many traces of their settlements that are still visible today. Archaeology provides physical evidence of their conquests, settlements, and daily life.
  • 3. • Not a lot of evidence survives, and much of what we have is either uninformative or unreliable. Many popular ideas of Vikings are 19th century inventions, such as horns on helmets. Few historical records and contemporary written sources exist anymore.
  • 4. • Surviving accounts of Viking activity was almost exclusively written by churchmen. These included monastic chronicles such as the Anglo Saxon chronicle, Frankish, and Irish Annals. The chronicles reflect the fact that Vikings attacked these monasteries for their wealth and the accounts had a hostile tone to give a popular image of Viking atrocities. The Vikings were considered heathens for their invasions in monasteries and as a result were portrayed in the worst possible way.
  • 5. One of the earliest Icelandic Manuscripts in Old Norse, the Viking language.
  • 6. Sagas “Saga” is a Norse word meaning tales. These writings provide almost all of the knowledge we have of the Vikings. • There are about forty sagas that include descriptions of historical events in Iceland and voyages across the North Atlantic from Norway, Greenland and Vinland (Newfoundland). The sagas also have records of family history such as Erik the Red who founded Greenland, and his son Leif Erickson who discovered North America.
  • 7. • The Sagas were compiled in the 13th and 14th century, and later based on stories that originated as early as 400 and 500 years before that. • Archaeology is proving that a lot of these stories have a good basis of fact; in fact the Icelandic sagas were used to help find what might be the site of Vinland.
  • 8. The Eddas • There are also Norse oral religious traditions written as poems that are collectively named as Eddas. • They are folktales. • Eddas and Sagas weren’t written on paper. Instead on vellum-sheepskin or calf skin. Vellum is more resistant to rot and preserves much better than paper does.
  • 9. What were their goals? • Raids and loot were not the An accurate depiction of whole story of the Vikings. what a Viking looked like. Land to farm was also a commodity. There were limited sources of food.
  • 10. • They received influences from Europe that they saw as technologically and politically superior to their culture. Unlike many other invaders in history, the vikings weren’t trying to spread their religion that was paganism, rather gain new resources and new connections. They wanted political and economical advantage.
  • 11. • Vikings had to find food, live off the land, and set up businesses. They drove people out and took their money and other valuables they had. Vikings targeted the church and monasteries, which were the major sources of wealth at the time.
  • 12. Ships and Navigation • We know what Viking ships looked like because many vikings were buried with their goods that sometimes included their boats. • They had swift wooden long ships, equipped with sails and oars. Figureheads would be • raised at stem and stern Shallow drought of these ships as a sign of war. meant they were able to reach far inland by river or stream to strike and move before local forces could assemble.
  • 13. • Ships had overlapping planks, and measured between 17.5m and 36m in length. They were steered by a single oar mounted on the starboard side. • Reached an average speed of 10 to 11 knots • Crews of 25 to 60 men would be common, but larger ships could carry over a hundred people. • Sea battles were rare. They fought close to shore. Ships were roped together in lines to face an enemy fleet.
  • 14. Battles and tactics • Vikings had no professional standing army and tactics and discipline seemed at little development. They didn’t fight in regular formations • Weapons training began at youth in hunting, sports, and raiding. • Aspiring warriors wanted armed service so they clanged to famous fighters in order to be rewarded with weapons and fame of their own. A leader needed to wage war frequently in order to keep his followers and maintain power against rivals.
  • 15. Battles and Tactics • The famous Berserker warriors fought in groups, and believed that Odin, their god of war, gave them both protection and superhuman powers so they had no need for armour. Berserker battles were intense and it’s said they bit on their shields and could ignore the pain of wounds.
  • 16. Battles and tactics • Many experienced vikings formed a wedge of 20 to 30 men and would then charge at the enemy. They fought mainly on foot. The largest armies may have been 4,000 to 7,000 men. After war Vikings would return to lives as farmers, merchants, craftsmen, or join other war-bands.
  • 17. Offensive Weapons • The main offensive weapons were the spear, sword, and battle-axe. • They carried weapons not just for battle but also as a symbol of their owners’ class and wealth. Weapons were decorated with inlays, twisted wire and other accessories in silver, copper, and bronze.
  • 18. • The spear was the common weapon with an iron blade 2m to 3m in length. • Swords were a sign of high status because they were costly to make. The blades were usually double edged and up to 90cm. Many swords were given names.
  • 19. Defensive Weapons An accurate viking helmet left. The mail armor shown right. • There were circular shields up to one metre across that were carried. The shield may have been leather covered. Around 1000, the kite shaped shield was introduced to the Vikings to provide more protection for the legs.
  • 20. Conquests • The first Viking raids were hit- and -run affairs. There was no coordination and long term plan behind them. The Vikings would later have more powerful forays and would have base camps where they would spend the winter. • Vikings raided the British Isles and the Western portions of the Carolingian Empire in France. They conquered much of Northern England in the 9th century, and they established a kingdom in Ireland. • In return for cash Vikings negotiated peaceful coexistence and conversion to whomever they attacked
  • 21. Maximum extent of the islamic conquests, 7th - 11th centuries (Green). Areas ruled by the Vikings or Normans, 9th - 12th centuries (Brown). Carolingian Empire at the death of Charlemagne in 814 (Grey)
  • 22. Conquests The Vikings reached Iceland and it had become a settlement for Norwegians and Danes. 982 - Erik the Red founded Greenland. Leif Erikson later landed on North America. The Vikings who went to the British Isles and continental Europe, were mostly from Denmark and Norway.
  • 23. The Swedes went beyond the Baltic away from Christian Europe into Russia, Constantinople, and 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. In Constantinople they helped form and were recruited as Varangian guards of the Byzantine emperors. Swedes were similar to all the other Vikings as they were soldiers, settlers, traders, and voyagers.
  • 24. What happened to the Vikings? Vikings became citizens of many places in Europe. Many had become Christians back in their homelands. This lead to the downfall of the Norse religion and culture. Kings instituted taxes and the economy changed so that you could get along better off as a trader than a raider. The Viking invasions caused European kingdoms to be more centralized and focused. European kingdoms learned how to protect themselves and gain by trading and negotiating with the Vikings instead of battling them.
  • 25. The Impact of Vikings • Many styles of the Viking ships were adopted by other European powers. • The jury of English common law was a an outgrowth of Viking ideas about community obligations and sworn investigations. • Signs of Viking influence are found in languages, vocabulary, and place- names of the areas they settled. • They had an impact on medieval technology and trade, and was an important part of Europe’s development.
  • 26. Bibliography • Fitzhugh, William “Nova Online: The Vikings.” November 2000 • www.pbs.org/wgph/nova/vikings/ last accessed May 15th • “The Viking Network.” August 2001 • http://viking.no/e/ last accessed May 14th • The Natural Museum of Natural History “Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga” • www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/start.html • BBC History-Vikings May 2004 • www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/ last accessed May 2nd • “The Viking Warriors” Cornish, Jim • www.stemnet.nf.ca.CITE/v_berserker.htm last accessed May 5th • Rosenthal, Joel T. “Vikings” 1997 • http://encarta.msn.com last accessed May 12th • The Russian Primary Chronicle “The Varangians” • www.dur.ac.uk/~dml0www/variagi.html last accessed May 13th
  • 27. • It was essential to wear thick padding underneath to absorb the force of blows or arrow strikes. Reindeer hide was used as armor. • They used long tunics of mail armor reaching below the waist. They were not very protective. It took many hours to produce a shirt, making it very expensive. It’s likely they were worn more by leaders.