The Vikings lived all over Europe and even had a small settlement in Canada. Theylived from the 8th century to the 11th century. In this map, dark red representswhere they lived in the 8th century, light red in the 9th , orange in 10th century, andyellow in the 11th. As you can see, they gradually were spreading out aroundEurope. The green represents areas where Vikings attacked often but did not livein.
The Vikings were Scandinavian people who explored, attacked, raided, traded, and settled all over Europe. They are well known for there long beards, big axes and helmets with horns. They even traveled all the way to Newfoundland in their well known longboats. For about four century’s they were some of the most feared warriors in all Europe. They are also known for their legendary afterlife, Valhalla.
Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Vikings social structure is thought to be in three different classes. Class 1: Slaves, also known to the Vikings as Thrall, they were commonly captured in raids. Most family’s had one or two slaves, but some had as many as thirty. Class 2: The second class is called Karl, or farmers. They were the middle class Vikings. They had all available rights. Class 3: The highest class were called Jarl, or Earl. They were the Viking version of royalty. They were usually chieftain and nobles.
The most Vikings lived in farms. They were usually passed down through generations, so the one family would live in the same house for a long time. Most houses had a byre, to keep farm animals in, a store house supplies, and a longhouse where the family would live in. Inside the Viking longhouse was usually one big room, with beds of dirt on the side. The chieftain had the biggest house in the village and the most important. People would go there to practice religion and feast. The slaves would live with the chieftains farmers.
The Vikings with the most wealth in a village was the chieftain. Their houses were the biggest, with a hallway leading to the main room. Some Vikings had over 35 beds in their houses. They also had the most slaves in the village. They would lead raids, get the best burials, and were usually expected to die bravely in battle.
Vikings ate a lot of different foods. On of their main foods, living next to the coast, was fish. They ate, herring, cod, and haddock. If the fish was not eaten soon after they were caught then they were preserved using salt water or smoke. Fish were not the only thing they ate that came from the sea, as they also ate whales, seaweed, shellfish, and seals. They also ate things such berries, farm animals like sheep and cows, bread, oatmeal, cheese and milk, butter, nuts, and fruits like apples. They drank things like beer, wine, and water. They would collect a large amount of their food and drink in raids.
Not many Vikings lived in settlements, most lived infarms in the countryside. They would often live inextended familys. Parents, children, andGrandparents would all live together in a singlehouse. Most family’s also had a few slaves orworkers, who also lived with the family. On thefarm, they would usually have animals like cows,sheep, goats, pigs, horses and chickens. Mostfamily’s would have dogs or even cats. When hewas old enough, the eldest son would takepossession of the of the farm and become the headof the family and run the farm. Before that, thefather was in charge.
Viking woman were usually married between 12 to 15 years of age. The chief of the family, (older son or father) would organize the wedding and decide who was going to marry his daughter. The girl was never allowed to pick a husband. They would marry for wealth, prosperity, to stop fights between two families or make family’s stronger. The woman would bring her own bedclothes, a loom, and her bed as a contribution to the marriage. Richer would woman bring jewels, animals, and sometimes even their own farms. The children would inherit the belongings after the wife had died. Viking women would were allowed to divorce their husband if they could not take good care of the family or insulted the wife’s maiden family. The wife would divorce by gathering witnesses and declaring the divorce in front of them.
When a Viking was having a baby, it would be assisted only by other women, not men. These women were called bjargrygr. It means “helping woman”. While in labour, the woman would kneel with the helping women supporting her. She would then go to her hands and knees and the baby was pulled out from behind. People would play songs and chant while this was going on. Not many women died in childbirth.
Viking children had to be born strong. If there was something wrong with them or they were disabled, they were abandoned and died. Children were usually named after ancestors or gods/goddesses. Most Vikings died young. 1 in 5 died before they were 5. You were very lucky to live past 15. Most children died from disease. They did not go to school. They learned from their family. When they were 5 (if they weren’t dead), they were expected to do basic household jobs. Boys and girls were expected to work. When a Viking reached ten, he/she was classified as an adult. However, boys and girls had different jobs. It was the girls job to do jobs that keep the house running and boys had to work as farmers. Viking boys were usually sent away when they were young to learn skills of becoming a man. Viking girls learned their skills at home.
Viking Times Canada Adults at ten Adults at 18 No school Very good school system Boys and girls educated separately Boys ant girls educated together Lots of work Don’t have to do much work Bad life expectancy Very high life expectancy
BOYS:Boys were sent away when they were young to an uncle orwell known man in the area’s farm to learn the skills of beinga man. For five years, they would learn essential farming andfighting skills. They learned things like planting crops,taking care of livestock, hand to hand combat, and how touse weapons like swords, spears, and axes. They were taughthow to build longboats and furniture. Also, some weretaught how to read and write.GIRLS:Girls did not leave home. They received their education athome from parents or extended family like grandparents.They were taught how to make meals and make fabric andclothing. Like boys, they were taught how to tend to animalsand handle weapons.
Vikings had a polytheistic religion. This means that they worshipped multiple gods. Gods would live in the sacred place of Asgard. If the Vikings made sacrifices, which were usually animals, the gods would help them. Some well known gods were Odin, Thor, and Loki. Odin was the chief god, similar to Zeus. Thor was the god of thunder and is very well known to have a large hammer with him. Loki was the god of lies. Vikings would worship these gods very often. They were very important to them. Vikings also tried to die bravely in battle, for if they did they would be accepted to spend their afterlives in the legendary Valhalla.
Thor is the most popular Viking god. He is the god of thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, destruction, fertility, and healing. He is also in charge or the protection of mankind. Thor had the two things every Viking should have – strength and determination. He is well known for always having a large hammer with him. His father was Odin, the great leader of the gods and his brother was the evil Loki.
Vikings would make most of their clothing from wool. They could dye to several different colours like red, green, brown, yellow or blue. Men would usually wear a wool shirt and pants with a belt. They would wear a cape or coat over that with either boots or soft leather shoes. Women would usually wear dresses with tunics. She would wear thick socks and leather shoes. Men and women wore cloaks and hats to keep warm. Vikings often lived in cold places in Europe and wearing warm clothes was essential to staying alive.
The Vikings were skilled when it came to carving things out of wood. The front of their longboats would usually have a hand carven sculpture. They would also make things like jewels and decorations from metals like gold and silver. Vikings had songs and chants when it came to music. They would beat drums when they were rowing to keep a steady pace.
A popular Viking festival was called Yule. It was celebrated during the winter solstice. It was basically a huge feast that lasted two weeks. It was like the Viking version of Christmas. It is likely that this is how the song “Twelve Days Of Christmas” originated. They would have a pine log which they would decorate by carving shapes in it. During Yule, the Vikings would ask the Gods to protect them from evil.
Cole and I have spent a lot of time learning about Vikings. From things like Clothing to houses, we studied it. We worked hard on this project. We have enjoyed learning about the Vikings and hope you did to.