Viking

Viking Assault on the British Isles

British Viking 15 Min Read

The Assault on Ireland (794–847) They came mostly from modern Norway by way of the Shetlands and Orkneys. From these archipelagos it was only a short jump to Caithness at the northern tip of Scotland, then either down the east coast to Northumbria and East Anglia or down the west coast through the Hebrides to the Isle of Man and…

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Navigation Trade Viking 18 Min Read

Viking Exploration and Colonization

Exploration and Colonization in the North Atlantic (870–1000) At about the same time that Alfred was beginning his heroic defence of Wessex against the great army (c.870), intrepid Norwegian mariners began exploring the ‘islands’ of the North Atlantic known to the ancients and contemporary historians like Bede as Thule –…

Naval History Viking 25 Min Read

The Viking Onslaught

The reign of Charlemagne, however, would witness the beginnings of the Viking Age, aiding in the deterioration of centralized government in the Frankish realms and the rise of what is often defined as Feudalism in Europe. The Anglo-Saxons commonly called them ‘Danes’ or ‘heathens’. To the Franks, they were simply…

France Viking 25 Min Read

The Viking “Great Army”

The Operations of the ‘Great Army’ in Britain (865–79) The term ‘great army’, employed by several contemporary sources to describe this unusually large assemblage of Norse raiders, implies a huge horde of perhaps tens of thousands, but it most probably was not. Although no precise figures are given, it is…

British Viking 21 Min Read

The Danish Conquest of England (980–1016)

England, 878 The final chapter in the Viking saga unfolded as a decades-long competition among kings for control of England amidst a royal rivalry for the north. Though most of the key players were of Scandinavian descent, sea power played only a supporting role. Perhaps because the Northmen still dominated…

Shipbuilding Viking 13 Min Read

Viking Longships

Havhingsten fra Glendalough in dock. The Havhingsten is a faithful reconstruction of Skuldelev 2, the second longest Viking longship ever found. Skuldelev 2: The great longship Skuldelev 2 is a war machine, built to carry many warriors at high speed. With a crew of 65-70 men, it was a chieftain’s…

Viking 26 Min Read

THE VIKINGS IN IRELAND 795–1014 Part I

Few places suffered more at the hands of the Vikings than Ireland. For the best part of 200 years the Vikings systematically milked Ireland of its people to supply the slave trade, yet, for all their military success they failed to conquer and settle in any territory besides a few…

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Dark Age Warfare

655 Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia was defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria. Although the…

Varangian Guard

An elite unit of household guards in the Byzantine Empire between the ninth and fourteenth…

Vikings in the West

A map showing the areas where Viking raiders and their descendants commonly settled. The true…

Viking berserkers

Individual Viking warriors known during the eighth through eleventh centuries for their ferocity. A sixth-century…