The Vikings were armed seafarers of mainly Scandinavian origin in the 7th and 11th centuries. These warriors and long-distance sailors left Norway, Sweden and Denmark in search of gold, silver and new land. They plundered all over Europe, took slaves and traveled as far as Baghdad and America. They had a legendary reputation for their swift and daring raids, from which the monks wrote down horror stories about the looting of monasteries and towns. However, the Vikings were not just brutal barbarians, but skillfully traded, were excellent sailors and multi-skilled craftsmen and shipbuilders. In addition, the Vikings had a rich tradition of stories.
The word wícing appeared outside of Scandinavia in Anglo-Saxon texts written in Old English already in the 7th century, before the Vikings began their raids. The word possibly comes from the word wíc, 'village, camp', such as the Vikings founded. The Old Norse word Vík means bay or cove. Old Norse víkingr (mon. víkingar) generally referred to a seafarer and víking activity. The word víkingr probably appeared in Old Norse and Iceland only at the end of the 9th century. Based on this, some have speculated that the word originates from the Anglo-Frisian region, and that the Scandinavians adopted it from the Anglo-Saxons. In the sagas written after the Viking Age in the 14th and 15th centuries, víkingar usually referred to the pirates of the Scandinavian, Baltic and British Isles seas. The word viking reappeared in the Romantic era in the 18th century since the end of the chapter. In the 19th century, the meaning of the word was expanded to cover the entire era instead of robbers. The concept of the Viking Age has remained in use until these days. source?
Who were the Vikings?
Scandinavian contemporaries apparently used the term viking, which appears in runic inscriptions and later sagas, only for participants in raids and raids. The word may then have had a negative meaning, like the word pirate nowadays. Nowadays, however, the concept of Viking has expanded to also mean participants in trading expeditions and expeditions or even the Scandinavian population as a whole.
According to all probability, Finns also joined the Vikings. Marika Mägi, a respected Estonian archaeologist from Tallinn University, has criticized the current concept of Vikings a lot, because according to her, there are many signs of Viking activities in the Baltic Finns' settlements during the Viking Age, including those that are not just a cultural effect. He has stated that the concept of Viking is not only related to ethnicity, but is a profession. For this reason, Mägi believes that the Vikings included not only the Scandinavians, but also Finns from the Baltic Sea. Sea-faring merchants and bandits similar to the Vikings also lived in Northern Europe among the Slavic, Baltic and Finnic populations, but these are not usually called Vikings in historical writing. It is very likely that non-Scandinavians still joined the Scandinavian Vikings.
In Western Europe, Scandinavian Vikings are referred to as Normans, in Byzantium and today in Russia, Varangians. In ancient Russia, the Vikings were Rus (possibly from the word rower: the name comes from the fact that the Vikings came along the rivers). However, the meaning of the word Rus changed when the Vikings from the east merged with the Slavic people.
The earliest mentioned date for a Viking raid is 787, when, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a group of Norse men sailed to the Isle of Portland in Dorset. There they were first mistaken for merchants and killed a local official when he tried to bring them to the king's estate to be taxed. Next recorded j