The Vikings (also known as Norsemen) belonged to the historic past of the Scandinavians, who mainly passed the time by trading on the water. They have also racked up quite the reputation of raiding and colonizing many different parts of Europe, as feared warriors and pirates. Their reign of terror would last from the 8th century and continue onto the 11th century. The Vikings accomplished extensive travel and met up with different parts of the world, including Russia and Constantinople.
When it comes to one of the most important figures in Viking culture, Leif Eriksson certainly rings bells, as he was known as a descendant of a long line of Norwegian Viking chieftains that constructed the first European settlement situated in Greenland. This took place around 985. He is sometimes referred to as the first discoverer of America that was connected to Europe. It is believed that his first settlement is L’Anse aux Meadows, which is found in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.
When reading the history books, the Viking Age is often referred to as the period of time that took place between 800 and 1050. Over the years, the Vikings would spread to many different regions about the world, but their voyages began to decrease in frequency and eventually ended when the Christianization of Scandinavia was nearly complete by the 12th century. In order to learn more about the Vikings, consider the following facts:
1) The ancient Vikings used the instincts of birds as their guide while navigating the open water. On board, they kept several ravens, and the further they sailed westward, they would release one at a time. If the raven flew back along the course that they had just left, then the Viking ships would continue to push on into the west. However, if the raven took a different route, the Vikings changed the direction of their course, which was used as a method of searching for fresh land to explore.
2) Since Iceland was geographically isolated from the mainland of Europe, no humans had ever explored the land until the medieval times arrived. The first humans to set foot on Iceland were explorers who hailed from Ireland. They are clocked in at arriving on the land at no later than 795 AD. They created a colony in Iceland, but it didn’t last too long. The Vikings would come to Iceland eighty years later, where they created a permanent settlement of their own.
3) During the 9th century, the Vikings who were referred to as Varangians in the East, executed a raid on Constantinople , which was situated at the opening of the Black Sea. This particular line of expeditions started at Kiev and continued along the Dnieper River.
In Part 2 of the “Truth About Vikings,” you will encounter more facts about their history and ways, which includes information regarding Dublin, past attacks, and what a Viking chief considered the worst way to spend his last moments on Earth.