Some of the very first people to explore North America would have to be the Vikings. The
Vikings were an adventurous lot, sailing the oceans in there ornately crafted longships.
They frequently invaded many neighboring countries and islands. The actions of the Vikings
shaped and changed many countries of the Europe. They invaded almost every western
country of their time. England, Ireland, France, Spain, Russia, Greece, Arabia, And Africa
all felt the impact of these marauders.
The Vikings had a very important part of awakening Europe from the despair of the Middle
Ages, because the challenged its people to rise and fight for what they believed in.
The Vikings held honor for themselves and for their nation. A fallen warrior that fell
bravely in defeat would look forward to the promised immortality of their pagan heaven
The Vikings inhabited the Scandinavian countries of Europe, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark
are very close the Arctic Circle. Norway and Sweden extend into the Arctic Circle, far
from the advancements of civilization and Christianity. The Scandinavian countries are
surrounded by long coastlines, bays, sounds, and vast rivers that extend far inland. The
Norsemen used the richness of the sea to their advantage. They either fished the oceans or
used it as trade routes for transporting valuables or agriculture products.
The Vikings would had very few large cities and would occasionally spar over a disputed
territory but most chose to live in southern Norway on the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark
or in southeastern Sweden.
The time period in which these men lives was between A.D. 800 to 1100, a long time they
ruled the seas. The word Vikings means seaborne marauder, it possibly comes from the
Scandinavian word vic meaning bay or inlet. The word now applies to sailors that would
lurk along the coast attacking passing victims. It could also come from the Norse word vig
meaning battle. The Norse lived as they did for almost a ten thousands years before they
were known as the Vikings.
The Vikings led strict rough lives, the climate was harsh the winters long and cold. The
were skilled in many crafts. They built ornate ships decorated with intricate designs.
Gold and silver was made into beautiful jewelry, inlaid with stones and gems obtained from
trade with other countries. They were the most skilled weaponsmiths of their time,
shields, axes, spears, and swords were all forged by master smiths. The weapons were then
inlaid with gold, silver, and precious stones. Their weapons were often etched in runic
inscriptions, of the bearers name or some message to ward of evil. They Vikings were
fierce fighters, the best of their time. A tactic used by the Vikings seems simple but