The Vikings Raiders

703 Words 3 Pages
Common to ancient civilizations and even many countries today is the pitting of countries against each other in an arch rivalry. For the Anglo-Saxon people, this was the Viking raiders. During a time filled with Viking raids, the looming threat of the sea and impossibly quick Viking ships that could come at any moment would indeed seep into the lore of the time. Due to this perpetually overhanging fear, the Vikings’ defining presence left their brand through the stories of the time.
The Vikings of the time were infamous for their brutality in war and the efficiency with which they were able to carry out raids. Darryl Barfus describes what gave the Vikings their efficiency, “The boats were also able to sail in extremely shallow water (about
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As is explained about the Vikings’ tactic of raiding, “These attacks made the vikings more prosperous, which also made the viking society develop and able to present better "tools" for battle, which made their advantages compared to other countries to grow stronger” (Bond, Barfuss, & Emerson). This aspect of the war also may be inspiration for yet another monster: Grendel. As is described in the story, “they could hack at Grendel / From every side, … but their points / Could not hurt him, the sharpest and hardest iron / Could not scratch at his skin” (Beowulf 320 - 324). Though this was most likely enriched for the enjoyment of the audience, it may have shown the stark reality of the war: the Vikings were just better equipped. In present day approximations of the time, most Anglo-Saxon warriors would be using a seven foot spear and a wooden shield -- which would be useful at warding off. However, the Vikings were better armored with chainmail and helmets. In place of spears, short swords and battle axes would be used (Ross, David). Due to the unusually long lever arm of a spear, any parry by the Vikings would immobilize the spearman and allow for the Vikings to get close. At that point, it would be a slaughter. So, the harsh reality of the Anglo-Saxons’ next to useless weapons most likely had a hand in determining the type of fear from which they sought relief through a hero, like Beowulf.

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