The Vikings And Their Influence On Modern Europe

862 Words 4 Pages
The Vikings or the norsemen were a group of people who lived and thrived between 793-1066 CE. They hail from Scandenavian countries like Denmark, Iceland and Norway. Although Vikings were primarily farmers and traders a small percentage of Vikings raided. Due to the Vikings having advances in technology- the longboats- they were able to travel and raid spreading their heritage and leaving behind a legacy that has largely influenced modern Europe. The Vikings had an impact on modern technology, military tactics, politics and economics as well as language, culture and religion.

The Vikings hail from Denmark, Iceland and Norway. Most Vikings were farmers, craftsmen and traders however during the summer months some of the men would go raid the
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Viking longboats had both sails and oars alongside as well as shallow hulls- which allowed the ships to not only travel across oceans but up rivers as well- thereby allowing their ships to be faster, lighter and more maneuverable allowing them to travel the world before anyone else of the time. (Pruitt, 2016) The Vikings used sun compasses as methods of navigation this allowed them to travel further and more accurately. (Pruitt, 2016) The Sagas imply that the Vikings used Sunstones and magical runes to travel and navigate at night. (Haigh, 1861) Furthermore Vikings had much stronger steel due to higher temperatures in their forges leading to a new blacksmith tradition in Europe and Scandinavia. (BBC, 2014) The raids on the coasts of Europe forced the European monarchies to build up and train troops which allowed the European countries to have strong military tactics. The Vikings themselves were very strong warriors who had no fear as their according to their religion they wanted to die in battle to get into Valhalla- the resting place of brave fallen warriors. (Lamoureux, 2009) This made the Vikings a powerful …show more content…
After the Normans adopted Christianity and had settled in Europe trade was open and the Vikings helped establish commerce in Europe. Furthermore the Vikings helped with currency and commerce as bartering was no longer necessary as Western Europe was aware of gold and silver but did not have access to it. The Vikings spread the gold and silver throughout Western Europe after obtaining it from the Middle East. (Yale University , 2013) Part of the trading that the Vikings did was slaves. The slaves came from many different countries, the slaves were sold to European countries and sent back to Scandinavia. The slaves could gain freedom which meant a change in the gene pool of Europe. Many of the trade routes that the Viking formed were taken over and maintained by a Dutch Trading Company- Hegemony. The concept of taxes is largely due to the Vikings forcing the European monarchies to start collecting gold, silver, coins and animals to pay for ransoms or to fund the troops to fight of the raiding Vikings. The collections or taxes allowed the European monarchies to develop structured martial tactics. (Yale University , 2013) The Vikings were advanced in politics and law as each village or clan under a chieftain would hold a gathering called ‘Althing’ wherein they would discuss laws and have public trails. The laws were read out loud so that the illiterate could understand.

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