From the Jorvik Viking Center. A collection of quick, historical articles detailing the lives of the Norsemen. Subjects cover:
- Who were the Vikings?
- Where did they come from?
- What did they look like?
- How did they live?
- What happened to them?
- Place names
Excerpt from “Who were the Vikings?”
Often the name Viking conjures images of brutes and barbarians, but the truth is a little different.
Vikings were warriors. More precisely ‘Viking’ is the name by which the Scandinavian sea-borne raiders of the early medieval period are now commonly known.
Even before the earliest Viking raids on the monasteries, the Anglo-Saxons used an Old English word ‘wicing‘. But this was not a word that they used often or exclusively for the Scandinavian raiders; instead it was used for all-comers and meant ‘pirate’ or ‘piracy’.