Who were the Vikings?

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
  • Timeline

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’.

Discover more about the Vikings at the Jorvik Viking Center site.

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