The Viking Age

Topics: Viking, Norsemen, Saga Pages: 4 (1322 words) Published: April 19, 2013
Essay 2
The Viking Age

Before gaining a clearer understanding of the term: Viking, the first impression that may came to mind, could be a plethora of simplified notions. Mine was: “Seafaring Barbarians”. My interpretation of the Vikings was that of a nautical savage people who were characterized as more violent, and intolerant than any other people of their time, wanting nothing more than to wreak havoc on an otherwise civilized world. I wasn't even completely sure where they exactly came from. The elusive term: Viking, seemed to escape a clear representation leaving a fantasy image of an unknown people who to my lazy understanding were very few in number, came out of nowhere, with no other purpose but to steal, rape, set fires, murder, and die. With out any deeper understanding of these early Scandinavian people or of the Medieval period, and what those situations for living were really like socially, politically, geographically and spiritually all one has is a very limited scope of the Viking Age, if any scope at all. Upon this reflection we could not properly encapsulate a worthy definition of what or who the vikings were without referring to the Icelandic Sagas recalling Vikings stories, or without what we now know of Medieval European History, or the History of Scandinavia between c790-1150AD more specifically. So as I ceased to stop simplifying through a narrow perspective and really search for what The Viking Age means to History, a view expands, and a light shines for a moment, like that beautifully short Scandinavian summer sun which the Vikings themselves enjoyed ever so much, illuminating the early to mid Dark Ages where our fleeting Viking Age begins to take definition. In Northern Europe, after the Germanic Tribes all migrated, after Rome fell, and the Scandinavians were bulging out of their homelands, here a type of people emerged in a time where change was inevitable. History would record them as a purely Pagan, uncivilized...
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