Viking Longships

Topics: Viking, Norway, Longship Pages: 2 (666 words) Published: December 4, 2011
The Vikings are peoples that were originally from Scandinavia. Scandinavia is now Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. From the eight to the eleventh century, these people originally referred to as Norsemen began to raid places in Europe and other countries they became referred to as Vikings. The name Viking, originates from the place Viken in the Oslofjord. The Oslofjord is a bay south-east of Norway. Vikings are known for plundering from other societies. They are usually shown that the whole Viking nation went out to help on these raids but, they were done mostly independent by chieftains that obtained men who were willing to aid and longships. Viking Longships are the warships of the Vikings. These ships were used mostly for raids because of their ability to travel swiftly in coastal waters, open waters, rivers, and estuaries and travel long distances. The Longships are usually in between twenty to thirty-five meters long. The largest Longship discovered was at Roskilde Harbor, which is in Demark, and it was 35 meters in length. It had the capacity to carry 72 oars and a crew of 100 men. Tree- ring analysis places this ship to be created around 1025 A.D. The Longships usually carried between twenty to sixty Viking warriors. The ship was also big enough for all the equipment that the Vikings had to transport, and the loot that they plundered. These Longships were light-weight and strong. They were created with a square sail. The square sails were made of woven wool. The sail could be pulled down over the crew to protect them during rough storms. The sail is what allowed the Longship to sail so quickly throughout rough seas and other waters. The sail in combination with the oars allowed for the Vikings to sail through open oceans straight through and then switch to using the oars when they were near attacks. The Longships also featured a shallow hull that allows the ship to sail up onto the beach or sail through rivers. This also aided with raiding villages that...
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