Monday, August 1, 2016

National Geographic l the Secrets Of Viking Civilization l Documentaries

General history

During the 9th century they expanded beyond these three bases, arriving first as rapacious raiders (looting monasteries and capturing slaves to sell in the Middle East) but soon establishing themselves on a more permanent basis.
Swedes called Rus or Varangians established fortified cities at Novgorod and then at Kiev, creating the first Russian state, and traded down the great rivers of Russia to Byzantium and Persia. Norwegian Vikings established kingdoms in Ireland, where they founded Dublin about 840, and in northwestern England.
They settled Iceland and colonized Greenland in the 10th century and founded the short-lived North American colony called Vinland in the early 11th century. Great armies of Danes and Norwegians conquered the area called the Danelaw in England, overthrowing all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms except King Alfred's Wessex. They attacked cities in France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Spain and, in 911, seized control of Normandy in France, where their descendants became known as the Normans.
After conquering and settling in foreign lands, the Vikings came under the cultural influence of the conquered peoples. Originally pagan worshipers of Thor and Odin, many became Christians, and during the 10th century they brought Christianity to Scandinavia.
The process of conquest slackened during the 10th century as civil wars raged in Scandinavia. Out of these wars powerful new kingdoms emerged with great new fortresses, including Trelleborg in Denmark. Soon armies of a renewed Viking age were on the move. In 1013, Sweyn of Denmark conquered all of England. His son, Canute, built an empire that included England, Denmark, and Norway.
By the second half of the 11th century, however, the coming of stronger political systems and stronger armies in Europe, the development of new types of ships, and the redirection of military endeavor by the Crusades brought the Viking Age to an end.

The Netherlands

During the last years of the reign of Charles the Great (768-814) the emperor took measures against the danger of Viking raids. He stationed fleets in the major rivers and organised coastal defense. After 820 the defense system in the northern part of the Carolingian state collapsed Between 834 and 837 the city of Dorestad (near the present Wijk bij Duurstede) was destroyed four times. Without much resistance Walcheren in Zeeland was taken in 837.
Even before 840 the Danish Vikings Harald and Rorik became vassals of Lothar (grandson of Charles the Great) and received Walcheren and Dorestad as a fief. This tactical move brought no peace.
Until 873 there are regular reports of Viking raids and Dorestad was again destructed in 863. This time the city was not rebuild, also because the river became sandy. Bishop Hunger of Utrecht fled in 858 to Roermond and later to Deventer. In 873 the Normans were defeated in Oostergoo, Frisia (Friesland) by an army led by an immigrant Viking.

In Flanders from 851 until 864 the Vikings regularly sailed up the river Schelde and attacked the cities of Gent and the districts of Mempiscus and Terwaan.After 864 the low countries were relatively spared from Viking raids, probably because the Danes (most Vikings raiding the low countries came from Danmark) shifted their attention to England.
The impact of the raids on daily life must have been great, but perphaps not as great as clerical sources suggest. Churches and monasteries were almost always paid a visit, for the simple reason they had valuable properties. Naturally the clergy described the Vikings as savage heathens who transformed the coastal areas into ruins. Politically the Vikings stimulated the further disintegration of the Carolingian empire. As they met with little resistance they preferred to be raiders rather than traders. As vassals, they played their part in the conflicts between Lothar and Charles the Bald (ca. 840) and later (ca. 870) between Charles the Bold and Louis the German.

After the victory of Alfred the Great of Wessex (878) the Vikings returned to the low countries. This time they fought also as landsoldiers and were equipped with horses. Especially Flanders took heavy blows (Gent, Terwaan, Atrecht, Kamerijk). Louis III defeated the Vikings in 881 near Saucourt at the river Somme. This battle was described in the Song of Ludwig (Ludwigslied). According to the Fulda Annals Louis' army killed 9.000 Danes. Consequence of this was that the Vikings returned to Flanders and Dutch Limburg. From Asselt (north of Roermond) they raided towns in Germany (Cologne, Bonn) and Limburg (Liége, Tongeren). In their attack on Trier they were resisted by the bishops Wala and Bertulf of Trier and by count Adelhard of Metz. Following the Trier example other cities began to defend themselves effectively.
The new emperor Charles the Fat sent an army to Asselt. The two Viking leaders, Godfried and Siegfried were forced to negotiate. Godfried choose to stay. He became a vassal of the emperor and, after being baptized, married Gisela, daughter of Lothar II, the first king of Lorraine. Siegfried was paid off with 2.000 punds silver and gold and took off to the north with 200 ships. The emperor Charles felt threatened by Godfried and his (Godfried's) brother in law Hugo (who was Gisela's brother). In June 885 Godfried was invited for talks in Spijk, near Lobith. This turned out to be a conspiracy and Godfried was murdered. Hugo was made blind and transferred for the rest of his life to the monastery of Prüm. Here the monk Regino wrote the story of his downfall.
In September 891 the Vikings lost a battle at the river Dijle, near Leuven against king Arnulf of Carinthia. The Fulda Annals tell us that the bodies of dead Vikings blocked the run of the river. The bad harvest of 892 and the threat of famine made the Vikings turn north again. After 892 their role in the low countries was limited to occasional raids (notably on Nijmegen, Groningen, Stavoren, Tiel and Utrecht). After 1010 the raids came to an end.


The scourge of the low lands

The central figure in this period of Dutch history was Rorik. He was a member of an important Danish family and the most part of his adult life he was in battle for the crown of Denmark. The most important historical sources, the Annales Bertiniari and the Annalse Fuldenses are in conflict. According to the first Rorik was a brother to Harald II, while the second claims he was his nephew.
Harald was king in 812-813 as well as from 819-827. In 828 he was run off by fellow kings. From that time he spent his days gathering wealth on the account of the Frisians. Dorestad was Harald's favourite target, as well af of his follower Rorik. In 841 Emperor Lothar hands Harald Walcheren (in the southeast of present day Holland) as a loan. Walcheren's important trading centre Domburg was part of the package.
In 850 Lothar sees no other way than to give Dorestad and all its lands north of the Maas in loan to Rorik. The Frankish kings just gave the Vikings what they wanted so there would be no more riading. Rorik had just ended a very successfull campaign in the North of the Lowlands and the Emperor had no power to stop him.
Harald died in 852 and his son Godfried took over. He travelled, with Rorik, back to Denmark to reclaim the thrown in the war of 854. After they have failed, they started their own empire in Frisia and extend their territory. In 863 Dorestad was riaded for the last time: the city simply ceased to exsist.

The Frisian kings did not really know where they stood. Ubbo, a Frisian warlord, fought on the side of the Danes in Northumbria but in the same year Rorik gets thrown out of Frisia after a successful revolt. He returned to Denmark for a short period only to become a great statesman. He made a treaty with Carles the Bold, king of the West-Frankisch Empire, and at the same time kept good contacts with Louis the German of the East-Frankish Empire. In 870 he returns to Frisia, more powerfull than ever, he now was an official vassal of Charles the Bold. He became a christian for political and not necessarily religious reasons. But after 873 he vanished from historical accounts.
In 882 Godfried the Seaking (whether or not he was Rorik's cousin is not certain) officially became the heir to Rorik's possessions. However, he died in 885 under suspicious circumstances. As the story goes, one of his warlords, Gerulf, was involved. This Gerulf pops back into history sometime after Godfried's death as archfather of the Dutch counts.

Viking settlements


Vinland was a Viking settlement on North America's east coast in the early 11th century.
The land it occupied was probably first sighted c.986, when Bjarni Herjolfsson was blown off course. Later, c.999, Leif Eriksson led an expedition that touched Helluland (probably Baffin Island) and Markland (probably Labrador) and remained a year at Vinland. His brother Thorvald went to Vinland c.1004. Thorfinn Karlsefni (c.1010) and two brothers, Helgi and Finnbogi (c.1013), also led expeditions. Vinland was abandoned c.1015, apparently because of the hostility of the native Skraelings.

Various spots have been suggested for Vinland's location, from the Virginia Capes to Newfoundland. The l'Anse aux Meadows site (northern Newfoundland) has many Norse artifacts, but the Vinland settlement's exact location remains in doubt. Yale University's Vinland map, a world map supposedly made about 1440, includes Vinland and Greenland, but by 1974 its New World portions had been proved a modern forgery.

L'Anse aux Meadows

L'Anse aux Meadows, on the northern tip of Newfoundland, is the site of a Viking settlement dating from about 1000 CE; it may have been the Vinland settlement described in the early Norse sagas about the explorer Leif Eriksson.
Excavation of the site started in 1961. It revealed the remains of eight turf-walled houses, one of which was a longhouse 22 m by 15 m (72 ft by 50 ft) containing five rooms including a "great hall", and a smithy, where bog iron was melted. Several of the houses had stone ember pits identical with those found in Norse houses in Greenland. Among the artifacts unearthed was a soapstone spindle whorl similar to those discovered in Norse ruins in Greenland, Iceland, and Scandinavia; this find suggests that women were present at the site as well. Other artifacts point to a brief, much earlier occupation of the site by Maritime Archaic Indians and a later occupation by Dorset Eskimo.


Dorestad emerged in the 7th century on a confluent of the rivers Rhine and its tributary Lek. Because of its geographical situation it became one of the leading emporia on the continent on a crossroads of international long distance trading routes from and to Northern Frisia, North Sea area, Scandinavia and France, the Rhineland and the Meuse valley. The river Scheldt could be reached via the Lek.
Dorestad ranks with other important emporia like Haithabu, Ribe, Birka, Kaupang and York. Its heydays were during the reign of Charlemagne (768-814). The trading place was occasionally Frisian or Frankish property or granted to Danish warlords. Large quantities of raw and exotic material (glass, stone, amber and ivory), pottery from the Rhineland and Frisian cloth were traded here.
Due to extensive excavations on the site a lot of information is available on the economy of Dorestad. New insights show that at least parts of the raw material, e.g. amber and Eifel tephrite, were worked on the site and traded from there. The wealth and goods in Dorestad certainly attracted the men from the North. Part of the emporium was set on fire during several raids between 834 AD and 863 AD. However, archaeological evidence of Vikings burning down the emporium at least three times is not available.
Due to the ever-changing course of the Rhine and the danger from Viking plundering, Dorestad declined and ceased to be an important trading place and even vanished from historical accounts after 863.

Famous vikings

Leif Eriksson

Leif Eriksson probably was born in 970, he lived for about 50 years.
He was a Norse explorer who apparently reached North America around the year 1000. His exploits are known through the Icelandic Sagas of the 13th century. Leif the Lucky was the son of Erik the Red, the colonizer of Greenland. He grew up in Greenland but he visited Norway around 999, where he was converted to Christianity. According to one saga, he was then commissioned by King Olaf I to convert the Greenlanders to Christianity, but he was blown off course, missed Greenland, and reached North America.
The other, more probable version describes Leif sailing on a planned voyage to lands to the west of Greenland that had been sighted 15 years earlier by Bjarne Herjulfsson. He landed at places called Helluland and Markland and wintered at Vinland (= wineland). These may well have been Baffin Island, Labrador, and Newfoundland, respectively, but historians differ in their identifications of the sites. Leif went back to Greenland, but an expedition led by Thorfinn Karlsefni returned to settle Vinland. Leif may well have helped to Christianize Greenland.

Erik the Red

Eric the Red discovered Greenland and established there the first European settlement in the New World. Born as Erik Thorvaldsson, in Norway in the mid-10th century, Eric the Red descended from Viking chieftains. He went to Iceland as a child, when his father was banished from Norway.
Being a violent man, Eric himself was banished from Iceland for homicide. Outfitting an expedition, he sailed westward from Iceland and discovered Greenland around 981. He gave the island its name and spent three years exploring it. He then returned to Iceland and led an expedition of 25 ships to settle in southwestern Greenland (c.985). This settlement survived until the late 15th century. Eric himself settled at Brattahlid (Tunigdliarfik) in Greenland, where he died sometime after 1000. The Christian church built by Eric's wife at Brattahlid was excavated by Danish archaeologists in 1962.


A total of three viking hoards were found in the last 10 years, as well as some other finds.

Westerklief (1995)

The silverhard of Wetserklief was the first clue that the Vikings had settled permanently at Wieringen. As is was the first Vikinghoard ever found in the Netherlands which proves that Rorik or his followers had settled here, is was a find of national interest.
The hoard is now in the Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden in Leiden. It consists of Carolingian and Arab coins, bracelets and silver bars. It probably was buried in the 9th century by a Danish viking, only to get back for it later. For one reason or the other, he never came to collect it.
The hoard was found by amateur-archaeologists who used a metal detector. The plowing of the field had brought the hoard to the surface and scattered it around. In total silver items and coins with a weight of 1,7 kg (c. 3 pounds) were found, partly remaining in the clay pot it was buried in.


Post a Comment

InfinityDocumentary. Powered by Blogger.