Talk:Viking Age

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How can you found a city through raiding? Inge 15:05, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

To clarify; the text tells us that "Wales was not colonised", but that "The Vikings, did, however, begin to settle in the southwest around St. David's and Haverfordwest, most of Gower and Glamorgan and through raids Sweyne Forkbeard founded the modern city of Swansea."
This will depend on how you define colonising, but when vikings settle in the area and no doubt they had trade connections with other viking settled territories that comes very close. I feel categorically stating that Wales was not colonised might be out of place. I also think it would be very difficult to found a city through raiding. A raid is a short engagement and a city is a very permanent institution. If a king is to found a city he has to have permanent control of the site. I would certainly like that part to be explained more. Did local people migrate to sites comonly raided by vikings? Not very likely. Or were they sites for seasonal marked places established or used by vikings? In that case raiding is the wrong word. Inge 18:08, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you. I've amended the paragraph to this:
Wales was not colonised by the Vikings as heavily as eastern England and Ireland. The Vikings did, however, settle in the south around St. David's, Haverfordwest, and Gower, among other places. Place names such as Skokholm, Skomer, and Swansea remain as evidence of the Norse settlement. The Vikings, however, did not subdue the Welsh mountain kingdoms.
By the way, I don't believe that Sweyn Forkbeard founded Swansea in the slightest or indeed that he ever went there. The derivation is undoubtedly from "Sweyn's ey" (Sweyn's island), but it's not as if the Vikings were short of other Sweyns to name settlements after. I should think Swansea was founded long before Forky's time.qp10qp 17:46, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I've just added a section on the influence of Viking settlement on the English language. This may go some way to helping show that Norse settlers in England were assimilated by the local population, which they wouldn't have been if they were all marauders and pirates.qp10qp 19:35, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Nicely done! The article Viking has those paragraphs as well including the problems you have corrected here. If you have the time maybe you could take a look there as well? Inge 11:21, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Expert needed[edit]

The article has previously been subject of reverts wars. Now it would need serious reference check and inline quotations. There are also a lot of {{Fact}} tags. / Fred-Chess 19:57, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Viking heritage of the Rurik dynasty[edit]

The Rurik dynasty's Viking heritage, alluded to here, is a topic of substantial controversy amongst Russian historians. I am not qualified to speak out on the subject but a professional historian of Russia should craft a more nuanced and informed statement on the subject.

Did Rurik found Novgorod?[edit]

Rurik most certainly did not found Novgorod in 859. In fact, archaelogy seems to suggest this town existed before Rurik was born. Goliath74 17:56, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Merge "Vikings" and "Viking Age"?[edit]

The articles Viking age and Vikings cover almost identical issues and should be merged. Any comments? Cheers Osli73 21:53, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The article "Viking" should only short describe what a Viking was, Modern revivals and Popular misconceptions and stuff like that. --Arigato1 22:43, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Nooooo Viking age covers most of the attempted destruction of Western Europe by the Northmen not just the Svens and Ronalds themselves. Brendandh 20:30, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Disagree. They should not be merged. Vikings should be about the people. Viking Age should be a historical discussion that focuses on the events. --Einar 20:40, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I'll add another Nooooo and agree with Einar. Brendandh 21:11, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

No merge, but there is allot in "Vikings" like historical event witch should be deleted and removed to "Viking age". --Arigato1 21:19, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Dear all, Let me explain the reason for my proposal again. The reason I suggested a merge is that the Viking Age is typically the name given to the historical period (roughly 800-1050 or so) in Scandinavian history. So, if the article is to discuss the Viking age it should really be discussing the history of the Scandinavian countries during this period. However, as is, the article Viking Age currently focuses mainly on events during this period in the countries they 'visited'. In my mind it would be a lot better to just have a single article called Vikings, explaining who they were and their effects on other European countries. The article would then not deal with the Viking Age in any of the Scandinavian countries. I doubt most readers will see the fine line between Vikings and Viking Age. I'm sorry if this upsets a lot of people who have put a lot of work into either of the two articles. However, I think that 'specialist topics' (effects of the Vikings on a specific country, such as present day UK) can be covered more in detail in separate, linked, articles. Regards Osli73 10:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
When i think again, i agree with you. There is no such thing as the "Viking age", you can say the "Viking time" (witch only is a term), but not "Viking age" -that's only make the hole article confusing. Vikings were people from Scandinavia during a period of the "Iron age". I have never heard the expression "Viking age" before i readed en.wikipedia.
I agree in merging with Vikings. --Arigato1 20:27, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

They were indeed not. the majority of people from scandinavia were actually not vikings. The term has been misunderstodd in english language, and although a populair belief, Vikings wre not of a special gegraphical origin, it was an activity, which very few scandinavians really took part of. No ethinical group can be labelled vikings. In fact, in some icelandic sagas, arabian pirats are refered to as vikings, and they were not born in scandinavia. Dan Koehl 23:31, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, technically I guess the Viking age was a part of the Iron age. However, at least in Sweden, the Viking age is an accepted term for the period 800-1050. However, I'm not so sure it was an 'age' in European history. Cheers Osli73 21:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Disagree-- The "Viking" article covers a completely different aspect, and as such, should not be merged. Nol888(Talk)(Review me please) 21:14, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

There is a thing called the Viking Age. I'm from Denmark and we use the term: Viking Age. Not Iron Age or Dark Ages. I guess this is because we're kind of proud of our past as vikings. We're proud that a little nation like Denmark were able to conquer all the big nations of the time (England, Norway, Sweden). Just a thought :-) Simon 16:12, 9 April 2007

  • I agree in merging with Vikings.

--Vchorozopoulos (talk) 22:37, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I too find it hard to see how the parameters of this article are distinct from the parallel articles on the Viking Expansion and the Vikings. Perhaps the difference should be that the Viking Expansion article discusses Scandinavian activities outside their homelands during the Viking Age, while the Viking Age article talks about the situation within Scandinavia itself (where the term is indeed in very regular use as a meaningful periodisation of the late Scandinavian Iron Age). If so, the title of the latter needs to be changed to 'Viking Age Scandinavia', and the entire thing needs to be rewritten. At the same time, it is not clear why there should be a separate article that talks about the Vikings. There's a conceptual circularity here. It's the activities of Vikings that defines the notion of a Viking Age, whether in Scandinavia, or outside it. Yet the popularisation of the terms Viking and Viking Age, means that the noun Viking is now regularly applied to all Norse-speaking people who originated in Scandinavia in the whole period 700/750-1050/1100, and the related adjective is equally applied to all aspects of the culture connected with these people in the same period. The problem is then compounded by the additional presence of an article on Norsemen. In general a consensus seems to have emerged that it's a good thing to have separate entries for the people and the history of their activities. But I would note that there is no similar distinction made on Wikipedia between 'Romans' and the history of their activities and cultural institutions in the articles on ancient Roman civilization and the Roman Empire. Personally, I think a great deal of muddle would be avoided by having a single article, so that the difficulties inherent in the use of noun and adjective Viking can be made absolutely clear, and an appropriate historical perspective developed in identifying who these people were. Otherwise the alternative articles (all of which are still marred by partisan, incomplete, or non-authoritative contributions) will continue to overlap and repeat one another, as new contributors add information to one without seeing that the others exist. The present articles either need to be massively re-edited, or else merged. This comment is cross-posted on all three of the most relevant pages.Dala-Freyr (talk) 10:44, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

The best solution here might be to merge Viking Age and Viking expansion, since they are practically identical. The Viking article could then refer to these briefly (as it already does) but be developed by concentrating more on cultural matters than the strictly historical. So one could have more on social structure (law, the role of women, and slavery), houses and settlement types, production and exchange, weapons and warfare, religious belief and practice in the pagan period and the early Christian era, language, art (including skaldic poetry). This would mean the merged Viking Age / Viking expansion article could concentrate more on historical processes and events, from the causes of the Viking Age to the reasons for the cessation of these activities, and the two resulting articles would be mutually supportive rather than repetitive. But the pages on the Viking Age and Viking expansion should definitely be merged.CubeDigit (talk) 15:59, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree. t The "Viking Age" and "Viking expansion" articles should be merged. There is a lot of overlap, so merging would eliminate the redundancies, while preserving the best of each article. For example Viking expansion contains a much more thorough coverage of the Vikings in Ireland, while the Viking Age article also covers Ireland, but much more briefly. The more detailed coverage of the Viking expansion article could be retained, and the Ireland section of the Viking Age article could be deleted. (talk) 14:27, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

You realize this thead is 7-5 years old? If you want to do this, best start another, as both articles will have changed (I hope). Johnbod (talk) 03:25, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Lot's to improve in this article[edit]

Even for an amateur historian of the Viking age it is quite apparent that this article generally is of rather low quality. Some of the more striking faults:

  1. the introduction fails to give the generally accepted time period of the Vikinga age (800-1050)
  2. the 'Viking Age' as a historical period is really only used to describe the period in Scandinavia. Eg while the 'Viking age' is a period is in Swedish history it is not so in say French, German or Russian history.
  3. A lot of what is written in this article fits better into the Vikings article. In fact, I would suggest merging the two articles.
  4. There are relatively few sources/references to the text.
  5. The article is too Anglo-centric with very little mention of the effects of the Vikings on Russia and the Baltics.

Osli73 16:17, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Vikings in England.[edit]

'Most of the English kingdoms, being in turmoil, could not stand against the Vikings, but Alfred of Wessex managed to keep the Vikings out of his country.'

The Vikings did infact take most of Wessex, except for the marshland around Athelny. It was here that Alfred the Great sat out the winter before mustering an army and defeating the Danes at the Battle of Ethandune, which most likely took place in Wiltshire, around the area of Westbury Hillfort, which would have been far inside to boundaries of the old kingdom of Wessex, infact the entire county of Wiltshire which also includes Chippenham would have been deep inside the boundaries of the old Kingsom of Wessex during the Viking invasions.

After defeating the Danes at Ethandune (Edington), Alfred pirsued the Danes to Chippenham and beseiged them in his own town. After being forced into starvation, the Danes sued for peace and signed the Treaty of Wedmore which lead to the setting up of the Danelaw. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by VelaPulsar (talkcontribs) 15:09, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

I agree. This paragraph as well sounds rather strange  :

"The Vikings did not get everything their way. In one situation in England, a small Viking fleet attacked a rich monastery at Jarrow. The Vikings were met with stronger resistance than they expected: their leaders were killed, the raiders escaped, only to have their ships beached at Tynemouth and the crews killed by locals. This was one of the last raids on England for about 40 years. The Vikings instead focused on Ireland and Scotland"

This should be cleaned up. (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 10:41, 8 January 2009 (UTC).

What is the Viking Age really about, and what should this page be about?[edit]

The Viking Age is a historical period for Scandinavia. Even though the effects of Vikings' influences and affairs around Europe is interesting, and an important part of the overall story, the Viking Age entry contains very little of Scandinavian Society, economics, politics, culture or anything else regarding life in the area. Archaeologically, the Viking Age is more of a contuination of earlier periods, but mark altogheter the start of the transition of Scandinavia into medieval christian states. The currrent page is more about in what way and what effects migration and travels of Scandinavians had on other parts of Europe, than about the Scandinavians of the Viking Age itself... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by St12357 (talkcontribs) 15:44, 12 May 2007 (UTC).

I agree. The Viking period was an important part of the history of Scandinavia however this article fails to mention much about Scandinavia itself during this time. I would think that additional information would be needed to expand this article to elaborate on not only the Vikings themselves but also the society, culture and history of Scandinavia itself from the years 800 to 1050. Wikidudeman (talk) 13:20, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Hello. This is still an important issue today. Too much of what is presented about the Vikings or the Scandinavians of that period, is based on British sources, with an exclusively British angle on the events and this period in European history. We need much more information from other sources, with a more universal angle. Sources that describe the people, their everyday life, etc.. On the page Vikings, it has been discussed to initiate a whole article on "The Norse" to fill this gap, because to some people it is to ground-breaking to accept, that the word Viking also includes "normal people" and "normal activities" like farming, etc.. No matter what the people of that period is called, I hope more information on their culture and daily lives will be presented here on wikipedia. I have done my part on the page Vikings. RhinoMind (talk) 01:28, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality disputed, viking palliation[edit]

The article states:

"The traditional definition is no longer accepted by most Scandinavian historians and archaeologists."

This describes all. Danish-Scandinavian "Experts" would not accept any negative statement. The really convincing, radical cleaning of any negative aspects in the viking age, but also ALL related articles violates neutrality. See for example Annales Vedastini, who described cruelty, mass-murder, raping and kidnapping, stealing and a simply not seen violence.

Compared to the difficulty to accept this, it seems not too difficult to change all content in Wikipedia.

Before the friends of Denmark and Scandinavia edit-war started, there were for example the introduction:

The Viking Age is the name of the period between 793 and 1066 AD in Scandinavia and Britain, following the Germanic Iron Age (and the Vendel Age in Sweden). During this period, the Vikings, Scandinavian warriors, leidangs and traders, raided and explored most parts of Europe, south-western Asia, northern Africa and north-eastern North America. Apart from exploring Europe by way of its oceans and rivers with the aid of their advanced navigational skills and extending their trading routes across vast parts of the continent, they also engaged in warfare and looted and enslaved numerous Christian communities of Medieval Europe for centuries, contributing to the development of feudal systems in Europe, which included castles and barons (and was a defense against Viking raids).

Compare this to the current version. Include negative facts! It is important, to explain information neutral. Even if its negative. Please help. W. Wispanow 19:54, 29 August 2007 (UTC) rere

Probably someone can translate the dates related to the viking attacks in french:

Other sources:

  • Chronicon (work by Regino von Prüm)
  • Reginonis chronica
  • Einhardi vita Karoli
  • Annales Bertiniani
  • Annales Xantenses
  • Annales Vedastini
  • Annales Fuldenses
  • Widukind von Korvei, Bovo von Korvei

This are FACTS. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which tries to focus on the positive reign of Alfred the Great, didn´t state cruelty. W. Wispanow 20:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Hello, there are historical considerations in the article, and I fail to see how the neutrality of these sourced facts could be disputed? I agree that the article needs a lot of work but it doesn’t justify tagging the article like it has been done. So please consider removing it. Please note that the WP policies are going to be followed strictly. Meaning anything that is not backed up with reliable sources can and will be challenged by any editor any time. Since the tag you've added is not backed up by any refs but only with unsourced opinions, the tag can and will be removed any time by any editor and replaced with more appropriate one if felt necessary. So please feel free to cite any sources that back up the claim the tag referrers to.

PS. Regarding the previous introduction that mostly referred to the negative then this indeed was not a neutral way to start an article. Please refer to any source that would back up the claim: the current opening of the article could be interpreted as being not neutral. Thanks! --Termer 08:29, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to point out that virtually every people has some skeletons in the closet and we do well to point that out. Balance is vital in Wikipedia. This reads like a whitewash -- a sort of "yes, but" apologia that would never be tolerated from, say, the Germans. Doesn't mean you can't be proud of your heritage, but let's keep it real, okay? --Rhombus 01:52, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

the destruction of the Abbey church on Lindisfarne for example reads like a whitewash? So far I haven't seen any specific arguments supporting "keep it real" claims. Please feel free to point out specific issues, in case not replied, the tag is going to be removed. Thanks--Termer 03:07, 15 October 2007 (UTC)


OK guys, lets clean this thing up. It doesn't seem to me like the problem is that much of the Neutrality but some sections are just...It might be me but these read like written by a grade school student. (sorry) The first thing I'd do, get rid of the Historical background and Probable causes of Viking expansion...Actually everything below that seems to be another not that well written article that dubs the Viking. So, once it's about the Viking age, it should be about the Viking age only, meaning just an article like Middle age or Iron Age. What could be here would be a section of archeology perhaps. So if it was up to me, I'd get rid of everything that's starts from Historical background. If anything additionally informative (Not that I noticed anything) can be found, it should be added to Viking article. The text in the article from Historical background on doesn't cite any sources anyway so it's easy to be challenged and simply removed if felt necessary. So, please let me know what you think! thanks --Termer 07:08, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be better to move stuff from viking and put it here? In my opinion it is.
Fred-J 11:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely, since a lot of the article in viking does not exactly refer to vikings, but to scandinavian people in general during viking age. Dan Koehl (talk) 18:12, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Portal icon placement[edit]

FYI, you can add a link to Portal:Norway in this article, by placing {{Portal|Norway}} at the top of the see also section (or the external links section if the article has no see also section). This will display

Cirt (talk) 09:26, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

There is a troll on this page. Some one has inserted references to Kobe Bryant and radiator caps at random. These need to be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:22, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

The article name discussion "Viking age".[edit]

There is no age called "viking age" The time of the vikings were during the Germanic iron age. Also in Scandinavian languages there is nothing called viking age. Now I'm Danish, and in Danish it's called "vikingetiden (the viking time)" or just "jernalderen (the iron age)"

This should be merged with the article "Vikings" or atleast changed the name, i think

--Missip1 (talk) 20:35, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

The Viking Age is the official academic translation of the Scandinavian historical period called "Vikingetiden". "Viking time" is just bad English.--Saddhiyama (talk) 21:27, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
But meybe it's wrong to call it an age. Since it's not even called that in Scandinavian languages. It's a period in the Middle Ages. --Tesko111111 (talk) 19:36, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
No, that is not true. It is called the "Viking Age" in the Scandinavic languages. In Scandinavic history it is a distinct historical period situated between the Iron Age and the Middle Ages. --Saddhiyama (talk) 20:11, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't matter what it's called in Scandinavia, it's called "Viking Age" in English, and this is English Wikipedia (WP:NAME). --dab (𒁳) 21:04, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

nothing called "viking age" in britannica etc. what's you point? This article should either be merged with viking or be renamed in my pov. --Tesko111111 (talk) 23:22, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
(a) go to google scholar / google books. (b) search for "viking age". (c) see how there are numerous scholarly monographs discussing the "Viking Age". One example out of dozens, if not hundreds, would be Eric Christiansen The Norsemen in the Viking Age, Blackwell Publishing, 2002, ISBN 9780631216773. You do not have a case. Please do some minimal research before starting a "discussion". --dab (𒁳) 08:52, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Google :S. Is that a souce now. Maybe you should have a look of the own link you gave me. --Tesko111111 (talk) 09:23, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
GoogleBooks lists potential sources for this article. Search for "viking age" on GoogleBooks and you'll see the term is used quite often in recently published books. You might be able to track down of those listed at your local library.--Celtus (talk) 04:19, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

"Google :S. Is that a souce now." -- it is impossible to discuss anything on such an abysmal level. No, google isn't a source. It is an index which may be used for finding sources. You may also use a library catalogue, or a spirit medium, it really doesn't matter how you found the source just as long as you can cite it properly. --dab (𒁳) 18:50, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


This article has problems which won't go away, unless rethought from the start: There is something called "the viking age", whether or not certain people like the term. However, in writing an article called "Viking Age", one has to have some rather well-defined idea of what to describe. Wouldn't a large part of the current article be better off in a separate article named "Viking Conquests", while others would fit better under "Viking Exploits" or some such?

The Viking Age is a period of time in Scandinavian history, the transition between the Iron Age with its Vanetro (a shamanistic-pantheistic sort of religion) to the Dark Ages' Kristendom (litteraly "Christianity", but shouldn't be confused with the present day variety; it was at best a mystic-monotheistic religion, its rituals conducted in latin, which nobody -sometimes not even the priest- understood). From a time without letters or writing, to one in which written documents (the law, say) were of the utmost importance. A time where indivdual physical prowess gave way to tactics and technology.

It was in many ways the transition from a "me-and-you" mindset to an "us-and-them" mindset.

There's a lot of reasons this period is so important to us Scandinavians. But when it comes to Wikipedia, there's one overriding concern: Does this article enlighten, or confuse, people who've never heard of the viking age before? As it stands, I wouldn't blame someone who went away thinking the vikings were slavic scots that sailed up and down the Seine in order to trade with Constantinople. And burn down an irish monastery on the way.

So, what do I suggest? Situating the time and place (Scandinavia, 8th-11th century AD) and sticking to it. Mentioning/listing the vikings' conquests, and linking to separate articles of the vikings' exploits in present day countries. Describing the religion (well, what we know of it), the building style(s), the everyday tools possessed, and possibly listing the notables (the kings and queens, as well as the major failed usurpers).

Basically, I think it's best to follow Lucan's advice: Keep it simple. Keep the end in sight. Better to omit what's of questinable usefulness, than to toss in an old norse parleur for good measure...

Smolk (talk) 05:04, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Apart from your theories about the different religions I mostly agree with the suggestion. I think that perhaps some of the confusion expressed by the user in the discussion above this one regarding the existence of a Viking Age, could have sprung from this. It is important to clarify that the historical time periods are different from country to country, and that there actually is a distinct Viking Age in Scandinavian history, and that the ending and beginning of common periods like the Iron Age and the Middle Ages vary from country to country. Also to your list of sections it would also be good to have a section about the society of the Viking countries, ie social structure, main forms of livelihoods etc, which would probably be more useful than a section on everyday tools. Be aware that the list of notables could quickly become an area of dispute though, and should probably also be a very rough introduction to the general history of the period instead. --Saddhiyama (talk) 15:07, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
The primary reason that I'd want something on the tools available to the vikings is that there seems to be some consensus that their ships went out of fashion with the advent of the saw. Secondarily, I mostly think history in terms of tools and technology. Smolk (talk) 18:55, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Possible Reasons for Viking Expansion[edit]

I teach medieval history at De Anza College (which doesn't necessarily establish my credibility, I realize); however, various sources suggest that trade between the Vikings and Muslim Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphates via the Caspian Sea produced large inflows of high-quality silver Dirham coins (as evidenced by large caches of Islamic coins found in Scandinavia).

There is a possible correlation (established by the mining dates on the coins found in buried Scandinavian caches) of the tapering off of these specie inflows with an increase of Viking raids.

In other words, as the Abbasid 'Empire' started to fragment (losing control of precious metals and tax revenue from different areas, (i.e. Spain, Egypt, Khorasan) and as output from existing mines dropped, so did the volume of money reaching the Vikings, which may have caused them to seek other sources of gold and silver...

This is probably too tidy, too linear in outline: 'no silver from Islamic world, so attack Western Europe', BUT, to a certain extent there might be a little bit of truth to it, perhaps it was a contributing factor.

In my opinion, it does deserve some mention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Guerre1859 (talkcontribs) 03:08, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Er, citation needed. What I could find[2] questions this chronology: Viking raids into Western Europe were occurring in the 790s, before their trade with the Caliphates in the 900s. Also, while those raiding Western Europe and those trading with the Caliphates were both Norse, they were not the same people. Fences&Windows 20:54, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

You're right, citation is needed, however, the source you cite does not, as far as I see, contradict a linkage between a breakdown in Islamic-Viking trade and invasions, as Dr. Hussain writes of the Dirhams: "They are thin, made from silver and date from the Abbasid caliphate, which existed from the 8th to 13th century"; if the first Viking attack is usually given as the raid on Lindisfarne in 793 but attacks continued well into the 900s, there is considerable overlap in time.

Finally, the argument that they were not the same people (raiding in the West and trading in the East) is no logical impediment to the theory, because the Dirhams still circulated within the Norse cultural zone and there is no necessary logic why the traders have to be directly involved in raiding...Economic shocks can be communicated across large distances and at second, third, or fourth hand, that is true today and was true in the past, just like Chinese trade with the USA can impact Australia, without the USA necessarily having contact with Australia (eg. American capital investment fueling a boom in China causing massive importation of Australian iron ore--or to make the analogy even more explicit: the cessation or drastic tapering off of US investment in China having a knock-on effect on Australia, leading to great changes in the Australian economy, which would not be directly restricted to the iron extraction, because the money inflows generated by the trade in its heyday would have rippled outwards across many sectors of the Australian economy, so that, perhaps, at the end of the day, we would find Australian prostitutes leaving the now impoverished mining ghost towns, and emigrating to a new 'El Dorado', say, Angola...just as Swedish Rus Vikings trading with the Muslims across the Caspian, could have had knock-on effects on their Norwegian and Danish brethren.

A thoughtful comment should also be thoughtfully dismissed, and with adequate, serious documentation, not a 'fluff' feature article. If Hussain presented statistical correlations and analyses of the Dirhams based on date, purity, location of minting, then he would be authoritative. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Theorise thoughtfully all you like on a blog, but Wikipedia is not the place for original argument. If you can't come up with reliable sources that support this supposed connection between a decline in the Abbasid caliphate and an increase in Viking Raids in Northern Europe due to the consequent lack of silver coinage, it is not going in the article. You've not presented a single source. Fences&Windows 19:16, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
This source says that the decline is silver coins into East and Northern Europe occurred in the late 10th century, the last coin turning up in Sweden in the 960s. This means that there were about 150 years of Viking raids to Britain and other places in Northern Europe before the decline in silver. This source says that the peak of flow of silver into Europe was about 800. This source says that the slowing down of silver from the Abbassid caliphate in the 820s lead to problems in the Carolingian empire, leading to less trade with the Vikings, increasing piracy - just the thesis you've been proposing. I wasn't 'dismissing' your proposal, I was using sources. Now here's a source that supports it. See how this works? Fences&Windows 19:37, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
More here: "opinion differs as to whether it was the presence of Arabic silver, or periodic reductions in its availability, which fuelled Scandinavian raiding in the west." So the raids could have been caused by the presence of this silver, not its removal. I'm sure we can add some suitably sourced and neutrally worded content to reflect these theories. Fences&Windows 20:34, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

It's a little bit odd to demand citations as if the history of silver circulation in the Viking age is contentious. It isn't. It is very well known indeed that there are 3 major stages in the circulation of silver in the viking world from the mid-C8th to the end of the C11th. This should be apparent from a cursory reading of standard text books (most recently Stefan Brink and Nield Price, ed., The VIking World (2008), pp. 159-69). Islamic silver began to flow into Scandinavia shortly before 800. Since access to silver was a principal means to acquiring and displaying prestige and political authority, the increased flow may have had the effect of destabilising the rudimentary power structures in some parts of Scandinavia as rival dynasties and magnate groups competed for power, encouraging some to use their resources to carve out territories for themselves outside Scandinavia, in the west (see Peter Heather, Empires and Barbarians (2009), pp. 510-12). Alternatively, as you note, the intensification of raids may have been linked with the temporary disruption of flow in the mid-C9th (the theory of Klavs Randsborg in The Viking Age in Denmark (1980), pp. 137-66). In the last quarter of the C10th, Islamic dirhams disappear. They are replaced at first by pennies from Germany and Anglo-Saxon England. One common interpretation is that at this point, the reduction in the flow of silver into the kingdom favored elite groups that had now emerged in a dominant position, like the Danish dynasty. It is at precisely this point that the centralised kingdom of Denmark emerges under Harald Bluetooth and Sven Forkbeard. But the Danish kings (and others) did still desperately need silver to maintain their positions, and Sven Forkbeard himself undertook raiding and extortion in Anglo-Saxon England (the first ruling king in the Scandinavian homelands known to have done so). When Sven's political rival Thorkell the Tall, who evidently did not recognise his overlordship, exposed the weakness of England in the great raids of 1009-12, Sven -- it has been argued -- was forced to act lest Thorkell or someone other Scandinavian warlord should benefit too much from the wealth of England, and be able to use it to underwrite a power grab at home. In 1013 he took the initiative and invaded. It was in these years around 1000 that the third major shift in the circulation of silver took place, as national coinages began to emerge in Scandinavia, because the now more powerful kings of Scandinavia were able more effectively to manage and administer the use of silver flowing into their kingdoms. This is not simply my opinion, but a statement of the picture in current scholarship. Interpretations of the impact of these changes vary in the writings of Peter Sawyer and other historians interested in the economic background to viking activities, but the fluctuations in the circulation of silver are well known. See D.M. Metcalf's overviews on 'Viking-Age numismatics' in the 1997 and 1998 issues of the Numismatic Chronicle on the circulation of Islamic, German and Anglo-Saxon silver in the Scandinavian world (pp. 296-335, and 347-71, respectively). For another classic statement, see Peter Spufford's Money and Its Use in Medieval Europe (1988), pp. 55-73. It's all very well demanding that people cite their sources: but it's just plain rude to assume they don't have any. Effective contribution depends on knowledge of authoritative scholarship (including James Barrett's article from Antiquity, which you cite): you can't do much with ad hoc inferences from magazine articles that happen to be available online (talk) 10:23, 27 July 2010 (UTC)!

What on earth is all the hocus pocus in the article about Christianity and preferential trading as a stimulus to the Viking Age? This is complete nonsense: it in no way represents the present scholarly consensus (or indeed any other expert consensus at any time). It seems to reflect the interests of someone with an contemporary ideological axe to grind. It will completely mislead anybody who refers to this article who has no previous knowledge of the Vikings. The entire passage should go -- unless someone can show that some authority has demonstrated how it was that Scandinavian seasonal emporia at sites like Ribe and Hedeby were already flourishing in the C8th if religious differences were a genuine impediment to trade between Scandinavians and their north-western European neighbours. The theory that religious confrontation explains Vikings has been articulated recently by the archaeologist Bjorn Myhre, but not on the terms expressed here, and few other scholars have been convinced by his views. It's easy to show that the 'religious confrontation' theory is weak, because it can't account for continued raiding as Christianity spread through Scandinavia in the C10th/11th. The common theme underlying viking activity, as most scholarship seems to accept, is clearly the pursuit of profit--whether in the form of moveable or landed wealth. What's unusual about the Vikings as opposed to other early medieval groups is the degree of private enterprise and mobility harnessed in the acquisition of wealth by violence. This tells us something about social and political conditions in the homelands, and the impact of the late adoption of the sail in Scandinavia for use on ship types designed to negotiate shallow inland waterways as well as coastal waters.CubeDigit (talk) 12:16, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Influence of Viking settlement on the English language[edit]

"words which used sk- sounds, such as skirt, sky, and skin; other words appearing in written sources at this time included again, awkward, birth, cake, dregs, fog, freckles, gasp, law, moss, neck, ransack, root, scowl, sister, seat, sly, smile, want, weak, and window.[25] Some of the words that came into use are among the most common in English, such as both, same, get, and give. The system of personal pronouns was affected, with they, them, and their replacing the earlier forms. Old Norse influenced the verb to be; the replacement of sindon by are is almost certainly Scandinavian in origin, as is the third-person-singular ending -s in the present tense of verbs."

I think or, at least, ask this question: Aren't there many things wrong in that paragraph about the influence on the English language?

For instance, words like "both" or "give" appear to be common Germanic words and not specifically Scandinavian (north germanic) ones. The same is true for "birth" (German: Geburt), "cake" (German: Kuchen), "sister" (German: Schwester, but with dialectal forms like "süster" etc.), "weak" (German: schwach) etc. I highly doubt, these are good examples for something specifically Scandinavian... And moreover, isn't the ending -s a result of a phonetic change from -eth to -s in order to have a somewhat easier pronounciation? That's what we learned at school (though this does not mean that it was correct). Other examples are better: like "sky" or "law".

Agreed. No idea why the -s is mentioned, don't think it existed in Norse. Sources are needed. Narssarssuaq (talk) 07:54, 19 April 2010 (UTC)


There seems to be a lot of vandalism on this page. Is there any way that it can be tagged to prevent this? Brendandh (talk) 17:25, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Dublin and Waterford in the British Isles list?[edit]

This makes no sense. Ireland is not one of the British isles now, and it certainly wasn't when Dublin and Waterford were founded. (talk) 15:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

While not part of the UK, it is part of the British Isles, which is a geographical grouping, not a political one. The British Isles includes Great Britain (mainland Scotland, England and Wales), Ireland (Northern and Southern), the Isle of Man, and many other islands. Alphathon /'æl.f'æ.θɒn/ (talk) 21:35, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
To clarify slightly, see this Venn diagram:
British Isles Venn diagram
Alphathon /'æl.f'æ.θɒn/ (talk) 21:42, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Southern and eastern Europe: Germanic?[edit]

"Many Slavic scholars are opposed to this theory of Germanic influence on the Rus' (people) and have suggested alternative scenarios for this part of Eastern European history." Germanic? Shouldn't that be Scandinavian or Viking or Varangian or something similar? Allens (talk) 17:08, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

When were the Viking Raids?[edit]

I'm doing a project, but I can't find this particular piece of information. Could anyone help me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Given that you don't specify which geographical area you are interested in, you may wish to browse Category:Viking Age. Ben MacDui 19:09, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Or pose the question at the reference desk. The article talk pages should only be used for discussions related to article improvement. --Saddhiyama (talk) 19:14, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Put the viking age in a larger context[edit]

It is a pity, I think that the Viking age usually is seen as an isolated period that began during the 8'th century and ended in the eleventh century.

I would rather see it as a continuation of the Migration Period, when many tribes from Scandinavia, such as the Goths and Anglo-Saxons invaded the colapsing Roman Empire and other areas. Is it not likely that the Viking Age Scandinavians already had contacts and trade links with these earlier migrants wich they later came to invade or plunder? Maybe they had heard stories told of past heroes' deeds around the camp fires. Maybe there were even maps and route descriptions preserved. Is not the oldest written text in Saxon, Beowulf set in Scandinavia and in Sweden there's a runestone (Rökstenen) that suggests that the Geats may have felt a strong fellowship with the Goths.1

Looking at Vikings from that angle it may not be completely illogical to think of Viking raids more like planned military expedititions with clear goals and objectives, rather than as occasional forays where they captured what they came over (although this may have been the case sometimes). Perhaps some of the Viking leaders where even well versed in Roman thinking about strategy and tactics. An indication of this is that the Vikings sometimes appears to have used Roman battleformations such as shieldcastles and pig head's array. These are more or less identical to the formations that the latter-day Roman legions used.

With this in mind, it is perhaps not more correct to ask what happend outside Scandinavia during the viking age that made the norsemen do what they did, than to ask what happend inside Scandinavia during this period.

I am looking forward to your comments on this thread.

(And there are uch more evidence to support this, but this text is not about The Goths) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dadalado (talkcontribs) 22:14, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

viking age timeline fixed[edit]

The viking age timeline on the page had overlapping black and blue text and you couldn't actually read the text so I went ahead and fixed it and made the events that are on there actually stand out when as far as when they happened on the timeline instead of just the words being centered on the year which no one could visually see on the graph the year they happened. Basically made it more legible and aesthetically pleasing. If anyone needs any help with messing with it in the future just leave me a message on my talk page and I'll get right on it. Face-smile.svg  dain- talk   06:25, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Why is there a Viking Age?[edit]

Hi there, just to throw some oil on the burning waves ...

IMHO the concept of a VA conflates three issues: - Nordic Culture (and its history) - British History - World History

1. Nordic Culture (and its history) The culture from which the Vikings emerged constitutes - probably - a continuum (albeit a developing one) from, say, the Merowingian Age, and, arguably*, up to the Black Death, which was a major incision especially for the Norse, with their higher-than-average depopulation; practically the end of civilization as they knew it. 1066 notwithstanding, e.g. vikings emerged from the north to go raiding in the British Isles (Magnus Barefoot, slain, IIRC, on a raid in Ireland in 1103); and the "Realm of Norway" ("Norgesveldet"), Norway's greatest expansion and political heyday was around the reign of this 13. century guy: Et cetera.

  • Arguably, the Viking Age among the Norse was, if not ended, then severly reduced due to the encroaching

Hanseatic League, combined with the expansion of the church and of royal authority, leading to a thorough restructuring of society and economy; classic "Norse Society"-stuff, IMHO.

2. British History Of course the period between the Lindisfarne raid and the battle of Stamford Bridge saw a lot of viking influence on the history of the British Isles. No doubt about it.

3. World History While Nordic history is part of World History, and Norsemen pop up in places surprisingly far from home, they play a role in World history only inasmuch as World History is somewhat identical to British Historiography; and a case for this view permeating history writing here and there could be made. Although The Norse ranged from America to Armenia, they didn't make much of an impact on either place, and few places in between - what they did there is more of a "who were these guys?" question. But had William lost the battle of Hastings, the "Viking Age" would have been much, much less important, historically, even given the trials of Alfred the Great. Then we wouldn't have to ponder when this Viking Age began and ended, because then there wouldn't have been one, as little as there is

an Age of Wendish and Saxon Raiders, Age of Barbary Pirates or Age of Huns, Mongols, Tartars,

Magyars, Bulgars, Turks .... a horde (and a mass noun, too) of savage ... well, hordes bothering their betters intent on enjoying a good ballad and a goblet of wine in the castle's great hall. Or ... the Viking Age is a markedly North-European (North Sea, even) affair, politically and historically.

Conclusion? Perhaps one should not start with the concept and look for a corresponding reality. Perhaps this concept also should be picked apart somewhat. Yes, there was a period when chronicles reflected some vigorous seasonal labour migration out of Scandinavia, but OTOH this had been going on since the Cimbrians and Teutones, well over thousand years. They just hadn't invented the keel at the time, so they didn't litter the piers in Brighton so much. And the same phenomenon continued after 1066, but with so many waves of Angles, Saxons, Danes, Normans ... the chroniclers experienced a kind of "invasion ennui", couldn't be bothered anymore, really. Attention shifted elsewhere.

In the spirit of contribution

Laborious version - retain most, yet make specific /EN is not my mother tongue, so all text here should probably be rewritten/: "The Viking Age is the name given by historians to a period especially in Northern European History, spanning the late 8th to late 11th centuries /the dates in the article vary from 1030 to 1263, btw; which is about as long as the 9. - 11. century. Interesting./. Norse rovers appeared as traders, invaders, conquerors and colonists in neighbouring regions within reach of their seafaring capabilities, their access to trade goods, their ability to wage war and to sustain emigration.

/The following headings could have separate sections; I'd reccommend keeping them short, and link to relevant, established Wiki articles expanding on the subject./

Historical considerations /- seems to be "the history of the history of the Vikings ...?/

Historical background /- a hodgepodge of politics, geography, culture, technology ...

       would perhaps be better covered with a reference to "Norse Society" ?/

Historic overview /consists of "important dates" + "areas of expansion"/

  Important dates /for beginning or actually first mention to end or disappearance from chronicles/
  Scope of expansion /areas, and degrees of influence there/

Norse Society /- "See main article" /


Vikings /- "See main article" /

Viking Expansion /- "See main article" /

  Probable causes of Norse expansion
  Norse Expansion Enablers 
       (Technology, Law (who gets to inherit whom), foes in political unrest)
  Viking Itinerary - Areas visited (by region, as today)
       Viking invasions (by region, as today)
              Events (battles and such)
                 Political consequences
       Viking colonisations
            (e.g. Britain, Normadie)
                 Influence of Norse (X) on (e.g.) English (X)
                    (Language, law, technology, cuisine, fashion ...)(at the time)
                       Legacy (today /maybe not a practical division.../)
  Probable causes of the end of Norse expansion


Perhaps easier version: Rename the whole article "Viking Expansion", redirect from "Viking Age", agressive linking to sub-articles as above.

Hoping to sign this right,

T (talk) 04:09, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Since that is all original research it is not a relevant discussion on Wikipedia. You should take this up with the historians who assign the period in question the "Viking Age" in Scandinavian history. Good luck with that (and I would recommend you read a bit more than just British history before you do that, it would probably save you from some embarrassment). --Saddhiyama (talk) 09:13, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Time bracket[edit]

There's something funny with the timing in this article. The lede says the Viking age covers the late 8th to late 11th century, i.e up to almost 1100 AD. Yet the (very nice) table and they text itself indicate the death of Harald Hardrada as the end, at least in Britain. This certainly is the traditional endpoint. In Norway, the end is traditionally set to the Battle of Stiklestad of 1030 AD. This gives a somewhat different time endpoint from "late 11th century". Wouldn't "mid 11th century" be an better description of the endpoint? The sources are the Encyclopædia Britannica articles on Norway, Denmark and Sweden respectively. The article on Norway gives no time bracket. The article on Sweden cites "in the 11th century", the text indicating again around 1060 (Christening of Sweden). The article on Denmark is not open. Since Wikipedia shoild ideally not cite other encylopædiae, i suggest 1) adjusting the time bracket, and 2) finding printed sources for the bracket. Petter Bøckman (talk) 08:28, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

We need to find some better sources that are specificaly about the topic and follow their usage.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:54, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
The viking age ends at different dates at different places, and in different disciplines. Archaeologists in Scandinavia puts the end date at about 1100 when stone churches begin to be erected.
Andejons (talk) 06:50, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Presumably we could find sources saying that.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:22, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I'll see what I can find. Petter Bøckman (talk) 14:16, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
I noticed the encyclopedia refs and the funny time period, and came here to see what was up. Seeing that no one was happy with what's there, I went ahead and changed it with a ref to Forte, Oram and Pedersen. Also, I've been using the {{sfn}} Harvard references because it doesn't clutter up the wikitext too much, but if it offends people that I'm mixing reference styles, I'll change it. Laura Scudder | talk 15:55, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Another "traditional" end of the Viking age is 1066, with the defeat of the last Norseman forces in England.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:58, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, we're never going to settle on a single year as the beginning and end. Forte et al. just say circa 800-circa 1050, but the play in those dates could be emphasized by instead saying early 9th to mid 11th centuries. Laura Scudder | talk 16:46, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Historical Considerations[edit]

The first few segment of the Historical Considerations section is almost word for shot of what happens in the History Channels 'Vikings' TV series. A show that is incredibly historically inaccurate and isn't backed by the sources provided. Delete immediately, it's clearly some idiot editing this article because he watched a TV show. (talk) 10:28, 14 July 2013 (UTC) Harlequin

It's not just the first sections either, the article is a complete mess. I'm not a Wikipedian, but if nobody wants to police it, I suggest you just delete it. It's fluff. //erik.bramsen.copenhagen — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

It's time this article underwent serious reappraisal - this should be a Featured Article! As a general history topic, it's in a bad state: poor organisation and inadequate referencing. Checking today, the article leads with four overlapping and highly confusing historical overviews:

1 Historical considerations 2 Historical background 3 Probable causes of Norse expansion 4 Historic overview

Time for a tidy up! Paul James Cowie (talk) 05:57, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Why history and not pre-history?[edit]

I was wondering why the Viking Age is considered part of History and not Pre-history. My answer is, that even though the Vikings were did not produce any literary legacy, they described themselves on runestones with their alphabet of runes. Is that the reason perhaps?

I vaguely remembers though, that runes were in use in Scandinavia before the Viking Age and that runestones were erected in the Nordic Iron Age as well. Is this correct or not?

Maybe someone knows more than me about this and wants to help? I think its important.

RhinoMind (talk) 02:26, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Because others described them in historical accounts, they themselves wrote on runestones, and they wrote down their oral histories in the form of Sagas in the centuries following the Viking Age.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:02, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for your inputs. It was also partly what I thought.
  • Except the point about others describing them. Is it true, that a specific culture will enter history, when others are describing them in text? Did the Amazon Indian cultures fx. enter history, when they were described by others from the outside? I am not sure this is a solid reason.
  • Except the point about the Sagas. Again it was other people describing them, and then even at a later point in history. I think we can rule that reason out immediately. Since there are many books on the Stone Age fx. and this does definitely not make the Stone Age part of history.
  • As I hinted, runestones were also raised in the Nordic Iron Age (if I remember it correctly), but this period is still considered pre-history? A bit strange.
Ok, hope for more comments. RhinoMind (talk) 12:39, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Ain't this because of some ... reification issue? First of all, "The Vikings" were not a nation or a tribe or even a politically coherent entity (unlike e.g. the Franks or the Angles), so it figures that vikings didn't have much of a written culture. We don't have "Annals of Saxon Wheelwrights" either. Second, while the "Viking Age" is a somewhat clearly defined bracket in overall European history, that does not hold for Scandinavia, where there was a continuity that makes it meaningless to say e.g. that the viking age ended _there_ in 1066 also, which is why "sagas written much later" becomes a sort of half-truth, which is extra dangerous since the sagas also contain also half-truths ...
Generally, though, it seems that as long as somebody writes something, history is in progress. We don't have firsthand accounts from all "neighbouring peoples" from Sumer and onwards, either. Either that, or there is still no history on the Andaman Islands.

T 2001:4610:A:5E:0:0:0:9915 (talk) 13:35, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

The correct term in such a case is obviously protohistory. Technically, however, the Viking-Age Scandinavians did have writing, namely the Younger Futhark (as already mentioned), which was used fairly extensively, mostly in the form of runestones, indeed, just not for chronicles and similar more directly useable sources. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:20, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Hi. Thanks for pointing to this term. I was not familiar with it. But the question of why the Viking Age is considered part of History then, is now even more bizarre. At least it is unexplained for now. RhinoMind (talk) 19:10, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
What exactly are you referring to? The lede? On Wikipedia, and elsewhere too, "history" is used in the more general sense as well, so "History of X-land"-type articles generally treat prehistory and protohistory too. First-millennium AD Scandinavia is unusual in that it has writing, though it was used only in a limited fashion, although there are comparable cases such as ancient Gaul before the Roman conquest. It is clear that this can be described as a transitional period between prehistory and history, and that's exactly what the term protohistory is for. As Protohistory says: "Protohistoric may also refer to the transition period between the advent of literacy in a society and the writings of the first historians." By the way, to answer your other initial question, you are correct that there are runic inscription and runestones before the Viking Age, from the 2nd to the 8th century; the writing system of that period is called Elder Futhark, and the language of that period is called Proto-Norse. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:05, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

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