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Former featured article candidate Vikings is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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April 18, 2006 Featured article candidate Not promoted
January 22, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
Current status: Former featured article candidate

Location of Viken[edit]

"Various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken (or Víkin in Old Norse), meaning "a person from Viken"." The southeastern part of Viken is Bohuslän which now belongs to Sweden, so it might be good to have that added for a clearer geographic location. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:58, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi. I think it would require an improvement of the Viken article first. With solid references and hopefully a map showing the extent of the now defunkt Viken district. At present it is unclear what exactly Viken covered. When this basic issue is solved we can make proper changes in this article. All-in-all though, I find it a very very small issue. But if you really feel it is important, then just go ahead with the project by all means. RhinoMind (talk) 03:48, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
And good contemporary references to show this idea has current academic traction - I've never seen any. Johnbod (talk) 14:46, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
King Philip II of Macedon had no affilation to Viken at all, neither the arabic pirates defined as vikings, in the story of Sigurd the Crusader. This is old, uninteresting remains of some old guys playing with words in front of their house-fire 50 years ago, and those sticky rests of pseudoscience still gives the article viking an obfuscated character, far away from the clear, describing encyclopedia. Its time to take a step forward with this article. Please... Dan Koehl (talk) 21:56, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

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The Vikings didn't reach the Americas[edit]

The Vikings didn't reach the Americas. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:41, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

The Greenland Saga describes the establishment of the Norse settlements in Greenland and Vinland (Newfoundland). There is plenty of archaeological evidence to support it. Mediatech492 (talk) 12:21, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Oeselians / Estonian / Finnic vikings[edit]

While Norsemen constituted the larger population of the vikings, also Oeselians and Curonians were represented in the time and played an important role. The current article seems to be focused almost solely on the Norsemen. How can we best add some text on Oeselians and Curonians, without breaking the flow of content on Norsemen? Blomsterhagens (talk) 15:19, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

The Oeselians and Curonians are Finno-Baltic cultures, ethno-linguistically in the Uralic group of peoples; whereas the Norse are of Germanic origins. They are much closer related to the Huns than the Vikings. Mediatech492 (talk) 16:47, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

What does that have to do with anything? The entire point is that vikings were not only norsemen. Have you actually read the sources? Blomsterhagens (talk) 20:36, 23 May 2018 (UTC)

Yes I have read the sources, and they do not support your assertion. Mediatech492 (talk) 20:45, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Support what exactly? The sources clearly say that Oeselians were vikings. What exactly is your point? Blomsterhagens (talk) 21:17, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
The point is that you need to provide reliable sources to support your assertions. Most of the sources you listed are not RS and/or completely irrelevant. Only one states that there were Vikings in Estonia; however it does not say that they were Oeselians. Mediatech492 (talk) 21:33, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
So instead of renaming Oeselians to Estonians, you just blanket revert everything? Sorry if I don’t see any professionalism in that action. I’ll recheck the references but it’s not like the academic research is short on sources here.,5 Blomsterhagens (talk) 21:58, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Just follow the rules and provide you sources. Then there will be no issue. Have a nice day.
  • Vikings were per definition Germanic Scandinavians speaking the Old Norse language, making Oeselians, Curonians and all other peoples who weren't Germanic Scandinavians speaking the Old Norse language totally irrelevant for this article. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 22:26, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
Not exactly, per this article, whose first sentence has "...were Norse seafarers, mainly speaking the Old Norse language,..." - one wonders what the others spoke. His point is that the Oeselians and Curonians were often also fierce pagan maritime raiders, with a pretty similar "Viking" lifestyle, which seems to be the case, though I've no idea if they settled overseas, went as far as the Vikings, or mixed and mingled with them. How much the surrounding people took careful note of exactly who it was slaughtering them, we also can't be sure of. It might be worth adding a sourced para. Johnbod (talk) 22:34, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
@Johnbod: Nope. The lead of this article states that Vikings were "Norse seafarers", and Norse refers to (and redirects to) Norsemen, an article that describes the Norse as "Germanic people who inhabited Scandinavia and spoke what is now called the Old Norse language". - Tom | Thomas.W talk 22:39, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
So the lead is wrong then? Johnbod (talk) 22:43, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
If we go by the strict definition, yes, but many Norse men who settled outside Scandinavia married local women and got children who became bilingual, speaking both Old Norse and local languages, but continued the lifestyle of their fathers, from whatever area they grew up in (the Scandinavians who settled in Normandy, Ireland, Scotland and elsewhere were mainly men, as can be seen from DNA tests made in the Faroe Islands, showing that the local population almost exclusively descend from Scandinavia on the male side, but to a large extent from Ireland on the female side, lots of people in Iceland also descend from Ireland or Scotland on the female side...). - Tom | Thomas.W talk 23:02, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
I'm no expert, as my interest has always been the origins of the English language rather than Norse, but I've heard of Danish Vikings, so I'm not sure that language or country is the main criteria, nor is a seafaring/raider lifestyle. I was always under the impression that the link is they descended from the Proto-Germanic race, carrying with them their religion and beliefs, and had languages with strong retention of that Proto-Germanic language.
For example, the Angles and Saxons and other Germanic invaders of Old England were virtually indistinguishable to the Vikings. Those strong German and Scandinavian roots are still strong in English today. In example, over half of the most common words we use in English every day are Scandinavian in origin. Even the days of the week are named not after Roman gods, but Germanic gods and characters (eg: Sun day, Moon day, Tue's day, Odin's day, Thor's day, Freya's day, and Surtur day.) The English didn't start to refer to Germanic cultures as raiders or Vikings until Middle English, after the French and second Roman influences to the language and culture. Zaereth (talk) 23:16, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
It is a Non sequitur argument. Being in some ways similar to a Viking does not make you a viking. Mediatech492 (talk) 00:07, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Could we just stick to sources please? If academic literature says Estonians / specifically Oeselians were vikings - which is what other (norse) vikings called them at the time - then what exactly is the counterargument here? Blomsterhagens (talk) 03:09, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Estonians were not Vikings by the English language definition of "Viking", i.e. Norse seafarers (a definition that is also the common Scandinavian definition of it), period. And thus do not belong here, even if you manage to find a source that claims they were (see WP:FRINGE). - Tom | Thomas.W talk 08:02, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
I dont follow your logic. What source says that vikings can only be norse? Those same norse vikings themselves used the term “Estonian vikings”. And the literature on this is ample. They even fought together with vikings from the swedish lands in the battle of Bråvalla. Apparently the vikings from 1200 years ago were less xenophobic than some wiki editors here. Blomsterhagens (talk) 08:31, 24 May 2018 (UTC) Blomsterhagens (talk) 08:31, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
And by accusing your "opponents" of being xenophobic you lost the discussion. The vast majority of English language sources describe Vikings as being Norse seafarers, so that's what we go by. Period. I strongly suggest you read WP:FRINGE that I linked to above, since that page describes how we, i.e. the English language Wikipedia, deal with sources who present a non-mainstream view, such as the source you found about "Estonian Vikings". - Tom | Thomas.W talk 08:56, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

Proposed update to the intro / lead to the article[edit]

Vikings (Old English: wicing—"pirate",[1] Danish and Bokmål: vikinger; Swedish and Nynorsk: vikingar; Icelandic: víkingar, from Old Norse) were Northern European seafarers, mainly Norsemen speaking the Old Norse language, but by some sources also Oeselians[2][3][4][5], who raided and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of northern, central, eastern and western Europe, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries.[6][7][8]


More sources:

Estonian Vikings capturing Olaf Tryggvason Víkingar frá Eistlandi: Austmarr in the Old Icelandic Sagas Using the term "vikings" in it's wider meaning, one can in full confidence also talk about the Estonian Vikings - Käsmu Sea Museum Víkingr frá Esthland Freygeirr's son being named Eistr ("Estonian)

If those sources exist, what exactly should then be done about them? According to Wiki rules: "Indicate the relative prominence of opposing views. Ensure that the reporting of different views on a subject adequately reflects the relative levels of support for those views, and that it does not give a false impression of parity, or give undue weight to a particular view."

Blomsterhagens (talk) 09:38, 24 May 2018 (UTC)

The reference says "Estonian Vikings", which are ethnic Norse inhabitants of Estonia. It is an unspported WP:POV assumption on your part that these Vikings are Oeselians. Mediatech492 (talk) 10:45, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. We don't go by a "wider definition" of Viking but by the common English language definition of it, as given in the lead of one of the sources you linked to, Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Viking, also called Norseman or Northman, member of the Scandinavian seafaring warriors who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the 9th to the 11th century and whose disruptive influence profoundly affected European history. These pagan Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish warriors ...". Clearly stating that Vikings were Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, not Estonians... - Tom | Thomas.W talk 10:34, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
In Wikipedia, you go by wiki rules. This also means giving weight to significant minority views, no matter what you personally think about it. And you have not even addressed any of the sources. If you read about Viking revival then it's no wonder why it's so heavily tilted towards the Norse culture, when the revival was connected to 19th century Norwegian nationalism. Norsemen formed indeed most of the quantity of "vikings" - who defined themselves as sea pirates by the way and saw no nationalistic boundaries between who can be pirate and who can't. But the fact that norsemen constituted most of the vikings and than the revival started from norwegian nationalism, does not give you the right to deny perfectly valid sources about other regions. Blomsterhagens (talk) 10:39, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
The claim about there having been "Estonian Vikings" in the sense of Vikings that were ethnic Estonians, which is what you seem to claim, is an utterly fringe view, not a "significant minority view". And a misinterpretation of the sources that has already been pointed out to you by other editors here. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 10:55, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
Ok, so let's not argue about the ethnic interpretation of "Vikings from Estonia". (If you read enough literature on Oeselians, you'll understand that these were Finnic tribes, not north germanic. "Ethnic Estonians" did not exist back then. "Ethnic Estonians" is another 19th century nationalistic idea which has no relevance to this topic. The Finnic tribes and Norse tribes most definitely had some mixing though.) Ethnic topics aside - The sources are clear on the fact that "Vikings from Estonia" are mentioned numerous times. We can ignore giving the mentions ethnic meaning. Now what are we going to do about this? Even if they were Norse, Oeselians and Saaremaa are still completely ignored by the article. Lots of good info on this talk page from 10 years ago as well. Blomsterhagens (talk) 11:04, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
They are not ignored, they are simply not relevant to the article. Mediatech492 (talk) 11:09, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
On what grounds? Blomsterhagens (talk) 11:12, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
"Danes", "Norwegians" and "Swedes" refer to members of the Germanic tribes by those names, wherever they lived, and isn't limited to people living in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Members of those tribes lived in many parts of Europe during the Viking age, from Greenland to modern day Russia, including in large numbers in Normandy, Ireland and Scotland, so why do you feel that Ösel deserves special mention? - Tom | Thomas.W talk 11:13, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
1) Because the Salme boat burials are one of the most important ship finds ever thanks to the ships being dated very early into the viking era and because of the amount of people buried ; Source 2; 2) Because Northern Estonia was one of the most important viking trade routes. Ref And to come back to the previous topic - I've found 0 sources that say vikingr fra esthland were norse. And many sources that say they were from Ösel. And no sources ever mention that people inhabiting Ösel were norse. Can you? See the Norwegian wikipedia : "Den greske geografen Klaudios Ptolemaios i hans Geographia på midten av 200-tallet nevner oeselianere som blant de folk som bodde langs Østersjøkysten.[12] Oeselianere sammen med kuronianere blir også nevnt norrøne sagaer og i Snorre Sturlasons Heimskringla som «vikinger fra Estland» (Víkingr frá Esthland). Det er 9 referanser til Estland (inkludert til Adalysla) i sistnevnte verk,[13], og 3 referanser til estere.[14] Allerede i Snorres Ynglingesaga nevnes den estlandske øya Saaremaa (Øsel) som på norrønt ble kalt Eysysla og fastlandet rett over ble kalt for Adalsysla.[15]" Blomsterhagens (talk) 11:42, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
Also this line: "Estland har framstått som et av de rikeste områdene i den østlige Østersjøen ved arkeologiske funn av mynter fra 1000- og 1100-tallet. De tidligste myntsamlinger som er avdekket i Estland er arabiske dirham fra 700-tallet. De største myntsamlinger fra vikingtiden har vært avdekket i Maidla og Kose. Ut av 1500 mynter som er dokumentert i kataloger har 1000 vært angelsaksiske, hvilket tyder på at danegeld i angelsaksiske England fant seg veg til Estland på antagelig fredelige vilkår som handel med dansker og svensker.[24]" - I can translate this to english but I assume I'm speaking to people who can read this. Blomsterhagens (talk) 11:53, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
Estonia having been "one of the wealthiest areas along the eastern side of the Baltic Sea" during the Viking Age, where people, according to the source, traded with Scandinavians, still doesn't explain why Ösel should be mentioned in this article, which is about Vikings, not mediaeval trade routes. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:09, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I suggest you read the sources you link to before posting here, because the Salme boat burial is unique only in an Estonian perspective (or to quote your source: " The first Salme boat dates back to the end of the 7th – to the beginning of the 8th century, and since no such material has been found in Estonia before, the only parallels in the arheozoological material can be found in the similar findings from the neighbouring countries"; underscore added by me to emphasize that part of the text), and the "Estonian Vikings" being ethnic Estonians is purely WP:OR, using backwards logic. To support your theory you need reliable sources expressly saying that they were ethnic Estonians, a claim that is not supported by the sources not expressly saying they were Norse (since all "Vikings" by definition were Norse, there's no need to say "Norse Vikings"...). So stop wasting our time. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:00, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
You are absolutely wrong here. First, the Salme find changed the timeline of the Viking history. "The burials are “the most significant Viking discovery of the last hundred years,” ; Second, "A víkingr was someone who went on expeditions, usually abroad, usually by sea, and usually in a group with other víkingar (the plural). Víkingr did not imply any particular ethnicity and it was a fairly neutral term, which could be used of one’s own group or another group. The activity of víking is not specified further, either. It could certainly include raiding, but was not restricted to that." Source 1 ; Source 2' ; "A víkingr (the masculine) would then originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers. In that case, the word Viking was not originally connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas.[20]" << from the etymology of the article in question. And you can stop being patronizing as well. Blomsterhagens (talk) 12:14, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
From the Norsemen page: "The word Vikings: Vikinger in Danish and Norwegian Bokmål, and Vikingar in Swedish and Norwegian Nynorsk is not used as a word for Norsemen by natives, as "Viking" is the name for a specific activity/occupation (a "raid"), and not a demographic group. The Vikings were simply people (of any ethnicity, or origin) partaking in the raid (known as "going viking").[9]" Blomsterhagens (talk) 12:20, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
So feel free to talk about Norse Vikings, but if there are sources about Finnic Vikings as well, then those should be covered. Blomsterhagens (talk) 12:24, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
There is no talk about Finnic Vikings, only about Vikings in Finland and Estonia, areas that had been partly colonized by Germanic Scandinavians already long before the Viking era (not long ago large typically Scandinavian settlements were unearthed in Southwestern Finland, dating to the Proto-Norse era, i.e. ~200-800 AD). As for the Salme boat burials they might be of interest in a discussion about when the Viking Age started, but they do not in any way support your claim about there having been ethnic Estonian Vikings... - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:31, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
This is off-topic, but there haven`t been any finds of typical Scandinavian settlements from South-West Finland before 12-13th Century.Velivieras (talk) 12:44, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
Oh yes, there have, and you know it (how far up along the coast "South-West Finland" stretches might be up for discussion, though...). You and I have even had a brief discussion about it here on en-WP. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:55, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
In Western Satakunta area there are possible traces of somekind of Germanic influence in early Iron Age e.g. in couple of place names (e.g. Harjavalta) and the name Satakunta can be seen to mean the same than Hundare in Swedish, but it is a long way from there to say that there has been Scandinavian settlements in some point of history. New DNA results are expect to be published soon from that region also. I`ll infrom you when they are published. But now, end of off-topic. Velivieras (talk) 15:44, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
So - if I can find academic sources that you agree with which prove that Vikingr fra Esthland were ethnically Finnic people, what happens then? Blomsterhagens (talk) 12:40, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
Then you start a new discussion here, with sources and all, and if a majority of other editors here find the sources convincing, and support adding it to the article, an appropriate mention of it will be added to the article. - Tom | Thomas.W talk 12:48, 24 May 2018 (UTC)