In this article, we look at the diverging ways of relating to and reinventing the past in the Viking Age, exploring citations to ancient monuments in the landscape of. Viking Age Exhibition duration: August 23 – September 21, Inspired by Norse mythology and referring to the gallerists' ancestry, Japanese artist Shintaro. Erlebe die Welt der Wikinger, wo Freiheit, Macht & Furcht regieren. Ohne Download spielen!
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Objects made from more tenacious materials—like metal and stone—comprise the majority of what art historians have left to examine. Metal jewelry, storage vessels, and other utilitarian objects have been uncovered from burials and hoards.
Ivory and bone carvings have also been found, as have a limited number of precious textiles and stone carvings.
Many objects served practical and symbolic purposes and their complex decorative patterns can be a challenge to untangle. Highly-stylized motifs weave around and flow into one another, so that following a single form from one end to the other can be difficult—if there are end points at all.
Imagery was created to communicate ideas about social relations, religious beliefs, and to recall a mythic past.
Although many objects served pagan intentions, Christian themes began to intermingle with them as new ideas filtered into the region.
Viking art is visually distinct from contemporaneous cultures as traded objects and integrated customs demonstrate , and represents a unique way of thinking about the world.
The animal motifs that frequently embellished objects are actually a continuation of artistic traditions from previous periods.
The ribbon-animal was typically pictured as a highly abstracted creature with an elongated body and simplified features, appearing individually and in pairs.
In contrast, the gripping beast—a fantastical creature with clearly defined limbs—was anchored to the borders of designs and surrounding creatures.
Other animal motifs developed throughout the period, and human figures were also present. These elements, which are thought to have had particular assigned meanings, are central to the categorization of Viking Age art styles.
The Oseberg style was popular throughout mainland Scandinavia. Some of the most remarkable wood carving from the Viking Age was created in this style.
Featuring carvings of the ribbon-animal and gripping-beast motifs in fluid combinations on its prow, it served as an elite funerary vessel for two women.
The Oseberg style shows a strong interplay between zoomorphic and geometric patterns that continues artistic traditions predating the Viking Age. In Oseberg art, animal motifs—which included birds, human faces sometimes thought to be masks such as we see on the Oseberg burial cart , and the gripping beast—appear short and stocky, nearly equal in size, have rounded eyes, and tendril-like limbs.
These schematic figures are situated within fields that divide surfaces into clear segments and emphasize the balance and organization of images.
With mixtures of high- and low-relief carvings flooding their surfaces in tightly interlacing ornament, very little background is visible. The Oseberg ship burial included carved wooden posts, decorated sleds , and an oak wagon that may have been made by master craftsmen from a nearby workshop.
Although the purpose of these objects remain unclear, their detailed carvings demonstrate advanced woodworking skills.
Also included was a set of tapestries that, despite their poor condition, are believed to depict battle scenes and a religious procession.
They illustrate many objects found in the grave, indicating that material goods were important for performing customs in life and in death.
Overlapping with the Oseberg style is the Borre style, which was also popular on the mainland. However, unlike the Oseberg style, Borre artistic conventions spread to the British Isles and the Baltic region as the Norsemen traveled both East and West.
Exchanges between local and foreign artistic customs can be seen on objects found in these areas with less overt characteristics appearing in the British Isles and more emphatic characteristics appearing to the east of the Baltic Sea.
The Viking Age brought change not only to the regions of Europe plundered and conquered by the Nordic warriors, but to Scandinavia itself. Beginning around A.
While the exact reasons for Vikings venturing out from their homeland are uncertain; some have suggested it was Advances in Shipbuilding and Navigation Perhaps the most striking of Viking achievements was their state-of-the-art shipbuilding technology, which allowed them to travel greater distances than anyone before them.
Their signature longboats—sleek wooden vessels with shallow Not even St. Patrick himself could protect Ireland from the Vikings.
When the Nordic raiders launched their first attack on Ireland in A. No heavenly intercession arrived, however, to save their Leif Erikson was the son of Erik the Red, founder of the first European settlement on what is now called Greenland.
Around A. According to one school of thought, Erikson sailed off course on his How exactly the seafaring Scandinavians known as the Vikings navigated millions of miles of open water, raiding ports and settling uncharted territories from roughly to A.
The magic wands of the seeresses? Social order in the Viking Age Rune stones Magnates and kings Magnates' residences and royal seats Slaves and thralls Arrow right Expand Expeditions and raids Different types of expeditions How did the Vikings travel around in the world?
Chroniclers paid little attention to other aspects of medieval Scandinavian culture. This slant was accentuated by the absence of contemporary primary source documentation from within the Viking Age communities themselves.
Little documentary evidence was available until later, when Christian sources began to contribute. As historians and archaeologists have developed more resources to challenge the one-sided descriptions of the chroniclers, a more balanced picture of the Norsemen has become apparent.
The Vikings used their longships to travel vast distances and attain certain tactical advantages in battle. They could perform highly efficient hit-and-run attacks, in which they quickly approached a target, then left as rapidly before a counter-offensive could be launched.
Because of the ships' negligible draft, the Vikings could sail in shallow waters, allowing them to invade far inland along rivers.
The use of the longships ended when technology changed, and ships began to be constructed using saws instead of axes. This led to a lesser quality of ships.
While battles at sea were rare, they would occasionally occur when Viking ships attempted to board European merchant vessels in Scandinavian waters.
When larger scale battles ensued, Viking crews would rope together all nearby ships and slowly proceed towards the enemy targets.
While advancing, the warriors hurled spears, arrows, and other projectiles at the opponents. When the ships were sufficiently close, melee combat would ensue using axes, swords, and spears until the enemy ship could be easily boarded.
The roping technique allowed Viking crews to remain strong in numbers and act as a unit, but this uniformity also created problems.
A Viking ship in the line could not retreat or pursue hostiles without breaking the formation and cutting the ropes, which weakened the overall Viking fleet and was a burdensome task to perform in the heat of battle.
In general, these tactics enabled Vikings to quickly destroy the meagre opposition posted during raids.
Changes in shipbuilding in the rest of Europe led to the demise of the longship for military purposes. By the 11th and 12th centuries, European fighting ships were built with raised platforms fore and aft, from which archers could shoot down into the relatively low longships.
The nautical achievements of the Vikings were exceptional. For instance, they made distance tables for sea voyages that were remarkably precise.
The archaeological find known as the Visby lenses from the Swedish island of Gotland may be components of a telescope.
It appears to date from long before the invention of the telescope in the 17th century. An archaeological find in Sweden consists of a bone fragment fixated with in-operated material; the piece is as yet undated.
These bones might be the remains of a trader from the Middle East. This wiki. This wiki All wikis. Sign In Don't have an account? Main article: Viking expansion.
Main article: Scandinavian Scotland. Main article: Kingdom of the Isles. Further information: Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages. Main article: L'Anse aux Meadows.
Further information: Viking ship , Viking Age arms and armour. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , p. Northern Shores: a history of the Baltic Sea and its peoples.
London: John Murray. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings. A bibliography of French-language", Caen, Centre for research on the countries of the North and Northwest, University of Caen, , p.
Online Medieval and Classical Library. Retrieved 7 June Other Scandinavian areas have only scattered finds: 1, from Denmark and some from Norway.
Byzantine coins have been found almost exclusively in Gotland, some See Arkeologi i Norden 2. Stockholm See also Gardell, Carl Johan: Gotlands historia i fickformat , ISBN Bis ins Retrieved Archived from the original on Categories :.
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Main article: Curonians. Further information: Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages. Norse people. Scandinavia History.
WikiProject Norse history and culture. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. April Main article: Viking raids in the Rhineland.
Main article: L'Anse aux Meadows. Further information: Longship and Viking Age arms and armour.
See also: Norse paganism and Norse mythology. This section is empty. Main article: History of Scandinavia. The Vikings. Cambridge University Press.
The term ' Viking ' is derived from the Old Norse vik, a bay, and means 6 one who haunts a bay, creek or fjord 1 '.
In the 9th and 10th centuries it came to be used more especially of those warriors who left their homes in Scandinavia and made raids on the chief European countries.
Scandinavians and the English in the Viking Age. University of Cambridge. The Viking period is, therefore, best defined as the period when Scandinavians played a large role in the British Isles and western Europe as raiders and conquerors.
It is also the period in which Scandinavians settled in many of the areas they conquered, and in the Atlantic islands Women in the Viking Age.
International contact is the key to the Viking Age. In Scandinavian history this period is distinct because large numbers of Scandinavian people left their homelands and voyaged abroad The period is thus defined by the impact the Scandinavians had on the world around them.
The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. In Chisholm, Hugh ed. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. Penguin Books.
The term "Viking" has come to be applied to all Scandinavians of the period, but in the Viking Age itself the term vikingr applied only to someone who went i viking, that is plundering.
In this sense, most Viking-age Scandinavians were not Vikings at all, but peaceful farmers and craftsmen who stayed quietly at home all their lives.
The term 'Viking' has come in modern times to be applied to all early medieval Scandinavians and it is directly as a result of this that the controversy has arisen.
As used originally in the Viking Age itself, the word was applied only to someone who went i viking, that is someone whose occupation was piracy.
The earliest use of the word predates the Viking Age by some years and it was not even used exclusively to describe Scandinavian pirates. Most Viking Age Scandinavians were not Vikings at all in this original sense of the word but were simply peaceful farmers, craftsmen and merchants.
The Vikings in the Isle of Man. Aarhus University Press. One of the problems facing any serious writer dealing with the Viking Age concerns the usage of the term 'Viking' itself, which I have used — if sparingly — in much of this book.
The word 'Viking' did not come into general use in the English language until the middle of the nineteenth Century — at about the same time that it was introduced into serious academic literature in Scandinavia — and has since then changed its meaning and been much abused.
It must, however, be accepted that the term is today used throughout the world as a descriptor of the peoples of Scandinavia in the period from the late eighth Century until the mid-eleventh Century.
To the general public, however, it has apparently two meanings; both are respectable and hallowed in the English language by two centuries of usage.
The first is in the sense of 'raider' or 'pirate', the second in the sense of the activities of the Scandinavians outside their own country in that period.
It is the latter meaning that has given rise to the useful term 'the Viking Age'. Disregarding the ultimate philology of the word and the history of its use over the centuries, which has been much discussed, it is now in such everyday use by both specialists and non-specialists — however improperly — to describe the Scandinavians of the Viking Age, that it almost impossible to avoid its use in this generic sense.
Although it is often appropriate and necessary to use such terms as 'Scandinavian' or 'Norse', as I have done in this book, it is often simpler and less confusing to label something as 'Viking' rather than deal in scholastic circumlocution to placate purists, however justified they may be in their arguments.
Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 January English Heritage. Archived from the original on 7 March Retrieved 3 March The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Psychology Press. It is asserted that the closest documented phrase is a sentence from an antiphon for churches dedicated to St.
Vaast or St. Medard: Summa pia gratia nostra conservando corpora et cutodita, de gente fera Normannica nos libera, quae nostra vastat, Deus, regna , "Our supreme and holy Grace, protecting us and ours, deliver us, God, from the savage race of Northmen which lays waste our realms.
New York: E. Simeon of Durham recorded the raid in these terms: And they came to the church of Lindisfarne, laid everything waste with grievous plundering, trampled the holy places with polluted feet, dug up the altars, and seized all the treasures of the holy church.
Northern Shores: a history of the Baltic Sea and its peoples. London: John Murray. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings.
Retrieved 17 October Peter Sawyer, for example, in , said that the first raids on Britain, by the Norwegians, were a byproduct of the colonisation of the Orkneys and the Shetlands, and that the Norwegians were more interested in settlement than in plunder.
More recently, however, a couple of problems have emerged with this explanation. For a start, Sawyer in reneged somewhat by saying that no good evidence exists for any population pressure in the eighth century.
Patrick Wormald added that what has been taken for overpopulation was just population concentration due to economic expansion and the mining of iron ore.
In a further point, Wormald states that no clear evidence has been found for any Viking settlement until the mid-9th century, some 50—60 years after the raids began.
Thus, colonisation seems to have been a secondary feature of Viking activity; the success of the raids opened the way for settlement, but were not motivated by it, at least not initially.
See also P. Farrell, ed. Sawyer, The Age of the Vikings 2nd Ed. Archaeological evidence shows that new farms were cleared in sparsely populated forest areas at the time of the foreign expansion—so the pressure of population growth is surely a contributing factor.
Hallsal, Guy ed. Selective female infanticide as partial explanation for dearth of women in Viking Age Scandinavia. Woodbridge: Boydell press.
What Caused the Viking Age? Antiquity The Vikings: A History. New York: Viking, Mechanicsburg,