Viking

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The term Viking (from Old Norse víkingr) is customarily used to refer to the Norse (Scandinavian) explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe and the North Atlantic islands from the late eighth to the mid-11th century.[1]

These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland, and as far south as Al Andalus.[2] This period of Viking expansion – known as the Viking Age – forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, Britain, Ireland and the rest of Europe in general.

Popular conceptions of the Vikings often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and written sources. A romanticized picture of Vikings as Germanic noble savages began to take root in the 18th century, and this developed and became widely propagated during the 19th-century Viking revival.[3] The received views of the Vikings as violent brutes or intrepid adventurers owe much to the modern Viking myth which had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations are typically highly clichéd, presenting the Vikings as familiar caricatures.[3]

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