The people we call Vikings didn’t call themselves by that name. The word Viking refers to the act of going on raids by ship. Or piracy, if you wish to call it that. A group of men would ‘Go viking’.
They were not a unified group, either. The people who raided Scotland and to the north of Ireland were mainly from Norway, and were known as the Norse, while those who attacked England were the Danes.
However, they were called different names in different parts of the world. The one who came from what is now Sweden, were known as the Rus. They raided to the east.
The Danes came to England and settled in the 9th century. Of course, they didn’t always come peacefully. You can read about the Great Heathen Army by following these links: https://wordpress.com/post/aspholessaria.wordpress.com/4944
And this one for part 2: https://wordpress.com/post/aspholessaria.wordpress.com/5000
Eventually they conquered nearly all of England, except for Wessex, in the far south. This kingdom was ruled by the only English king to be given the appellation of The Great. He was, of course, Alfred.
Eventually, a treaty was made between King Alfred and the Danes in which they were given all the lands lying to the north and east of what was the Roman road of Watling Street. In this part of what is now England (which did not exist at that time), the Danes practised their own laws, and so it became known as the Danelaw.
Next time, I’ll tell you a little more about the Danes and how they lived; their laws, customs and religion.
If you can’t wait until them, though, you can always get a feel of those times by reading my recently released book, Jealousy of a Viking.
You can get a copy by clicking here or on the book cover in the sidebar.
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