Vikings of Scandinavia

Posted by on Feb-11-2009

There was an air of indolence about as I carelessly floated towards my living room, wondering how to overcome this listlessness. I slipped onto the couch and sat still not liking the grip of lethargy one bit.

Suddenly an idea came to mind – Hey! Why not play a video game! At times, it can equal the effect of a powerful energy drink and is enough to get you ‘rejuvenated’ real fast. I opened the CD cabinet to select a game and as usual, I chose my favorite – ‘Erik the Viking.’ I always enjoy playing Erik Viking and the search for my family kidnapped by the evil Dog fighters. Of course, I don’t always succeed.

She always teases me saying I’m very ‘Vikingish’ which is why, I always choose this game. I don’t know, whether I really am like a Viking, but as a sailor I have great respect for them. I admire their contributions to the marine world and really respect their rich cultural legacy.

The Vikings were venturesome seafarers ( Like me), from Denmark, Norway and Sweden they spread through Europe and the North Atlantic in the period of vigorous Scandinavian expansion (AD 800-1050) known as the Viking Age. The Vikings sailed most of the North Atlantic, reaching south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople and the middle east, as looters, traders, colonists, and mercenaries. Vikings under Leif Eriksson, heir to Erik the Red, reached North America, and set up a short-lived settlement in present-day L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Often Vikings are portrayed as geared in horned helmets with unshaved faces and an untidy appearance. But in reality, they seldom used these helmets and were very concerned about personal hygiene (just like I am). They used different instruments for personal grooming such as combs, razors, tweezers and such. They even used soaps when a considerable majority of the Europeans were actually unaware of such products.

The Vikings have distorted images of uncivilized Barbarians or humorous cartoon figures. But these make little sense as on the contrary, they were quite an organized and cultured group of people, with good technical knowledge.

The Vikings were the international tradesmen of their time. In Constantinople (Istanbul) they traded silk and spices for slaves that they had brought from Russia. Amber they found in the Baltic area. From the north and Greenland in the west, they brought furs, skins and walrus tusk ivory to the trading towns in Western Europe

The Vikings founded trading cities in Scandinavia such as Birka , Ribe, Hedeby and Skiringsal. In Ireland they founded Dublin and in England they made York flourish to become the most important trading town outside of London.
At a time when old trade routes between east and west through the Mediterranean were closed or unsafe, the Vikings kept the trade route between Byzantium and the west open by way of Kiev and Russia.

They had separate ships for trading and fighting. Their  merchant      vessel was The ‘Knar’, which was specially designed to carry cargo. It was designed with a broader hull, deeper draft and limited number of oars ,used primarily to maneuver in harbors and similar situations.

Long Ships’ were their warships, exclusively designed to navigate them to victory. It was usually about 25m/ 80ft long. Each gunwale was pierced with holes for oars, and a single mast stepped amidships carried a large, square sail. This gave the Longships speed and maneuverability and their shallowness of draught allowed them to penetrate rivers and sail through shallow waters. Another important Viking innovation was the beitass , a spar mounted to the sail that allowed their ships to sail effectively against the wind. The.

Their ship building techniques and contributions to the industry are still referred to with great admiration.

Vikings were expert navigators and knew the coasts of Europe like the back of their hand. They decided on a target and planned the attack in advance. Having the fastest ships of the day they would arrive seemingly out of nowhere close to the target and storm ashore ready to attack

I feel she’s right; I sure am a bit Vikingish, because we share the same passion toward the sea. May be some of my ancestors were Vikings!

Admiring the legacy of the Vikings, I began to focus on the game, working the controlswith ease. To my surprise the dashing Viking I saw on screen was me in Erik’s gear, steering my ship away to save my family from the cruel claws of the villains..! cytoxan goodyear allegra

  1. Sagar Said,

    haiii..this is fantastic

  2. AndrewBoldman Said,

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

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