Edla Princess Of The WENDS      
 Born:     Abt 985  - Of, , Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany


Edla was Olav's concubine. She came from Vendland.

From Snorre Sturlasson, Olav den helliges saga:

This Swedish king, Olaf Eirikson, had first a concubine who was called Edla, a daughter of an earl of Vindland, who had been captured in war, and therefore was called the king's slave-girl. Their children were Emund, Astrid, Holmfrid. ..."

Edla had a child with Olof Skötkonung Eriksson of Sweden, son of Erik VII Segersäll of Sweden and Gunhild Mieczyslavsdatter of Poland. (Olof Skötkonung Eriksson of Sweden died circa 1022 in Sweden.)

 Died:      - 
 Other Spouses:    

Birth : 963
Death : 1000
Gender: Male




Death : 984
Gender: Female



Marriage: 988 in England

Gender: Female



Marriage: 999 in Nidaros, Norway

Gender: Female

Birth : ABT. 935
Death : ABT. 995
Gender: Male




Gender: Female






Birth : ABT. 935
Gender: Female


Birth : ABT. 960
Gender: Male

Mieszko I (między 920 a 940-992), książę polski od 960, syn Siemomysła, pierwszy znany władca państwa polskiego z dynastii Piastów. Zjednoczył ziemie plemion zamieszkujących Wielkopolskę, Kujawy...



IF we go back to the middle of the ninth century we find what is now Norway divided into thirty odd districts, called fylkes, and governed by kinglets, or jarls. These rulers were elected and obtained their positions by the grace of the people in convention assembled. But about this time there appeared in Norway a man named Harald Fairhair, who with his prime minister, Guthorm, succeeded in subjugating all the kinglets in Norway, and united the various fylkes into one kingdom. The

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last battle was a naval engagement at Hafursfjord, near Stavanger, in July, 872. In this battle the last of the kinglets was conquered, and Harald became monarch of all Norway. His usurpation of power created great dissatisfaction and resulted in a large emigration to France, to the British Isles, to the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland Isles, to the Fareys and particularly to Iceland. Iceland had been discovered in 860, and had been visited several times by Norsemen between that time and 874, in which year the settlement of Iceland began. The flower of the Norwegian people emigrated, and it was not long before Iceland had a population of more than 50,000 souls. In Iceland a republic was organized which flourished for four hundred years; and it was during the time of the republic that the grand old poetic and historic literature of Iceland was produced.

Here it is proper to add that the Norsemen were the discoverers of pelagic navigation. Let me here state with all the emphasis that I am able to compress into so many words, that the navigation of the ocean was discovered by the old Norse Vikings. Before them, the only navigation known was coast navigation. The Norsemen were excellent ship-builders and knew how to calculate time by the sun, moon and stars, and into every history of the world, and into every encyclopedia I would have the fact conspicuously stated that pelagic navigation was discovered by the Norsemen.

Iceland became the hinge upon which the door swings which opened America to Europe. In the voyages between Norway and Iceland--a distance of about 800

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miles--the sailors would occasionally be overtaken by cloudy and stormy weather and drift beyond Iceland, and so they could not help finding their way by accident to Greenland and other countries to the west and southwest of Iceland. And so it happened that in the year 876 a Norwegian mariner, by name Gunbjorn, reported that he had seen land far to the west of Iceland.

If the reader will now go with me to the southwestern part of Norway, about the middle of the tenth century, we shall find living there in a district called Jadern a man called Erik (often spelled Eirik) the Red. He was called the "Red" on account of his red hair and red beard and ruddy complexion. It also appears that he had a somewhat fiery and combative disposition. He now and then quarrelled with his neighbours, and on one occasion he had the misfortune of becoming guilty of manslaughter. For this reason he decided to emigrate from Norway, and he removed with his family to the western part of Iceland. But while he left his neighbors and the dust and sky of Jadern behind him, he carried his fiery nature with him and it was not long before he got into trouble with his new neighbors in Iceland. He therefore decided to emigrate from Iceland also and to go in search of the land seen nearly a hundred years before by Gunbjorn far to the west of Iceland. He left Iceland with a few companions in 982 and found an extensive country far to the west of Iceland. He remained there making explorations for three years and decided to found a colony there. He was anxious to give the country a name that might be attractive to settlers, and in discussing this

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question with his companions, they agreed on naming the country Greenland, reasoning that no name would be better suited to attract immigrants.

Greenland belongs entirely to the Western Hemisphere and is accordingly a part of America. The discovery of Greenland was in fact the discovery of America, and Erik the Red was the first European who ever boomed real estate on the Western Continent, and he boomed it successfully. He succeeded in founding in Greenland a colony which flourished for several hundred years. The Icelandic sagas contain elaborate accounts of this colony and give us the names of a number of the bishops who resided there.

Erik the Red returned to Iceland in 985, and in 986 he, with a considerable number of followers, emigrated to Greenland. Among those who emigrated with Erik the Red was one Herjulf Bardson. Herjulf Bardson had a son, by name Bjarne. Bjarne was a viking merchant. He had a custom of spending one year with his father in Iceland and the next year abroad, acquiring fee and fame, that is, wealth and reputation. In 986 he chanced to be absent on a viking expedition and, on returning to Iceland in the summer, he learned that his father had emigrated with Erik the Red to Greenland. Desiring to spend the next winter with his father, as was his custom, he asked his sailors whether they would go with him. They all said they would. "But we have none of us ever been in the Greenland sea," said Bjarne. "We mind not that," said his men, "we are willing to go wherever you will lead." And so Bjarne and his men at

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once set sail from Iceland. They were overtaken by foggy and stormy weather and sailed on and on, not knowing whither they were sailing. The fog and storm lasted for several weeks, then the sky cleared, the sun shone again, and lo behold they could see land in the distance! They saw that they were much too far south. The land, which was hilly and well wooded, did not correspond to the descriptions which they had received of Greenland. It was getting late in the season, so they did not go ashore, but proceeded northward. On their journey northward they discovered two other countries, but as neither of them could be Greenland they did not land. They hastened on until they finally reached Greenland in safety and happened to land near the colony founded by Erik the Red. We have no time to go into details, but it is evident that the first land seen by Bjarne, Herjulf's son, must have been some part of New England; the second land was probably Nova Scotia, and the third Newfoundland. And thus Bjarne, in the year 986, was the first pale-faced man whose eyes looked upon the American continent.

Erik the Red was the chief of the colony in Greenland. His family consisted of three sons, Leif, Thorvald and Thorstein, all bright, stalwart and enterprising young men.

In the year 1000, the same year as that in which Christianity was adopted as the religion of Iceland, Leif Erikson chanced to be in Norway. Norway had just been converted to Christianity and the ruler at this time was the famous King Olaf Trygvason. Leif Erikson

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met the king, and the king became very fond of him. He persuaded Leif to accept the Christian religion and be baptised. Then King Olaf sent for Leif and told him that he had a double mission for him. "In the first place," said King Olaf, "I want you to go, and look up those lands which were seen by Bjarne and secure more definite information about them, and in the second place, I want you to go as a missionary to Greenland and preach the gospel of the White Christ to the colonists there."

Leif agreed to carry out the king's wishes. In the summer of the year 1000 he set sail for the far West. He decided to investigate the lands seen by Bjarne before going to Greenland. On his way west, he first reached the land which Bjarne reported he had seen, that is, Newfoundland. He anchored his ship off the coast, went ashore, and, exploring the land somewhat, found that it was hilly and extensively covered with large, flat stones. He decided to name the country after its most conspicuous peculiarities, and called it Helluland (land of flat stones). Then he proceeded towards the southwest and reached the second land seen by Bjarne (that is, Nova Scotia), which he also explored somewhat, and found that it was a heavily wooded country. On account of the large forests he called it Markland (timberland). Then he sailed on to the first country seen by Bjarne, that is, some part of New England, and here, the saga tells us, he first entered a bay and then a river, then the river widened into a lake, which he crossed, then he entered a river on the other side of the lake and sailed up this river as far as it was deep enough for his viking

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ship. As the reader will see, this can be applied to the Boston Harbor, to the Charles River between Boston and Cambridgeport, to the Back Bay between Boston and Cambridge and to the Charles River up as far as Gerry's Landing, near which our Professor Horsford. claimed to have found the site of Leif Erikson's house and fireplace.

After having landed, Leif Erikson and his party, thirty-one in number, pulled the vessel ashore and at once went to work to build a house for the winter. The party was divided into two groups to explore the country in different directions on alternate days. On one evening, when the exploring party returned to the camp, one man was missing. This was a German, by name Tyrker, who, though a prisoner of war, was Leif Erikson's special favorite. Leif Erikson became very much alarmed and anxious He feared that Tyrker might have been slain by natives or devoured by wild beasts. Therefore with his men Leif immediately set out in search of Tyrker. But they had not gone far from the camp, when they met their missing fellow mate in a very excited state of mind. The cause of his excitement was the fact that he had found ripe wild-grapes. He had his arms full of grapes, and was devouring the fruit with all his might, and when spoken to by Leif Erikson, he only answered in his native tongue, "Weintrauben! Weintrauben!! Weintrauben!!!" He was born in a country where the grape grew, and, having been absent from Germany for many years, the finding of grapes in this western world overwhelmed him with delight. The

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sagas tell us that grapes were found in great abundance on every hand, and from this circumstance Leif gave the country the name of Vinland, and history at the same time obtained the interesting fact that a German accompanied these daring Argonauts of the Christian era.

The sagas give very full and interesting accounts of the various products of Vinland and of the natives or aborigines with whom our Norse explorers came in contact. This part of the subject is fully treated in preceding chapters of this volume. What I desire particularly to emphasize at this point is the fact that Leif Erikson was the first European and the first Christian who planted his feet on American soil and, as such, he deserves a conspicuous place in the history of our country. He represents the first chapter of civilized and Christian history of America.

In the spring Leif Erikson loaded his vessel with as much timber as it would carry and, in obedience to the instructions of King Olaf, proceeded to Greenland to preach, the gospel of the Gallilean to Erik the Red's colony there. He was successful, and had the good fortune to convert the whole colony to the Christian religion, except the aged Erik the Red. The latter stubbornly refused to be persuaded. He declared that his faith in Odin and Thor, and particularly in his own might and main, had been sufficient for him through his long life, and he would not forsake the Gods of his childhood in his old age. And so Erik the Red died as he had lived, a heathen.

In the Greenland colony there was much talk about

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[paragraph continues] Vinland the Good, and it was the general opinion that the country had been far too little explored. It was therefore agreed in the year 1002 that Leif's brother, Thorwald, should make an expedition to Vinland. He set out with a good crew of men and reached Vinland in safety, where he occupied the house built by Leif two years before. He came into conflicts with the natives, and in one of these he lost his life, an arrow from one of the aborigines piercing his heart. His comrades buried him in Vinland, and Thorwald's was the first Christian grave made in this Western World. His grave was marked by two crosses, one at the head and one at the foot. Then the little band of Norsemen, having lost their leader, returned to Greenland.

Two years later, 1005, it was decided that the youngest brother, Thorstein, should proceed to Vinland, partly for the purpose of bringing back the body of his brother Thorwald. Thorstein's wife was Gudrid, a noble, refined, intelligent and enterprising woman, and an ornament to her sex. Gudrid went with her husband on this expedition, but the party did not reach Vinland. The weather was unfavorable and the vessel drifted far to the north. Thorstein was taken sick and died, and the widow, Gudrid, took the vessel back to Erik's fjord in Greenland.

Leif Erikson and his sister-in-law, Gudrid, lived at the farm Brattahlid in Greenland, and if the reader now will go with me to that northern country in the year 1006 we will find that there had just arrived in the colony a distinguished and wealthy man from Norway. His

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name was Thorfin Karlsefni. He visited frequently at Brattahlid, and with each visit his admiration of Gudrid increased. The spark of love soon grew into an uncontrollable flame and he asked the young widow to become his wife. The matter was referred to Leif Erikson, who had the disposal of his sister-in-law, and he at once consented, and accordingly the nuptials of Gudrid and Thorfin were celebrated in grand style during the Christian holidays of the year 1006. The honeymoon was spent in Greenland, and I fancy that when the sun's rays began to warm the atmosphere the following spring that the young couple took many a walk on the sea shore, and I take it also that much of their conversation turned on Vinland, the Good, and the prospects offered for founding a settlement in that beautiful and fertile country. Gudrid was a bright and enterprising young woman and, while there is no record of the fact, I can imagine that she looked smiling into Thorfin's face and talked to him somewhat in this fashion: "I wonder that you, Thorfin, with all your wealth and with all your splendid men should choose to live in this Godforsaken country instead of seeking out the famous Vinland and planting a colony there. Just think what an agreeable change it would be for all of us! Thick and leafy woods instead of these willow bushes that are good for nothing except to save our cattle from starvation when the hay crop gives out. Longer summers and shorter and less cold winters instead of the barren wastes of this country. Surely, I think this land was woefully misnamed when Erik the Red called it Greenland."

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Of course Gudrid pleaded as only a woman can plead, and Thorfin was persuaded. He resolved to plant a colony in Vinland, and in the summer of 1007 he organized a party of one hundred and fifty-one men and seven women, who sailed in three ships from Greenland to Vinland. That Thorfin and Gudrid intended to make a permanent settlement in Vinland is also, evident from the fact that they took cattle and sheep with them. The party reached Vinland in safety, and remained there three years, but the frequent conflicts with the aborigines made their life a very precarious one, and they finally decided to, abandon the colony, and return to Greenland. Powder and firearms had not yet been invented, and the superior intelligence of the Norsemen was not sufficient to protect them against the swarms of natives that surrounded them and were as well armed as the Norsemen. It is, however, to be recorded that during their stay in Vinland, Thorfin and Gudrid got a son. They named him Snorre. He was born in the summer of 1008, and was the first white and the first Christian child who saw the light of day in America.

The sagas--that is to, say, the histories--written in Iceland, describing these voyages of the Norsemen, give very full accounts of the daily life in the Vinland colony, of the explorations, of the natives of America, of the various kinds of products of the soil, of the climate, etc., and it is interesting to read these first recorded descriptions of a land that has since become so prominent in the history of the world, and which is now so dear to all of us who call it our home.

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The sagas tell of various other voyages to Vinland, particularly of one in the year 1011. In 1121 it is stated, in various places in the sagas, that a bishop named Erik Upse went to find Vinland. It is nowhere stated whether he actually reached Vinland or returned and we are simply left to conjecture as to the purpose and result of his journey. All we know with certainty is that he "started for Vinland." However, it is by no means likely that the church would send a bishop to Vinland before a colony was planted there. We know now by the manuscript reports shown among the Vatican Exhibits at the World's Fair, 1904, that the Catholic See of Greenland extended its jurisdiction over all the new discoveries of Lief and Thorvald, and Karlsefni. It was common for priests to accompany voyages, but bishops took charge of the Church interests of colonies and, therefore, by the sending of bishop Erik Upse to Vinland it is reasonably certain that a colony had been planted there and was maintained for several years. This inevitable conclusion is fortified, if not confirmed, by references contained in official reports made by the bishops of Greenland to the Church at Rome.

The last expedition mentioned in the sagas was in 1347, 145 years before the rediscovery by Columbus. In that year it is stated that a vessel came from Markland (Nova Scotia) to Iceland with a cargo of wood. But this, as the reader will see, carries us down to a memorable period in European history. It brings us to the breaking out of the terrible black plague, or black death. The ravages of the black plague were so enormous, they

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so much decimated the population of all European countries that much time was required for recuperation. It took more than one hundred years for Europe to recover sufficiently to be able to engage in new enterprises either at home or abroad. We can form some conception of the character of the black death when we learn that it reduced the population of Norway alone from 2,000,000 to 300,000. The black death has been handed down in tradition from generation to generation, even to the present time. The Norwegian peasants speak of it as an old hag marching through the country with a rake in one hand and a broom in the other. If she came to a valley in Norway where there were a few good people she used the rake and the virtuous would escape between the fingers of the rake. But when she found a valley where all the people were wicked she used the broom and did not leave a soul to tell the tale of what had happened. Some of the remote valleys thus swept clean have been rediscovered within the last century. The black death also visited Iceland and Greenland and committed similar depredations there. It is evident that this scourge left no surplus population for exploring and colonizing lands beyond the sea.

If the communication between the north of Europe and Greenland and Vinland could have been continued a hundred years longer, that is, until the middle of the fifteenth century, or until the countries had recuperated from the ravages of the black plague and until after the discovery of the compass and of powder and fire arms, then there is no doubt but that the Norse colonies would

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have become permanent, and America would have become the scene of Norse settlements and Norse enterprises. The Norse language would have taken possession of this country from sea to sea and there is little doubt that his article of mine would have been written in the Norse tongue instead of in English. Meanwhile it is certain that Bjarne Herjulfson was the first European whose eyes beheld the American continent, that Leif Erikson was the first pale-faced man whose feet trod on American soil, that his brother Thorvald was the first Christian buried beneath our sod, that Thorfin Karlsefni was the first to attempt the planting of a colony on our shores, that the noble and intelligent Gudrid was the first white woman to honor America with her presence, and that Thorfin's and Gudrid's son Snorre was the first white child born in America.

In this connection it is interesting to note the fact that the first white man to visit the extreme western part of America was the Dane, Vitus Bering, after whom Bering Strait bears its name. Bering discovered the extreme western coast of this country in 1728. The Norwegian, Leif Erikson, stands at the rising, and the Dane, Vitus Bering, at the setting sun, and clasp the great American continent in their strong Scandinavian arms. The Swedes, too, should be remembered, for when this country was in the throes of the great civil war, did not Sweden give us her great son, John Ericsson, who invented for us the Monitor?

"Truth crushed to earth will rise again." The facts of these Norse voyages have long lain darkened and hid

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in old neglected libraries, and so truth may long lie unknown under the dust and rubbish of the ages; but it is like a ray of light from a star in some far-off region of the universe. After thousands of years that ray reaches some other heavenly body and gives it light.

Christophe Collomb ne fut pas vraiment le premier homme à atteindre l'Amérique. 500 ans auparavant, des Vikings avaient abordés les rivages du Nouveau Monde.

L'un d'eux était Leif Erikson, fils du navigateur Erik le Rouge. 
Leif atteignit l'Amérique tout comme Christophe Collomb, c'est-à-dire, sans vraiment avoir cherché à l'atteindre.


Marin norvégien(975-1020), qui découvrit l'Amérique vers l'an 1000.
Le roi de Norvège prit Leif Erikson en amitié et le convia à la cour. Mais Leif, assoiffé de découvertes et appelé par le large, décidait de retourner chez lui, sur les grands pâturages du Groënland. C'est là que la traversée fut si agitée qu'il aborda une côte 
jusque là inconnue.
Leif navigua le long du rivage pendant plusieurs semaines et nomma trois 
régions de cette nouvelle terre : Vinland, le pays des vignobles.
Maskland, le pays du bois.
Helluland, le pays de la pierre plate.
Vinland était sans doute Cap Cod, Maskland devait être la Nouvelle-Ecosse, 
et Helluland, Terre-Neuve ou le Labrador. Leif réussit à regagner le 
Groënland. Son récit engagea son frère à partir pour la Nouvelle Terre ; 
Celui-ci n'eut pas autant de chance que Leif, puisqu'ayant fondé une colonie 
sur place, il se heurta aux autochtones, hostiles à leur présence. Les indigènes furent massacrés, mais la colère du peuple primitif(skraeling) les força à reprendre la mer. Seul périt le frère de Leif. Ces aventures n'eurent alors pas de suite, et restèrent alors ignorées dans le reste de l'Europe. 
L'Amérique resta inconnue jusqu'à l'histoire de Collomb qui a fit connaître au monde, prenant cette Terre pour l'Inde. 
En 1963, toutefois, des archéologues découvrirent les ruines d'une colonie de type viking à L'Anse-aux-Meadows, dans le nord de Terre-Neuve, qui correspond à la description que fit Leif de Vinland.
Lors de son voyage de retour, Leif sauva l'équipage d'un navire marchand naufragé?; pour cet exploit, on lui donna la totalité des riches marchandises affrétées et le surnom de Leif le Chanceux.


1: La construction navale

A la fin de l'hiver, en avril, un sacrifice de victoire était offert pour demander la réussite des combat de l'été, puis les hommes construisaient ou réparairent leurs bateaux.
Les Vikings aimaient beaucoup leurs bateaux. Ils leurs donnaient des noms comme "Corbeau du vent" et "Bisons des mers".
Des décorations, telles que des dragons en or et des sculptures, etaient ajoutées. Lorsqu'un navire viking quittait le port, les femmes venaient sur la gève pour regarder fièrement les guerrier s'éloigner en ramant. Tous les garçons rêvaient de devenir capitaine d'un vaisseaux viking.
Il y avait plusieurs sortes de navires dont les bateaux de pêche, les navires de guerre et de commerce.
Les plus longs navires de guerre mesuraient 55 m de long(Le long serpent, qui appartenait au roi Olaf Trygvesson de Norvège mesurait 37m de long). Une embarcation découverte à Gokstad, en norvège, avait 23m de long. 
Les navires des Vikings terrifiaient leurs ennemis.Leurs proues étaient souvent sculptée pour ressembler a des têtes de dragons; les voiles représentaient leurs ailes et les avirons, leurs pattes. Il arrivait, cependant, que la proue soit unie ou scultée en forme d'homme ou de bison.

2: Comment les Vikings naviguaient-t-ils ?

Les émigrants naviguaient sur des navires appelés knorrs. Ils transportaient avec eux les piliers sculptés de leurs longues maisons, des animaux, des graines, des métiers à tisser, des pierres à aiguiser les couteaux, et des soufflets pour la forge. Dans la cale, il y avait les outils qu'ils ne pourraient pas fabriquer avant que la colonie ne soit établie: des haches, des pelles, des épées, des chaudrons et des socs pour les charrues.
Les voyages en mer étaient risqués, Nul ne savait très bien comment les Vikings naviguaient, mais trois cents ans plus tard, les instructions données aux marins n'étaient pas plus scientifiques que celle-ci: "On fait voile assez loin au sud des Féroé pour que le niveau de la mer arrive à la moitié de la hauteur des montagnes. " Les Vikings se servaient d'un gouvernail en bois qui ressemblait à une pale d'aviron placée à la droite du bateau.
Il fallait un certain courage pour traverser la mer dans un bateau qui ne mesurait pas plus de 23 m de long. Les vagues pouvaient atteindre 30 m et les naufrages étaient fréquents. L'espoir d'être secouru par un bateau était très mince.
Il n'y avait pas beaucoup de place à bord et il faisait souvent froid, même si chaque passager avait un sac de couchage en cuir pour se protéger des intempéries. Les marins se nourrissaient de poisson séché, de viandes salées, de babeurre et de pain de seigle dur. De gros tonneaux contenaient les rations d'eau. L'équipage préparait à tour de rôle les repas qui ne pouvaient être cuits à cause des risques d'incendie.
Lorsque la terre est en vue, les piliers sacrés sont jetés par-dessus bord.
Les colons débarqueront là où les courants les poussent.

III l'expansion viking

Vikings ou Scandinaves, appellation collective donnée aux navigateurs et marchands scandinaves qui ont sillonné les mers de la fin du VIIIe siècle au début du XIe siècle.

Appelée (époque viking), cette période a longtemps été associée dans l’esprit populaire à une piraterie sans limites, même si les Vikings restent avant tout des commerçants. Des études modernes mettent en valeur les réalisations de l’époque viking, notamment en termes d’art, de technique, de technologie maritime, d'exploration et de commerce.

Le mot "Viking" provient peut-être du vieux danois "vik", qui signifie baie ou crique, ou du haut-anglais "wic", qui signifie comptoir fortifié, mais plus vraisemblablement, il a pour origine le vieux norrois "vikingar", les hommes qui vont de vicus en vicus, un vicus étant une ville-comptoir.

Les motifs de l'expansion des Vikings sont divers : manque de terre en Scandinavie, augmentation de la production de fer et besoin de nouveaux débouchés commerciaux ont probablement concouru aux explorations vikings.

Même si les historiens actuels supputent les premiers déplacements vikings bien antérieurs, le premier raid connu des Vikings à bord de leur knörr ou skeid (et non drakkar) est mené en 793 par des marins norvégiens sur l'île sainte de Lindisfarne, au large de l’extrémité nord-est de l’Angleterre.

Puis, au IXe siècle, des navigateurs suédois pénètrent au cœur de la Russie, découvrant de nouvelles routes commerciales le long de la Volga et du Dniepr, fondant des cités-États comme Kiev et Novgorod, et ouvrant la voie vers Constantinople et les marchés exotiques d’Arabie et d’Extrême-Orient. Connus sous le nom de Varègues en Europe orientale, ces Vikings forment la garde rapprochée d’élite des empereurs byzantins.

Bientôt, des Danois s’attaquent aux cités de l’Empire carolingien en déclin (Hambourg, Dorestad, Rouen, Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux). Finalement, en 911 sera signé un traité leur accordant de vastes territoires en France septentrionale (actuelle Normandie, «?pays des Normands) où ils s’établiront.

Sous le règne de Canut le Grand, au XIe siècle, un Empire scandinave de la mer du Nord est érigé, comprenant l’Angleterre, le Danemark et la Norvège. Les aventuriers norvégiens se joignent aux Vikings danois pour soumettre l’ensemble du nord de l’Angleterre (le Danelaw). Ils s’y établissent comme fermiers ou commerçants et développent de grandes villes comme York. Ils s'emparent également des îles Shetland et Orcades, des Hébrides et de la majeure partie de l’Écosse. En Irlande, ils jouent un †rôle actif dans les querelles meurtrières entre des clans irlandais rivaux, et bâtissent les premières cités commerciales d'Irlande (Dublin, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow et Limerick). Ils découvrent et s’établissent dans les terres inhabitées de l’Atlantique — les Féroé, puis l’Islande et le Groenland. C’est à partir de ce dernier qu’ils lancent d’ambitieuses expéditions pour s’établir sur le littoral oriental de l’Amérique du Nord (Vinland), mais ces tentatives de coloniser le Nouveau Monde — cinq siècles avant Christophe Colomb — sont rapidement abandonnées face à l’hostilité des indigènes.
C'est pour cela que cette expéditions fut ignorée dans le reste de l'Europe.
C'est seulement en 1963 que l'on découvre des ruines d'une colonie viking au nord de Terre-Neuve.
Christophe Colomb n'est pas le premier homme à découvrir l'Amérique.

The Largs connection - pure accident -1263. Largs was not the usual target. The mainland was protected by a Treaty. King Haakons Expedition - Last Viking Fling and was no surprise.

Why are we interested?

It is good to know your roots, your history, my own history back two generations to South Uist. I've never been there. Mallaig is full of McEachans - McDonalds. Summerled, a Viking Gael, head of McDonalds had a nasty end. In 1163 he invaded the Clyde to Renfrew then died.

I know it goes back further and the more you see the more you know you are part of that mixture that is Scottish - Celts - Picts - Scots - Vikings.

The Vikings - where did they come from? When?

Isolated in their own homelands to the North of civilised Europe they developed their social structure, laws, beliefs, paganism and all its gods and their own Heaven - Valhalla.

All of these developed and made them what they were. Brave, adventurous, willing to die - the promise of Valhalla. Odin with his Valkaries consisting of constant feasting, drinking and fighting.

But more than that they were determined to be remembered well - to have your name remembered in the Storytelling, during the long winter nights - by repetition, since they had no writing, passed from generation to generation gave them immortality in the sagas.

They were willing to die for a good name, a good death and Valhalla! They were also cunning, treacherous and always out for a chance.

Trading - Plunder?

That depended on the strength of the opposition. In many of the sagas ambush and house burning were the main ways of settling arguments. Others too - Trial by Battle. Trial by Duel.

Home Ganger - duel on an island three shields fight to blood? Or fight to the death!


But lets look at the broad picture.

The Vikings exploded into England in 793 Lindisfarne was their first target. Holy Isle of Monks and on and on till Canute 1015 became King of Denmark - Norway - England.

They had raided all of the Coast of Europe, using rivers to strike deep into Germany via the Rhine and into France via the river Seine. They besieged Paris in 895, when Normandy was given to Rolf the Ganger to protect Paris from Viking Raids.

Then in 1066 the Normans came to England. They went to Spain, to Pisa in Italy but were not too successful. Through the Rivers of Russia they struck out East. The Volga took them to the Caspian Sea, to Baghdad for China and silk. The Rus used the Dneiper to Kiev and on to Mickelgard / Constantinople was attacked six times and were beaten by Greek Fire.

They formed the bodyguard of the Ruler or Caliph of Constantinople. There are many references on gravestones of their service in the Byzantine Empire. One example was Harald Finehair. He was in the battle in 1030 at Stiklestad, Norway. Defeated he went to Kiev then married the daughter of Prince of Kiev. He became Captain of Guard at Mickelgard. He returned to become King of Norway.

At Stamford Bridge, York, in 1066 where he fought King Harold of England Harald Finehair died, together with the traitor brother, Tosig, of Harald of England, three weeks later, fought William, Duke of Normandy where Harold got an arrow in his eye and Duke William became William the Conqueror.

In Scotland the invaders were Norwegian Vikings. They came to Iona - 795 - 802 and then came regularly. They liked Monasteries. They were rich pickings with all the cattle, farm produce and silver, which the Church liked and collected. There were Silver and Gold ornaments, candlesticks, silver boxes for holding the bones of the saints and even books written by the monks with gold and silver fastenings, even covers and lettering in gold. One great thing about Christian Monks they did not fight back. They ran away to hide and hid their treasure if they could, or if they were caught and tortured they may tell where the treasure was hidden, then they would be killed or taken for slaves to be sold, or they just allowed themselves to be killed to become martyrs.

The Vikings also targeted Ireland which was easy territory being mainly flat with many rivers into Heartland. Fragmented kingdoms with many monasteries. Vikings founded Dublin and Cork 1008 years ago as Trading Centres. Ireland was rich in the wealth of the monasteries and slaves.

One method of defence was a round tower. There are many in Ireland and one in Perthshire. People would run to get in them, pull up the ladder floor by floor and hope they wouldn't be burned out - hope the Vikings would go away. Have you ever seen such a tower?

Vikings explored all the Northern World. Their ships were the secret of their success together with their daring and willingness to trust their ships and sail the seas. Their sea voyages took them to Shetland and Orkney, also all the islands of West Scotland were Norwegian due to the Treaty of Tarbert 1098.

King Magnus Barelegs then sailed across Kintyre. His boat was pulled from West Tarbert to East Tarbert where he declared Kintyre an Island - Norwegian and HIS!

The Vikings discovered Iceland, but Irish monks were there before, living on Papa Island (Priest Island) where the Vikings coaxed them over the cliffs.

In 874 Ingolf and Leif, who were cousins, settled in Iceland. Leif brought with him Irish slaves. Ingolf sacrificed them to the Gods and then threw the Pillars of his High Seat overboard. He settled where they drifted and he called it "Smokey Bay" from hot springs and steaming land which is of course Reykjavik. (Edinburgh is called "Auld Reekie" meaning smokey old town. Could this be a Norse name for Edinburgh?)

Iceland prospered, which was important for many reasons. It was the springboard to finding America. They set up the "THING" to settle arguments, which was the earliest form of democracy. They became Christian in 1000AD, which settled them down a bit. Monks kept records, sagas were written down as Iceland had plenty of sheep for Vellum and Monks for writing. Iceland is famous for poets and storytellers.

History of Iceland and many Norwegian Kings are told in the sagas. Sagas tell of Greenland being two colonies - east and west, and of America being discovered by Bjarni in 985 when he was blown west by a storm.

Leif Erikson bought Bjarni's boat, since it already knew the way; in 1002 he sailed west. He found Rocks - Helluland (Rock Island) further south. Forests, rivers, which he named Markland (Treeland).

An old Viking called Tyrker - from Turkey found grapes fermenting on the vine. Leif Erikson called this Vinland - Wineland.