Edla Princess Of The
Abt 985 - Of, , Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany
Edla was Olav's
concubine. She came from Vendland.
From Snorre Sturlasson,
Olav den helliges saga:
"89. OF THE SWEDISH KING'S CHILDREN.
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.)
TRYGGVESON, OLAF , KING
Birth : 963
Death : 1000
Father: OLAVSSON, TRYGGVE
Mother: ERIKSDATTER, AASTRID
GEIRA, QUEEN OF
Death : 984
Father: BURIZLEIF, KING OF VINDLAND
Marriage: 988 in England
Father: KRAVAN, OLAF ,
KING OF DUBLIN
999 in Nidaros, Norway
HAKON , JARL OF NORWAY AND SWEDEN
Birth : ABT. 935
Death : ABT. 995
Father: HAKONSON, SIGURD
Mother: THORERSDOTTIR, BERGLJOT
Father: OLAVSON, MAGNUS ,
THE GOOD KING
Birth : ABT. 935
Birth : ABT. 960
I (między 920 a 940-992), książę
960, syn Siemomysła, pierwszy znany władca państwa polskiego z dynastii Piastów. Zjednoczył ziemie plemion zamieszkujących Wielkopolskę,
NORSE VOYAGES IN THE TENTH AND FOLLOWING CENTURIES.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
[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.
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
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.
I LEIF ERIKSON
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
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
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'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.
II LA NAVIGATION VIKING
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
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.
are we interested?
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.
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.
Vikings - where did they come from? When?
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.
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.
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.
were willing to die for a good name, a good death and Valhalla!
They were also cunning, treacherous and always out for a chance.
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.
Ganger - duel on an island three shields fight to blood? Or fight to the death!
lets look at the broad picture.
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.
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
in 1066 the Normans came
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
Vikings discovered Iceland, but
Irish monks were there before, living on Papa Island (Priest Island)
where the Vikings coaxed them over the cliffs.
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?)
prospered, which was important for many reasons. It was the springboard to
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.
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
old Viking called Tyrker - from Turkey
found grapes fermenting on the vine. Leif Erikson called this Vinland - Wineland.