the year 845 Hamburg was attacked and the same year the Vikings sailed up the
Seine and conquered Paris. The french king decided not to fight the Vikings and
paid them 7.000 pounds of silver to leave Paris again. In year 860 a french monk
wrote: "The number of ships are growing and more and more Vikings are arriving.
Christians are being slaughtered and robbed, buildings are being burned down.
Nobody can stop them, they conquer Bordeaux, Périgeux, Limoges, Angouleme
and Toulouse. Angers, Tours and Orléans has been destroyed. A large fleet
is sailing up the Seine and evil is spreading fast, Rouen has been destroyed,
Paris, Beauvais and Meaux has been conquered, the fortress of Meluns has been
wiped out, Chartres is being occupied, Evreux and Bazeux looted and other places
are under siege". |
During the same period other Vikings were underway south.
Lisbon, Cadiz and Seville were looted and the Vikings also left their mark on
the north African coast. Finally the Vikings looted Luna in northern Italy (probably
in the belief that it was Rome) and then Pisa.
As the Vikings were away
for an extended period of time some of them settled down abroad. One example is
in France where Viking chief Rollo grounded a Nordic settlement in the part of
the country which was later named Normandy.
The British Isles was however
the part of the world where the Vikings had their strongest foothold. In Ireland
the Vikings grounded Dublin and Britain was first sporadic looted then parts of
the country was conquered and in the year 1013 the king of Vikings Svend Tveskæg
conquered the whole of Britain. Many Vikings settled down and worked as peasants
or merchants - and many English words (including names of cities and towns) are
related to the Scandinavian immigrants.
Vikings also went north and around year 900 they colonized Island and later Greenland.
From here they went on expeditions to north America where archaeologists have
found traces of their temporary settlements.
When the Vikings sailed east it was mostly as merchants
(hard to believe!). They sailed the Russian rivers to Byzans and to the Arabic
markets in the Caspian Ocean and Bagdad.