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Vikings - the first Americans and the kings of Europe (part 1)

May 19 2006

At the word "viking" in the minds of people, usually draws a very specific image of uncouth barbarian at a fancy ship - Drakkar, the main objectives of which were robbery and robbery in a peaceful Christian towns and villages. Alas, the real uniqueness of the culture of the ancient Scandinavians in enough known to few. Even with the growing fashion to get involved in crops that used to be of interest for the most part only to specialists, there are many misconceptions about the ancient inhabitants of northern Europe.

History of the Vikings began in the 8 th century and lasted for 3 centuries. During this time they had a major influence on the development of the then state and change ourselves. They proved that they are a force to be reckoned with. In life, each of them have been as bloody battles with the display of cruelty, and the wisdom of their fathers and grandfathers passed down through the system of ideas about the world, as set out in songs and sagas, some of which have survived to this day. There are many hypotheses about how the general came the word "viking". The most plausible of them is considered to be one that builds to the Old Norse word "vikingr", where "vik" meaning bay or fjord. "Man of the fjord - is a literal translation, this word means the Scandinavian pirates, which other Europeans have learned much later than their counterparts. In what the Vikings called differently - in France, the Normans, the Vikings in other countries, or Rus.

As soon as their numbers grew, the Vikings conquered all of the new land. For a time they ruled the whole of England, as well as to establish a settlement in Iceland, Greenland and the coast of North America. They were the first explorers, pioneers in Europe. The Vikings had the navigational knowledge, and their ships can make long voyages.
Maneuverability allows them to be not only marine but also river - frame allowed to easily pass the narrow channel, and ease - just drag the ships dragged from one river to another. The first ships accommodate from 40 to 80 people, later to several hundred.
Ships differed in the number of oars and rowing benches - 13 pairs of oars determines the size of a warship. Moving ships with sails made of coarse canvas, rudders were lobed shape and located starboard. Special device allows to ship against the wind. Noses vessels decorated with carved heads of fantastic creatures, often inlaid. Decorations and ornaments can also be present at the stern.

As for the weapons - the most popular was a spear. Spears Vikings could not just chop, but chop. However, to throw a spear, it was necessary to have a good physical preparation, the Vikings seem to possess, and - this follows from the descriptions of some battle scenes in the sagas. Along with these there were spears and lighter, specially adapted for throwing a spear, reminiscent of European darts. The next most common weapon was Axe. Formidable and effective, it was designed not only to cut, but also deter the enemy. However, for convenience axes lost spears.
As well as throughout Europe, Scandinavia was very popular with the sword. The first northern swords rather like the long knives. Later, they became much more and added to them a beautiful inlaid - used to decorate precious metals.Because they "humanize" the swords, giving them a soul, respectively, had to be unique and appearance.

Fragmented state, consumed by internecine strife, and numerous monasteries were easy prey for the sons of the North. Their rapidly growing wealth and conquest of new territories was the beneficial soil for the emergence of states. In Norway, Denmark and Sweden have formed national monarchy. The Vikings were good leaders - they tried to develop the qualities that are highly prized both then and now, namely: persistence and courage, loyalty to friends and family, courage and honor. The country was divided into counties, which have ruled specifically planted for it people - lendrmany - landowners. Counties were divided into Kheradi. Ten Kheradi united in the county. The most important cities at various times were Uppsala, Birka, Useberg, Kaupang, Trandheym, Hedebyu.

Strengthen the Vikings circular concentric - one of the most unusual and striking phenomena of the period. Fort is the main range of the main buildings in the center (this part is separated shaft further stockade) and external strengthening. Paths that connect the inputs, divided the internal space into several parts. In the fort were long houses, smaller buildings for various purposes, the cemetery. In the long houses of rich people lived, as the peasants lived in small houses - wooden or woven from twigs, which are the top clay.

Continued in part two.

Васильева Камилла

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