As incursões vikings começaram com ataques às terras cristãs na região da Inglaterra, se expandiram à Europa Continental e depois à atual Rússia. Eles tiveram um enorme sucesso ao invadir cidades costeiras e mosteiros, mas por que os invadiram em primeiro lugar?
Why did the Vikings raid?
The Vikings raided lands across western and eastern Europe for many reasons.
Historians continue to debate the motives driving the Viking expansion.
One school of thought argues that the Viking expansion and subsequent raids were an act of revenge against Charlemagne (748-814 AD).
Charlemagne had become the sole ruler of the Franks in 771 and was the most powerful leader in western Christendom, facing the Byzantine empire in the East.
Charlemagne wanted to convert pagans to Christianity, leading to baptisms conversations and executions across Europe.
A military campaign against the Franks would not be possible, but the Vikings, who were pagans, could target areas of Christian significance, such as Lindisfarne on the coast of England.
On the other hand, Vikings may have plundered foreign lands to meet women.
As seen in the show Vikings, the rich and powerful Vikings had many wives and polyamorous relationships with native women and others who they captured on their raids.
This meant there was a shortage of women in Scandinavia and men travelled overseas to find their partners.
Another reason for raids was that the Vikings simply saw the opportunity to expand their kingdom.
In Europe, there was better land, more land and treasure that would bring the Vikings immense wealth.
The use of longships in the unmanned seas and rivers of western Europe allowed Viking ships to travel, raid and trade freely.
Not only did they want to expand their kingdoms, but they also raided lands for wealth purposes.
During their raids, they would loot villages, churches and towns and would trade their stolen goods for money.
The first Viking raid was at Lindisfarne on June 8, 793 AD.
Lindisfarne was chosen as it was situated at the heart of the Northumbria and the centre of Christianity in Britain at the time.
Christian monasteries were easy targets for Vikings. The Vikings were pagans, not Christians and the monks living in the monasteries had little or no weapons to defend themselves against the Vikings.
The monasteries also held hoards of valuable treasures like gold, jewels and books that the Vikings could trade.
Following the raids, the Vikings would either move on or settle an by the end of the 870s, the Vikings had taken considerable control of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
Large-scale Viking violence took place thought 10th and 11th centuries in England, coming to an end in 1066 at the battle of Stamford Bridge.
The Viking Great Heathen Army gained control of England from York to East Anglia and even set up their way of life known as Danelaw.
They even had a policy of ‘Danegeld’ which was protection money paid in return of being let alone by the English kings.
According to historian Robert Ferguson, it was the wealth acquired from Danegeld which allowed Viking Olaf Tryggvason to make his successful bid for the crown of Norway in 955.
During their raids, the Vikings used a range of weapons including the battle-axe, sword, spear and bow and arrow.
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