Monday, 16 June 2008
V for Vikings.
"We sailed our ships
to any shore
that offered the best
hope of booty'
no fellow on earth,
we were fit, we fought
in the battle-fleet."
Probable causes of Viking expansion.
Viking society was based on agriculture and trade with other peoples and placed great emphasis on the concept of honour both in combat (for example, it was unfair and wrong to attack an enemy already in a fight with another) and in the criminal justice system.
It is unknown what triggered the Vikings' expansion and conquests, although it coincided with the Medieval Warm Period (800 – 1300) and stopped with the start of the Little Ice Age (about 1250 – 1850). The lack of pack-ice would have allowed Scandinavians to go "a-Viking" or "raiding.
It is important to bear in mind that not all the Norse arriving in the British Isles came as raiders. Many arrived with families and livestock, often in the wake of the capture of territory by their forces. DNA analysis shows that a major part of the ancestry of English people in northern East Anglia, eastern Yorkshire and in the Lake District is Scandinavian in origin, presumably from colonists around this time. The populations then merged over time by intermarriage into the Anglo-Saxon population of these areas. Many words in the English language are from old Scandinavian languages, showing the importance of this contact. One of these words is the word "mail" which is "mål" in Norwegian, meaning speech or lanquage. Black mail meant :as soon as Vikings started talking, it meant giving money.
The jury of English common law was a direct outgrowth of Viking ideas about community obligations and sworn investigations, both vital steps in building a civil society.
Queen Elisabeth II is of Viking descent, because William the Conqueror was a French Viking
Look at http://mrsnesbittsplace.blogspot.com/ for other great posts