Viking Slavers in the West


The Viking Age of Scandinavian history began with the Lindisfarne raid on June 8, 793 and ended with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes the as ‘the ravages of heathen men miserably destroyed God’s church on Lindisfarne, with plunder and with slaughter.’ While they carried away plunder, the less able monks were killed and the others were enslaved. Two years later, Vikings raided the monastery on Iona, and other monasteries along the coasts and rivers of northern Europe fell to the Vikings. 

 Vikings used the Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea for sea routes to raid and eventually settled in the south. They established the Danelaw, which included Scandinavian York, the administrative centre of the remains of the Kingdom of Northumbria, parts of Mercia, and East Anglia. In Ireland, from the ninth to the twelfth century, Dublin became a major slave trading center. In 870A.D. Vikings besieged and captured Alt Clut in southern Scotland and sold the inhabitants in the Dublin slave markets. The Normans who eventually conquered England and the Viking overlords were descended from Danish and Norwegian Vikings who had invaded northern France and carved out a Duchy.

Not all Viking raids were successful. In 980 AD, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle records that Southampton “was ravaged by a force in ships, the town-dwellers, for the most part, were killed or enslaved.” The fate of captured Vikings was described earlier at an attack on Jarrow (794 AD): “. . . some of the ships were broken up in bad weather and many drowned. Some came alive to shore and were quickly killed at the river’s mouth.’

Tomorrow, The Vikings in Eastern Europe. Rita Bay

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