The Norse:
Raiders and Traders
Reading/Language Arts, Periods 1 & 2
Mr. Schoch
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You’re living in ancient times and you see a big ship approaching. It has a head of a strange animal at the top. There are many oars rowing the ship. You are in trouble. Vikings are going to raid your village! The Vikings actually were called the Norse. Their main priority as warriors was sacking other villages. The location of the Vikings was in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Iceland. The Norse culture lived from 789 A.D. to 1066 A.D. The Vikings were best remembered for their raids and trades.

The most noted part of the Norse culture was their warriors and their weapons. Warriors and weapons were important to the Vikings because raiding villages was how they obtained their riches (Ganeri 8). We can learn more about Viking warriors and weapons by looking at their battle dress and armor, weapons and shields, warships, and war strategies and tactics.

The Norse battle dress and armor were two interesting aspects of the Vikings’ culture. One interesting point is that the Vikings helmets did not have horns as shown in many movies (those were used for ceremonies only.) The helmets were made of iron and contained an iron noseguard. The iron helmets had a leather cushion on the inside (Margeson 13 & Odijk 22). Another fact is that unlike modern soldiers, the Vikings did not wear uniforms. Every soldier had to dress and arm himself (Margeson 13). The Vikings' battle dress was designed for ease of movement (Odjik 22).

During Viking raids you needed to have a weapon or you would die. So the weapons were very important to the Vikings. The main weapons that the Vikings used were bows and arrows, spears, axes, and especially swords. (Margeson 14 & 15).The Viking shields were round and made of wood (Margeson 15). They could also use their shields as weapons (http://tinyurl.com/7z4zaps). The Vikings couldn’t live without their weapons and shields.

The Viking warships were the Norse army’s number one way to travel. The Viking warships were the longest, slenderest, and quickest of Viking ships (Margeson 10). The warships would have 24 to 50 oars and carry as many people as there were oars (Margeson 10). A typical longship would have taken 11 trees to build (http://tinyurl.com/cykel73). Without these longships, the Vikings couldn’t raid or trade.

The Vikings were not known for their battle tactics, and they were very skilled in this. The Vikings would have a wall filled with shields that would overlap and stop rushing opponents (http://tinyurl.com/7nq9cv2). The Vikings would have a pointed arrow formation that would wedge through a shield wall (http://tinyurl.com/729v6nx). The Vikings behind the shield wall would throw spears high in the air and hope that they would hit someone (http://tinyurl.com/d4ktotn). The Vikings’ battle tactics were very useful when raiding a village.

After The Battle of Stamford Bridge, the Vikings were no longer a culture as it was their last battle, in which they were defeated (http://tinyurl.com/9zn2w). The Vikings taught us many things. Their ways are still used today in forging, architecture, language, and navigating. The Minnesota Vikings were named after this ancient civilization probably because of their intimidating ways. The Vikings taught us to leave on a high note and to look intimidating (http://tinyurl.com/7pm275a). The Vikings were a very interesting culture that continues to fascinate us today.






















Glossary

Raid- A rapid surprise attack on an enemy by troops, aircraft, or other armed forces in warfare.


Tactics- An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end.

Forging- Make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire or furnace and beating or hammering it.




















Works Cited


"The Battle of Stamford Bridge." The Battle of Stamford Bridge. Web. 05 June 2012. <http://www.britainexpress.com/History/battles/stamford-bridge.htm>.
BBC News. BBC. Web. 18 May 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/weapons_01.shtml>.
"D*I*Y Planner." Historical Lessons: Viking Productivity. Web. 05 June 2012. <http://www.diyplanner.com/node/763>.
Ganeri, Anita. Raiders and Traders. Lincolnwood (Chicago), IL: Peter Bedrick, 2001. Print.
Margeson, Susan M., and Peter Anderson. Viking. New York: Knopf, 1994. Print.
Odijk, Pamela. The Vikings. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Burdett, 1990. Print.
"Viking Shields." , Viking Weapons, Viking Helmets. Web. 25 May 2012. <http://www.vikings-history.com/viking-shields.html>.
"THE VIKINGS." THE VIKINGS. Web. 17 May 2012. <http://digilander.libero.it/tepec/vikcombat.htm>.