This was the name in Scandinavia for warriors who made campaigns in other countries. The Viking is a pirate and a warrior, a seeker of prey and glory that military exploits could bring him. They were called "northern people" in Europe, Normans in France, Danes in England, Askemanns in Germany, Varangians in Byzantium and Varangians in Russia. The homeland of the Vikings was the Scandinavian Peninsula in northern Europe. The land there was infertile, crop failures often occurred. The Scandinavians even had a cruel custom: in the famine years, babies, especially girls, were taken to the forest and left there to die.
Forests and mountains covering the territory of Scandinavia hindered the development of trade. Therefore, the Scandinavians (which included the Danes, Swedes and Norwegians) quickly mastered the sea routes along their indented bays (fjords) shores. They did not have a state, they lived in tribes. Each tribe had a military leader - jarl, or king, who had a permanent squad (by the way, the Russian word "prince" came precisely from the Scandinavian "king" - leader). The combatants took an oath of allegiance to the leader, violating which, they would cover themselves with indelible shame. To return from the battle in which the leader fell was a sign of cowardice, the most shameful act.
Gradually the population increased. But due to the poverty of nature, not everyone had enough land to feed themselves and their families. Young peasants were forced to leave their homes and become warriors. The sons of noble families were no exception, who had no choice but to seek wealth in a foreign land. The spirit of wandering, unprecedented treasures, stories about which were brought by fellow tribesmen who had been on trading expeditions, excited the imagination of young people. They gathered in squads, led by young yar-lams, in the hope of gaining fame and fortune. So by the 8th century. many "sea kings" appeared who had a squad, but no land. They became the first Vikings.
In 793, the Vikings attacked the English island of Lindisfarne, plundered and ravaged the monastery. Thus began the Viking Age, the invasion of the "northern people" to Europe, which was destined to last three centuries. All over Europe the clergy prayed: "God, deliver us from the fury of the Normans." It cannot be said that Europe for the first time faced robber attacks. But the numerous expeditions of the Vikings, their capture of new lands could only be compared with the invasion of the barbarians on the Roman Empire, the horrors of which had just begun to be forgotten.
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