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07.06.2019

Viking kings you should know about (Part 1)

Vikings were really strong, powerful and brave people. No wonder that nowadays we read great conquest and explore stories, share wise thoughts from Havamal, spread knowledge about Norse culture. Our ancestors had strong will and their leaders were examples for thousands. Who were they - kings who leaded armies?

1. The first ruler of Normandy - Rollo

 

Since the ninth century this Viking leader started to invade France. In the year 911, the king of the West Franks, Charles the Simple, gave to Rollo part of lands (now it is called Normandy). In return Rollo had to protect France lands from other Viking raiders. He kept his word to the king, moreover Rollo helped to restore order to the land which he had previously helped destroy. With time this former Viking warrior expanded his control of the region. He have ruled with a Viking code of law based upon the concept of personal honor and individual responsibility and reformed the weak and ineffectual laws. After his death around year 930, his son William Longsword succeded him. In 1066, another one of Rollo’s descendants, William, duke of Normandy, led a successful invasion of England. William the Conqueror, as he became known, went on to serve as king of England until 1087.

2. Erik The Red - the first Norse Settlement of Greenland

 

Erik Thorvaldsson was born in Norway. His name he got because of his red hear and also hot temperament. Erik's father killed somebody and all family had to leave home and go to Iceland. There Erik himself was accused of manslaughter and as the result had to leave Iceland nearly 982. He sailed to the west to unknown vasts and finally he reached Greenland. Few years after he came back to Iceland and oicked up fleet of 25 ships but just 14 ships reached Greenland and founded two main settlements in 986.  At its peak, the Greenland colony had an estimated 5,000 residents. After Erik’s death Greenland’s communities continued to survive but were abandoned in the 14th and 15th century.

3. Olaf Tryggvason - the one who brought Christianity to Norway

Olaf - the first king to unite Norway was born around 968 and after death of his father was raised in Russia. In 991, Olaf led a Viking invasion of England and won a victory at the Battle of Maldon. After this the English paid off to Vikings (Danegeld) in order to prevent future invasions at least temporarily. In 994 Olaf and his ally Svein Forkbeard repeated this achievment and took more money. Next year, using all his loot, Olaf invaded Norway and became a new king. As a king Olaf used his power to turn country to Christianity but most Scandinavians were pagans who worshipped a number of Gods. With this action Olaf eaned a lot of enemies and in year 100 he was ambushed in the sea by his rivals.

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