Vikings originated in Scandinavia and began to raid the neighboring European territories from the late 8th century onward.
They were also known as the Norsemen, which roughly translates to the ‘Men from the North.’
Norsemen came to Great Britain and Ireland with the purpose to raid, trade, or settle.
Vikings also launched raids on other coasts across Europe.
It is still debatable between historians whether the term Vikings include settlers or only raiders from Norse lands.
Norsemen sacked many Christian monasteries in the present-day UK in the last decade of the 8th century.
It began with a raid on the monastery of Lindisfarne in the north-east of the UK in 793.
This raid sent shivers of fear and loathing towards Vikings in the Europe, an impression that would later shape the way Europe perceived the Vikings.
Lindisfarne was founded in 635 CE and was one of the most important sites of pilgrimage in the region.
This place was famous due to the reported miracles of the bishop St. Cuthbert.
The monastery was noted for its valuable relics and other riches made from gold and silver.
It was here that the Vikings launched their first notable raid in 793.
During the raid, the Vikings took away with the precious relics which bore immense religious significance for the Christian Europe. They also killed many of the monks, drowned others and took the rest as captives and slaves.
The attack sent shock-waves across Europe as such desecration of a Christian monastery was unheard of.
Even before the raid on Lindisfarne, Vikings had been attacking Anglo-Saxon England. Reports exist of a Viking attack in 787.
At the time, Vikings arrived in three ships and landed in Wessex.
The Anglo-Saxon rulers of Wessex were entirely unprepared for the attack. The Vikings raiders proceeded to kill local officials and then loot the local villages before making away with their plunder.
These raids forced Anglo-Saxons of England to step up their coastal defenses.
The Viking Age was a period in history from 793 to 1066 AD during which the Scandinavians built settlements throughout Europe.
The term Viking Age does not apply only to the ascendancy of Vikings at their homeland of Scandinavia, but also their activity at other places where they settled during this period.
During this age, Vikings ranged out of their Scandinavian homelands and explored Europe through trade, raids, conquests and permanent settlements. To this end, they made use of their famous long-ships and their skill in navigating the rivers and seas.
The effects of Vikings can be seen in European trade, art, culture, society, and language.
The traces of Vikings culture are apparent in the dialectics of present-day Scotland and Northern England.
Vikings discovered many trade routes in Europe.
They also found and settled a number of islands, leaving a lasting impact on European History.
In England, Viking kings came to rule at a time. In Franc, Normandy was settled by descendants of Vikings.