Viking History

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Vikings raided countries that could be reached by sea. Once there, they killed anyone they could, and sometimes they took children, training them to be savage Vikings.

Vikings rode in long boats called, well, longboats. These ships usually had a dragonhead on the front to give it the look of a sea monster. Longboats had a single mast in the center with one big sail, but they hardly relied on the wind, using rows to move these massive ships. The Vikings invaded mainly the British Isles and the part of Charlemagne?s empire that was taken over by the franks.

The Vikings lived in Iceland at the time, and they decided to sail west, towards what we now call Greenland, and built a settlement there. The Vikings were the ones that first discovered America, but they did not know it was an unknown country, but they told the stories nonetheless. Finally a young Viking, Lief the Lucky, decided to go to this mysterious place. When he got there, or here, I should say, he found many grapes that tasted amazing. Then he gave this place the name Vinland, or land of the vines. These tales are still written in Viking records, but they never got the credit they deserved for discovering America.

One of the most famous Viking leaders was Rollo the Walker. He got this name because he was so big that no horse was strong enough to lift him, but he did on foot what barely any could do on horseback. In the year 885 A.D., 700 ships, commanded by Rollo and other Viking leaders, sail from Norway to the Seine (San) river, and went to capture the city of Paris. Rollo and his crew stopped on the way at Rouen (r??), which was on the seine as well, but nearer to its mouth. The citizens had heard of this giant of a man, but the bishop told them that Rollo could be as noble and generous as he was fierce and strong. The bishop told them to give themselves up to Rollo, and this advice was followed. The bishop had given good advice, for Rollo treated these people very kindly. Soon after the capture of Rouen Rollo left, leaving the people in misery. He sailed up river to Paris where he joined the other Viking chiefs. For six long miles the beautiful seine was now covered in Vikings vessels, carrying no less than thirty thousand men. A noted warrior named Eudes (Ude) was count of Paris, and he had given orders to fortify the city. Not long before the arrival of Rollo and his companions, two walls with the strongest gates affordable were put up around Paris. It was not easy for the Vikings to take a strongly walled city, but studies say Rollo built a tower on wheels and sent it up to the wall. The top of the tower was well manned and the fighters were well trained, but people from inside the city threw burning oil on them or shot the pullers with arrows before the towers got to the wall. Rollo and his advisors then thought to starve the parisans, so for thirteen long months the Vikings camped outside the city, but eventually they gave up and Paris was relieved. Rollo and his men went to the Duchy of Burgandy, where, as now, the finest crops were raised and the best of wines were made.





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