https://www.deviantart.com/gambargin Gin P.H. Fru' Gunnhildr Freysdottir af Rogaland of Vikingrunionen. HWS Medieval Norse (Viking) Woman Warrior/Shieldmaiden Concept - Historically Wrong Sketch Series
==Historical Commentaries==='789: In this year King Beorhtric took to wife Eadburh, daughter of King Offa. And in his days there came for the first time three ships of Northmen, from Hörthaland: and the reeve rode thither and tried to compel them to go to royal manor - for he did not know what they were - and they slew him. These were the first ships of the Danes to come to England.' - Thus, the first written report of the Viking Raids by the Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings first victim and later on, their swore enemies. In our modern society, the Norse Vikings have occupied a rather romanticized image, especially in popular media. While their portrayal lies somewhere between the most fantastic of fantasy, to the grimmest accuracy, it is without doubt that these so called Norse vikings that originated from Scandinavia, have left a long lasting mark in the history of Europe....and perhaps, even beyond that of what we now perceive. Historically speaking, Viking itself is the Old Norse word for "Sea Expedition", and since many of these "Vikings" were encountered with their longboats on their seaborn/seafaring expedition, they were referred a such. Norse, or Norsemen, is an umbrella term for the group of Scandinavians, the Norwegian, Danes and Swedish, who shared a common language, religion and short of common culture. Despite the generalization, Scandinavian societies during the viking age were mostly self-contained and there was hardly any unity between the Norse people during the viking age; every village, tribes and communities were practically an independent power of their own. Not all of them were there barbaric warriors as media often depicted them to be however, The Norsemen were also famous for their artisans, craftsmanship, poetry as well as Traders.The Vikings entered mainstream history in 793 AD, where the sudden burst of Viking Norse raiders and their subsequent expeditions from their homeland in Scandinavia, terrorized most of the known world. To assume that the the Viking-era started in this year is somewhat not very precise, since Norsemen took part in trades and expeditions much earlier than that. Initially, it was the Norwegian who started the raiding activities, but the Danes and the Swedish followed shortly after. Norwegian Vikings first raided settlements in Orkney, Hebrides, Shetlands and Isle of Man, but shortly after the Norwegian and Danes settled in the area and established their firm base, before turning their eye towards Ireland. By mid 9th century, the had established trading cities in Eastern Coast of Ireland such as Dublin, Wexford, Cork, Waterford and Limerick. The vikings in Ireland made little attempt to go beyond their raiding and trading activities, probably because the local Irish population were too warlike and hostile, even for the Norsemen taste. They gradually merged with the local population, giving the identity of Gaels or Norse-Gaellic, but the last of the Vikings were defeated by the united Irish army in 1014 under the High King Brian Boru. Apart from Ireland, the Norwegian Vikings had established colonies in Iceland and Newfoundland in Canada, making them one of the earliest European explorer who encountered America long before Columbus in late 15th century. Swedish Vikings gave an interesting perspective as compared to their Danish and Norwegian brethren, since their Viking-ing activities took part mostly in Eastern Europe. The Swedes had been trading along the Baltic centuries since at least early 7th centuries, but the actual raid led by the Vikings (including swedish) took place at 852 AD, when they attacked Novgorod and demanded "Danegeld" from its citizen. They would proceed further with their activities along the Volga River, settling down in the region and ruled the local slavic population who reffered them as 'Rus'. The extend of the vikings (Mainly Swedish) activity in Russia is somewhat debatable, but in contrast to their Danish and Norwegian counterpart, it was mostly focused on trading and settling. Of course, by "trading and settling", such activities would often resulted in conflict with the local population, and more often than not, when arms were called, battle took place which yields loots, lands and slaves.Danish Vikings, on the other hand, were seen as a much more ambitious Vikings compared to their northern brethren. Their activities mainly focused along the English channel and western coast of the British Isles. They appeared in 834 and cam in force, giving a rather terrorizing image to their victims. Not Only that, the Danes raided settlements as far as Tours, Orleans, Asturias and these activities of raiding took part annually. The Danes were perhaps famous for Invading England and establishing their own rule from Northumbria to east Anglia called the Danelaw. For the next centuries, the Danes would wrestle the control of England with the Anglo-Saxons, but they were eventually defeated in the early 10th century by the combined forces of Edward the Elder and Aethelflaed of Mercia. Another famous example is the settling of Danes (mostly) along the northern coast of france, which was given by the Frankish King to the Danes, giving birth to the name of Normandy and their descendant, the Normans who later became one of Europe's most fearsome war-machine. By the turn of the 11th and 12th century, the Vikings activities had largely ceased to exist. This was contributed to several factors which includes the spread of Christianity in Scandinavia, as well as the lack of weak "raiding target" since most of their neighbors have developed a much more organized military system and stronger defense in their frontiers (which makes raids less profitable and more dangerous).