The Vikings were venturesome seafarers. From Denmark, Norway and Sweden they spread through Europe and the North Atlantic in the period of vigorous Scandinavian expansion (AD 800-1050) known as the Viking Age.
Although they are often thought of primarily as raiders , the Vikings were also traders , explorers and settlers. Behind them they left a legacy not only of archaeological remains, but also of family names, place names and fieldnames. Their “remains” can be found in local dialects and customs, in folk tales and oral traditions, and of course in the genetic make up of the local people themselves.
The Viking Ship
The development of the Viking ship , made this expansion possible. With its flexible hull and its keel and sail, the Viking ship was far superior to ships and boats used by other peoples at the time.
Pagans – Christians
Originally pagan worshipers of Thor and Odin, many became Christians, and during the 10th century they brought Christianity back to Scandinavia.