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Forum LockedNavigation and sea-raiding

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fantasus View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15-May-2009 at 08:00

The main (but not exclusively) topic here is scandinavians especially "viking age".

What special cirkumstances could lie "behind" the "viking-age" (ca.800-1100) sea voyages, wars and raids? we have reasons to believe that these countries was relatively much less populated than most of the countries they attached, and has probably always been so. One reason is probably that much larger parts of those smaller populations lived by the coast, and could participate in voyages - for trade, wars and as pirates. Especially at a time with very insufficient inland roads it must have been difficult to mobilise forces in the interior of attached countries for defense. we could imagine that "nordic summers" too may have been to their advantage, since more hours were at dispossal for daylight navigation and warfare. There were other peoples of that ages, warring and raiding the coasts, like slavic speaking peoples in the baltics. Perhaps someone knows more about them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wulfstan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2009 at 19:09
Piracy and sea-bourne raiding seems to have been endemic in the North Sea region. Early records of Frankish raids c.260 and c.278 seemingly were large scale in nature. The first raid occurred after the defeat of the Roman emperor Valerian by the Persians, when the Empire was weakened. Considerable damage was done in the Roman province of Gaul. From that time piracy was a continual problem to the Romans, particularly when the Saxons took to the seas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2009 at 09:53
You touch on an interesting problem. As it stands, there is nothing to set the Scandinavian Viking activity apart from the Germanic raiding, colonisation and migration that had been going on since at least 100 BC. It is my opinion that the Viking Age is an artificial construct, since we are dealing with continuity rather than change. What the Vikings did between 793 and 1066 was no different from what the Anglo-Saxons did in the North Sea a few centuries earlier, or what the Heruli or Vandals did it in the Mediterranean. Some tribes, like the Goths, used horses rather than ships, but their activities were much the same.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2009 at 10:50

Well, there was something of a difference, not in the agents of the raids but in the subjects of the raids. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-May-2009 at 10:59

Naval warfare, pirracy and harrying occured for centuries after in many regions. I have this little suspicion, based on "accidental reading" and speculation that there was perhaps more affinities between the "barbaric" wiking and the god fearing crusader than is usually recognised!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 16:48
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

I have this little suspicion, based on "accidental reading" and speculation that there was perhaps more affinities between the "barbaric" wiking and the god fearing crusader than is usually recognised!
 
Yes, just take a look at Sigurd Jorsalafare (Sigurd I Magnusson, ca 1090 - 1130), one can say that he was a viking king who went out crusading.
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