• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Medieval Viking Tactics

Extracts from this document...


The Vikings were feared warriors and successful explorers of new land because of their long-ships, their employment of the element of surprise, their weapons, and their aggressive nature during battle. The Vikings' reign of terror began in the late 8th century CE and for almost 300 years, these adventurous, violent, and fearless Scandinavian warriors ravage various parts of Europe. In 793 CE, they sacked the Lindisfame monastery in northeast England. They slaughtered the monks before carrying off the booty of silver crosses, chalices, and other treasures. In 795 CE, the Vikings reached Ireland's east coast. Four years later, the Vikings attack the French west coast. By the early 9th century CE, Swedish Vikings were moving through Russia, using the Dnieper River to facilitate their raiding operations. Some Vikings reached Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. The Viking Long-ship The secrets to Viking raiding success were their long-ships and the element of surprise. Their long-ships could quickly and quietly sail up many large rivers and from the seashore, Viking warriors sprang upon their victims before their enemy could properly prepare for the attack.The Vikings were almost invincible at sea. ...read more.


Although they fought without body armor, the berserkers won many battles because the alcohol and drugs they took did not allow them to feel physical pain of their wounds during intense combat. Viking land armies lacked the organization and discipline of the celebrated Roman legions, but they were fearless, courageous, and ferocious in battle. The average Viking warrior was about 1.7 meters tall, but a few Viking warriors were about 1.9 meters tall. The younger warriors usually formed the front line in a battle with their round shields overlapping to create a defensive wall. Behind the young warriors stood the older combat veterans who shouted words of inspiration to motivate and urge the young warriors forward in battle. Viking warriors were armed with sharp double-edged swords, bows, spears, daggers, and their most deadly weapon of war were their famous battle axes. Viking warriors used a long battle axes for one-on-one fighting and a short battle axes for throwing at the enemy. An accurate hit from a thrown battle axes would kill an enemy warrior instantly. ...read more.


The Viking warriors often married the local women. They adopted local languages, but added words of their own to them. The some of week days of English speaking nations are named after the Viking gods. For example, Wednesday was derived from Odin or Woden, Thursday originated from Thor, and Friday originated from Frigg. Vikings wrote in runes, sticklike letters, which were carved on stone, wood, or metal. The Vikings sailed across the Atlantic Ocean when many people would never dare to sail away from the sight of land. From Iceland they colonized Greenland around 985 CE. At the same time Bjarni Herjolfsson saw the North American coast before he was blown off course by a storm. He did not land there, but told people in Greenland about his experience and observations. The Viking, Lief Ericsson, went in search of this new land, which he called Vinland; the land was filled with gooseberries and cranberries, used for wine making. The Vikings settled there briefly around 1005 CE. Archeologists and historians have discovered traces of the settlement in Newfoundland, Canada, and Maine in New England. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Medieval History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Medieval History essays

  1. Were late Medieval and early Modern Europeans obsessed with death?

    that death was a state to which look forward to, as they would be reunited with their creator and that they should spend their preparing for it. However the idea of purgatory was integrated into religion, mainly by the writer Dante Alighieri and his work 'Divina Commedia Purgatorio'.

  2. What impact did the Scandinavian settlement have on pre-Conquest society and economy in England?

    tell from this information alone, just how many Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians were living there.22 There was a huge disruption of estates which possibly led to a disruption in the market with the Scandinavian settlement. Before the arrival of the Vikings, English land had never been bought or sold before.

  1. How important were the political and economic factors in the Christianization of Vikings

    One of the earliest examples of this would be Charlemagne's somewhat brutish conversion of the Saxons after the sacking of Eresburg, in which he ordered the destruction of the Irminsul, directly cognate with Yggdrasil, the tree that holds up the world in Scandinavian mythology.14 This was done, in spite of

  2. Place-Name Evidence for the Coexistence of Viking Settlers and other Groups in Derbyshire

    stages of Scandinavian settlement, they did not necessarily try to assimilate into the existing Anglo-Saxon culture. This separation of the two groups is also illustrated by three further place-names in Derbyshire, the first elements of which refer to various racial names.

  1. History of Russia. Examine the Impact of Mongol Rule Upon Medieval Rus

    As a tactic, it worked in the Khans favour, as the hierarchy between the principalities caused the Princes to fight amongst each other for power and land. Endless fighting and arguments created an unstable relationship between the Princes, allowing the Khans to rule more easily and without a threat of rebellion or an uprising from the principalities.

  2. Were the Crusades a shameful episode in the history of the west?

    With this in mind, the only 'successful' crusade was the first and this was short lived, with most of the cities and lands captured, falling back under Muslim control less than a hundred years later.18 After the initial glory of the First Crusade, military achievement began to dwindle.

  1. Political Catalysts of the Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe

    However, the Church didn't just use the climate of fear to increase its income and respect. Religious or political opponents were often accused of witchcraft to jeopardise their standing in the eyes of their peers, and it often resulted in their death.

  2. The One Hundred Years War

    1430 - The height of English power in France. In 1407 a very big change occurred. The French royal family was separated into two camps, the Armagnacs and the Burgundians. This soon set the two families into a civil war which included all of France.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work