Thereupon Russian colonization and political influence retreated northwards, and from that time the continuous stream of Russian history is to be sought in the land where the Vikings first settled and in the adjoining basin of the upper Volga.
As in England, the vikings had o~d.
There is certainly a historical connexion between the ships which the tribes on the Baltic possessed in the days of Tacitus and the viking ships (Keary, The Vikings in Western Europe, pp. 108-9): a fact which would lead us to believe that the art of shipbuilding had been better preserved there than elsewhere in northern Europe.
Our hearts beat fast, and our hands trembled with excitement, not fear, for we had the hearts of vikings, and we knew that our skipper was master of the situation.
His grandson, Niall (791-845), drove back the Vikings who in his time began to infest the coast of Donegal.
In north German politics he interfered vigorously to protect his brotherin-law the Margrave Louis of Brandenburg against the lords of Mecklenburg and the dukes of Pomerania, with such success that the emperor, Charles IV., at the conference of Bautzen, was reconciled to the Brandenburger and allowed Valdemar an annual charge of 16,000 silver marks on the city of Lubeck (1349) Some years later Valdemar seriously thought of reviving the ancient claims of Denmark upon England, and entered into negotiations with the French king, John, who in his distress looked to this descendant of the ancient Vikings for help. A matrimonial alliance between the two crowns was even discussed, and Valdemar offered, for the huge sum of 600,000 gulden, to transport 12,000 men to England.
Mention is made of incursions of the vikings as early as 793, but the principal immigration took place towards the end of the 9th century in the early part of the reign of Harald Fairhair, king of Norway, and consisted of persons driven to the Hebrides, as well as to Orkney and Shetland, to escape from his tyrannous rule.
The Norse king had with him seventy-one vessels, but part of them belonged to an associate, Sigwald, a chief of the Jomsburg vikings, who was an agent of his enemies, and who deserted him.
Another instance of such more generic use occurs in the following typical passage from the Landnamabok (Sturlabok), where it is recorded how Harald Fairhair harried the vikings of the Scottish isles - that famous harrying which led to most of the settlement of Iceland and the birth of Icelandic literature: " Haraldr en harfari herjaoi vestr am haf ...
853 Olaf the White was over-king of Ireland, the vikings' power on the whole diminished.
No region was more often ravaged than that of the lower Loire, so rich in abbeys - St Martin of Tours, Marmoutiers, St Benedict, &c. But the country ceded to the vikings under Hasting at the Loire mouth was insignificant and not in permanent occupation.
Near the end of the 9th century, however, the plundering expeditions which emanated from these three sources became so incessant and so widespread that we can signalize no part of west France as free from them, at the same time that the vikings wrought immense mischief in the Rhine country and in Burgundy.
The island of Sheppey, however, was attacked in 835, and in the following year the vikings entrenched themselves there.
In Ireland, besides the important and successful Turgesius, we read of a Saxulf who early met his death, as well as of Ivar (Ingvar), famous also in England and called the son of Ragnar Lodbrog, and of Oisla, Ivar's comrade; finally (the vikings in Ireland being mostly of Norse descent) of the wellknown Olaf the White, who became king of all the Scandinavian settlements in Ireland.
But even at the outset the vikings were more than isolated bands of freebooters.
There is every evidence that the vikings were not a mere lawless folk - that is, in their internal relations - but that a system of laws existed among them which was generally respected.
Here vikings are mentioned by name - e.g.: " Val-6 Ara ymr, ok iarna glymr; Brast r&nd vice rond; rero vikingar."
An immense joy in battle breathes through the earliest Norse literature, which has scarce its like in any other literature; and we know that the language recognized a peculiar battle fury, a veritable madness by which certain were seized and which went by the name of " berserk's way " (berserksgangr).2 The courage of the vikings was proof against anything, even as a rule against superstitious terrors.
He had all the spirit of adventure of a Drake or a Hawkins, all the trained valour of reliance upon his comrades that mark a soldiery fighting a militia " (The Vikings in Western Christendom, p. 1 43).
Livy's words, " inhumana crudelitas, perfidia plus quam Punica," might, it is to be feared, have been applied as justly to the vikings as to any people of western 1 Steenstrup (Normannerne, i.
Keary, The Vikings in Western Europe (1891) is a history of the viking raids on all the western lands, but ends A.D.
Bugge's Vikingerne (1904-6) is a study of the moral and social side of the vikings, or, one should rather say, of the earliest Scandinavian folk.
Some were victories notably the fight of Ashdown, where Alfred first won his name as a soldierbut the English failed to capture the fortified camps of the vikings at Reading, and were finally beaten at Marten (Maeretun) near Bedwyn, where ~thelred was mortally wounded.
He began to lay down galleys and long ships, and hired pirates renegade vikings no doubtto train crews for him and to teach his men seamanship. The scheme, however, was only partly completed when in 876 three Danish kings entered Wessex and resumed the war.
On hearing of this disaster the vikings in Exeter surrendered the place on being granted a free departure.
The descendants of the vikings were easily incorporated in the English race, all the more so because of the wise policy of the conquering kings, who readily employed and often promoted to high station men of Danish descent who showed themselves loyaland this not only in the secular but in spiritual offices.
Two or three small descents o~ vikings are recorded, but the ravaging was purely local, and the invader soon departed.
But the vikings had apparently learnt by small experiments that England was no longer, ~
Canute had become an Englishman, had accepted all the old institutions of the nation, had dismissed his host of vikings, and had ruled like a native king and for the most part with native ministers.
There also came from the Western Islands'a fellowship of vikings seeking a free home in the north.
The complex work now known as Orkneyinga is made up of the Earls' Saga, lives of the first great earls, Turf-Einar, Thorfinn, &c.; the Life of St Magnus, founded partly on Abbot Robert's Latin life of him (c. 1150) an Orkney work, partly on Norse or Icelandic biographies; a Mirade-book of the same saint; the Lives of Earl Rognwald and Sveyn, the last of the vikings, and a few episodes such as the Burning of Bishop Adam.
If there was so little cohesion among the various provinces it is small wonder that Ireland fell such an easy prey to the Vikings in the next century.
At the outset the invaders arrived in small bodies, but as these met with considerable resistance large fleets commanded by powerful Vikings followed.
In 801 we find Norwegians on the upper Shannon; in 820 the whole of Ireland was harried; and five years later we hear of Vikings in Co.
However cruel and rapacious the Vikings may have been, the work of disorder and ruin was not all theirs.
In 851 the Dublin Vikings succeeded in vanquishing the Danes after a three days' battle at Snaim Aignech (Carlingford Lough), whereupon the defeated party under their leader Horm took service with Cerball, king of Ossory.
About the end of the 8th century both the Shetlands and Orkneys suffered from the depredations of Norse vikings, or pirates, until Harold Haarfager annexed the islands to Norway in 875.
The first appearance of the vikings in England we saw was in A.D.
In 896, toward the end of our age, it is incidentally mentioned in one place that five vessels carried 200 vikings, an average of 40 per ship. Elsewhere about the same time we read of 12,000 men carried in 250 ships, an average of 48.
Though their ancestors had been pirates as fierce as the vikings of the 9th century, and though some of their later kings had led naval armamentsEdwin had annexed for a moment Man and Anglesea, and Ecgfrith had cruelly ravaged part of Irelandyet by the year 800 they appear to have ceased to be a seafaring race.
But such raids proved so profitable that the vikings soon began to take greater things in hand; they began to ally themselves in confederacies: two, six or a dozen sea-kings would join their forces for something more than a desultory raid.
But in the earlier years of their struggles with Christendom the vikings seldom suffered a complete disaster; they were often beaten but seldom annihilated.
But the vikings were now showering such blows on the northern states that their unhappy monarchs could think of nothing but selfdefence.
It was not, however, till after Ã†thelwulfs death that the attack of the vikings developed its full strength.
East Anglia was conquered in 870; its last king, Edmund, having been defeated and taken prisoner, the vikings shot him to death with arrows because he would not worship their gods.