The Vikings –
did not only raid monasteries mainly in England and Ireland, but pillaged and looted also along the coasts and rivers of Europe.
As traders they opened up Russia’s vast expanses, settled the North Atlantic islands, advanced as far as Greenland and presumably were the first Europeans in North America.
The seafarers and warriors originating mainly from Scandinavia spread out more and more from the north of Europe, conquering existing places or founding new settlements.
They were brutal pirates, became warriors, conquerors, discoverers, daring merchants and founders of states. They became rich due to their conquests, trade and crafts, still they supposedly disappeared almost as abruptly as they had made their appearance.
Their heyday was relatively short-lived in world history, only from the 8th to the 11th centuries. The age of the Vikings lasted not even 300 years.
For the people they attacked they were heathen barbarians. Their raids trigged a chain of events that changed the world and fascinate us still today.