The world of the Vikings

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The Viking age has long been associated with unbridled piracy, when freebooters swarmed out of the northlands in their longships to burn and pillage their way across civilized Europe. Modern scholarship provides evidence this is a gross simplification, and that during this period much progress was achieved in terms of Scandinavian art and craftsmanship, marine technology, exploration, and the development of commerce. It seems the Vikings did as much trading as they did raiding. The …

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…tapered off around the year 1000. By this time the Vikings had become Christian, which had a restrictive effect on their urge to plunder. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway had become separate kingdoms generally united under single monarchs. Wars wer now steered by the shifting alliances of the kings. The age of private battles was gone. Trade relations that were established in the Viking period continued, and the Nordic countries emerged as part of a Christian Europe.