View Full Version : The end of Viking domination

Monday, November 28th, 2005, 06:21 PM

The Viking Age brought about great changes within Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Strong new states had been created while the power of other states had waned. In Russia and Normandy, in Shetland and Orkney the Western Isles of Scotland and on the Isle of Man, dynasties of Scandinavian origin ruled while in south-west Greenland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, there were Scandinavian populations.

In parts of Ireland, and along the southern and eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, scattered areas remained under Norse control. Parliaments or "Things" had been established where free men met to consult on matters of importance. The descendants of the early Viking immigrants now lived in England. In the early eleventh century, Denmark and England shared a common king, Cnut (Old Norse Kn¨tr), who married a Christian, Queen Emma, and became a patron of the English Church.

By the time of his death in 1035, King Cnut (part of the dynasty of Harald Bluetooth), having added Norway and possibly part of Sweden to his territories, was the most powerful monarch of northern Europe. Coinage was struck in Cnut's name as far afield as Sigtuna in Sweden.

Gradually the Viking era came to an end across Europe. The end of the Viking Age is usually set at around AD 1050, though some monuments in the Scandinivian homelands demonstrate that Viking Age traditions continued into the twelfth century (for example, Urnes stave church); and in some of the colonies, notably Scotland and Iceland, Scandinavian culture and influences persisted for much longer. In northern Scotland as late as the twelfth century, the adventures of Svein Asleifarson, recounted in Orkneyinga Saga, match those of any true Viking.

In Scandinavia during the eleventh century, increased royal intervention led to the growth of new Scandinavian towns. Birka was replaced by Sigtuna; Hedeby by Schleswig, and so on. Almost all of these new towns have survived and developed into important modern centres: in Norway, Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo; in Sweden, Sigtuna, Lund and Skara; in Denmark, Aalborg, Odense and Roskilde, among others. Some of these new towns housed the seats of bishoprics and royal mints, the symbols of a new age as Scandinavia inexorably left her Viking past behind and increasingly became part of the European cultural mainstream.

Source (http://viking.hgo.se/Files/VikHeri/Viking_Age/end.html)