The age of the Vikings is thought to have begun with the attack on the island of Lindisfarne in the year 793. The end of the Viking age is based on the battle of Hastings, when William II won Harald Gudinason at Hastings on October 14.th of the year 1066. I believe that the beginning of the end for the Vikings came with the adoption of Christianity as it kind of took all the fun out of being Viking.
The shortage of land in Norway, due to the extensive population growth and the adaption of new methods in the community ultimately led to the age where Vikings explored and settled other parts of the world.
Vikings were excellent shipbuilders. The ships were sturdy and well built. The Knarr was the transport ship of the Vikings, similar as a longship but the hull was wider, deeper and shorter than on a longship. These ships were used during the Viking expansion, they did not need a large crew and could carry up to 24 tons of cargo. They were about 16 m (54 ft) in length. These ships were used mostly for transportation, exploration and settlement as they were much better for sailing on the seas than other Viking ships. The longship was the ultimate warship of it’s time. They were capable of sailing up rivers, they were light and manoeuvrable and perfect to attack the British isles.
The Viking raids would consist of piracy, attacks on villages by the sea, to settle new lands and trading. They could be one of these or all of them in one trip. Norwegian Vikings raided the sea of Ireland, Ireland and islands in the North-Atlantic. They would also attack England in co-operation with Danish Vikings. The Danish Vikings attacked England, which they occupied for a while but also France. The Swedish Vikings attacked on the Baltic sea and the countries east of that all the way to Bagdad and Istanbul. Vikings also attacked Spain and Italy and other countries by the Mediterranean sea. At it’s peak, the Viking world reached from Istanbul in the East to Wineland in the west.
Probably both the Greek and the Romans knew of Iceland by the name Thule. Probably people living in the British isles also knew of Iceland but there are stories of Irish monks that are said to have sailed to Iceland. A man by the name of Naddoddur is believed to have been the first Scandinavian person to set foot on the island around 850. Gardar Svavarsson was the second around 855 and then Hrafna Floki Vilgerdarson around 860 but he is responsible for the name that the country bears today.
The first settler of Iceland, according to the book of Icelanders by Ari Frodi, was Ingolfur Arnarson. He named his farm, Reykjavik.
Norwegians were about 75% of the settlers but people from Sweden and Denmark were about 9%. People originally from England, Ireland and Scotland were about 16% of the settlers of Iceland.