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Transcript of Vikings
It was “the first step in the process by which human
populations became reconnected into a single global system," The Viking raids began in the late eighth century, primarily because of Denmark’s growing power. Danish kings began to extend their control to Sweden and Norway, and many local lords chose exile and a life of raiding rather than submit to Danish rule. Still, the Viking legacy goes beyond ruined villages. They “redistributed the wealth that was stored by the churches, kings, and landowners,” says Peter Sawyer of the University of Leeds. “They stole it, shared it out and spent it.” This circulation of money stimulated urban development from Kiev to Dublin as quiet villages turned into vibrant trading towns. “Contrary to the stereotype,” says Sawyer, the Vikings “were experienced actors on the international political stage, and this required more talents than brute force.” Paragraph 2 (a short sudden attack, usually by a small group of people) (noun) The Vikings’ economy was actually based on agriculture. While the men went to sea, their families stayed home and farmed. However, the Vikings were truly people of the sea, able to read the water currents and winds well enough to navigate the North Atlantic without instruments. They also navigated by learning the migration habits of whales and birds, which lead the Vikings to Iceland and later Greenland. Furthermore, their development of the sail transformed history, since there would have been no Viking age without it. The discovery of rigging, which allowed the boats to sail into the wind, gave the Vikings true maritime superiority. The sails were so good that the Vikings could escape even if the wind was blowing toward the land they had just raided. Paragraph 3 (the ropes which support and control a ship's sails) With the best and fastest ships of the time, the Vikings got around. However, did they reach North America 500 years before Columbus? Although old Norse legends described trans-Atlantic voyages, few people believed them until the 1960s. It was then that the ruins of the first European settlement in North America were discovered at l’Anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland. The Vikings apparently used the site as a base from which to explore to the south. While the Vikings did not establish a permanent settlement there, their journey may have made a lasting effect. As long as the Norse colony on Greenland endured, from 985 to 1450, so did knowledge of the land to the west. As Icelandic narratives spread the knowledge of these new lands to Europe, it is likely that Columbus knew about the Viking discovery of Newfoundland. The Vikings abandoned l’Anse aux Meadows after only a few years, but history had been made. The Old World had reached out across the Atlantic to the New, opening the door to the age of discovery. Paragraph 4 Sentence Analysis:
“Contrary to the stereotype,” says Sawyer, the Vikings “were experienced actors on the international political stage, and this required more talents than brute force.” (noun) by Hakan Şentürk Viking settlement at l'anse aux Meadows