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The Vikings! Pirates - traders - explorers

Special exhibition

The so-called Viking Age covers a period of about 300 years. The Vikings entered the world stage of history in the year 793 with the attack on the monastery of Lindisfarne on the north east coast of England in the county of Northumberland. This event marks the beginning of the Viking Age, even though there had already been previous raids by Vikings in England.

The Viking Age ended at the close of the 11th century. Norway, Denmark and Sweden became large kingdoms, and the Norsemen became sedentary. The proselytization and Christianization of Scandinavia led to a fundamental pacification of the former warriors. The European world changed at the same time, and the Vikings lost their military superiority and monopoly in shipbuilding. The Vikings have significantly influenced the central European order.

In the year 911, the French king ceded the French region of Normandy to the Danish Viking leader Rollo. Although the king lost this land to the Scandinavians, this put a stop to the ravages and looting around Paris. It was also agreed that the Scandinavian outpost in Normandy would protect France against future Viking raids.

The Normans assimilated rapidly, in other words, they adopted the French language and French customs and integrated smoothly into French culture. The Norman Duke William the Conqueror began his famous expedition against England in 1066: in the Battle of Hastings, he succeeded in conquering the British island. Even southern Italy and Sicily were taken over by the Normans at that time. The origins of the word Viking is much debated. It is probably derived from Old Norse and means as much as "Sea warrior who journeys far from home".

However, contemporaries of the Vikings referred to them as Danes, Norwegians, Norsemen, Normans, pirates or pagans. The Danish and Norwegian Vikings expanded to the south and west, while the Swedish Vikings turned their attention towards the Baltic and to what is now Russia. With our exhibition, we want to illustrate these two points in history as well as the centuries in-between by means of tin figures. Roland Simon, Norderstedt in April 2017

Sources: Wikingerzeit.net
Karfunkel special issue: Wikinger + Codex
Planet-Wissen.de
PM Magazin Wikinger


Lenders: Barbara Baumgarten, Kiel | Saskia + Arno Reinecke, Güby | Anette + Olaf Krabbenhöft, Hamburg | Peter Rehmke, Rullstorf | Kai Pohl, Schenefeld | Dieter Heuer, Handewitt | Olaf Werner, Tarp | Rolf Ehlers-Maaßen,
Eddelak | Olaf Duwe, Kiel | Henning Voß, Wolmersdorf | Hannelore Golberg, Kaltenkirchen | Roland Simon, Norderstedt | Gerhard Mönninghoff, Bochum | Ralf Eschner, Goslar

A catalogue can be purchased at the museum for 3 euro.