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Old 09-10-2019, 09:38 AM
 
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Why did the Vikings focus so much on England?

Now some of you will point to Normandy. But that is a one time affair. Yes, the Normans went to Southern Italy, and Middle East but by then they were no longer Vikings from Scandinavia. Plus they were largely just serving as mercenaries like their cousins did for the Byzantines.

Some may even point to the Land of the Rus. Yet again, I say that is a one time affair. Raiders from Scandinavia did not continuously raid and raid after Kievan Rus, and successor principalities were established.

Yet, wave after wave, after wave of Vikings seemed to pillage England a lot. Now Scotland, and Ireland did get raided. And the islands like the Hebrides, and port cities like Dublin were Viking strongholds. However, it does seem that the Vikings ever made it very far inland in either Scotland, Ireland, nor Wales for that matter.

While the Vikings penetrated deep into England. The took half of Mercia, all of Northumbria, East Anglia, and Kent. They were far more successful against Anglo Saxon defenders.

Which brings me to my next question. Did any Anglo Saxon ruler ever push the Vikings completely out of England before William the Conqueror came, or at least take back a good portion before the Battle of Hastings?

There were other lands near Scandinavia like the Holy Roman Empire, whatever you called Poland back then. I think it was called Wendland or something. Why not pillage there too?
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:58 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Why? Because it was there. It was close to home for them, easily accessible.

Rus, a one-time affair? Seriously?? They took the place over completely! They made it their own. This should be clear if for no other reason, than that the country still bears their name. They used its waterways to reach Constantinople, for trading and raiding, so for them, Rus' was a strategic acquisition, that gave them access to the Near East and its riches.
.https://www.history.com/news/globetr...constantinople
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:06 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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England/Ireland = A sitting duck
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:38 AM
 
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Normandy one time?

France suffered continual attacks, raiding, and destruction even to Paris. Then the king of France gave the strongest Viking (Rollo) the region of Normandy if he would hold the Seine and keep the other Vikings from attacking Paris. It worked. Maybe that is why you might think it was a one off.

Today the people of Normandy will say they are Viking and not French.

I think the Norseman's focus was cathedrals wherever they could be reached by sea or river.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:58 AM
 
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Because those were poor, uncivilized regions in the fringe of Europe, in the case of the British Isles.
They were repealed in Jakobsland, Santiago de Compostela, and Sevilla. They burned and sacked the city but they were defeated and their whole fleet put to the torch.
And in many places in the Mediterranean, they did not need to attack, they were hired as mercenaries as soon as they landed.
Why fight when they were offered gold and land to act as personal gards?
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:46 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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The initial lure of England were the isolated and unprotected island and coastal monasteries. Easy pickings and attractive for the gold and jeweled religious artifact held by these religious enclaves. It was then just a natural progression into the interior of England.

And probably most of the people who came from the North were not raiders but farmers looking for land and new markets. The so called Vikings were world travelers, raiders, farmers and traders. Some of their buried hoards found even today reflect coinage and other items from places as far away as Afghanistan.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:27 PM
 
1,065 posts, read 252,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Why did the Vikings focus so much on England?

Now some of you will point to Normandy. But that is a one time affair. Yes, the Normans went to Southern Italy, and Middle East but by then they were no longer Vikings from Scandinavia. Plus they were largely just serving as mercenaries like their cousins did for the Byzantines.

Some may even point to the Land of the Rus. Yet again, I say that is a one time affair. Raiders from Scandinavia did not continuously raid and raid after Kievan Rus, and successor principalities were established.

Yet, wave after wave, after wave of Vikings seemed to pillage England a lot. Now Scotland, and Ireland did get raided. And the islands like the Hebrides, and port cities like Dublin were Viking strongholds. However, it does seem that the Vikings ever made it very far inland in either Scotland, Ireland, nor Wales for that matter.

While the Vikings penetrated deep into England. The took half of Mercia, all of Northumbria, East Anglia, and Kent. They were far more successful against Anglo Saxon defenders.

Which brings me to my next question. Did any Anglo Saxon ruler ever push the Vikings completely out of England before William the Conqueror came, or at least take back a good portion before the Battle of Hastings?

There were other lands near Scandinavia like the Holy Roman Empire, whatever you called Poland back then. I think it was called Wendland or something. Why not pillage there too?
As others have pointed out, the Vikings pillaged the area of the Seine repeatedly - for nearly two centuries - before Rolf and King Charles came to an agreement and Normandy arose as the land of the Normans. And Viking settlement in the Rus states was substantial, all the way from the Gulf of Finland to the Black Sea.

Also relevant as to pillaging versus settling, the British Isles and western Europe in general were richer in loot that could be conveniently hauled away, such as gold and gems. Both the lords and the church there had more portable (ie, easy to steal) wealth in this form than in the East. Sacking monasteries was highly lucrative, as was the kidnapping of nobles who could be ransomed. There was simply more opportunity for this in the West, and England was close to Scandinavia and the richest part of the British Isles.

I would also speculate that topography played a role. The Vikings were seafarers. Nowhere in the British Isles is it more than 70 miles from the sea, meaning the Vikings were rarely far from their comfort zone and making hit-and-runs feasible no matter where they chose to hit in that archipelago.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
England/Ireland = A sitting duck

England was warmer.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:03 PM
 
4,180 posts, read 1,676,908 times
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as posted above:
the "good stuff" was in the undefended monasteries
on the coast. "Hey, guys! Look what we found! Want some?"
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:04 PM
 
5,412 posts, read 1,070,116 times
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Bigger question is why where the Vikings aiming for Minnesota and football?
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