Uploaded by david.leverette


During the 700s and 800s AD, the peoples of Scandinavia were facing many
challenges and difficulties. The population had risen hugely but people were
crowded into small areas of farmland. Tradition said that when a father died their
land should be divided amongst all their sons. However, this meant that each son
didn’t have enough land to feed themselves and their families. Many local rulers also
fought with each other for power and territory which caused the destruction of
many farms and villages.
To survive, many people turned to the sea – becoming fishermen, traders, and also
raiders. These people were later known as the Vikings from an old Norse word which
means “to turn” or “to move”. At the time they were more often known as the
Danes, Norsemen, Rus, or Varyags.