HIST 203 Lecture Outline (Fall 2016 – Week 8)

Week 8: Tuesday


Video on Viking ships (5:24 minutes long; can start at 2:32):

793 Vikings attack England
9th-10th C. Carolingian empire divided, and besieged by Vikings from N., Magyars (Hungarians) from E., and Muslims (or “Saracens”) from S.
814-840 Louis the Pious
842 Oaths of Strasbourg sworn by Louis the German and Charles the Bald against Lothar
843 Treaty of Verdun divides empire among Charlemagne’s 3 grandsons:

  • Lothar (d. 855) becomes emperor and takes Middle Kingdom (Lotharingia, or Lorraine)
  • Louis the German (d. 876) takes East Frankish kingdom (Germany)
  • Charles the Bald (d. 877) takes West Frankish kingdom (France)
911 Viking leader Rolf (Rollo) is given Normandy in return for peace and conversion to Christianity
955 Battle of Lechfeld: Hungarian (Magyar) army annihilated by Otto I (“the Great”) of Germany


Tripartite society:

  • jarls (earls; = nobles)
  • karls (churls; = free farmers)
  • thralls (= slaves)

Map of Viking conquests

Swedish vikings: go east to Baltics, S. Russia, Ukraine, and Byzantine Empire
Danish vikings: go south and west to Francia, S. Europe, and British Isles
Norse vikings: go west to British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland

Intact Viking boat-burial found October 2011 at Ardnamurchan (western Scotland)

Week 8: Thursday


Excavation and analysis of about 50 decapitated Viking skeletons from Weymouth, Dorset, 2009:

(2:20 min.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iBGV3IJbLk
(4:40 min.): http://videosift.com/video/Weymouth-ridgeway-skeletons-Scandinavian-Vikings

Excavation of Viking boat-burial at Ardnamurchan (western Scotland):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WxjKV42HS8 (1:59 min.)
and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bWDHLHpBCk (1:20 min., then repeats)

Additional primary sources on the Vikings include:

Additional terms include:

  • Berserk (or berserker)
  • Thing; All-Thing
  • Wer(e)gild

Click on the following Viking artifacts:

Picture stone from Tängelgårda, Gotland 8th cent., showing Viking scenes (identified in caption as from Lårbro)

Viking sword (10th or 11th cent.)

Viking axes and their uses

Ranvaig’s casket Looted by the Vikings from a Scottish church and acquired by a woman from Norway who carved on the bottom in runes “Ranvaig owns this.”

Grave of Viking woman from Cnip, on the isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides: skeleton, and reconstruction of her clothing, ornaments, and tools

Gospel-book redeemed from Vikings  in England in the mid 9th cent. by Ealdorman Aelfred and his wife Werburg, who gave it to Canterbury Cathedral priory. [“Canterbury Codex Aureus,” now Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket, MS A. 135]

Mass grave of about 50 decapitated Viking skeletons from Weymouth, Dorsetshire (all male, almost all were in late teens to early 20s; C14 date: 970 x 1025 CE; identifiable as Scandinavians from the high-protein diet revealed by the isotopes in their tooth enamel) Another account of the same excavation, and another, and additional photos and a video