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The Viking Age: History and mythology

The Viking Age: History and mythology

The Viking Age, which lasted from the late 8th century to the mid-11th century, was a period of significant historical events and cultural changes. The Vikings, also known as Norsemen, were a group of seafaring warriors from Scandinavia who undertook large-scale raiding, colonizing, and conquests across Europe. The Viking Age began with the infamous raid on Lindisfarne in 793 CE and continued until the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 CE. During this time, the Vikings established new territories in Ireland, England, Russia, and other European countries, leaving a lasting impact on the history of these regions.

Viking mythology and religion played a significant role in the culture and beliefs of the Vikings. The Vikings believed in a pantheistic religion that featured many anthropomorphic gods and goddesses, such as Thor and Odin. The Viking Age saw the last stand of paganism in Scandinavia, where raiding and trading brought followers of this religion into contact with other cultures. The Vikings had no religious texts and few temple-like buildings, instead relying on oral tradition and natural features to worship their gods. The influence of Viking mythology can still be seen in modern culture, with popular depictions of Norse gods and goddesses in movies, TV shows, and literature.

The impact of Viking culture on modern society extends beyond just mythology and religion. The Vikings established extensive trading networks throughout the known world and had a profound influence on the economic development of Europe. Additionally, Viking culture is still alive and well in many parts of the world, particularly in Scandinavia, where it has become a source of national pride. Perhaps the greatest cultural legacy of the Vikings is the sovereign Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, which were formed in the wake of the Viking Age. Overall, the Viking Age represents a significant period in history that continues to influence and shape our modern world.

History and mythology of the Viking Age in Lofoten, Norway 

Lofoten, a group of islands in northern Norway, played a significant role in the Viking Age. The area was known for its abundant fishing grounds and fertile agricultural land, making it an ideal location for Viking settlements. Today, visitors to Lofoten can experience the Viking Age at the Lofotr Viking Museum in Borg, which features a reconstruction and archaeological excavation of a Viking chieftain's house. This museum provides a glimpse into the daily life and culture of the Vikings who once inhabited the area. Overall, the Viking Age in Lofoten holds great historical and cultural significance, and exploring this period of history can be a fascinating experience for visitors.

The Viking Age in Lofoten is also steeped in mythology and legends. The area is said to be the home of the mythical Hulder, a beautiful and seductive forest spirit, as well as the feared Draugr, an undead creature that roamed the seas and shores. These myths and legends add to the allure and mystery of the Viking Age in Lofoten, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in Norse mythology and folklore.

For those looking to delve deeper into Viking history, a visit to Rolla is highly recommended. The world's largest building from the Viking Age is still a very popular attraction here in the heart of Lofoten, overlooking the archipelago's most fertile agricultural plain. Rolla, located nearby, is an archaeological site that was once a significant Viking settlement. Visitors can explore the ruins of Viking houses and learn about the daily life and culture of the Vikings who once lived there. Overall, a visit to Rolla and the Gammelbanken boutique hotel provides a unique opportunity to experience the Viking Age in Lofoten and gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating period in history.

By Roger K. Olsson

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