Top 10 vikings essay topics
Interested in Vikings from watching the infamous Viking series or having a history class assignment, read the following Viking essays for inspiration. Did your history or English language teacher assign you an essay on Vikings? You’re not alone, thousands of students contact our essay writing service each day wanting to pay for essay on Vikings.
They hire a essay writer who helps them go thoriugh the topic in an explanatory and engaging way. Their number one concern is choosing a specific topic to write about as the Viking Ages lasted from around A.D. 800 to the 11th century, comprising various memorable conquests, cultural and social achievements, and world-changing events.
Below we would like to present ten essay topics on Vikings and make an attempt at easing your school life. The range of topics includes both geographical aspects of the Viking Era such as “Vikings in America” and “Vikings in France” and historical such as “Viking Civil Wars” and “The First Viking Raids”. If you don’t feel like writing an essay on any of the topics pretend below or on the topic of Vikings in general, buy an essay from our writing services and be ready to hand it in to your teacher the next day. A custom essay writer is always here to help.
VALHALLA and VIKING MYTHS
The Viking culture was heavily filled with myths that were passed on by word of mouth from one generation to another and preserved in oral versions. Just like this helped many, these stories helped shape today's view on ancient history and its traditions. In contrast to other ancient cultures, Vikings preserved little to no written sources of their myths which makes them all even more mysterious and sacred.
The existing Norse literature about Vikings is filled with various mythological beliefs and occurrences, one of them being the infamous Valhalla, notable last stands, and eerie death rituals. One prominent character in Viking mythology is Odin, the god of war. In ancient Norse literature, Odin is associated with death, wisdom, battle, victory, literature, and the runic alphabet. He is also known for being the ruler of Valhalla, a giant splendid hall in Asgard, where half of the soldiers who die in combat end up according to ancient mythology.
Upon their arrival at Valhalla, the fallen soldiers join their deceased brothers killed in combat and legendary Germanic kings and heroes. Together, they train to aid Odin in the upcoming series of tragic events called Ragnarök. According to Norse mythology, Ragnarök will bring a great battle that will end many heroes, a whole streak of natural disasters, and prompt the rebirth of the nation by submerging the world in water. Modern-day historians claim that the glorious attitude towards once joining Valhalla and a fatalistic mindset was the key to the success of the Vikings in conquering Europe.
THE FIRST VIKING RAIDS
Vikings are infamous warriors known for their passion for conquering and acquiring new lands, goods, and bloodthirsty killings. Their fatalistic mindset and selfless attitude towards death earned them the glorious Viking raids known as the Viking Age. The Viking raids took place predominantly in Britain around A.D. 800 and lasted all the way to the 11th century. They shaped and defined the development of both language and culture but originally started with a much less noble cause. According to historians, the raids began with three ships anchoring by the abbey of Lindisfarne in June of 793 CE.
What happened next was, to say the least, brutal. As the abbey was a harbor for Norse traders the local official thought the three docked ships were lost merchants, but as he approached the ship, he was brutally attacked by the sailors. Following him were all the citizens of the abbey. That was just the beginning of the Viking raids. Cold-blooded attacks of such kind continued in 794 CE when a monastery in Northumbria, a medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom, was sacked and every inhabitant was mercifully killed. A year later in 795 CE, another monastery fell victim to the Viking raids, this time in Scotland.
The Vikings were motivated not only by monetary gain and piracy but by the thirst for power and total control. Norwegian king Harald Hardrada, also known as “the last of the Vikings” carried out the final invasion and defeated the Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson. As mentioned previously, Vikings did start small, but by the end of the era, they had powerful armies led by skilled military leaders and established communities all over Britain.
VIKING CIVIL WARS
Throughout their rich history, Vikings had a few prominent civil wars. One of them being the Kattegat Civil War. It was a prolonged blood feud between Lagertha and Prince Ivar. Ivar Ragnarsson, at times called Ivar ""the Boneless,"" is the youngest son of Ragnar Lothbrok, a member of the Norsemen nobility, and Aslaug, a Geatish princess, who he had committed adultery with. Ivar's opponent, Lagertha, was the first wife of his father and the mother of his brothers. After finding out about her then-husband's bad deeds with Aslaug, Lagertha immediately divorced him. Filled with rage, animosity, and a feeling of betrayal, she makes a vicious plan to conquer Kattegat. Her attack was successful and left Aslaug to surrender.
Yet surrender is not what Lagertha came back for. She came back for revenge and therefore shot an arrow into Aslaug's back as she was leaving. Aslaug's son Prince Ivar would not forgive Lagertha for the death of his mother unlike some of his brothers. And that is exactly how the Kattegat Civil War unwrapped. It had two bloody clashes called the First and the Second Battle for the Kingdom of Kattegat. The First Battle led to a conclusive success for Lagertha, yet not a decisive one. Ivar's forces were crushed, yet with the aid of Duke Rollo and his 1000 soldiers, they managed to turn the tables and win The Second Battle, causing Lagertha and her forces to retreat.
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THE VIKINGS IN AMERICA
According to Norse history, around one thousand years ago a Viking adventurer and a successful trader called Thorfinn Karlsefni set off with three ships from the west coast of Greenland to explore "the land of fabulous riches" mentioned in a route by Leif Eriksson seven years prior. His sail led him to Newfoundland-and perhaps even further. It is believed that his son Snorri was the first European born in North America.
Eriksson was not wrong. Thorfinn Karlsefni really did find riches in form of fish, pastures, and timber. Another encounter worth mentioning was his confrontation with the Native Americans, who he and his people denigrated after their arrival. This was only the begging of the crumbling relationship between the Natives and the European explorers. Consequently, about three years after the beginning of their journey, Thorfinn, his family, and the surviving salesmen left North America due to the constant clashes with the Native Americans.
They settled in Iceland, where Thorfinn was originally from, and according to some historians, lived their remaining days there. Although archeologists have made numerous finds of Viking settlements in The New World, the only detailed accounts of Viking life in North America can be found in centuries-old Icelandic sagas which modern-day scholars struggle to separate fantasy from facts.
THE VIKINGS IN ENGLAND
What right now is called the Viking Age lasted from around 800 to 1150 AD. It is the time period where Viking exploration, trade, settlement, and at the end of the day-warfare took place in England. Mind you, this is a roughly estimated time period and of course, the presence of Scandinavian adventurers and salesmen was in England before and after the above-mentioned period.
During the 300-year-long time period around 200,000 Scandinavians left their homeland and traveled to settle in other states such as Newfoundland, England, Ireland, Greenland, Iceland, Russia, Scotland, Sicily, and France. They were great merchants and skillful fighters. Prominent settlements of Vikings in Britain can be dated back to around 860AD and to this day have a huge impact on the British nation and the rest of the English-speaking countries. For example, the days of the week are called the way they are thanks to Norse gods, along with many other common words such as "egg" or "die".
Of course, each Viking settlement had to begin with a raid. First known among the English as blood-thirsty pirates, Vikings began settling around the coasts, causing a lot of damage to British citizens and their habitat by enslaving them and looting their belongings. As the number of Vikings in England grew, they began to permanently settle in the east and north of England.
VIKINGS IN FRANCE
All Frenchmen know the memorable period in French history known as the Siege of Paris which lasted from the 25th of November, 885 to some time in October 886. The Siege of Paris was almost a one-year-long Viking raid and a cruel attempt to capture the French capital. It is the first ever Viking seige on the historical record and not just a typical hit-and-run. Nevertheless, it did not end with their victory.
They have made a number of attempts to take over Paris, the first one being in 845 when Vikings rowed up the Seine but failed and made a return three more times in the 860s. During each of their trips to the modern-day French capital, they committed horrendous lootings or were bribed off. To strengthen their defense from the Vikings, the Franks built two bridges across the Seine, yet such measures were proven to be ineffective on the 25th of November, 885 when Vikings once again stormed Paris with a large fleet, this time for a much longer period. Due to the constant battles, the Frankish kingdom was ailing and unable to defend itself.
The Vikings on the other hand were on the rise and decided to take advantage of that. And that is how the one-year-long bloodthirsty battle began.
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Symbols of the Vikings
As you probably know from your History and English language classes, a symbol is a certain representation, in other words, an object or an image that stand for a certain concept, in most cases related to one's religious beliefs. Ever since the start of the humankind to present day, civilizations have used symbols as signs of a higher power. One of the most prominent symbols in the world-the Cross.
Interestingly enough, the Norse mythology symbols incorporated both the supernatural and the struggles of everyday life and the mysterious afterlife. Some symbols known to us can be dated all the way back to the Viking Age but without a doubt were used even in much earlier times.
The most prominent symbols in the Viking period were the wolf for protection, the troll cross meant to be worn as an amulet for troll protection, the horse for travel protection, the Vegvisir also known as the guide to help Vikings find the way, and of course the runes which were believed to bring mystical powers to life. In Viking vulture, these symbols can be seen in form of amulets, images, and stories. In comparison to the Christian religion, the Norse religion involved many gods, one of which was also Jesus Christ. Therefore it was typical to mix Christian symbols such as the cross with common pagan symbols.
Vikings Weapons and Warfare
Weapons, along with the infamous ships are to this day one of the most prominent symbols of Vikings. Being the main tools for raids and self-defense, weapons were a crucial part of everyday Scandinavian life. Besides the practicality, customs also claim that all l free Norse men must have weapons on hand at all times. Archeologists have uncovered numerous weapons used during the Viking Age in graves, water bodies, and battlefield territories, so tracing the evolution of arms is now possible. The four most commonly used warfare weapons in the Viking Age were swords, bows and arrows, axes, and lances and spears.
Aside from arms, Vikings also used shields and helmets to protect themselves in combat. And as with any other culture, the type of weapons possessed by the Vikings defined their economic capabilities. For example, axes were the weapons of the broader population, whereas swords were only available for the elite. Typically a wealthy Viking would possess a custom-made ensemble of a spear, a wooden shield, and a sword.
It is worth mentioning that discoveries of Viking arms such as axes and swords are not uncommon in comparison to the discoveries of helmets and chain mail which are extremely rare.
Religion of the Vikings
In comparison to monotheistic Christian and Muslim religions, paganism was a pantheistic religion. To simplify, Vikings believed in many gods and supernatural entities and oftentimes were seen in conflict with those believing in one god only.
The paganism religion spread through trading and raids and at some point in time was a very prominent religion in North Europe. Most nowadays known information about Vikings and their beliefs was passed on in form of Old Norse poems such as the "Poetic Edda". According to their religion, the meeting of the two elements of heat and cold marked the beginning of life.
The collision marked the formation of titan Ymir, who was later nursed by a cow known as Audhumla and became the grandfather of Vili, Odin, and Ve. According to the myths, he was killed by the three grandchildren and his body formed the Earth and his skull-the sky. In the middle of the universe grew a huge tree named Yggdrasill which connected Asgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim with its three roots. That is how the world was created according to the Viking religion.
To celebrate their gods and spirits, they held three major festivals each year. One in the begging of summer to encourage good fortune and victory for the upcoming raids, and the other two in midwinter and fall. Sacrifices of both animals and humans, mostly slaves, were a common tradition in the Norse religion.
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