The Vikings Age is said to have lasted only a few hundred years, but do you know what happened and when it happened?
Here, we take a detailed look at the Vikings’ timeline.
First, it’s important to note that the Viking Era came in after the Germanic Iron Age, between 793 and 1066. During this Era, it is said that the Norsemen used oceans and rivers to explore Europe (and the rest of the world) for raiding, trading, as well as conquests.
As expected, history and historical accounts aren’t always 100% accurate, but much of what is known about the era is based on the Icelandic sagas, as well as stories are written several hundreds of years later and after the actual events happened; that is, if they even ever happened. This is also regarded as one of the biggest areas of criticism in the Viking stories and historical accounts.
For now, however, we’ll keep the debates on dates and history in the air as we take a look at what’s believed to be the most accurate timeline for the most important activities in the Viking Era. So, let’s jump straight into this.
791 – 830: The Early Days
In 791, the raids on the British Isles began. The primary targets in these early raids were the Christian Monasteries located on the smaller, often unprotected islands. Out of the many raids done, the most famous one is the raid at Lindisfarne in North East England in 793. Here, the Vikings plundered and slaughtered.
In 830, the Oseberg ship, which is arguably one of the finest artifacts to survive the Viking age, was buried around this time. The Oseberg ship discovered in Tønsberg is today on display in Oslo; two female skeletons were uncovered along with the ship.
840 – Discovery of Dublin by the Norse Settlers and the subsequent seizure of the settlement.
844 – 866: Vikings reach Far and Wide
In 844, the Muslims repelled the Viking raid that took place in Spain after they sailed up the Guadalquivir River in the planned raid of Seville.
866 saw the Danish Vikings establish a Kingdom in York after they took over this city located North of England. In this raid, the Northumbrian Kings, Osbert, and Aelle weren’t captured, though.
872 – 890: Control of Norway and Getting Established
In 872, Harald gained control of Norway, where he ruled until 930. And between 878 and 890, the Danelaw Pact was signed following the treaty agreement between Guthrum and Alfred.
900 – 911: Raiding Southern Europe
In 900, the Vikings launched a series of raids along the Mediterranean, which led to the successful capture of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul). Then in 911, Rollo found Normandy in France after the besiege of Paris.
910 – 918: Battles in Britain
The battles in Britain started in 910 during the battle of Wednesfield or Tettenhall; here, the forces from Wessex and Mercia united to defeat the Northumbrian Vikings, leading to the ravage of England. Then between 915 and 918, there were the Corbridge Battles – this was also called the Battle of the Bloody Acres.
941 – 986: Vikings Expand and Raid Cities Located Farther and Wider
These raids include the 941 attacks on Constantinople by the Rus Vikings and the discovery of Greenland by Erik the Red in 981. And in 986, the Viking ships sighted Newfoundland, and about 15 years later, Erikson led an expedition into the New World.
995 – 1000: The Christianity Influence
In 995, the Norway Viking king, Olav Tryggvasson, build a Christian church after the seer foresees a future where he’d survive a vicious attack and convert to Christianity. And in 1000, Christianity was introduced in Greenland and Iceland.
1015 – 1066: The Last Days
In these last years, the Vikings abandoned the North American settlement known at the time as Vinland, perhaps because of limited access to supplies.
1030 was marked by the Battle of Stiklestad, where the Christian king of Norway, Olav, was defeated in this battle. Then in 1066, the battles in England saw the defeat of Norway’s Harald Hardråda by England’s King Harold Godwinson at the Stamford Bridge. And in the battle of Hastings, the Saxon King Harold was defeated by William, the Duke of Normandy.