During the early Middle Ages, Western Europe came under attack from many sides. There were the Arabs, the Hungarians, but the enemy that frightened them the most were the Vikings. Viking raids could appear as from nowhere, as they had managed the skill of sailing in open waters without land in sight.

The Vikings set out on large-scale raiding, colonizing and conquest and soon dominated large parts of Europe (as we will discuss in later posts).

Their raids often targetted monasteries, as these were places were rich booty could be expected, while these places were not as well defended as cities (an example of such a raid can be found in the previous post).

The poem in the picture, from a 9th century Irish monk, describes the fear for the sudden appearance of the Viking dragon ships on their shores. We read that the people can finally sleep without worry, as the seas are too wild for the the Vikings to sail in.

The photo depicts the reconstruction of the Oseberg ship. A well preserved Viking ship from about 800 AD.

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"The Great World History Book"