The Danish Viking age is from 800 to 1050 AD. The Viking attack on the East coast of England is considered as beginning of the Viking age uin 793. Viking ships landed and Vikings stormed the Lindisfarne Monastery and plundered the church.
During the following three hundred years, the Vikings played a prominent part in many important events in Europe. In their open square rigged vessels the Vikings plied the coastal waters of Europe. The word Viking is seen on several contemporary Scandinavian runic stones, probably in the context of “battle at sea“.
The Danish Vikings went on raids and trading expeditions down the European coast and to England and Ireland and around the Baltic Sea – the capital of today’s Estonia is called Tallinn, which means “Town of the Danes”. They sailed down the French coast, around Portugal and Spain and through the Gibraltar Straight into the Mediterranean Sea, and along the Northern coast as far east as Constantinople, today’s Istanbul, the capital of the East Roman empire at the time.
The Viking culture was influenced by the difficult living conditions dictated by nature and the competition between Viking tribes. Apart from being known as warriors, the Vikings were highly skilled traders with trade connections around most of their known world. Vikings were often invited to settle where they came to let the local community benefit from their trade skills.
Vikings had a strong sense of honor and competitiveness. Death was not important to the individual, his reputation and the reputation of his family was all-important and everything. Happiness was to have other Vikings remember the Viking’s and his family’s name forever after his death because of his deeds.
Viking helmets were made of iron and was in the shape of a rounded or peaked cap made from four plates. The only found Viking helmet has a rounded cap with no horns on top and has a guard around the eyes and nose, in addition to a possible mail aventail. From runestones and other illustrations it is known that the Vikings also wore simpler helmets, often peaked caps with a simple noseguard. Unlike what is often shown in popular culture, there are no sources that prove that Viking helmets had horns mounted on them.
Travelling on Scandinavian mainland was difficult because of the vast forests that covered it. The Vikings overcame this by building great ships. The Vikings used the seas and rivers as their highways, and put their towns, markets and fortresses near water, giving them easy access to the sea. Reconstructions of Viking ships today have demonstrated that the Viking ship was as or even more seaworthy and easy maneuverable than the last sailing ships that were in use before steam powered boats took over from sail ships in the 20th century.