Pourquoi les vikings ont disparu ?

Why Did the Vikings Disappear?

Until the 15th century, the Vikings colonized , invaded and plundered the countries around them. After nearly 500 years of travels and discoveries, however, they are disappearing. But then what are the reasons for the Viking extinction ?

Europe organized against Viking raids

Fortifications Europe Against the Vikings

For several centuries, the Vikings chained raids and attempted invasions . They mainly attack religious buildings , which are poorly guarded. And often act during religious holidays , for the same reasons.

But over the years, European peoples unite and organize themselves to counter the Viking threat. They build fortifications which they defend with now well-trained armies. Religious buildings are also protected and it becomes difficult to take them. In this way, Viking raids become complicated and unprofitable. And therefore fade over time.

The Battle of Stamford Bridge, Late Viking Age

Battle of Stamford Bridge

In September 1066, the Battle of Stamford Bridge broke out in Yorkshire in the north of England. The English army then opposes the Vikings of Norway, who seek to seize the throne of England. During the battle, Harald , the leader of the Norse warriors falls after taking an arrow to his throat. Although a few Scandinavian campaigns continued to take place in Britain in subsequent years, the Battle of Stamford Bridge still marked the end of the Viking Age .

Travelers at heart, the Vikings then changed their way of doing and living. Many end up adopting Christianity and becoming sedentary.

Viking disappearance: the fault of global warming

Already in the 15th century, humans are victims of climate change and its consequences. For the Vikings settled in Greenland and in the coldest countries, it is this global warming which is partly the cause of their loss.

The disappearance of the Vikings in Greenland

Vikings disappearance Greenland

Around 982, the Viking Erik the Red colonized Greenland and settled there with his men. They cultivated land there and raised their cattle and sheep there, in a climate that was then much milder than today. The lands and seas are rich there, as much for farming as for hunting and breeding.

In the 13th century , nearly 2,000 Vikings settled in Greenland . They raise goats and sheep there. Cows too, and pigs, somewhat less resistant beasts.

Over the next two centuries, traces of the Vikings disappeared. And the climate is important in that. Indeed, temperatures drop more and more when the Little Ice Age begins. And the Vikings cannot succeed in adapting to the freezing cold that sets in: the boats can no longer dock because of the expanses of ice, the supply becomes complicated and famine takes place. Especially since the pastures available for animals are also disappearing.

Some of the Vikings therefore decide to leave Greenland , threatened by all these consequences of climate change. Those who remain, they quickly die of starvation, among other things.

Did the Vikings disappear from Greenland for lack of walruses to hunt?

Vikings Walrus Hunting

According to a recently released scientific study, the Norse Vikings would have died after having overexploited walruses , but especially their ivory . And it is the journal Quaternary Science Reviews which affirms it. If the climatic conditions undoubtedly played a role in their loss, this search for walrus ivory is surely just as much, according to the researchers.

This ivory, the Vikings bartered it against iron or wood, in Europe. Over time, the ivory is no longer torn from adult walruses, but rather from young walruses, females moreover. The walrus population is therefore falling sharply , and the price of their ivory with it.

Indeed, in the 13th century, it was elephant ivory that now flooded European markets. Unable to hunt and sell more, the Vikings quickly find themselves in need of wood and iron . On the spot, the few iron tools of the Viking population found since were worn to the maximum. Evidence of their shortage. They therefore ended up leaving, or disappearing, according to the researchers.

Why did the Inuit survive there?

Faced with these explanations, a question still remains: why did the Inuit present in Greenland manage to survive there? Quite simply because the practices of the two peoples are not the same. While the Vikings attached themselves to culture and animal husbandry, the Inuit mainly practiced fishing and hunting seals, whales and even caribou . And it is in particular their elaborate hunting techniques that allows them to survive.

The Vikings blend in with the original population

Today, the Vikings are called Swedes , Norwegians , Finns or even Danes . Normans too. Those who colonized certain regions of Europe once upon a time ended up dying, for some, and by blending into the populations for others

Did the Vikings disappear from Norway and other Scandinavian countries?

Vikings Christians Norway

The Viking peoples who colonized Europe sometimes stayed there, the men marrying the women present in the new lands. Those who left for Greenland mostly returned to the lands from which they had left five centuries earlier, such as Norway. And within a few generations, the Vikings finally blended in with the original populations , in each of the countries and regions where they settled.

Catholicism is adopted by many and the Church becomes an institution throughout Scandinavia. As the years go by, administrations take place, in particular to collect taxes and duties. Kings can therefore now govern without the need for expeditions to finance the policy they pursue.

Viking Raiders ring

So did the Vikings really disappear from the Scandinavian countries? Not really. They simply adapted to a culture and a way of life that were not theirs, to become the peoples of their descendants today.

Many reasons are at the origin of the disappearance of the Vikings. To those already mentioned is also added the Black Death pandemic , which ravaged Europe in the 14th century, and therefore Scandinavia. But is "disappearance" really the right word? The Viking peoples were never decimated . The survivors simply merged with the other populations and their culture simply died out, little by little.

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J’aime le personnage lagertha

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