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Who were the Vikings?

60 second histories
Live experience

This video covers:  A brief explanation of who the Vikings were and where they came from; it explains the meaning of the word Viking and shows how they were great explorers, travelling as far as the Middle East and Africa.

Free to view
The people we know as Vikings came originally from Scandinavia, from countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark; they were traders, explorers, excellent navigators and of course incredible ship builders. The word Viking means, ‘from the fjords’ or ‘to go raiding’. These people were actually Norsemen and women who, when they went raiding, were literally ‘going Viking’. They were fearsome warriors who, for about three hundred years, from around eight hundred AD to ten fifty AD, brought terror to the world as they raided all across Europe in search of gold, silver and slaves. They sailed as far as Bagdad in the Middle East using rivers to get inland and they even sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to America. But the Vikings were not just raiders, they were also farmers and fishermen and excellent crafts people too and they had a great tradition of storytelling. Many of their stories have survived to this day and are known as the Viking sagas.
Eras: 
Vikings
Topics: 
Explorers
Vikings
Invaders
Character: 
Victorian school teacher
Key words: 
history video, KS2, history clip, Viking, vikings, Scandinavia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, raider, raiding, norsemen, sagas