Viking Timeline

The Viking timeline as we know it really begins from the recording of the first Viking raids on England. This was back in 793 AD when they landed in Lindisfarne, wreaking havoc upon the monasteries there. From this point the Viking age of Scandinavia really began.

Many kings would come and go during this time, as the Viking rules passed hands. Kings of Norway, Denmark and Sweden would sail overseas, creating settlements and starting wars. Island like Greenland and Iceland would become stopping points for sea travelling Vikings. And countries like England, Ireland, Wales, Spain and France among others would all face Viking invasions.

The sea faring Vikings were brave travellers on on this timeline, some would go as far as America, a land they named Newfoundland. The timeline of the ancient Vikings is littered with events that have shaped how life is now all over the world.

The Viking timeline

  • 700 AD – The start of the Viking age. This was the period when the Old Norse language became the standards, the old primitive Norse language was replaced.
  • 787 AD – The first raid on England reportedly took place this year.
  • 793 AD – The Vikings start their raids on the shores of England. The first raid is a monastery in Lindisfarne, in what was Northumbria.
  • 795 AD – The Vikings attack the islands of Iona in Scotland, again targeting a monastery, the Irish inhabitants of the island now flee to the Irish mainland. The Vikings also begin raids on Ireland which would later become a settling ground for some Vikings. The Island the Vikings raided were Rathlin Island which is located on the north east coast of Ireland.
  • 800 AD – The famed Oseberg Longship is reported to have been buried around this time. The Elder Futhark which is the most elderly of the runic alphabets and contains 24 runes is replaced by a sixteen rune alphabet known as the Younger Futhark.
  • 832 AD – the location of Armagh in Ireland is raided multiple times.
  • 837 AD – More Viking raids on Ireland travel through Ireland, destroying all in their path.
  • 839 AD – Vikings led by the Norse leader Turgeis marched into the North of Ireland settle and found Dublin a harbour city in Ireland.
  • 844 AD – The Vikings raids Spain, first targeting Seville a city in the south coast of Spain. The raid is apparently rebuffed by the Spanish inhabitants.
  • 845 AD – Ragnar Loddbrok leads a group of raiders into France, where later the current French king would pay them a ransom.
  • 851 AD – Vikings of Danish origin land in Ireland and join forces with the existing people there to rule Ireland.
  • 853 AD – A Norse kingdom is established in Dublin.
  • 860 AD – The Rus’ people raided Istanbul and also found the cities of Kiev and Novgorod. The Rus were a group of Norsemen or Vikings from what is now Sweden who ruled parts of Finland and Russia. The Vikings find the island of Iceland. Ragnar Lodbrok is killed in the city of York in England.
  • 866 AD – The beginning of the Viking Danish army.
  • 867 AD – The Vikings in England murder the king of Northumbria. The Vikings capture the city of York, which the Vikings named Yorvik and this would be the Viking capital of England.
  • 869 AD – The Viking kill the then king of the East Angles area of England, King Edmund. The king was beheaded and later his body and his head were buried together. The location of this burial became the town of Bury St Edmunds.
  • 873 AD – King Sigred and King Halfdan work together and become the rulers of Denmark. This partnership continues until 891 AD.
  • 874 AD – The Vikings begin the creation of the Icelandic settlement which would later serve as a travel stop. The reign of King Harald Harfagra of Norway Starts and continues until 945 AD.
  • 876 AD – More Vikings from Sweden, Denmark and Norway settle permanently in England.
  • 885 AD – The birth of Eric Haraldsson who would later become known as Eric Bloodaxe.
  • 900 AD – The Vikings once again attempt raids on Mediterranean coastlines.
  • 919 AD – Haakon Haraldsson, known as Haakon the Good is born. Haakon would later become the third king of Norway.
  • 933 AD – The death of Harald Fairhair the first king of Norway.
  • 939 AD – Eric Haraldsson known as Eric Bloodaxe becomes the king of Northumberland.
  • 954 AD – The last Viking king of Yorvik, the Swedish name for the England city York, Eric Haraldsson known as Eric Bloodaxe is thrown out of Yorvik.
  • 955 AD – Eric Haraldsson dies.
  • 958 AD – A new king of Denmark is crowned, Harold Bluetooth.
  • 980 AD – Greenland is discovered by Erik the Red, and the first settlements are established.
  • 994 AD – King Olaf of Norway and his comrade Sweyn Forkbeard attempt an invasion on London in England, with a Danish army. The invasion is unsuccessful but both survive and move to the South East of England causing problems for anyone in their path.
  • 995 AD – Olav Trygvason becomes the king and ruler of Norway.
  • 1000 AD – The king of Norway Olav Trygvason is killed in battle by the King of Sweden Olaf of Norway and Sweyn Forkbeard.
  • 1001 – Leif Eriksson lands on American coastline and it is named Newfoundland. Leif was a legendary explorer who was thought to have been born in the Viking settlement of Iceland and was a son of Erik the Red an explorer himself. The date of Leifs exact landing on American shores is of much debate, many believe it was earlier than 1001 AD.
  • 1014 AD – Sweyn Forkbeard the king of Norway conquers England.
  • 1014 AD – Sweyn Forkbeard the king of Norway is killed.
  • 1050 AD – The Norwegian city of Oslo is founded.
  • 1066 AD – The king of Norway, Haraldr Hardrada is killed when taking part in an invasion of England against the then kind of England Harold Godwinsson. Later at the Battle of Hastings the Saxon king Harold Godwinsson is killed by the army of Duke William of Normandy.

The legacy of the Vikings highlighted by their timeline

The fearsome Vikings survived for over three centuries, travelling trading and striking fear with their ferocious raids. Of course while the end of the Viking age occurred from 1066 onwards, the lifeblood of the Viking people still exists in many today.

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