The Vikings, like the Romans, were a fascinating, even paradoxical group. They were clever, brave and inventive people who travelled widely and influenced many societies, contributing some pronouns and many blunt descriptive words to the English language and making their presence felt in many lands, often through violence, looting and bloodshed. Learning about them is interesting for a number of reasons:
•Initially they were not Christians, so it is intriguing to consider how their society differed from others in early Middle Ages Europe, especially in their treatment of women.
•Their society was less rigid and hierarchical than many ancient societies before them and many medieval societies after them. Teasing out the reasons why seems worthwhile.
•Although many were farmers, they are not easy to categorise or pigeon-hole. Their warrior ethos and travelling adventures were also crucial to their identity. Their stories are full of wild violence, passion and bloodshed.
1 Choose one of the links below to take your reading beyond your text. Read through it, writing down no more than five main points.
2 Work through the flashcards and then play the matching game by clicking on flippity.net below the cards.