About AD 800, mysterious long-ships made their first appearance along the North Sea coast of Britain. From Shetland to the Thames, these raiding ships appeared out of the sea mists, carrying warriors so fierce that no one could stand against them. By the middle of the 9th century, these raiders began to establish settlements, and the raids continued, from Norse bases in Orkney, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. The raiders eventually became rulers, creating Scandinavian colonies in Normandy, England, and Ireland. Around the same time, a few Viking explorers ventured across the Atlantic to America, while others sailed south to Africa, into the Mediterranean, and through the European river systems deep into Russia. This book chronicles their achievements, drawing on archaeological evidence as well as the rich source of Norse Sagas and mythology.
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