The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

The Viking Invasion

Category: Brief History of

The Vikings terrified the Anglo-Saxons as much as they themselves had terrified the Britons centuries before. They were people from Scandinavia whose life was working the land and fishing and who went on to attack and later settle in Britain. Each year bands of Vikings put out to sea , seeking out richer lands, bringing home gold, silver and jewels. Their leaders, kings or “jarls” began to divide and in the main it was Norwegians who settled in Scotland while in England it was the Danes. At first they put in puppet Anglo-Saxon kings but gradually they began to replace them with kings of their own.

We can’t but mention the name of the Anglo-Saxon king who made the Danes retire the line of Watling Street and to leave the previously occupied lands, who rebuilt churches, brought over foreign scholars, founded schools for the sons of his nobleman. King Alfred the Great came to the throne in 871. During his reign which lasted almost 30 years the advance of the Vikings was halted and the foundations of the Kingdom of England were laid. Alfred the Great inherited the traditions of Anglo-Saxon Christian civilization, studied the laws made by the great Anglo-Saxon kings and then issued his own. He realized that the Anglo-Saxons must develop sea power so he ordered the construction of warships and secured his position.

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