Date of Award

5-23-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Bowman, Jeffrey A. (Jeffrey Alan), 1966-

Abstract

In the eighth century men and women began to pour out of Scandinavia, driven outward by land pressures and internal strife. Later termed 'Vikings,' they had a huge impact on the course of European history, especially in Northern Europe, and most notably in the Atlantic islands of Britain, Ireland, the Faroes, Hebrides, Orkneys, and Iceland. The Vikings fought and settled across northern Europe and traveled as far from Scandinavia as Newfoundland on the coast of North America in the west and Constantinople in the east. The Vikings' impact in the British Isles was enormous, and their legacy still exists in linguistic and archaeological evidence all across England. The Vikings enjoyed considerable success in their raiding and conquest of the British Isles, and seemed poised to take over all of England and wipe out its patchwork of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, until the last kingdom, Wessex, under Alfred (who became Alfred the Great for his defense) managed to turn the tide. Without Alfred's defense, Wessex and all of England would have been conquered by the Vikings, possibly permanently. While it is hard to trace the boundaries of the Viking Age across Europe, in England the age of the Vikings lasted from the earliest raids in the eighth century to the successful development of Alfred the Great's defensive system of fortifications, which under his reign repelled the most determined Viking invasions of Wessex, the last free English kingdom, and which his son would build into an extremely effective military system to re-conquer England.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references: pages 107-110

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