Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Vikings Rise and Fall of the Norse Sea Kings by Poertner Rudolf Essay Example for Free

The Vikings Rise and Fall of the Norse Sea Kings by Poertner Rudolf Essay The book brings to life the vital, expanding Norse civilization that dominated the western world between 800 and 1100 A.D.   During the late 800s, Harald Fairhair was trying to unite Norway under his rule.   Before he came to power, chieftains ruled over different areas of what is now Norway.   There were many people who disagreed with Harald and many battles ensued where the chieftains lost.   Under Harald, chieftains had to give up their titles.   The forced unification of Norway threatened their hereditary rights and burdened them with taxes (Poertner 54).   People who would not stand for this fled Norway and settled on islands off the coast of Norway and invaded Norway.   The Vikings left Scandinavia as a result of a population growth and a general famine in Europe, farmland began to become scarce.   Hearing that Iceland had good land, the people left.   Although many parts of the island were not habitable due to volcanoes and ice fields, there were areas that had many attractive qualities.   These qualities made coming to Iceland an easy decision to a lot of people.   By 930 all the good land was occupied and the population of Iceland was about 30,000 (Poertner 55). This leads us to the settlement of Greenland.   After being banished from Norway, and then Iceland for murders he committed. Erik the Red decided to search for land in the west.   He had already heard stories of what would later be called Greenland so he knew it was out there.   He spent three years there and lived by hunting and fishing.   When he went back to Iceland he told everyone about the place he named Greenland which had good pasture land and good hunting. In the year 986 he and twenty-five shiploads of settlers set sail for Greenland.   Only fourteen ships arrived safely on Greenland due to storms at sea. Within a year or so after the settlers came to Greenland, the first known sighting of America was made by a European.   Bjarni Herjolfsson was sailing from Iceland to Greenland when he was blown off course, within sight of America.   He saw three places but did not stop anywhere until he got to Greenland.   Erik the Reds son, Leif Eriksson eventually bought Bjarnis ship and sailed in search of the land that Bjarni had seen.   The first place Leif stopped at was flat and stony.   He called Helluland. The second place he stopped at was a wooded area he called Markland.   The third place was the one place he stayed, calling it Vinland.   He was very pleased with it and told of a land where rivers overflowed with salmon, the grass did not wither in the frostless winter, and there was an enormous amount of timber, something that was lacking in both Greenland and Iceland.   After spending a winter in Vinland, Leif and his crew return to Greenland where they tell of their exploration loaded down with timber and grapes (Poertner 60). Leifs brother Thorvald made the next journey to Vinland with a crew of thirty.   He is the first European known to have met a native.   The explorers killed eight natives whose people later attack the explorers and Thorvald was killed in the attack.   The explorers left.   Thorfinn Karlsefni then went to Vinland with his wife, Gudrid,   and others, hoping to make a permanent settlement. That ended the settlements in Vinland.   The skirmishes with the natives may have made the Vikings feel threatened.   The settlements of Greenland also died out, but for many more reasons.   The Little Ice Age began and once fertile land turned to ice, and what soil that did not turn to ice eventually just gave out.   The cattle and crops began to waste away.   There was also competition with the Eskimos for marine game.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   For historian buffs this book is excellent and easy to follow.   The book was up to date for that time and I enjoyed the book very much.   The Author is Scandinavian or German and the book was translated into English. I tried to find information on the author but was unsuccessful in the time I had.   I recommend this book to any Viking or Norse buff.

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