Viking Raids were more than just money, historians say

Posted by Ms Elly on

Viking Raids were more than just money, historians say

What is the most famous thing about the Vikings that people easily think of? Answer: Raids. Back to the Viking Age, the Viking warriors became a nightmare befalling Europe for their savage raid, plundering and destroying everything in the path. Yet, what motivated the Vikings to travel that far only to wield their axe? Money is possibly the answer. Yet, historians believe there are more than just money-orientated raids. 

Population pressure 

The truth is Scandinavian cultures had been there for hundreds of years before the Viking started to make their name as savage raiders. Agricultural and technological advancement, as well as the climate, facilitated the Vikings to grow more crops and farm more land. This promoted a better and healthier life which resulted in longer life expectancy in the Viking Age. Overall, it led to an increase in population. 

As the population started to boost, squabbles between clans in Scandinavia loomed large. It also motivated the Vikings to leave their home to seek and conquer new land. 

Viking attack

The Vikings raided other regions not just to make more money but also to secure their fame and social rank (Cre: "Pathfinder" 2007 film)


A group of historians put forward an opinion stating that the Vikings went on raiding in pursuit of women or concubines. 

According to Icelandic sagas and accounts by those who once lived among the Vikings, the Viking men could have multiple wives as well as concubines. A wealthy or royal man could have many wives while a normal one couldn't. This resulted in the imbalance which led to the competition for women among the unmarried guys. So they started to engage themselves in raiding in another place where they could take the local women as their wives or concubines

Christian threat

768 AD witnessed an important event - Charlemagne became a new Frankish king. From that moment on, Charlemagne started to fight other regions, especially Scandinavian parts, not merely with violence but also with religion. He started to convert the pagans into Christian. 

The Vikings attacked on Lindisfarne as a counter-act to the Christian deeds.

The Vikings attacked Lindisfarne as a counter-act to the Christian deeds. 

In 782 AD, he forced 4500 unwilling Saxon to get baptised by the town of Verden. After the baptism, he beheaded 4500 men. This was one of the outrageous acts against the heathens. And the Vikings who worshipped Norse Pantheon and followed the old path, of course, had to provoke uprisings to protect their tradition and ward off those Christian men. Yet, later on, many of the Vikings started to submit themselves to the cross. 

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