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Early Scandinavia - History of the Vikings

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Work in progress

For the time being this will serve as a place to put a very brief explanatory text and some links to pages concerning the Viking period of Scandinavia, which would also include the British Isles and other settlements of the vikings. We will start with using Ireland as an example, this text can later be moved to a free space profile of its own.


The Chronicle of Ireland records that in 431 Bishop Palladius arrived in Ireland on a mission from Pope Celestine I to minister to the Irish "already believing in Christ". A mission founded in 563 by an Irish monk (Saint Columba) began a tradition of Irish missionary work that spread Celtic Christianity and learning to Scotland, England and the Frankish Empire, establishing monasteries and centres of learning. From a Viking point of view, monasteries and towns nearby must have been places suitable for raiding expeditions. Eventually, the raiders became settlers, establishing most of the major coastal settlements in Ireland: Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Wexford, Waterford, as well as other smaller settlements.

In the beginning of the 7th century, Wikipedia describes Ireland as a "patchwork of rival kingdoms" and that a concept of national kingship gradually became articulated through the concept of a "High King of Ireland". All of the Irish kingdoms had their own kings but were nominally subject to the High King. The concept didn't become a political reality until the Viking Age and even then was not a consistent one. (




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