For 300 years, from the 8th to 11th centuries, the Vikings took the world by storm. In search of land, slaves, gold, and silver, these brave warriors and explorers set sail from their homes in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
They raided across Europe, traveled as far as Baghdad, in modern Iraq, and even reached North America. The speed and daring of Viking attacks was legendary. Christian monks wrote with horror about the violent raids on monasteries and towns. But the Vikings were more than wild barbarians from the north. They were shrewd traders, excellent navigators, and superb craftsmen and shipbuilders.
They had a rich tradition of story-telling, and lived in a society that was open and democratic for its day.