Chronology of the Viking Age

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Chronology of the Viking Age

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The Viking era Timeline

  • 753

Foundation of the first Swedish colony Aldeigjuborg (now Staraya Ladoga) in Russia, near the future St Petersburg.

  • 789

First known raid on the island of Portland (England).

Lindisfarne Monastery, United KingdomThe year 793 marks the beginning of the Viking Age

  • 793

Looting of the monastery of Lindisfarne (England) by Vikings from Norway.

  • 795

First Danish attack on Ireland.

  • 799

First mention of a Scandinavian fleet on the coast of Aquitaine, in Noirmoutier, attacking and looting a monastery.

  • Around 800

Discovery of Iceland by Irish people
Creation of counters in Skiringssall and Birka.

  • 802

Establishment of the Vikings in the Orkney Islands, the Hebrides and the Isle of Man, where they remained until 1405.

  • 804

First mention of the Sliesthorp counter on the Schlei, the previous Haithabu establishment (Hedeby, Denmark).

  • 808

Destruction of the Slavic trading post in Rerik by the Danish king Gotfrid, leading to the migration of merchants to Haithabu (Hedeby, Denmark). To protect him, he built an earthen rampart, the Danevirke.
Danish attack on Friesland (Netherlands).

  • 813

Looting of the island of Bouin (France - victim of siltation, the island no longer exists).

  • 820

Unsuccessful attempts to land in Flanders and Baie de Seine. They reached Brittany and then the banks of the Loire. The island of Noirmoutier (France) is attacked.
Colonization of Ireland by a large number of Vikings from Norway.
Presence of varieties in Russia.

  • 823

Launching of the evangelization of the Danes by Archbishop Ebbon of Reims with the authorization of Pope Pascal I.

  • 826

Establishment of a first Danish state in Friesland (Netherlands).
Baptism of the Danish king Harald Klak in Ingelheim. He received from the emperor the fiefdom of Rüstrigen, in Friesland (Netherlands).
Evangelisation of the Scandinavians continued by Anschaire de Brême (Angsar in German).
Interruption of raids on the shores of Western Europe.

  • 827

Expulsion of King Harald. Gotfrid's son, Horik, ruled Denmark until 854.

  • 830

New attack on the island of Noirmoutier (France).

  • 831

Anointing of the monk Ansgar who became Archbishop of Hamburg (Germany), a city that was soon transformed into an archdiocese by the Pope to make it the starting point for the evangelization of the pagan peoples of the North and East.

  • 834

Attack against Dorestad (Netherlands) and beginning of the first wave of invasions.

  • 835

Dorestad (Netherlands) is taken.
Attack against Antwerp (Belgium).
Attack against Witla, a place located at the mouth of the Meuse river without anyone knowing exactly where.
Presence of the Vikings at the mouth of the Thames (England).
Three attacks on the island of Noirmoutier (France) that same year.

  • 836

Attack against Dorestad (Netherlands)

  • 837

Attack on Dorestad (Netherlands)

  • 839

First contacts between Varègues and Byzantines.
Foundation of Dublin (Ireland) by Turgesius, Viking from Norway. The city remained under Nordic domination until 1171.

  • 841

First ascent of the Seine. Looting of Rouen and its cathedral, destruction of the abbeys of Jumièges and Saint-Wandrille.
Attacks against Lindsey, East Anglia and Kent (England).
Danish presence on the island of Walcheren at the mouth of the Scheldt (Netherlands).

  • 842

Pillaging of Jumièges and Quentovic (France), the main free trade port bound for Great Britain.

  • 843

Looting of Nantes (France), massacre of the bishop and his parishioners by the Vikings of the Vestfold.
Battle of Messac (France). Renaud de Nantes defeated the Viking chieftain Hasting, allied to the Earl of Nantes Lambert and the Breton Nominoë.

  • 844

Viking expedition against Portugal and failed raids on A Coruña and Seville (Spain).
Presence of the Vikings on the Garonne. Attack against Agen and Toulouse (France).

  • 845

Seat of Paris and first tribute paid by Charles the Bald to save the city. Saintes in Charente (France) fell into the hands of the Vikings.
Looting of Hamburg (Germany) and transfer of the archdiocese to Bremen.
Capture and execution of Thorgils, drowned in the Lough Owel by the Irish.

  • 846

Establishment of a base on the island of Noirmoutier (France) for Viking operations on the Loire, the Saint-Philibert de Noirmoutier abbey was burned down.
Attack on Dorestad (Netherlands)

  • 847

Attack against Dorestad (Netherlands)

  • 848

Looting of Bordeaux, capital of Aquitaine (France).

  • 849

Looting of Périgueux (France).
First raid in Galicia (Spain).

  • 850

Looting of Auch in the province of Gascony (France). Establishment of a fortified base on the island of Oissel, near Rouen, which they call Thorholm ("the island of the god Thor" or, in a charter of Robert the Magnificent, Thorholmus).
Horik I, king of the Danes, authorized Ansgar to build churches in Haithabu (Hedeby) and Ribe.

  • 851

Olav the White of Norway becomes King of Dublin (Ireland).
Establishment of entrenched camps on the Seine in Jeufosse, on the Loire in Bièce and in Saint-Florent-le-Vieil (France).
Looting of the Abbey of Saint-Bavon in Ghent (Belgium).

  • 853

Looting of Tours (France).

  • 854

Looting of Blois (France). Bordeaux resists (France).

  • 855
Looting of Bordeaux (France) after a first failed attempt in 854. Poitiers (France) resists.
Friesland (Netherlands) is invaded.
  • 856
Second headquarters in Paris. The Vikings winter on the island of Jeufosse (France).
Looting of Clermont in the heart of the Massif Central (France).
Looting of Orléans (France).

 

  • 857

Attack on Dorestad (Netherlands)

  • 858

Looting of Chartres (France).
Looting of Seville, Córdoba and Cadiz (Spain). Capture of the King of Pamplona held prisoner by the Danes for one year.

  • 859

Looting of Amiens, Noyon and attack of Narbonne (France). The Vikings arrive in Camargue (France).
Looting of A Coruña and the Balearic Islands (Spain).
Looting of Porto and Lisbon (Portugal).
Looting of Algeciras, Malaga, Almería, Aguilas, Nador (North Africa).
Looting of Pisa and Fiesole (Italy).
Riurik becomes the great prince of Kiev.

  • 860

Attack against Valence and Romans (France). The Vikings, driven from the Camargue, turned to Italy.
Looting of Luna, Pisa and Fiesole (Italy)
Rus attack on Constantinople (Turkey).

  • 861

Third attack from Paris (France).
Capture of Winchester (England), capital of King Æthelberht of Wessex, by the Danes.

  • 862

Novgorod is taken over by the Varègues and the first Russian state is founded.
Looting of the abbey of Fontenelle (France). Charles the Bald hires Vikings... to fight against the Vikings who leave the Seine.

  • 863

Attacks on Angoulême, Limoge, Périgueux and Poitiers (France).
Destruction of Xanten (Germany) by the Normans.
Last attack against Dorestad (Netherlands).

  • 864

Capture of Pépin II d'Aquitaine, rebel and ally of the Danes, by the Francs sur la Loire (France).

  • 865
Campaign of the Varègues against Constantinople (Turkey).
Looting of the city of Le Mans (France), on 29 December 865 or 1 January 866 according to sources.
First danegeld paid by England to the Vikings.
  • 866
End of the first wave of invasion in West Francia. Hastein remained on the Loire and Robert le Fort, Duke of Neustrie, died at the Battle of Brissarthe (France).
Attack of the sons of Lodbrok, Ivar, Ubbe and Halvdan, against East Anglia (England).
Second looting in September of the city of Le Mans (France), with 400 men led by Chief Hasting.

 

  • 867

The Vikings settled in York and took Nothingham (England).

  • 870
Ingólfr Arnarson is the first Norwegian settler in Iceland.
Ivar, from Norway, takes over from his brother Olav in Dublin.

 

  • 872 (or 885)

Battle of Hafrsfjord (Norway) which opposed the supporters of King Harald Belle Chevelure (Haraldr hárfagri) to his southern adversaries, and would have resulted in the unification of Norway into a single kingdom, Nordvegen whose throne he occupied under the name of Harald I.

  • 874

Beginning of Norwegian colonization of Iceland. Ingólfr Arnarson settles on the Reykjavik site.

  • 875

Third and last attempt to loot the city of Le Mans (France), which resists them.

  • 876

Foundation of the Viking Kingdom of York and Danish-Norwegian colonization of Danelaw (England).

  • 877

Beginning of the second wave of invasions in France.

  • 878

Battle of Ethaudun (Edington, England) and defeat of the Danes against Alfred the Great who signed a peace treaty with Guthrum, Danish king. Guthrum converted but sought to widen the Danelaw to the southeast despite the treaty and ruled East-Anglia.
Formation of the "Grande Armée".

  • 879
Disembarkation of the Grand Army from England near Boulogne and launch of raids on the North of Neustria (France).
The abbey of Saint-Bavon in Ghent is once again ravaged (Belgium).

 

  • 880

Viking victory over the Brown Saxon Duke.

  • 881
The Vikings defeat Louis III in Saucourt-en-Vimeu (France). Retreat to the Meuse with a camp established in Elsloo (Netherlands). Attack on Metz.
Looting of Maastricht (Netherlands).
Looting of Liège (Belgium).
Looting of Aachen (Germany) and destruction of the imperial palace. Attacks also took place against Cologne, Bonn and Mainz.
  • 882
Viking defeat against Charles the Fat in Elsloo, on the Meuse. But the emperor granted them free passage, the payment of a tribute and the counties in Friesland (Netherlands).
Attacks against Laon, Noyon, Soissons, Amiens (France) from their new base in Condé.
Oleg, Riourik's relative, seized Kiev (Ukraine), which became the capital of the Rus State.
  • 885
Paris headquarters by Danish chef Siegfried. But the Count of Paris, Eudes, resisted. Charles the Fat bought the liberation of the city and in doing so delivered Burgundy (France) to looting.
Siege of the cities all along the Yonne, Sens, Joigny, Auxerre (France) from winter 885 then attacks on the Morvan.
  • 886
Attack on Reims (France).
Alfred the Great takes over London. A boundary was drawn between the domains of Alfred and the Viking King Guthrum.
  • 888

Pillage of Meaux and attack against Dijon and Beaune (France).

  • 890
Massacre of the inhabitants of Saint-Lô (France) by the Normans. Listus, former bishop of Coutances, was killed.
Viking defeat against Alain the Great in Questembert (France). The Danes set up their winter camp in Noyon. 
  • 892

Dispersion of the Grand Army and withdrawal to England. New confrontation between Alfred the Great and the Vikings.

  • 896

Clash off the Isle of Wight, England, between the Royal Navy and Viking ships. Dispersion of the Danish army.

  • 898

Viking defeat against Richard the Vigilante during the Battle of the Armançon, between the cities of Thunder and Montbard (France). Despite this, the Vikings will continue to threaten the valleys of Cure and Yonne in Burgundy for another 12 years.

  • Around 900
Development of scald art at the court of Norwegian kings.
Beginning of Swedish domination in southern Denmark and Haithabu.
Gunnbjorn Ulfsson sees Greenland.
  • 901

Irish takeover of Dublin.

  • 907

Second Viking attack on Constantinople (Turkey).

  • 911

Signing of the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte (France) constituting the Duchy of Normandy. Rollon (Hrólfr), leader of a Danish troop, became Duke of Normandy under the name of Robert I, married Charles the Simple's daughter, Gisèle, and was baptized a year later.
Third Viking attack on Constantinople (Turkey). The Byzantines grant the right to trade freely to the Rus in their capital.

  • 912
Attack by Vikings from Norway to seize Ireland again. Their leader, Ingimundr, takes over Limerick and Waterford (Ireland).
Failure of a Viking raid from Ingimundr, Ireland, on North Wales and Chester (England).
Failure of a raid by the Varègues across the Caspian Sea to Baku and Azerbaijan, reported by Arab historian Al-Mas'ûdî.
  • 913

Looting of the abbey of Landévennec (France) marking the beginning of the invasion of Brittany by the Danes.

  • 919

Rögnvaldr (Ragenold) takes over Nantes (France). The Vikings settled permanently around the Loire estuary from 919 to 937, on the Bothie Island, in Nantes and La Roche-Bernard. Guérande's seat.

  • 920

Reconquest of the Danelaw by the English.

  • 924

King Raoul cedes the Hiémois and the Bessin (France) to Rollon.

Thingvellir, Iceland, site of the first and oldest Parliament930

Creation of a central parliament or "Althing" in Iceland, the first parliament in the world, erected in a particularly spectacular place on the continental fault line by Icelandic tribal leaders.
End of Norwegian immigration to Iceland.

  • 933

King Raoul forcedly ceded Avranchin and Cotentin (France) to the Normans.

  • 934

Henry I of Germany, King of East Francia (Germany), Annex Hedeby.

  • 936

Jelling becomes royal residence in Jutland (Denmark).

  • 938

Assumed date on which the Vikings established a camp in St Péran, Brittany (France).

  • 939

End of the Viking occupation in Brittany (France).

  • 941

Attack of Prince Ruslan Igor against Constantinople (Turkey), but his fleet was destroyed by Greek fire.

  • 942

Murder of Guillaume Longue-Épée, second Duke of Normandy (France), by King Raoul.

  • 944

Peace Treaty between Kiev and Constantinople (Turkey).

  • 948

Capture of York (England) by Eric with the Bloody Axe, king of Norway in exile.

  • 954

Eric's death with a bloody axe that put an end to the Viking kingdom of York (England).

Jelling, burial mound of Gorm the Elder958 Death of Gorm the Elder, buried in Jelling (Denmark) under a huge tumulus. His son Harald with a blue tooth succeeds him.

  • About 960
Baptism of the Danish king Harald at La Dent bleue and conversion to Christianity imposed in his kingdom (Denmark).
King Sviatoslav of Kiev attacks the Bulgarians.
  • 968

Attacks on the coasts of Galicia (Spain).

  • 970

Siege of Santiago de Compostela and attacks against Lugo and Tuy in Galicia (Spain).

  • Around 970

Repression of a revolt in Norway against the Danish monarch Harald with a blue tooth. Jarl Haakon Sigurdsson, Governor of Norway, was baptized under duress, thus recognizing Harald's sovereignty over the Blue Tooth.

  • 971

Viking defeat against the fleet of the Caliph of Córdoba Al-Hakam II at the mouth of the Guadalquivir (Spain).

  • 972

Valdimir the Great becomes Prince Novgorod (Russia).

  • 974

The Danes defeated the German Emperor Otto II and lost territories in South Jutland.

  • 980
Creation of the Varangian Guard (elite corps of the Byzantine army) by Emperor Basil II.
Foundation of Sigtuna (Sweden), a large trading post and royal power centre.
Beginning of new Viking expeditions against England.
Vladimir the Great, Grand Prince of Novgorod, who took Kiev and became the capital of the first Ruthenian state, the Rus' of Kiev, known in Europe as the Principality of Kiev.
  • 982

Banishment of Erik the Red from Iceland who goes on exploration in Greenland.

  • 982 /83

Defeat of the Danes in Gascony (France), defeated at the Battle of Taller and end of their domination.

  • 983

The Danes took over Jutland from the Emperor of the Germans in 974.

The Chapel of St. Thjodhild (þjóðhildarkirkja) in Qassiarsuk, Greenland985 Beginning of Greenland's colonization

  • 986 /87

Discovery of the coast of the American continent by Bjarni Herjólfsson according to the sagas.
Death of Harald to the Blue Tooth and succession of his son Sven to the Forked Beard on the throne of Denmark.
Rebellion led by jarl Haakon Sigurdsson for the pagan revival in Norway, thus affirming his political independence.

  • 988

Christianization of the Kiev Rus' with the baptism of Vladimir the Great.

  • 990-991

Viking raids on the Thames to London.

  • 991

Victory of the Danes against the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Maldon (England), who won a heavy price from King Æthelred II.

  • 994

Siege of London by a fleet led by the Danish king Sven with a forked beard and the Norwegian Olaf Tryggvasson. The city pays a tribute, the Danegeld, which this time amounts to 16,000 pounds of silver.

  • 995

Murder of jarl Haakon Sigurdsson in Norway. Olaf Tryggvasson became king of Norway, ending the supremacy over the country of the Danish king Sven. It imposes by force the conversion to Christianity.

  • 997

Foundation of the Norwegian capital Nidaros (now Tronheim, Norway) by Olaf I (Tryggvasson).

  • End of the 10th century
Recurrent Danish raids on England, resulting in the payment of a tribute of £24,000.
Construction of the circular fortresses of Trelleborg, Fyrkat and Nonnebakken (Denmark).
  • 1000

Discovery of Newfoundland by Leif Erikson, first European to explore America.
Iceland's conversion to Christianity. However, the Icelandic Althing maintains certain pagan traditions, which are allowed in the private sphere.
Introduction of Christianity in Greenland.
Death of Olaf Tryggvasson in the naval battle of Svold against Sven at the Forked Beard and defeat of the Norwegians. Danish supremacy over Norway is restored.
Arrival of Normans in Salerno (Italy).

  • 1000-1014

Viking raids on the coasts between the Loire and Gironde (France).

Ethelred the Malavise1002 Massacre of Saint-Brice on November 13, the Anglo-Saxon king Æthelred II ordered to kill all Danes living in England.

  • 1003-1004

Retaliation of the Danish king Sven at the Forked Beard against England, obtaining the payment of taxes of up to 45,000 pounds of silver.

  • 1008

Baptism of the King of Sweden Olaf Skötkonungr, King of Sweden.

  • 1013
Exile in Normandy of the Anglo-Saxon king Æthelred II. The Danish king Sven with a Forked Beard became king of England.
Raid in the Loire estuary (France) by Olaf Haraldson, future Saint Olaf.
  • 1014

The throne of England is taken over by Æthelred II. Death of King Sven I of Denmark after 5 weeks of reign in England. Knut, son of Sven, returns to Denmark.
End of Viking domination in Ireland with the victory of Gaelic king Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf.
Expedition of the future King of Norway Olaf Haraldson against Galicia (Spain) and capture of the Bishop of Tuy.

  • 1015
Campaign to reconquer England by the Danish king Knut the Great, proclaimed King of England in 1017.
Unification of Norway by the new King Olaf Haraldson, or Olaf II of Norway, and conversion of the country to Christianity.
For nine months, the Normans devastated the regions near the mouth of the Duero River (Spain).
Abandonment of the Vinland colony (Newfoundland).
  • 1016

Yasroslav the Wise succeeds Vladimir the Great and becomes Grand Prince of the Rus' of Kiev.

  • 1017

Last Viking raid on the Frankish kingdom, on the Poitou coast at Saint-Michel-en-l'Herm.

  • 1019

Knut became king of Denmark by succeeding his brother Harald II.

  • 1020

Raid of the Normans in southern Italy.

  • 1026

Invasion of Denmark by a coalition of Norwegians under Olaf II and Svear (or Swede) under Anund Jacob. Knut faced this coalition during the Helgea naval battle and won the victory.

  • 1028

Knut the Great conquers Norway. Knut is the head of an empire that includes Denmark, Norway, England and Ireland.

  • 1029

Normand Rainulf receives the county of Aversa in the Duchy of Naples (Italy).

  • 1030

Death of Olaf II during the Battle of Stiklestad. He became Saint Olaf.

  • 1035
Death of Knut the Great and dislocation of his empire. Knud the Bold, or Knut III, became king of Denmark.
Magnus Óláfsson, Magnus I, became king of Norway.
William the Bastard, son of Robert the Magnificent and future William the Conqueror, became Duke of Normandy.
  • 1043
Victory of the Normans over the Arabs in Apulia (today Puglia, Italy).
Last Viking attack on Constantinople. 
  • 1047

Sven Estridsen becomes Sven II King of Denmark.

  • 1048

Oslo is founded by King Harald III, known as Le Sévère, of Norway.

  • 1050

Attack on Haithabu by King Harald III of Norway.

  • 1059

The Norman chiefs Roberd de Hauteville, known as Robert Guiscard, and Richard d'Aversa vowed loyalty to the Church, received land from the Pope in southern Italy and were respectively appointed Duke of Capua and Duke of Calabria and Apulia.

  • 1061

Conquest of Sicily by Robert de Hauteville, known as Robert Guiscard, at the head of the Normans.

  • 1063

Victory of the Normans despite their numerical weakness against the Muslim troops in Cerami (Sicily, Italy).

William the Conqueror, fragment of the Bayeux Tapestry


The year 1066 marks the end of the Viking Age

  • 1066

Harald III of Norway defeated King Harold of England at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, England.
Disembarkation of William, Duke of Normandy on the Channel coast to assert his rights to the succession. Victory of William the Conqueror over Harold at the Battle of Hastings on October 14. The Normans conquered England and William was crowned king on December 25 at Westminster Abbey.

  • 1071

Capture of Bari (Italy) by the Normans of Robert Guiscard and expulsion of the Byzantines from Italy.

  • 1072

Capture of Palermo (Italy), a Mulusman city for 2 centuries, by the Normans.

  • 1082

Robert Guiscard wins over the Byzantine Emperor Alexis Comnenus. Occupation of Corfu (Greece) and Durazzo (Albania).

  • 1084

Looting and massacre of the population in Rome by Robert Guiscard's Normans, forcing the Pope's exile in Salerno.

  • 1085

Last attempt by the Danes to reconquer England.

  • 1103

Death of the King of Norway, Magnus Barfot, during an expedition to Ulster (Ireland).

  • 1151

Plundering of the eastern coasts of Scotland and England by King Eystein Haraldsson of Norway until 1153.

  • 1171

Death of the last Scandinavian king of Dublin (Ireland), Askulf Mac Torkil, as he tried to regain his kingdom conquered by Anglo-Norman forces.

  • 1185

The Normans launched a victorious expedition from Sicily to the Balkans in Salonika.

  • 1263

Death of the King of Norway, Haakon Haakonsson, in Orkney, Scotland.

 


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