The Vikings were the Scandinavian seafaring warriors that dominated Europe during the ninth and tenth centuries. Known for their raiding activities, these raiders impacted European history for a variety of reasons, but most likely were motivated by overpopulation at home and the relative helplessness of their victims while traveling abroad. They would frequently raid cities throughout Europe. But they were not only warriors. They were also traders, farmers, and blacksmiths.

Food was important in the lives of Vikings. They farmed, grew gardens, and raised animals to feed their families. Their farming methods were seasonal, and their crops and animals were dependent on the seasons. Although their farms were small, they were large enough to supply a family with food during the good years. They also had slaves, who did the tougher work. Thankfully, there are plenty of preserved Viking treasures today. These artifacts provide insight into Viking life and their diet.

Weapons were another way the Vikings protected their people. They carried round shields and, depending on their wealth, would use other defensive items such as swords and chainmail. Iron helmets, which resembled bowls made of iron, were expensive and hard to make. However, they were not the only weapons available to Vikings. The most well-known weapons of the Vikings were their swords, and their longships were capable of striking fear into the hearts and minds of Europeans for centuries.