1015 - Cnut the great returned to England

Cnut the great
Cnut the great returned to England, at Sandwich he unloaded a mighty army, a source mentions 2000 ships, 800 ships according to the Jomsvikingsaga, Adam of Bremen mentioned 1000 ships. Harald 2 had helped his brother equip the viking fleet and a lot of vikings came from Norway and Sweden to join the 20 year old Canute the great in the conquest of England. The Norwegian vikings was led by Earl Erik(Brother-in-law of Canute the great).

The Danes was again successful and before the winter was over most of Wessex was conquered, and Mercia was attacked. While Harald 2 was securing the Danish kingdom and Cnut the great was busy conquering England, a new threat came to the North sea empires third kingdom: Norway. Thorkil the tall had in the period he served the English king a Norwegian chieftain Olaf the holy Haraldson( a descendant of Harald fairhair)under his command, Olaf the holy sailed back to Norway to conquer the throne.

King Eric Haakonson had berserkers outlawed in Norway, along with duels

Berserkers = Individual Viking warriors known for their extreme ferocity.
The berserkers are one of the least known aspects of the Viking society. These were vikings who fought in such a rage that they lost all sense and became homicidal maniacs who attacked everyone in sight. The word berserker has a disputed meaning.
It has been suggested that it comes from the term “bare-sark,” meaning “bare of shirt,” or without armor. References to the berserkers  mention their lack of any armor. Another explanation is “bear-sark,” describing  the wearing of animal skins.  Bearskin would seem to be the logical choice of fur, but in some of the sagas the berserkers are called “Wolf- Skins” or “wolf-coats” (ulfhedinn). The berserkers are often associated with Odin, this kinship with Odin is common in many of the tales about the berserkers.
One tale was that, like Odin, they could change and become animals, and assume wolf like or bearlike qualities.

Roman writings from the 1st century AD. In the book, Germania, historian Tacitus told about  fanatic elite warriors among the German tribes in northern Europe. In the 6th century the East Roman historian Procopius wrote of ‘the wild and lawless heruli’ from the north that they went naked into battle, clad only in loincloths. This was to show disdain for their wounds. They wore neither helmet nor coat of mail, and used only a light shield for protections. The people who were described as heruli probably had their origin on Sjæland or Fyn in today’s Denmark

An explanation for going berserk comes from psychiatry. The theory is that the groups of warriors, through ritual processes carried out before a battle (such as biting the edges of their shields), go into a self­induced hypnotic trance. In this dissociative state, they lose conscious control of their actions, which are then directed subconsciously. People in this state seem remote, have little awareness of their surroundings, and have reduced awareness of pain and increased muscle strength. Critical thinking and normal social inhibitions are weakened, but the people affected are not unconscious – they act on direction; they kill enemies.

Hrolf’s Saga describes the hero Bjarki taking possesion of a bear in battle and killing more men than 5 warriors. Georges  Dumezil, in Gods of the Ancient Northmen (1973), describes this phenomenon as the hamnigja, the spirit of the animal appearing in dreams or visions as well as in reality. The berserkers  were also reputed to have had an immunity to weapons, either naturally or through supernatural powers.

This quality  is described in many of the sagas. It could possibly be explained by the thickness of the animal skins they wore as protection or their blind fury that ignored any feeling of pain or wounding. Either way,the sight of berserker warriors receiving what should be mortal wounds and continuing to fight certainly had a strong psychological effect on their enemies.

The berserkers may have belonged to a cult of Odin, whose practices and spells would have been revealed only to initiates. Emperor Constantine VII of  Byzantium(905-959), who employed Vikings in his Varangian Guard, noted a dance his men engaged in while wearing animal skins. This could indicate that it was a performance of cultish rites. Such a dance is also recorded in artwork on Swedish weapons. A beginner member of the cult is sometimes described as having to undergo an initiation into a warrior band  whereby he has to fight a bear. It was also told by eating the mushroom Amanita mucaria, the beserkers could gain their supernatural powers.

A raid led by Olaf Haraldsson, who later became king Olaf 2 the holy of Norway. He destroyed four major Galician towns: Castropol, Betanzos, Rivas de Sil and Tui.  And then attacked La Coruña in Galicia and then sailed into the mouth of the river Minho, created a camp and at Tui, he demanded 12,000 gold shillings (4 kg of gold) for not destroying the town, but the town was destroyed.
Vikings captured bishop Alonso and many church folk and held them for a ransom. This was later told by the Skald Ottar the black and Sigvat.
Yaroslav the wise became new ruler of the Rus until 1054.
Olav the holy refused to listen to the skjald Sigvat, Sigvat ignored it and he recited his poems in front of Olav the holy.

1014 - Sweyn Forkbeard died

Cnut the great leading an army
Totally unexpected Sweyn Forkbeard became very ill(He was probably suffering from a hereditary heart disease) and on the 3. February he died in his headquarter at Gainsborough. With his neglected wife Gunhild, he had 2 sons. The oldest son, Harald 2 was crowned king of Denmark, Harald 2 had been the ruler of Denmark while Sweyn Forkbeard was in England. The youngest, 17 year old Cnut the great was given the royal scepter and took command of the viking army in England.

When the Anglo-Saxons heard that the feared Sweyn Forkbeard was dead, they called Ethelred the unready home to England from his refuge in Normandy and his son Edmund Ironside now led an army prepared to fight the Danish again. Cnut the great had to leave England fast, but before he sailed back to Denmark, he cut of nose,ears and hands of Sweyn Forkbeards hostages in Sandwich. He swore that he would return to England again. Thorkil the tall broke with king Ethelred the unready and sailed to Denmark where he joined Cnut the great.
Edmund Ironside

London Bridge is falling down
The 1st version of the London Bridge was destroyed in 1014 when the Saxons rowed up the Thames, tied ropes to it, and pulled it down.It helped recapture London for the English king. This event may have been inspiration for the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is falling down”.

Viking raids on the coast
23 April: A battle between Irish and vikings resulted in that Clontarf monastery was raided, the Irish king Brian Boru gathered an army and won the battle against the vikings, but was killed by the Danish viking leader of Isle of Man, Brodir, after a group of fleeing vikings had discovered the Irish king. Brodir killed dozens of Irishmen. But Clontarf was a bloodbath of vikings so Brodir chickened into the forest. According to Njal’s Saga, he accidentally ran into King Brian Boru, who was waiting to hear the outcome of the battle.First Killing Brian Boru’s guards, and then Brodir personally killed the king.
The Saga tells that Brian Boru’s brother Wulf the Quarrelsome later tracked Brodir down, nailed his intestines to a tree, and forced him to walk around it until they were all pulled out.Sigurd the stout, Earl of Orkney also died during battle.
After the battle
Holmgang declared illegal.
Sumarlidi Sigurdsson and his brothers Brusi and Einar Wry-Mouth ruled Orkney following the death of their father, Sigurd the stout, Hlodvisson who died at the Battle of Clontarf.
Viking raids in Spain.

1013 - Sweyn Forkbeard conquered England

Drawing made by Mattheus Paris(dead 1259) King Sweyn on a horse, his men are looting, demanding taxes, imprisoning peasants. Queen Emma flees with her sons.
Sweyn Forkbeard conquered England. In July of 1013, he arrived with a mighty fleet outside Sandwich. The separated and weak England was ready to fall. The vikings never met any serious resistance, after Sweyn Forkbeard conquered Northhumberland he was ready to conquer South England, Oxford and Winchester gave up without fighting.

Only London was defended bravely by Thorkil the tall and his men, but in Wessex all English nobles gave and oath of obedience and loyalty to the Danish king and after that London gave up. The conquest was over and the establishment of the Danish North sea rule installed.

On the 25th of December Sweyn was proclaimed king, the loser King Æthelred the unready fled to Normandy where his queen Emma and his sons lived with her brother, Richard 2 of Normandy. It certainly was not a good asylum, for Æthelred the unready. The duke of Normandy had a good relationship with Sweyn Forkbeard.
Vikings fight for the last time to support the Normans against the French

1012 King Aethelred the unready of England paid Danegeld

King Aethelred the unready of England paid 17,900 kg of silver Danegeld to Viking raiders.
Archbishop Ælfheah of Canterbury(St.Alphege) was killed on 19 April 1012 he was held hostage. But refused to  allow the people in Canterbury to pay a ransom for him on the grounds that they were already too poor, the Vikings beat him to death at a drunken feast.
The 7 English kingdoms

King Máel Coluim mac Cináeda of Alba defeated a Danish viking army at Cruden Bay in Buchan.
Earl Eadric Streona of Mercia led an English attack against the Church of St. David at Menevia.

1011 - Thorkil the tall was bribed by Æthelred the unready

King Æthelred the unready paid Thorkil the tall a Danegeld on 48000 lbs silver, and Thorkil the tall with 45 ships entered the service of the English king. Before that a monk had betrayed Canterbury, and let vikings enter the town. Canterbury was plundered and Ælfheah, Archbishop of Canterbury was taken prisoner. The Danegeld paid in 1009, was only securing peace in a short period.
Lànse aux meadows, Canada
The next summer the Vinland settlers lacked food, but Thordal hunter found a whale, which they ate, but Thorfinn found out that Thordal had made a heathen blessing on the meat, Thorfinn ordered that the whale meat to be thrown back into the sea. Thordal the hunter decided to leave and he sailed up north with his own ship and 9 other people.Thorfinn sailed further south, and came to a river full of fish and an area full of game. They stayed there for a while and one day they met some strangers sailing in skin boats, they named them skrælling, which meant little man dressed in fur.

Axe testing
Thorfinn Karlsenvi attempted to found a settlement in North America. But war with the natives made them sail back to Greenland.
Leaving North America

1010 The second Vinland expedition

Battle of Ringmere
Thorkil the tall plundered in England a final clash happened at the battle of Ringmere, East Anglia which Sigvat Tordssøn wrote about in "Vikingeviser".
Peasant revolt
North America
A Viking explorer Thorfinn Karlsevni "Þorfinnr "Karlsefni" Þórðarson" attempted to found a settlement in North America, this is the approximate date.

Thorfinn Karlsevni
Thorfinn Karlsevni was an Icelander, who had the chieftain Thord as a great Grandfather, who was a descendant of Ragnar Lothbrok in the fifth generation. He equipped a ship with 40 people to go on a trading expedition to Greenland. In the winter time Thorfinn had to help Eric the red with provisions, to celebrate a decent yule. And here Eric the red spoke about Vinland, his son Leif "the happy" Eriksson had been there.
Thordal the hunter
In the spring Thorfinn decided to sail to Vinland and Leif gave him permission to borrow his houses. With 60 men and 5 women and cattle they sailed west, with the intention to settle the land, another ship led by a heathen hunter named Thordal joined them.
They first came to Helleland,
on an island outside Markland they killed a bear and named it Bear Island, they sailed further and at a place where the coast was intended they saw the rest of a ship.

Later they released a male and  a female thrall, which were ordered to run south to search the land, after 3 days the Scottish thralls came back with a wheat ear and a bunch of grapes. They sailed further and came to an island with a heavy stream, they named the island Stream island, there were so many eiders on that island, that people could hardly put their feet down with out stepping on eggs, inside the island there were a ford, where they settled they named it Stream ford. The whole winter they had plenty of fish.
Thorfinn disallowed the sale of Iron items to natives
Natives shooting at the Vinland colonists

1009 - Thorkil the tall came to England

Thorkil the tall
A large viking fleet anchored outside Sandwich, The viking fleet was led by Thorkil the tall, a former Jomsviking, Olav and his foster father Rane took part in Thorkil theTall’s invasion of England - which caused horror in England and widespread
pillaging and looting. A threat to attack Canterbury, made the people of Canterbury pay 3000 lbs silver in Danegeld.

1008 - Olav Haraldsson raided Saaremaa Island

Animalhead from Headpole the Oseberg grave
In 1008, Æthelred the Unready created a new fleet of warships, organized on a larger scale, but was weakened when one of his captains rebelled and became a viking.
Olav "the fat" Haraldsson
The 13 year old Olav "the fat " Haraldsson, landed on Saaremaa,
Estonia, and won a battle and forced the losers to pay tribute.
Olav then sailed to the southern coast of Finland greedy for more plunder, but he was ambushed and it resulted in the Battle of Herdaler where Olav and his men were eventually ambushed in the woods. Olav lost many warriors but made it back to his longship. Olav Haraldsson later became known as the holy and became king of Norway.
Olof Skötkonung the king of Sweden, was baptized by Saint Sigfrid.
Galicia, Spain
Viking raids in Spain. Count Menendez died on October the 6th during a battle with vikings,  in an area between the rivers Mino and Duero, it was the area around Braga that was pillaged and when vikings sailed up the Mino river and set the town Tui on fire they captured the bishop Don Alfonso and all the church people that they could catch.  It is beleieved that it was the Norwegian Olav the holy who was the leader of this viking raid in Galicia.

1007 - Æthelred the Unready bought a short period of peace

Æthelred the Unready king of England 978-1013

Æthelred the Unready bought 2 years of peace with the Danes for the sum 36,000 pounds of silver.

1006 - Viking attacks increased

England was haunted by new viking fleets. Not even the winter made the vikings stop plundering, which was unusual as they previously had not looted during the winter.
Holmgang was declared illegal in the Icelandic Alting.
The icelandic sagas tells of a duel between Gunnlaugr Serpent-Tongue and Hrafn Onundarson.
Duelling holmgang was way to resolve conflicts, but it was often abused as a means of enrichment.
First mention of the roman title Dux for Richard 2.

1005 Brian Boru established a fleet

Viking ship 11th century
Hunger in England made the Danish fleet sail home.

The Irish high king Brian Boru established a fleet composed of vikings from Dublin, Waterford, Wexford and Munster to "levy royal tribute" (plunder) in Wales. The revenue from this raid was to be divided in 3 parts, with a third going to the King of Dublin, another third going to the warriors of Leinster and Munster, and the remainder to professors of sciences and arts and the needful. This may have been a tactic Brian Boru used to avoid civil war.

1004 - Thetford was plundered

Dark Lewisham chess pieces
Sweyn Forkbeard s viking army looted East Anglia and Thetford was plundered and Norwich was destroyed.
Island of Man
Ragnall was king 1004-1005.
the western isles' independence from Orkney had been re-asserted under Ragnal mac Gofraid, who died in that year.After Ragnall's death Sigurd became ruler

1003 Exeter burned down

Devon, England
Sweyn Forkbeard gathered a viking fleet and sailed to England, the "Danekillings" would be revenged. The Norman chieftain Hugo betrayed Exeter to the Danish king, who burned down the town. King Æthelred the unready was a bad ruler he did not manage to motivate the people to put up an effective resistance. Hampshire, Wiltshire, Wilton and Salisbury all fell to the bloody viking revenge attack.
Eric the red died.On October 9 Leif Erikson landed in L'Anse aux Meadows, Canada.

Brattahlíð church ruins

1002 St. Brices day massacre:Innocent Danish women and children slaughtered

Lorenz Frølich: Bloodbath on the Danish St Brices day 13 november 1002 National museum Frederiksborg castle
The Scandinavian population living in England had on several occasions helped the invading viking raiders, and king Æthelred the unready lost constantly most of the battles that he fought. King Æthelred the unready chose to attack innocent weaponless civilians. On the 13th November 1002 he ordered the attack on Danes living in England, the incident was known as the "Danekillings" a lot of Danes living in England was brutally attacked while they were doing their daily deeds and weaponless and most of the victims was innocent children and women. In Oxford, surviving Danes barricaded themselves in a church (where Christ Church Cathedral now stands) and successfully defended themselves until townspeople set fire to the church. The skeletons of some 34 young men believed to have been killed in the same massacre were discovered under St John's College in 2008. The story about the atrocities reached Denmark, where the reaction was: revenge.
Danegeld was paid by Æthelred the Unready to prevent Viking raids against England.

Nordic settlement North Atlantic- 600 ruins found
Nordic ship Greenland

With a new arrival of a group of colonists, an epidemic hit the Viking colony in Greenland. Later on when Greenland was settled, most of the farms were at "Østerbygden" in the Southern Greenland, which had 190-250 farms and 3500 people lived there and 400 km further north at Vesterbygden, with 1000 people and 90 farms near what is now called Nuuk.
Eskimo tree figure of European

 The farms were build after, the who dares wins concept, the first pioneers got the best places. And later settlers would have to build their farm in remote desolate areas. Archeologist still find farms in remote areas of Greenland. The Norse did not have Greenland for themselves, the Thule Eskimo people, who originally came from the North Western Greenland moved south while the Norse adventured on hunting expeditions to the North. And somewhere in Greenland the two people met. Both people told tales about the meeting, Archeological excavations have found Nordic tools and Eskimo tree figures of European people. The Thule eskimos occupied western settlement in 1341 and middle settlement in 1380.

Brian Boru
Emma of Normandy married king of England Æthelred, giving birth to 2 sons, and linking the English Crown to the Duchy of Normandy.
Brian Boru became High king of Ireland. This worried the king of Dublin, Sigtrygg Silkbeard, so he took a decision to support a beginning rebellion against Brian Boru. He was encouraged by his mother Gormflaith, who was Brian Boru’s ex-wife.
Viking ship reenactment
Viking raiders attacked Dyfed, but this time they did not raid the Church of St. David at Menevia.

1001 - Æthelred the unready paid Danegeld

Danes raided the English South coast, they plundered and looted Devonshire and Hampshire.
The First Battle of Alton: Danish invaders defeated the English.
Battle of Pinhoe:
Vikings defeated Anglo-Saxons in Devon. A siege was started against Exeter. But the strong fortification made by Athelstan they could not break instead they started pillaging nearby villages. Men from Devon and Somerset fought the Danes to stop their invasion. The battle was hard and the defenders nearly used up all their ammunition.
A priest of Pinhoe wanted to supply his troops with ammunition. He sneaked through the Danish lines and ran to Exeter to get arrows and arms. He successfully returned to the defending Saxons and supplied them with the weapons The weapons were not sufficient for the Saxons to defeat the Vikings. The Vikings infiltrated Pinhoe and burned it to the ground.
King Æthelred the unready had to buy peace for 24000 lbs silver. This was the third time he paid Danegeld, which had become the common name for buying peace.
Þorgeirr Ljósvetningagoði ended as a lawspeaker in Iceland's Althingi.

North America
A settlement was abandoned after battle with local Indians.

1000 - Vikings in Canada

Aalborg was founded, It was mentioned in 1075 by Adam of Bremen as a large town, the early name Alabur was written on one of Harthacnuts coins from 1040.
Lejre was burned down to the ground.
Althingi in Iceland decided to install Christianity. To Iceland Olaf Tryggvason  sent the baptized Icelander Stefner Thorgilsson and the German priest Thangbrand, who quickly became unpopular but some Icelander turned Christians Njal the wise and his sons and Hjalte Skeggeson became leader of the Christians. It nearly came to a battle at the Althing, but it was decided that the lawmaker Thorgejr should judge the case, he was heathen but made a compromise and decided that Christianity should rule Iceland and that all people that made public sacrifices should be expelled, but you could still eat horse meat and pray to the old gods and lay small children to the wolves.
Bolli "The elegant" Bollason was born.
Island of Man
The fleet of Æthelred the unready attacked Man in revenge for viking raids.
Oslo was founded.
Olaf Tryggvason sailed with a fleet to Venden. He was not unaware of the Danish-Swedish attack plan and he probably sailed for help from his friend Duke Boleslaw of Poland. Sweyn Forkbeard, Olof Skotkonung and the sons of Earl Haakon suddenly attacked the Norwegian fleet and Olaf Tryggvason was on 9th september killed at Battle of Svolder. The Norwegians suffered a devastating defeat and Sweyn Forkbeard was now in control of Norway.
The sons of Earl Haakon were given large land areas, but the Swedish king only got a smaller coastal area around Gøta river.
North America
Leif "The happy" Eriksson sailed on a expedition to explore Vinland, a few years earlier Bjarni Herlofsson was blown out of course and he discovered land and followed the coast.
The Vikings made a settlement at L ànse aux Meadows and traveled further in North America


999 - Sweyn Forkbeard prepared for war

Riding to battle
Tyre the sister of Sweyn Forkbeard married with Olaf Tryggvason, she did it without the permission of Sweyn Forkbeard, Tyre had previous been married to the chieftain of the Jomsvikings, Styrbjorn, but he died in a battle at Uppsala and before that she was married to a Vendic duke Boleslaw, which she left.

The marriage made Sweyn Forkbeard angry and stimulated further his wish to reconstruct the supremacy of Harald Bluetooth over Southern Norway. A number of alliances had strengthened the position of Sweyn Forkbeard, he sent his wife Gunhild home to her father Mieczylaw of Poland and instead he married the widow of the Swedish king Erik the victorious, Sigrid Storråde, who was mother to the Swedish king Olof Skotkonung.

The refugees and sons of Earl Haakon Svend and Erik had been married into the Swedish and Danish royal families by marrying Olof Skottkonnungs sister Holmfrid and the daughter of Sweyn Forkbeard named Gyda.
Danes ravaged Kent and sacked Rochester.
Faroe Islands
Sigmundur Brestisson (961 – 1005) returned from a Norwegian exile to introduce Christianity to the Faroe Islands.
10th century Viking warrior
Late in 999, the Leinstermen, allied with Dublin vikings and revolted against Brian Boru. This provided the opportunity for Sigtrygg' Silkbeards second alliance with Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian Boru's armed forces defeated  the Irish-Viking army on the 30th december at the Battle of Glenn mama, and followed the victory with an effective attack and conquest upon Dublin. Brian Boru pronounced himself as emperor of the Irish.
Widespread viking raids from Vikings in Ireland and Island of Man.
A group of Norman christian pilgrims returning home from Jerusalem stopped at Salerno. While they were staying there, the city was attacked by Saracen pirates. The people of Salerno were afraid to fight, but the warlike Normans were ready to fight. Soon their toughness drew out the Muslims.  
Guaimar III of Salerno offered the Normans money to stay, but they refused it. Before they left,  the Normans promised to spread the word about the need for defenders against Muslim raiders.

Ship building
Sweyn fork beard had previously attempted to attack Norway, he sent the mercenary corps the Jomsvikings against the rebellious Earl Haakon, but the Jomsvikings were defeated at battle of Hjørungavåg (Probably Hareidlandet, south of Alesund).
Leif Erikson was blown off course when traveling to the Hebrides , he arrived in Norway during summer and became a hirdman of King Olaf Tryggvason. He converted to Christianity and took up the mission to christen Greenland.
The Church of St. David at Menevia was destroyed and the Bishop Morgeneu was killed by Vikings.