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The Danes were a
North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia ...
tribe inhabiting southern
Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' can refer to , , and , sometimes more narrowly to the , or more broadly to include , th ...

Scandinavia
, including the area now comprising Denmark proper, and the Scanian provinces of modern-day southern Sweden, during the
Nordic Iron Age Iron Age Scandinavia (or Nordic Iron Age) refers to the Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age system, three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of Homo sapiens, humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleo ...
and the
Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and trans ...
. They founded what became the
Kingdom of Denmark The Danish Realm ( da, Danmarks Rige; fo, Danmarkar Ríki; kl, Danmarkip Naalagaaffik), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (; ; ), is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized governmen ...
. The name of their realm is believed to mean " Danish March", viz. "the
march March is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 3 ...
of the Danes", in
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
, referring to their southern border zone between the
Eider Eiders () are large seaducks in the genus ''Somateria''. The three extant species all breed in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The down feathers of eider ducks, and some other ducks and geese, are used to fill pillows and quilts ...
and
Schlei The Schlei (; da, Slien) (more often ...

Schlei
rivers, known as the
Danevirke The Danevirke or Danework (modern Danish spelling: ''Dannevirke''; in Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian was a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their Vikin ...
.


Origins

The origin of the Danes remains undetermined, but several ancient historical documents and texts refer to them and archaeology has revealed and continues to reveal insights into their culture, beliefs, organization and way of life. The Danes first appear in written history in the 6th century with references in Jordanes' ''
Getica ''De origine actibusque Getarum'' (''The Origin and Deeds of the Getae oths'), commonly abbreviated ''Getica'', written in by in or shortly after 551 AD, claims to be a summary of a voluminous account by of the origin and history of the , w ...
'' (551 AD), by
Procopius Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a prominent late antique Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, fr ...
, and by
Gregory of Tours Gregory of Tours (30 November 538 – 17 November 594 AD) was a Gallo-Roman The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanization (cultural), Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish ...
. They spoke
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
(''dǫnsk tunga''), which the Danes shared with the people in Norway and Sweden and later in Iceland and the Faroe Islands. In his description of
Scandza Scandza was described as a "great island" by the Gothic-Byzantine historian Jordanes 200px, The Mediterranean area 550 AD as Jordanes wrote his ''Getica''. The Eastern Roman Empire, capital Constantinople, is shown in pink. Conquests of Justinia ...

Scandza
,
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
says that the Dani were of the same stock as the ''Suetidi'' ("Swedes") and expelled the
Heruli The Heruli (or Herules) were an early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic languages ** List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes * Germanic languages :* Proto-Germ ...
and took their lands. The
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
poems ''
Widsith "Widsith" ( ang, Widsið), also known as "The Traveller's Song", is an Old English poem of 143 lines. It survives only in the ''Exeter Book The Exeter Book, Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501, also known as the Codex Exoniensis, is a 10th-centu ...
'' and ''
Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēowulf ) is an Old English epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literat ...

Beowulf
'', as well as works by later Scandinavian writers (notably by
Saxo Grammaticus 200px, Saxo, drawn by the Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe. Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1150 – c. 1220), also known as Saxo cognomine Longus, was a Danish people, Danish historian, theologian and author. He is thought to have been a clerk or secretary to ...

Saxo Grammaticus
( 1200)), provide some of the original written references to the Danes. According to the 12th-century author
Sven AggesenSvend Aggesen (or "Sven"; also known as ''Aggessøn'', ''Aggesøn'' or ''Aagesen'', in Latin ''Sveno Aggonis''; born around 1140 to 1150, death unknown) is the author of ''Brevis historia regum Dacie'', one of the first attempts to write a coherent h ...
, the mythical King Dan gave his name to the Danes.


Culture


Language

The Danes spoke
Proto-Norse Proto-Norse (also called Ancient Nordic, Ancient Scandinavian, Ancient Norse, Primitive Norse, Proto-Nordic, Proto-Scandinavian and Proto-North Germanic) was an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language spoken in Scandinavia that is tho ...
which gradually evolved into the
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
language by the beginning of the
Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and trans ...
. Like previous and contemporary people of Scandinavia, the Danes used
runes Runes are the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet), a written element of an alphabet * Letterform, a typographic term for alphabetical letter shapes * Rehearsal letter in an orchestral s ...

runes
for writing, but did not write much apparently, as they have left no literary legacy except for occasional rune stones and carvings in wood and various items like weapons, utensils and jewellery.


Religion

As previous and contemporary peoples of Scandinavia (the Vikings), the tribal Danes were practitioners of the
Norse religion Old Norse Religion, also known as Norse Paganism, is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples North Germanic peoples, commonly called Scandinavians ...
. Around 500 AD, many of the Gods of the
Norse pantheon In Germanic paganism Germanic paganism refers to the various religious practices of the Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-R ...
had lost their previous significance, except a few such as
Thor In Germanic mythology Germanic mythology consists of the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myth ...

Thor
,
Odin Odin (; from non, Óðinn, ) is a widely revered god in Germanic mythology. Norse mythology, the source of most surviving information about him, associates him with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victor ...

Odin
and
Frey Freyr (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian was a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their Viking expansion, overseas settlements from about the 7th to the 1 ...

Frey
who were increasingly worshipped. During the 10th century of the late Viking Age, the Danes officially adopted
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
, as evidenced by several rune stones, documents and church buildings. The new Christian influences also show in their art, jewellery and burial practices of the late Viking Age, but the transition was not rapid and definitive and older customs from the Norse religion remained to be practised to various degrees.Described in ''"Hvad troede de på?"'' Some sources, such as the ''Beowulf'', point to a very early
Arianism Arianism is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256–336) was a Cyrenaic The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Greek ...
in Denmark, but it has been a matter of intense academic debate for many years whether these sources reflect later adjustments or an actual early
Germanic Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of d ...
among the Danes in the Iron Age. There are several archaeological artefacts in and from Denmark however, made as early as the 500s, depicting
Daniel Daniel is a masculine Masculinity (also called manhood or manliness) is a set of attributes, behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling ...
among the lions, so the Danes must have had some knowledge of and influence from Arian cultures. Jutland sceatta 710 701247.jpg,
Silver coins Silver coins are possibly the oldest mass-produced form of coinage. Silver has been used as a coinage metal since the times of the Ancient Greek, Greeks; their silver Greek drachma, drachmas were popular trade coins. The ancient Persians used silver ...
from Ribe (c. 710–20).
Odin Odin (; from non, Óðinn, ) is a widely revered god in Germanic mythology. Norse mythology, the source of most surviving information about him, associates him with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victor ...

Odin
and Christian cross symbols (left) and Norse pagan fantastic animal (right). Odin fra Lejre.jpg, Odin of Lejre. An
Odin Odin (; from non, Óðinn, ) is a widely revered god in Germanic mythology. Norse mythology, the source of most surviving information about him, associates him with wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, war, battle, victor ...

Odin
silver figurine (c. 900). Stralsund, Kopie vom Hiddenseer Goldschmuck, by Klugschnacker in Wikipedia (2014-08-20) 4.jpg, Hiddensee treasure. Golden jewellery mixing and the Christian cross (10th century).


Iron Age

In the Nordic Iron Age, the Danes were based in present-day Denmark, the southern part of present-day Sweden, including
Scania Scania, also known by its native name of Skåne (, ), is the southernmost of the historical (''landskap'') of . The former province is roughly conterminous with , created in 1997. Like the other former provinces of Sweden, Scania still feature ...

Scania
, and in
Schleswig The Duchy of Schleswig ( da, Hertugdømmet Slesvig; german: Herzogtum Schleswig; Low German: ''Hartogdom Sleswig''; North Frisian language, North Frisian: ''Härtochduum Slaswik'') was a duchy in Southern Jutland (''Sønderjylland'') covering the ...
, now Northern Germany. In Schleswig, they initiated the large fortification of
Danevirke The Danevirke or Danework (modern Danish spelling: ''Dannevirke''; in Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian was a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their Vikin ...
to mark the southern border of their realm. It was extended several times, also in the centuries after the Iron Age. Up until around the 6th century, Jutland is described as being the homeland of the
Jutes The Jutes (), Iuti, or Iutæ ( da, Jyde, non, Jótar, ang, Ēotas) were one of the Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscand ...
, a Germanic tribe. The ''
Widsith "Widsith" ( ang, Widsið), also known as "The Traveller's Song", is an Old English poem of 143 lines. It survives only in the ''Exeter Book The Exeter Book, Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501, also known as the Codex Exoniensis, is a 10th-centu ...
'' mentions a couple of semi-mythical kings in relation to the Danes of the Iron Age.
Sigar The name Sigar can refer to four people in Scandinavian mythology Norse mythology is the body of mythology, myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the ...
who ruled the sea-Danes and
Offa Offa (died 29 July 796 AD) was King of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of ...
who ruled both the Danes and the
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditional ...

Angles
. Centuries later, Saxo lists for the first time the Danes entire lineage of semi-mythical kings, starting from King Dan. As Saxo's texts are the first written accounts of Denmark's history, and hence the Danes, his sources are largely surviving legends, folk lore and word of mouth. The royal seat and capital of the Danes was located on
Zealand Zealand or Sealand ( da, Sjælland , in English also occasionally), at 7,031 km2, is the largest and most populous island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
near
Lejre Lejre is a railway town, with a population of 2,834 (1 January 2021),Skjöldung dynasty.


Viking Age

Beginning in the 8th century, the Danes initiated the construction of trading towns across their realm, including
Hedeby Hedeby (, Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic languages, North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhab ...
,
Ribe Ribe () is a Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ...

Ribe
,
Aarhus Aarhus (, , ; officially spelled Århus from 1948 until 1 January 2011) is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of Aarhus municipality. It is located on the eastern shore of Jutland in the Kattegat sea and approximately northwest ...
and Viborg and expanded existing settlements such as
Odense Odense ( , ""''-ən-sə'', ) is the List of cities in Denmark by population, third-largest city in Denmark. It has a population of 180,760 (1 January 2021), and is the main city of the island of Funen. By road, Odense is located north of Sve ...

Odense
and
Aalborg Aalborg (, also , ), also spelt Ålborg, is Denmark's fourth largest city with an urban population An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are c ...

Aalborg
. Hedeby quickly grew to become the largest settlement in Scandinavia and remained so until its eventual destruction in the later half of the 11th century. From around 800 AD, the Danes began a long era of well-organised raids across the coasts and rivers of Europe. Some of the raids were followed by a gradual succession of Danish settlers and during this epoch, large areas outside Scandinavia were settled by the Danes, including the Danelaw in England and countryside and newly established towns in Ireland, the Netherlands and northern France. In the early 11th century, King
Cnut the Great Cnut the Great (; ang, Cnut cyning; non, Knútr inn ríki ; or , no, Knut den mektige, sv, Knut den Store. died 12 November 1035), also known as Canute, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England Th ...
(died 1035) ruled the extensive
North Sea Empire North Sea Empire and Anglo-Scandinavian Empire are terms used by historians to refer to the personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more State (polity), states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and ...
for nearly 20 years, consisting of Denmark, England, Norway, southern Sweden and parts of northern Germany. During the 10th century the royal seat of the Danes was moved from Lejre to
Jelling Jelling is a railway town A railway town, or railroad town, is a settlement that originated or was greatly developed because of a railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goo ...

Jelling
in central Jutland, marking the foundation and consolidation of the Kingdom of Denmark.


Danelaw

In the
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

British Isles
, Danes landed three
Viking ship Viking ships were marine vessels of unique structure, used in Scandinavia from the Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted fro ...

Viking ship
s at the isle of Portland, Dorset in 786 AD, where they met and killed a local reeve and his men.The Vikings in Dorset might perhaps have originated from Norway and the exact time of the event is unclear, it took place between 786-793 AD. See ''"The Vikings in History"''. In 793 AD, a Viking raid and plunder of the monastery at
Lindisfarne The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, commonly known as either Holy Island or Lindisfarne, is a tidal island 250px, St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, at high tide, ">Cornwall.html" ;"title="St Michael's Mount, Cornwall">St Michael's Mount, Cornwal ...
took place, but no further activity in England followed until 835 AD. In that year, the Danes raided and built a permanent camp on the
Isle of Sheppey The Isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publi ...
in south east England and settling followed from 865, when brothers
Halfdan Ragnarsson Halfdan Ragnarsson ( non, Hálfdan; oe, Halfdene or ''Healfdene''; sga, Albann; died 877) was a Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, No ...
and
Ivar the Boneless Ivar the Boneless ( non, Ívarr hinn Beinlausi ; born in 800s–c. 873), also known as Ivar Ragnarsson, was a semi-legendary Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandi ...
wintered in
East Anglia East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. This region was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics purposes from 1999. It includes the ceremonial ...
. Halfdan and Ivar moved north and captured
Northumbria Northumbria (; ang, Norþanhymbra Rīċe; la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum) was an early medieval Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Cultural identity is a part of a person's identity Identity may refer to: Social scie ...

Northumbria
in 867 and
York York is a cathedral city City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the monarch of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United ...

York
as well.
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
– a special rule of law – was soon established in the settled areas and shaped the local cultures there for centuries. Cultural remains are still noticeable today.


Ireland

The Danes first arrived in Ireland in 795 AD, at
Rathlin Island Rathlin Island (Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom ...

Rathlin Island
, initiating subsequent raids and fortified trade settlements, so called
longphort A longphort (Ir. plur. ''longphuirt'') is a term used in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the Nor ...
s. During the Viking Age, they established many coastal towns including
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...
(Dyflin),
Cork Cork or CORK may refer to: Materials * Cork (material), an impermeable buoyant plant product ** Cork (plug), a cylindrical or conical object used to seal a container ***Wine cork Places Ireland * Cork (city) ** Metropolitan Cork, also known as G ...
,
Waterford Waterford ( ; from Old Norse , meaning "ram (wether) fjord") is a City status in Ireland, city in Ireland. It is in County Waterford in the South-East Region, Ireland, south-east of Ireland and is located in the Provinces of Ireland, provinc ...
(Veðrafjǫrðr) and
Limerick Limerick ( ; ga, Luimneach ) is a city in County Limerick County Limerick ( ga, Contae Luimnigh) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chamber ...

Limerick
(Hlymrekr) and Danish settlers followed. There were many small skirmishes and larger battles with the native
Irish clans Irish clans are traditional kinship groups sharing a common surname and heritage and existing in a lineage-based society, originating prior to the 17th century. A clan (or ''fine'' in Irish) included the chief and his agnatic relatives; however ...
in the following two centuries, with the Danes sometimes siding with allied clans. In 1014 AD, at the
Battle of Clontarf The Battle of Clontarf ( ga, Cath Chluain Tarbh) took place on 23 April 1014 at Clontarf, Dublin, Clontarf, near Dublin, on the east coast of Ireland. It pitted an army led by Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, against a Norsemen, Norse-Gaelic Ire ...
, the Vikings were eventually defeated and the remaining Danish settlers gradually assimilated with the Irish population.


Frisia

The first Vikings appeared in
Frisia Frisia (, ; ) is a cross-border Borders are geographic Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systemat ...

Frisia
, now part of the Netherlands and Germany, in 800 AD, when Danes plundered coastal settlements and later the trade town of
Dorestad Dorestad (''Dorestat, Duristat'') was an , located in the southeast of the in the , close to the modern-day town of . It flourished during the 8th to early 9th centuries, as an important port on the northeastern shipping routes due to its pr ...
became a frequent target of raids. During this time, Frisia was ruled by the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
and in the mid-9th century, the Danish chieftain of Roric received the western parts of the Netherlands as a fief and established here. The Danes were probably involved in Frisia much earlier as
Gregory of Tours Gregory of Tours (30 November 538 – 17 November 594 AD) was a Gallo-Roman The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanization (cultural), Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish ...
(c. 538–594 AD) mentions a Danish king Chlochilaichus who was killed there while invading
Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by Graeco-Roman author ...

Frankish
territory in the early 6th century.


France

The first known Viking raid in what now constitutes France, commenced in 799, when an attack was fought off on the coast of
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais Poitevin-Saintongeais (french: poitevin-saintongeais, link=no, ; autonym: ''poetevin-séntunjhaes''; also called ''Parlanjhe'', ''Aguiain'' or even ''Aguiainais'' in Fren ...

Aquitaine
. Several other smaller skirmishes with aggressive Vikings from primarily Danish territory have been recorded, including the first raid on the
Seine ) , mouth_location = Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''lati ...

Seine
in 820, but it was not until the year 834 before Viking activity in France took off on a grand scale. In that year, Danes established a lasting base on
Noirmoutier Noirmoutier (also in French: Île de Noirmoutier) is a tidal island 250px, St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, at high tide, ">Cornwall.html" ;"title="St Michael's Mount, Cornwall">St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, at high tide, A tidal island ...
island, a central spot for the European salt trade at the time, and poured into the
Loire Valley The Loire Valley (french: Val de Loire, link=no, ), spanning , is a valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Mos ...
on larger raid expeditions. Many large scale raids followed all across the coasts and in-land rivers of Western Europe in subsequent decades. In the beginning of the 900's, Vikings had established an encampment and base in the lower parts of the
Seine ) , mouth_location = Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''lati ...

Seine
river around
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
. In an effort to stop or reduce the relentless raids,
Charles the Simple Charles III (17 September 879 – 7 October 929), called the Simple or the Straightforward (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communica ...

Charles the Simple
made a treaty in Saint-Clair-sur-Epte with the Viking chieftain of
Rollo Rollo ( nrf, Rou, ''Rollo(u)n''; non, Hrólfr; french: Rollon;  – ) was a Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-su ...

Rollo
in 911, granting Rollo and his Danish men authority over the area now known as
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
. This prompted Scandinavian settlers to establish themselves here and in the course of the next couple of centuries, the Norman culture emerged in Normandy.Rollo was most likely from Norway himself and the new settlers in Normandy were not Danes exclusively. See ''"A History of the Vikings"''.See ''"Viking Trade and Settlement in Continental Western Europe"''.


Historical texts

Important historical documents that tell about the tribal Danes include: * ''
Widsith "Widsith" ( ang, Widsið), also known as "The Traveller's Song", is an Old English poem of 143 lines. It survives only in the ''Exeter Book The Exeter Book, Exeter Cathedral Library MS 3501, also known as the Codex Exoniensis, is a 10th-centu ...
'' * ''
Beowulf ''Beowulf'' (; ang, Bēowulf ) is an Old English epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem Narrative poetry is a form of poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literat ...

Beowulf
''. This poem describes an event in
Lejre Lejre is a railway town, with a population of 2,834 (1 January 2021),Gesta Danorum ''Gesta Danorum'' ("Deeds of the Danes Danes ( da, danskere, ) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European ...
"'' (Deeds of The Danes) written in the 12th century.


See also

*
Danes Danes ( da, danskere, ) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a lang ...
, the present inhabitants of Denmark. *
Getae The Getae ( ) or Gets ( ; grc, Γέται, singular ) were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube The Danube ( ; ) is Europe's List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest ri ...
*
Dacians The Dacians (; la, Daci ; grc-gre, Δάκοι, Δάοι, Δάκαι) were a Thracians, Thracian people who were the ancient inhabitants of the cultural region of Dacia, located in the area near the Carpathian Mountains and west of the Black Sea ...
*
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
*
Norsemen The Norsemen (or Norse people) were a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are ...
*
Rus' people 312px, upright=2.2, Map showing the major Varangian trade routes: the the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks (in red) and the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks (in purple). Other trade routes of the 8th to the 11th centuri ...
*
Varangians The Varangians (; non, Væringjar; gkm, Βάραγγοι, ''Várangoi'';Varangian
" Online Etymo ...
*
Vikings Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In ...

Vikings
*
Danegeld The Danegeld (; "Danish tax", literally "Dane yield" or tribute) was a tax raised to pay tribute to the Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr were the seafaring Norse people from southern Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norwa ...
*
List of ancient Germanic peoples This list of ancient s is an inventory of ancient Germanic cultures, tribal groupings and other alliances of Germanic tribes and civilisations in ancient times. The information comes from various ancient historical documents, beginning in the 2nd ...


Notes and references

Text notes References


Sources and further reading

* * Mads Lidegaard (2004): ''"Hvad troede de på? – religiøse tanker i oldtid og vikingetid" hat did they believe in? – religious thoughts in ancient times and the Viking Age', Gyldendal,
Mads Lidegaard
(1915–2006) was a prolific writer, teacher and theologian from Denmark. *


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:Danes (Germanic Tribe) Early Germanic peoples North Germanic tribes