Edgar Allen Poe

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade December 2001

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The Vikings lived in Europe , and they came from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (Scandinavia). They were famous for their sailing abilities. They sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to find new land and settled in Iceland.

Some of the reasons why they sailed to find new lands was adventure and the search for better farm land. Eric the Red sailed from Iceland and founded and named Greenland. Eric's son, Leif Ericson, sailed from Greenland and founded Vinland (Newfoundland).

The Vikings were ruthless warriors and raiders. The most weapons most used were swords, battleaxes and spears. The swords were sharp on both edges, battleaxes had a large curved blade. They used two types of spears, one for throwing, and one for thrusting.

For protection in battle they wore a thick leather tunic. They wore an iron helmet that had a vertical bar to protect their faces. They would carry a big round shield, which was painted and sometimes covered with leather.

The Vikings were good ship builders. Their boats were called longships. They didn't use plans to build with. The Vikings' longship had a special design, they were long and narrow. They built it out of oak planks and put animal hair, dipped in tar, in between the cracks of the overlapping planks to keep it water tight. The boat was powered by oars and usually had a single sail.

There were usually forty warriors on board at a time. They were chosen for how well they could work the oars and for their strength. When there was a storm they had to bale out to keep the ship afloat. On voyages they needed lots of food, so they took dried meat, hard-baked bread, smoked fish, beer and water with them.

Their ships were very important to them. The wealthy...