The Last Journey of the Vikings is a docudrama series about the Viking People. They traveled widely and shaped European politics. What is the truth about the Vikings? In the Eighth Century, the Vikings started appearing along the coasts of Europe. With their fierce warriors, they gained a reputation as Europe’s terrorizers. They targeted monasteries because the monks could not defend themselves. Eventually, the Vikings’ strategy changed. They mixed with the powerful. So why did the Vikings become pirates? How did they spread their influence over Europe? Tune into this documentary to find out.
The Sixth Century has come to Europe. The Roman Empire has collapsed and with it the stability Europe enjoyed. The people of Scandinavia started moving to find the tools needed for life. Why were the Scandinavians the only people that moved? What sort of events happened to cause the people to move? Perhaps it was a series of volcanic events and blocked the sun and caused bad harvests.
Animals and people died during this period and the survivors moved to try to find a better life. Villages have been abandoned. Agricultural land has been returned to the forest. There is also violence as settlements were attacked. People were left unburied where they fell. Death was a common companion. The powerful seized additional lands at the expense of the people. The ruling class’s power was transformed. Eventually, the climate changed, but life would be different.
The survivors would reorganize. Territories were created. New government structures emerged. The world was less crowded. Land could be snapped up by the powerful. Hierarchies were created. Social classes started emerging. The warrior was held up on a pedestal. The warriors could protect the people. These warriors would emerge as leaders. Warfare becomes part of life.
Women emerged as power players, especially when the men were not at home. They took care of the house. They were the crafters in society. They made sure that land was planted. Women were given large dowries when they were married. If the couple divorced, she would be taken care of. If she married again, she would improve her new husband’s fortunes. They helped the men engage in travel and warfare.
The sea started to rise in importance. The Scandinavian people knew how to build the boat. However, if they wanted to expand their horizons they would have to learn to build sea-going vessels. They knew about how Rome built ships because of their contacts with the Roman Empire. However, the Vikings would build ships the way that suited them best. Both men and women came together to shipbuilding. The men cut the logs and formed them for the planks. The women wove the sails. After months of hard work, the ships are completed. Now the Scandinavian people could start planning expeditions. Where would these ships take them? What would they do on these expeditions? How did the word “Viking” emerge for these people? Tune into the Last Journey of the Vikings to find out!
This first episode was rather slow going at times. It took time to introduce the society where the Vikings emerged. It was thought-provoking and will give the viewer something to chew on. It is foundational to learning more about the Vikings. If you need a quick primer on the Vikings then turn to this episode of the Last Journey of the Vikings.
This is a French-produced documentary bringing together a variety of experts. If there are foreign-language speakers, there are English subtitles. The documentary is also broken down into chapters which makes it easy for viewing or picking clips for use in the classroom.
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