By Robert Reed
Do you have a friend who occasionally loves to hop in a longship and go raiding? Perhaps, they also like jewellery, plaiting their beard, incredibly violent poetry and games of chess? If the answer is ‘yes’, possibly they are a Viking.
The Viking Age lasted for about three hundred years: from the 790s until the Norman conquest of England in 1066. As well as being skilled sailors and warriors the Vikings were traders, mercenaries, settlers and farmers.
They explored and colonised islands in the North Atlantic even reaching as far as Newfoundland in Canada. They had a profound effect on British and Irish history in particular. They traded along the Volga River and as far south as Baghdad.
Many of their exploits were recorded in Icelandic sagas and on rune stones. They were famous for ferocity in battle: the word berserk comes from the Norse habit of going completely loco in combat.
However, conversion to Christianity slowly curbed the Vikings of the more anti-social aspects of their behaviour, much to the relief of their neighbours.
Generally speaking, it’s probably best for your health to invite your Viking friend to join a yoga club, or maybe take up knitting.
Scripted for use in the assemblies, read about a funny Viking story Don’t Argue with Eric http://artdramascripts.com/ks2_playscripts/vikings.