Vikings were Norse seafarers speaking the Old Norse language, who during the late 8th to late 11th centuries and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, explored westwards to Iceland and Vinland. The term is commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Norse home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age; this period of Nordic military and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Kievan Rus' and Sicily. Facilitated by advanced sailing and navigational skills, characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East. Following extended phases of exploration and settlement, Viking communities and governments were established in diverse areas of north-western Europe, Belarus and European Russia, the North Atlantic islands and as far as the north-eastern coast of North America.
This period of expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while introducing strong foreign cultural influences into Scandinavia itself, with profound developmental implications in both directions. Popular, modern conceptions of the Vikings—the term applied casually to their modern descendants and the inhabitants of modern Scandinavia—often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and historical sources. A romanticised picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century. Perceived views of the Vikings as alternatively violent, piratical heathens or as intrepid adventurers owe much to conflicting varieties of the modern Viking myth that had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations of the Vikings are based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy; these representations are not always accurate — for example, there is no evidence that they wore horned helmets.
One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning "creek, small bay". Various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken, meaning "a person from Viken". According to this theory, the word described persons from this area, it is only in the last few centuries that it has taken on the broader sense of early medieval Scandinavians in general. However, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from the Viken area were not called'Viking' in Old Norse manuscripts, but are referred to as víkverir,'Vík dwellers'. In addition, that explanation could explain only the masculine and ignore the feminine, a serious problem because the masculine is derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa; the form occurs as a personal name on some Swedish runestones. The stone of Tóki víking was raised in memory of a local man named Tóki who got the name Tóki víking because of his activities as a viking; the Gårdstånga Stone uses the phrase "ÞeR drængaR waRu wiða unesiR i wikingu", referring to the stone's dedicatees as vikings.
The Västra Strö 1 Runestone has an inscription in memory of a Björn, killed when "i viking". In Sweden there is a locality known since the middle ages as Vikingstad; the Bro Stone was risen in memory of Assur, said to have protected the land from vikings. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age. Another etymology, one that gained support in the early twenty-first century, derives Viking from the same root as Old Norse vika, f.'sea mile', originally'the distance between two shifts of rowers', from the root *weik or *wîk, as in the Proto-Germanic verb *wîkan,'to recede'. This is found in the Proto-Nordic verb *wikan,'to turn', similar to Old Icelandic víkja'to move, to turn', with well-attested nautical usages. Linguistically, this theory is better attested, the term most predates the use of the sail by the Germanic peoples of North-Western Europe, because the Old Frisian spelling shows that the word was pronounced with a palatal k and thus in all probability existed in North-Western Germanic before that palatalisation happened, that is, in the 5th century or before.
In that case, the idea behind it seems to be that the tired rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart when he relieves him. The Old Norse feminine víking may have been a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers, i.e. a long-distance sea journey, because in the pre-sail era, the shifting of rowers would distinguish long-distance sea journeys. A víkingr would originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers. In that case, the word Viking was not connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas. In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, which dates from the 9th century. In Old English, in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term referred to Scandi
Norrtälje is a locality and the seat of Norrtälje Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden with 17,275 inhabitants in 2010. It is the capital of Roslagen and is an idyllic small town with centuries-old buildings and a medieval road network. There are shops and cafés, art galleries, museums, small delicatessens with local produce, the inspiring interior design shops and cozy cafés; the city's pubs have jazz and blues on the program. The whole town sways during the summer's Norrtälje's Jazz Days. Norrtälje’s early history dates back to the Iron Age. Around 225 ancient monuments have been found within. Three ancient castles are assumed to have stood in the former villages Nordrona and Knutby. Norrtälje traces its more recent history to 1219. After some time, the name became Norrtälje, to distinguish it from the other Tälje in the province, Södertälje; the city arms were created. In 1719, large parts of the central town were burnt down by a Russian army during the Russian Pillage of 1719-1721; the new stone church was not finished until 1726, it was another four years before the city hall was completed.
Norrtälje had a railway station on the narrow gauge Roslagsbanan from 1884 to 1969. It is now served by SL buses as a part of the system of public transport in Stockholm. Norrtälje has a first class industrial heritage displayed in the Pythagoras Mechanical Workshop Museum, based in the premises of a former hot bulb engine factory. Norrtälje has a humid continental climate with some maritime influence. In comparison to county seat and national capital Stockholm some 70 kilometres to the south, Norrtälje has higher snowfall and cooler temperatures. Summers are variable and can be either warm or quite subdued; the charts are from the 1961-1990 reference data, in surrounding stations these temperature figures have risen since, which could render Norrtälje leaning more towards a cool maritime climate in latter decades. The official station number assigned to Norrtälje is 8644; the following sports clubs are located in Norrtälje: BKV NorrtäljeNorrtälje IK Eddie Läck, goaltender for the Carolina Hurricanes Stockholm archipelago Roslagen
Sigtuna is a locality situated in Sigtuna Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden with 8,444 inhabitants in 2010. It is the namesake of the municipality though the seat is in Märsta. Sigtuna is, despite its small population, for historical reasons still referred to as a stad. Statistics Sweden, only counts localities with more than 10,000 inhabitants as stads. Although less significant today, Sigtuna has an important place in Sweden's early history, it is the oldest town in Sweden, having been founded in 980. The history of Sigtuna before the 11th century, as described in the Norse sagas and other early medieval sources, can be found in the article Old Sigtuna. Sigtuna has a picturesque medieval town centre with restaurants and small shops; the old church ruins, runic stones and the old main street are popular attractions for tourists in the summertime. The small streets with the low built wooden houses lead up to several handicrafts shops and the old tiny town hall. There are a hotel in the town centre.
Sigtuna is situated at the bay Skarven, stretching around a part of Lake Mälaren. Sigtuna was founded on what was the shore of Lake Mälaren just over 1,000 years ago, it took its name from an ancient royal estate several kilometers to the west. Various sources claim King Eric the Victorious as founder, it operated as a royal and commercial centre for some 250 years, was one of the most important cities of Sweden. During a brief period at the end of the 10th and beginning of the 11th century, Sweden's first coins were minted here. St. Mary's Church, built in the 13th century by the Dominican order as a monastery church, still remains intact; the Dominican monastery played an important role in the Swedish Middle Ages and produced many important Church officials. Among them, many Swedish archbishops. Many church and monastery ruins still stand, including St. Pers Church dating the 1100s, St. Olof Church dated from around the middle of the 11th century and St. Lars Church dating from the middle of the 13th century.
In 1187 Sigtuna was attacked and pillaged by raiders from across the Baltic Sea Karelians, Curonian and/or Estonian raiders. Archaeological excavations have not verified the traditions of destruction of the town. Normal life in Sigtuna continued until town started to lose its importance during 13th century due to navigability problems caused by post-glacial rebound; the current coat of arms can be traced to the town's first known seal, dating from 1311. According to a legend Sigtuna was once the Royal seat; the crown may symbolize the large royal mint, located in the town. Since 1971 the coat of arms has been valid for the much larger Sigtuna Municipality. In the late 19th century, it still only hosted about 600 people, was the smallest town in Sweden; the town remained insignificant until the second half of the 20th century. Much of the population growth can be related to Stockholm Arlanda Airport situated some 10 km from Sigtuna. Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket, a famous boarding school.
Luodian is a replica of Sigtuna located in Shanghai "Sigtuna" from Nordisk familjebok Sten.
Vaxholm is a locality and the seat of Vaxholm Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden. It is located on the island of Vaxön in the Stockholm archipelago; the name Vaxholm comes from Vaxholm Castle, constructed in 1549 on an islet with this name on the inlet to Stockholm, for defence purposes, by King Gustav Vasa. For historical reasons it has always been referred to as a city, despite the small number of inhabitants, which as of 2010 total was 4,857. Vaxholm Municipality prefers to use the designation Vaxholms stad for its whole territory, including 64 islets in the Stockholm archipelago, a usage, somehow confusing; the town of Vaxholm was established in 1558, when King Gustav Vasa bought some farms from Count Per Brahe the Elder. It received rights as a merchant town and in 1652 was granted the Royal Charter; the designated coat of arms reminds of the fortifications as well as shipping industry. During the 19th century, it hardly expanded. In the 1880s, it became a popular spa town, many wooden summer houses were built by people from Stockholm.
It was not until 1912 that it allowed houses to be built from materials other than wood, giving the town a distinctive appearance. Vaxholm is situated on an island, but is linked to the Swedish mainland by a series of road bridges, a bus service connects the town to Stockholm city; the Waxholmsbolaget and other ferry lines provide boat services to central Stockholm and many of the other islands of the Stockholm archipelago. The Vaxholmsleden car ferry connects Vaxholm to the island of Rindö across the Kodjupet strait; the Kastellet ferry, an electrically powered cable ferry provides passenger access to Vaxholm Castle on its islet in the middle of the Kodjupet. The following sports clubs are located in Vaxholm: IFK Vaxholm Vaxholms IBF Vaxholms TK IK Waxholm Waxholms KK Media related to Vaxholm at Wikimedia Commons Locality of Vaxholm - Official site A Day out to Vaxholm from Stockholm - Travel Magazine, 2013
Fritillaria meleagris is a Eurasian species of flowering plant in the lily family. Its common names include snake's head fritillary, snake's head, chess flower, frog-cup, guinea-hen flower, guinea flower, leper lily, Lazarus bell, chequered lily, chequered daffodil, drooping tulip or, in northern Europe fritillary; the name Fritillaria comes from the Latin fritillus meaning dice-box referring to the chequered pattern on the flowers although this derivation has been disputed. The name meleagris means "spotted like a guineafowl"; the common name "snake's head" refers to the somewhat snakelike appearance of the nodding flower heads on their long stems. Vita Sackville-West called it "a sinister little flower, in the mournful colour of decay"; the flower is sometimes pure white. It grows between 15 -- 40 cm in height; the plant has about 2 cm in diameter, containing poisonous alkaloids. It grows in grasslands in damp soils and river meadows at altitudes up to 800 m. Fritillaria meleagris is native to Europe and western Asia but in many places it is an endangered species, found in the wild but is grown in gardens.
In Croatia, the flower is known as kockavica and is associated by some with the country's national symbol. It is the official flower of the Swedish province of Uppland, where it grows in large quantities every spring at the meadows in Kungsängen, just outside Uppsala, which gives the flower its Swedish name, kungsängslilja, it is found for example in Sandemar Nature Reserve, a nature reserve west of Dalarö in Stockholm Archipelago. In the United Kingdom there is some disagreement amongst botanists as to whether F. meleagris is a native species or a long-established garden escapee. The plant was first described in the 16th century by herbalist John Gerard who had only known of it as a garden plant and it was not recorded in the wild until 1736, which has led some to argue that it must be an escapee. However, the fact that its habitat is confined to ancient hay meadows and it does not spread to adjoining land, leads others to the conclusion that it is a native species which became isolated from the European population when Britain was cut off from mainland Europe after the last glacial period.
Clive Stace says that it is "doubtfully native". The plant was once abundant in the UK in the Thames Valley and parts of Wiltshire, was collected in vast quantities to be sold as a cut flower in the markets of London and Birmingham. During World War II most of the ancient meadows were ploughed up and turned over to the production of food crops, destroying much of the plant's habitat. Although a popular garden plant it is now rare in the wild, although there are some notable sites where it is still found, such as the meadows at Magdalen College, Iffley Meadows and the Oxfordshire village of Ducklington, which holds a "Fritillary Sunday" festival It is found in the North Meadow National Nature Reserve, Clattinger Farm Nature Reserve and Fox Fritillary Meadow and Mickfield Meadow nature reserves in Suffolk. In 2002 it was chosen as the County flower of Oxfordshire following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife. Now available as an ornamental spring bulb for the garden, it is sold as a mixture of different coloured cultivars.
The species and the pure white-flowered variety F. meleagris var. unicolor subvar. Alba have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Like many plants in the lily family, F. meleagris is susceptible to the scarlet lily beetle, which can damage or kill it. Kew plant profile: Fritillaria meleagris Fritillaria meleagris - Schachbrettblume
Märket is a small 3.3-hectare uninhabited skerry in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland, with a lighthouse as its salient manmade feature. Märket has been divided between the two countries since the Treaty of Fredrikshamn of 1809 defined the border between Sweden and the Russian Empire as going through the middle of the island; the Finnish side of the island is part of the Municipality of Hammarland and is the westernmost land point of Finland. The Swedish part of the island is itself divided by two counties of Sweden: Uppsala County and Stockholm County; the 6-nautical-mile-wide Understen–Märket Passage links the Bothnian Sea to the Baltic proper. The skerry is 350 metres long by 150 metres wide, its area is about 3.3 hectares. It is the smallest sea island shared by two countries; the name Märket comes from its usefulness as a navigation mark before there were lighthouses. The route between Sweden and Åland has a passage of about 27 kilometres length over open sea. Before the lighthouse, the island and its shallows were dangerous navigational hazards, which seafarers tried to avoid.
In 1873, as many as 23 ships were grounded on the Swedish coast and its archipelago trying to avoid Märket, eight of them were shipwrecked. Märket is detached from the main Åland archipelago, with the closest island more than 10 km away, the closest harbor, Berghamn, 23 km away in Eckerö. There is no deep harbor. There are small surfacing rocks northwest of Märket, called Märketshällor, which are too small to sustain vegetation; the island consists of smooth diabase rock, with a maximum natural elevation of two meters. Most of the area is washed over with seawater in storms, scoured by drift ice in winter. Plant life, limited to low-growing grasses and herbs, persists only in some protected spots. Twenty-three plant species have been identified altogether; the halophilic grass Puccinellia capillaris and the herbaceous Sagina nodosa are found scattered throughout the island. Among rarer species, Spergularia marina grows on Märket. Salix caprea grows on an abandoned building. There are large grey seal communities around Märket, Märket has been a target for seal safaris.
There is a lighthouse on the Finnish side of the current border, unmanned and automated since 1979. When it was built by the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1885, the island was considered a no man's land, so it was built on the highest point on the island. However, this meant; as a result, the border was adjusted in 1985 so that the lighthouse is now located on Finnish territory. The adjustment was carried out such that no net transfer of territory occurred, the ownership of the coastline was unchanged so as not to interfere with each country's fishing rights; this resulted in an unusual shape for the international border which satisfied both Finnish and Swedish interests. The adjusted border takes the form of an inverted'S', the lighthouse is connected to the rest of Finland only by a short stretch of land; the border is resurveyed every 25 years by officials representing both countries. The last such joint inspection took place in August 2006; the border is marked by holes drilled to the rock, because the seasonal drift ice would shear off any protruding markers.
Due to the Nordic Passport Union and the Schengen Agreement, there have been no passport checks or other border formalities at the border since 1958, so intra-Nordic/intra-Schengen visitors may visit the island freely. Both sides are monolingually Swedish-speaking, the Finnish side as a part of Åland; the lighthouse is in urgent need of maintenance, a Finnish interest group is trying to raise funds for its preservation. The lighthouse has been automatic since 1979 and the surrounding buildings are no longer used; the increasing general availability of GPS has made its primary function redundant. Radio amateurs around the world consider the Finnish part of Märket Reef a separate entity, distinct from Finland and Sweden; the Finnish part of Märket Reef used to be one of the world's most desired "countries" among radio amateurs due to its special status and relative remoteness. There are one or more Amateur Radio expeditions to the island every year, weather permitting. During these expeditions tens of thousands of radio contacts are made with people in several parts of the world.
At high seas, landing is only possible with a helicopter. Good pictures of Märket are shown on QSL cards; the official prefix for use on the Finnish side is OH0, as in the rest of the Åland Islands, but OJ0 is the optional call sign prefix for Märket Reef. There is a fee for using an OJ0 call sign, while the use of the OH0/ prefix in front of the own call sign is free. All radio activity on the island is by visitors on DX-peditions; when the Finnish part of the reef was given its special status in amateur radio, in the late 1960s the lighthouse keeper himself became a licensed Amateur Radio operator who used the call OH0MA. On the Swedish side of Märket Reef the callsigns 8S9M and SI8MI have been used. Märket has a continental climate affected by oceanic influences. A meteorological station has been managed by the lighthouse keepers since 1896 and an automatic station of the Finnish Meteorological Institute was inaugurated on Novemb