GENETIC BOUNDARIES: 'A pioneering study into [Britain's] genetic heritage ... shows that up to 40 per cent of [British] DNA may be from Germanic ancestors, and not the Vikings, thanks to the Anglo-Saxon migrations in 450-600AD. The project, carried out by Oxford University, is particularly interesting because it would seem that this genetic make-up bears out those old traditions and clichés about how [people] relate to each other. So the age-old rivalries between Devon and Cornwall – take…
The Vikings did not always set out with war in mind. Finds of large cargo ships and wealthy trading towns give a more nuanced picture of the period. It was a time in which trading in everything from slaves to silk and iron flourished. Finds of Arabic silver coins in Scandinavia and a small Buddha figure in Sweden testify to how distant the trading connections could be.
After 911, the Viking Rollo was the first Norman count of Rouen. His successors were called Dukes of Normandy. These dukes increased the strength of Normandy, although they had to observe the superiority of the king of France. They held on to some territory in Scandinavia and the right to enter those lands by sea. The aristocracy was composed of a small group of Scandinavian men, while the majority of the Norman political leaders were of Frankish descent.
The Viking Rollo was a real person but not much is known about his origin. In a 911 treaty he received the French City Rouen and surrounding lands. In return he and his warriors would defend the area and were baptised as Chrsitians. The area became known as Normandie, the land of the Northmen.