The Vikings were originally diverse Scandinavian seafarers from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark (though other nationalities were later involved) whose raids and subsequent settlements significantly impacted the cultures of Europe and were felt as far as the Mediterranean regions c. 790 - c. 1100 CE. The Vikings were all Scandinavian but not all Scandinavians were Vikings.

More about: Vikings


  • c. 4000 BCE - c. 2300 BCE
    Depictions of ships in stone (in burial settings) and metal found in Scandinavia.
  • c. 350 BCE
    Hjortspring boat - the earliest known plank-built Scandinavian vessel.
  • c. 200 CE - c. 400 CE
    Roman technology used by Vikings in shipbuilding.
  • c. 350 CE - c. 400 CE
    The Nydam Ship built, first able to easily travel long distance overseas.
  • c. 750 CE - c. 800 CE
    The presumed founding of the important Viking trading center of Birka in Sweden.
  • 780 CE - 950 CE
    The commercial Viking centre at Kaupang thrives.
  • c. 790 CE - c. 880 CE
    Style E (also 'Oseberg' or 'Broa' style) of the Scandinavian animal ornamentation styles flourished between the late 8th- and late 9th century CE.
  • c. 790 CE - c. 1100 CE
    The Viking Age.
  • 793 CE
    First Viking raid in Britain at Lindisfarne Abbey.
  • c. 800 CE - c. 1050 CE
    Approximate timespan of the Viking Age.
  • c. 829 CE - c. 831 CE
    The Frankish missionary St. Ansgar (801-865 CE) first introduces the Swedes to Christianity in the Viking trading town of Birka.
  • 845 CE
    Viking chief Ragnar Lothbrok raids Paris.
  • c. 850 CE - c. 990 CE
    The Borre Style of the Viking Age animal ornamentation styles flourished between c. 850 and the late 10th century CE.
  • 854 CE - 858 CE
    Viking raids on West Francia allegedly led by Bjorn Ironside and Hastein (although this attribution is more likely legendary rather than historical).
  • 876 CE
    Viking raids involving Rollo.
  • 885 CE - 886 CE
    Viking siege of Paris. Odo of West Francia successfully defends the city.
  • c. 890 CE - c. 990 CE
    The Jelling Style, a Viking Age animal ornamentation style, cropped up just before 900 CE and was in vogue until the end of the 10th century CE.
  • c. 900 CE
    Viking Hedeby is at its height. It encompasses an area of around 24 hectares and has a population of approximately 1,500 people.
  • c. 950 CE - c. 1000 CE
    The Mammen Style, a Scandinavian animal ornamentation style, flourished in this period.
  • c. 950 CE
    The Viking trading center of Birka in present-day Sweden goes into abrupt decline around the mid-10th century CE.
  • c. 990 CE - c. 1050 CE
    The Ringerike Style, a Scandinavian animal ornamentation style, flourished in this period.
  • c. 1000 CE
    Vikings first land in North America, in Newfoundland and other parts of eastern Canada.
  • c. 1040 CE - c. 1100 CE
    The Urnes style, the last of the Viking Age animal ornamentation styles, flourished in this period and even extended into the 12th century CE in certain locations.
  • 1066 CE
    Viking Hedeby is sacked by Polabian Slavs, after already having been sacked by Harald Hardrada of Norway a few years before. Residents relocate to Schleswig, and Hedeby's role as mercantile center ceases.
  • c. 1066 CE
    Harald Hardrada of the Vikings killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge; accepted date of the end of the Viking Age.
  • 25 Sep 1066 CE
    Battle of Stamford Bridge in which Harold Godwinson (Harold II) defeats an invading army led by Harald Hardrada, king of Norway.
  • 21 Sep 1069 CE
    A Viking force led by King Sweyn II of Denmark's brother Asbjorn sacks York.
  • May 1070 CE
    King Sweyn II of Denmark joins forces with Anglo-Saxon rebels led by Hereward the Wake to threaten East Anglia in England.
  • c. 1220 CE
    The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson is written.
  • c. 1270 CE
    The Poetic Edda is written. It contains poetry that dates further back, though.
  • 2018 CE
    The Viking trading center of Hedeby is made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018: the "Archaeological Border complex of Hedeby and the Danevirke".