Viking Ax Southern Scandinavia 9-10 Centuries 1/32 Scale Unpainted Tin Figure
Theme: Vikings & Barbarians
Scale : 1/32
Material : Tin
Recommended Age Range: 12 Years & Up
Vikings were the Norse people from southern Scandinavia (in present-day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries raided and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, and explored westwards to Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. In modern English and other vernaculars, the term also commonly includes the inhabitants of Norse home communities during this period. This period of the Nordic military, mercantile, and demographic expansion had a profound impact on the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Estonia, Kievan Rus', and Sicily.
Expert sailors and navigators aboard their characteristic longships, Vikings voyaged as far as the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, and the Middle East. After decades of exploration around the coasts and rivers of Europe, Vikings established Norse communities and governments scattered across north-western Europe, Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia, the North Atlantic islands all the way to the north-eastern coast of North America. While spreading Norse culture to foreign lands, they simultaneously brought home strong foreign cultural influences to Scandinavia, profoundly changing the historical development of both. During the Viking Age, the Norse homelands were gradually consolidated into three larger kingdoms, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The Normans, descendants of Vikings who conquered and gave their name to what is now Normandy, also formed the aristocracy of England after the Norman conquest of England.
Norse civilization during the Viking Age was technologically, militarily, and culturally advanced. Yet popular, modern conceptions of the Vikings—a term frequently applied casually to their modern Scandinavian descendants—often strongly differ from the complex, advanced civilization of the Norsemen that emerges from archaeology and historical sources. A romanticized picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century; this developed and became widely propagated during the 19th-century Viking revival. 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 typically based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy. These representations are rarely accurate—for example, there is no evidence that they wore horned helmets, a costume element that first appeared in Wagnerian opera.