The Vikings in Norfolk

When the Vikings in England are mentioned, most people these days think of the Jorvic Centre at York. York seems to have monopolized the Vikings, turning them into tourist dollars. But, after the decisive Battle of Etheldun at which King Alfred of Wessex forced the Danish invaders to accept Christian baptism, it was to East Anglia rather than Northumbria that the great army withdrew.

It was in Norfolk that they settled and lent their names to new villages with Scandinavian place-names ending in – by or linked Scandinavian personal names with Old English ones as in the case of Grimston. The presence of the Vikings in Norfolk is borne out by typical Viking graves as well as miscellaneous objects that have been found in the region. A man was found at Middle Harling with an iron knife, two iron pivotal bladed knives, a spur, buckle and whetstone – a funerary form that conformed to Danish standards and ignored the implications of the Anglo – Danish treaty signed with King Alfred. The only other pagan burial in East Anglia was that of a well–to-do woman discovered in 1876 at Saffron Walden, Essex. The skeleton had a necklace composed of two ornamented silver pendants, two carnelian, two glass and two crystal beads. However, the real effects of the Danish settlement were felt in the burgeoning urban centres. Two small Anglian towns, Norwich and Thetford, were transformed swiftly under the Danish hegemony. 

The conquerors, it seems, were familiar with Continental market practice, and with focused energy set about developing new regional towns as well as commodity industries such as the mass-produced Thetford wares. The many street names of Norwich bear witness to their Scandinavian influence: Finkelgate, for instance, has two Scandinavian elements, finkel meaning crooked, or, as suggested recently cuddle, the street name thus being translated as Lovers’ Lane.

by Richard Hodges in History Today, 2005


1. Most people today tend to associate the Scandinavian presence in medieval England with York because
A. the Jorvik Centre in that city is a major tourist attraction.
B. the Vikings army retreated to York after it had been defeated by the Saxon King Alfred.
C. a great number of Vikings were baptized at York at King Alfred’s command.
D. the Vikings tended to settle down around York.

2. English place-names of Scandinavian origin
A. can only be found near York
B. can also be found in Norfolk
C. usually end in – ton.
D. usually end in –ford.

3. Evidence of the Viking presence in Norfolk is provided by
A. archaeological excavations of pagan burials.
B. archaeological excavations of Viking castles.
C. the discovery of objects produced in Denmark.
D. All of the above.

4. The most important impact of the Viking presence in Norfolk was in the area of
A. town development.
B. Bible scholarship and translation.
C. cattle breeding.
D. castle architecture.

Няма коментари:

Публикуване на коментар