Actually, Vikings were "traders" rather than "raiders" the name may have come from vik which referred to creeks or bays where viking ships could navigate, or it came from the English wyk meaning trading settlements. Vikings often set up temporary settlements on land accessible to the sea.
Since they did not speak English, the folks they first came in contact with probably attacked them first. However, the vikings had better bronze swords and sharp axes to defend themselves. The result was the attackers lost.
So much for rewriting history. I suppose history would look very different if only the vanquished were permitted to write it.
Some of my ancient ancestors were there in Normandy and joined up with that English guy William the "Conqueror." They left Normandy and took over England, Ireland and Scotland for a while before returning to Sauda. While they were in England they set up a legal system and organized educational programs to civilize the folk who were living off the kings deer. I saw the impact of my relatives along the Dordogne river during my vacation last summer, pretty interesting, here's a URL to that page.
The Vikings are proud to have not ever participated in ethnic cleansing and it is not true what the English said about whether they washed up after partying. Rather than committing genocide, the Vikings liked to leave their genes all over the place. After all, where do you think all the blonde Russians and Italians came from?
Vikings had some of the best parties in diverse and interesting surroundings. Skoal used to be said as wine was drunk out of some poor bloke's cranium. Vikings also liked to announce that they had been there by carving stuff into the stone walls of buildings. I suppose you could say they were intense tourists.
There is some "runic" script carved into an ancient griffin statue in Saint Marks's square in Venice, Italy. It probably said "I Bjorn-the-fairhaired came and saw this marvelous town and drank some wine with the nice folks."
Visit the Holmboe Meyer's web site in Norway that tells of the Vikings that lived near Stavanger, Norway near where my ancestors came from and also see my Greetings for Ekte Norsk StatNislanders
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