Skip to comments.Rebirth of the Viking warship that may have helped Canute conquer the seas
Posted on 12/31/2012 10:31:40 AM PST by SunkenCiv
When the sleek, beautiful silhouette of Roskilde 6 appeared on the horizon, 1,000 years ago, it was very bad news. The ship was part of a fleet carrying an army of hungry, thirsty warriors, muscles toned by rowing and sailing across the North Sea; a war machine like nothing else in 11th-century Europe, its arrival meant disaster was imminent.
Now the ship's timbers are slowly drying out in giant steel tanks at the Danish national museum's conservation centre at Brede outside Copenhagen... to be a star attraction at an exhibition in the British Museum.
The largest Viking warship ever found, it was discovered by chance in 1996 at Roskilde. It is estimated that building it would have taken up to 30,000 hours of skilled work, plus the labour of felling trees and hauling materials. At just over 36 metres, it was four metres longer than Henry VIII's flagship Mary Rose...
...It was built some time after 1025 when the oak trees were felled, and held 100 warriors taking turns on 39 pairs of oars if there was not enough wind to fill the square woollen sail. They would have been packed in tightly, sleeping as they could between the seats, with little room for supplies except a minimal amount of fresh water or ale or mead, which would not have gone stale as fast and dried salt mutton...
The ship would probably not have come alone. "There are records in the annals of fleets of hundreds of ships," Williams said. "So you could be talking about an army of up to 10,000 men suddenly landing on your coast, highly trained, fit, capable of moving very fast on water or land." Such luxury ships were fabulously expensive to build and a devastating display of power, Williams said.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
The big Viking boats were scaled up from the earlier river boats ~ some writers refer to remains having been dug up in the mountains (where'd they'd been frozen for millenia) that match the stone age carved designs.
It's uncanny, but if you've ever shopped IKEA you know you get visual instructions on how to put stuff together ~ they look remarkably like ancient Sa'ami carvings that instruct you on how to hunt for bear, sail a boat, row in a river, spear a whale ~ whatever.
You did know the Scandinavians were pretty desperate ~ food was always short. They'd take to sea in vessels best used for fuel for a campfire.
Did they have a buffet? I think you have to have a buffet. And hot tubs. What kind of shore excursions did they have?
“Laugh and play at our LOOT AND PILLAGE excursion! Reduce that stress by hacking off the heads of peasants! Work on your aerobic capacity by chasing monks! It’s all fun and only $75 per family member!”
What kind of towel animals do you get on a Viking cruise? A dragon? A herring? And what goes on at the Captains Dinner.
“Welcome back, Smith family. I see little Johnny is still wearing that necklace of ears from your last cruise. More champagne?”
Henry VIII's "Mary Rose" flagship
I don't know why this article compares the two. They are 500 years apart and quite different.
The comparison was for size, as stated, to show just how large the Viking vessel was. And it was just one of many. Svein Forkbeard (Canute’s father) spent about 20 years building barracks, training men, and laying keels to prepare for the invasion.
The Vikings, friendly merchants from the North.......
“You cut off John’s head!!!”
“That’s one of our business strategies.”
We should also keep in mind that in 1066 AD, Viking conquerors/settlers of northwestern France( AKA the Normans (Norse men)) under William essentially used this same knowledge to organize and execute the only successful cross channel invasion of the British Isles to date.
To be fair, the Saxons were a bit thin on the ground at Hastings, having just force marched down from eastern England where they met and destroyed an earlier invasion of Vikings (this time from Norway)at Stamford Bridge.
Wikipedia has a short article on the battle for the bridge and how it interplays with the Battle of Hastings 3 weeks later:
Aw, you’re just culturally insensitive...
NEW ARMY HANDBOOK: ‘IGNORANCE’ AND ‘LACK OF EMPATHY’ CAUSE OF U.S. DEATHS
Henry VIII's "Mary Rose" flagshipIt's an English paper.
I don't know why this article compares the two. They are 500 years apart and quite different.
In the woulda-coulda-shoulda / what-if scenarios for 1066, it’s been said and written that Harold did right to hustle back to the south to meet the new threat (he no doubt had good intel), but that a pause to continue to muster in, for example, his capital, would have been prudent, and might have made the difference.
Unreconstructed Marxist and media entertainer James Burke attributed William the Bastard’s victory at Battle / Senlac / Hastings to the use by his forces of the stirrup. Ultimately, you’re spot on — the English army was possibly the best in Europe at that time (until that day, heh), but “a bit little thin on the ground”.
Perhaps my favorite anecdote from that tumultuous month is the parley held between the enemies at Stamford Bridge. The English spokesperson offered Tostig everything north of the Humber. Tostig asked, what do you offer my ally, Harald (Haardrada) of Norway? The Englishman said, six feet of English turf, or however much taller he is than other men. Tostig refused these terms, and the spokesperson turned and rode back to his lines with his small party. King Harald asked Tostig, “who was that man?” Tostig answered, “Harold, King of England.” Harald added that he sat his horse well.
One of those “those were the days” moments.
The English surprised the invading force by reaching the area so quickly. It parallels the northern campaign by Aethelstan over 100 years earlier — Aethelstan arrived in force and quite without warning, attacking the two enemy allies separately and defeating them as it were in detail, piecemeal. Harold II seems to have had very good advance warning of the invasion, mustering, marching, and actually catching the Norse sans armor (it was a hot day) and cutting them off from their boats.
Britain didn’t get to be mostly England by accident. :’)
The mods deleted the photo, my apologies, it must have been a forbidden source.
Thanks for your reply.
Read a book some years ago that noted the dryer-than-usual September weather in southern England in the weeks leading up to the Battle of Hastings. The author felt that the firm, dry ground would have favored the Norman calvary in their ability to gather speed charging uphill toward the Saxon shield wall and allowed sustained attacks over ground that, in a more typically wet fall, would have been churned into a man and horse-immobilizing morass. In such an event, the stirrup would have counted for little. (When thinking of the muddy battlefield alternative, I conger up images of the Kenneth Branagh depiction of Agincourt: rain, mud, clanging steel, and blood.)
IIRC, the battle lasted far longer than normal for those times; a testament to the stubborn courage of the House Carls, depleted as their ranks were, and all the more admirable after the death of King Harold sealed their fate.
I named my Great Dane Canute. After all, king
Canute was a great Dane and my Canute definitely is a Great Dane.
Except that by 1066 the Normans weren’t really Vikings anymore. They were French.
Also, there have been multiple successful cross-channel invasions of the British Isles, although generally with significant on-island support.
William of Orange.
To name a few.
Did you have him Caneutered?
The Normans were ethnically a little of both, speaking French with a lot of loanwords. The same thing happened after the Conquest — they picked up and dropped off words from and into English, like ‘beef’ and ‘mutton’.
And SL, Britain is indeed one of the most invaded places on Earth, although there hasn’t been a successful one since the William and Mary’s “Glorious Revolution”. The old Celtic work “The Book of Invasions” more or less documents the pre-Roman invasions of the British Isles, and there’s a lot of time between the melting of the glaciers and the beginning of the surviving folk tradition for many others.
The Normans, their aristocracy anyway, were largely Norse in ancestry, though probably mostly on the paternal side. Probably acquired wives locally, for the most part.
By 1066 they’d become more or less indistinguishable from the native French around them culturally and linguistically over the 150 years since they settled in Normandy.
But given their multiple conquests from Ireland to England to Italy to Palestine, it’s pretty clear that the Normans had a “fire in the belly” unmatched by any other region of France. It’s difficult to not assign some sort of ethnic component to it.
It is a very poor comparison for the English. This flagship of the second non-Norman king since 1066 (The Tudors were Welsh), was not only shorter but also less sea worthy.
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