An account of the struggle between Viking invaders and the inhabitants of the British Isles
The inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland struggled for about two hundred and fifty years against the Viking raiders. For many years they contented themselves with quick assaults against a few mostly defenceless targets before disappearing over the sea with their ill-gotten gains. Eventually they began to establish permanent settlements and finally banded together in a Heathen Army to conquer whole swathes of Anglo-Saxon England. Their domination was curbed by Alfred the Great and the Danelaw was governed alongside the whole of England by his successors until a Danish resurgence occurred during the reign of the weak king Aethelred the Unraed.
Viking was a term which came into use at a later time to describe raiders from the sea coasts of Norway, Denmark and southern Sweden. They were also known as Norsemen (from Norway) or Danes and their language was Old Norse. Their seamanship, navigation skills and shipbuilding technology was so good that they ventured over the Atlantic Ocean to Greenland and North America and down the Russian river system to Byzantium, the surviving eastern rump of the Roman Empire.