Danish Invaders Led by Canute Conquer England (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Danish invaders led by Canute conquer England, launching the nineteen-year reign of Canute, a period of benign leadership, relative peace, and strengthening bonds between England and the Christian Church in Rome.
Summary of Event
For more than two hundred years, starting about 789, Viking warriors from Denmark and Norway harassed the peoples of the British Isles. Indeed, a familiar prayer uttered by the hapless Britons petitioned God, “From the fury of the Norsemen, good Lord deliver us!” Adding to the slaughter, warrior earls and would-be kings among the resident Saxons battled for the right to rule Britain. A nineteen-year interlude of peace transformed the country when Canute, a Danish Viking who had been baptized a Christian, became the ruler of all of England in 1016.
Historians are not in full agreement about the meaning of the word viking. As a verb, the term had been used in the original written sources to mean piracy or a pirate raid; as a noun, it was used to mean a pirate or raider. Whatever the term’s exact meaning, the Vikings were bold, bloodthirsty plunderers. Roaming the seas in their well-crafted long boats or dragon ships, they primarily attacked the British Isles. In 793, a Viking raid on the monastery of Lindisfarne, located off the Northumbrian coast, horrified the Christian world. The invaders slaughtered some of the monks, took others to sell as slaves,...
(The entire section is 1511 words.)
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