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The Viking attack on the British island of Lindisfarne in 793 A.D. is considered to mark the beginning of the Viking Age. Along with the Isle of Ione, which was similarly attacked by the Vikings in 795, Lindisfarne was considered a holy site to Christianity where that religion took root and from which the spread of Christianity was further spread. Located off the northeast coast of England, Lindisfarne is actually attached to the mainland, but the thin strand of land connecting it to England proper is submerged during high tide, rendering it detached for certain hours of the day. Its most prominent landmark is the large ancient monastery that provided the foundation for the location’s religious role in spreading Church doctrine. The monastery was founded by Saint Aidan during the 7th Century and served as the center of operations for Church efforts as spreading the faith throughout the northern regions of the country. The attack by Viking raiders during the late 8th Century was described by one scholar as follows:
“Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race. . . .The heathens poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies of saints in the temple of God, like dung in the streets.”
The Viking raid on Lindisfarne was followed by a pattern of ever-expanding assaults by Norwegian and Danish Vikings that saw them expand their presence across much of the known world.
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