Vikings without towns, ports and sails...

by Gunnar Heinsohn

It is the famous Viking longship with its oars and square sail, suitable for ocean voyage and river warfare alike, that made these norsemen such a swift and effective power. Just as these daring seafarers shocked 8th-10th c. Europeans, Vikings still stun modern maritime historians. Why did these Scandinavian raiders waste the first 700 years of the 1st millennium CE before they could finally bring themselves to build ports and use sails? After all, the oared long boat with a square sail had been used in Europe since Greeceā€™s Archaic Period in the 6th c. BCE...

Go to the article