As incursões vikings no Norte de Portugal

André Marques, Mário Jorge Barroca, Luís Carlos Amaral

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A significant body of research, recently revived, has gathered some information about Viking expeditions to the Iberian shores between the 9th and early 12th centuries, drawing mostly on narrative sources (either Nordic, Latin or Arabic). Very little is known, though, about the scenario that the Vikings actually encountered when they moored along this coast or entered its estuaries, and about the types of interaction involved in (and ensuing) their attacks; which is the kind of issue best approached through local records. Using both archaeological and written sources, this paper aims to reassess the scanty evidence available to us on the Portuguese Christian area in order to answer a basic question: was such interaction all about violence and loot? We shall look first at coastal settlement, traditionally seen as being very sparse, although this image owes much to the geographical coverage of the extant records. Then we shall dwell on three main aspects of the Vikings interaction with local people: (i) their attacks, as viewed from the standpoint of locals, (ii) the ransoms these had to pay to have their captive relatives released, and (iii) some places that might suggest some kind of Viking settlement.
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationMil anos da Incursão Normanda ao Castelo de Vermoim
EditorsMário Jorge Barroca, Armando Coelho da Silva
Place of PublicationPorto
PublisherCâmara Municipal de Vila Nova de Famalicão | Centro de Investigação Transdisciplinar “Cultura, Espaço e Memória” (CITCEM) - Universidade do Porto
Number of pages41
ISBN (Print)978-989-8351-97-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Viking diaspora
  • Fortified settlements
  • Early medieval Iberia
  • Portugal

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