All through the Center Ages, a motion led by Norse explorers, merchants and warriors from Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden), led to the exploration of distant lands in pursuit of wealth and colonisation.
These explorers, traversed the shoreline of Europe, settled throughout the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, and as far west as Vinland (Canada) within the Americas.
They travelled inland by river throughout Ukraine and Russia, the place they based the Kievan Rus’ kingdom. Venturing south into the Caspian and Black Sea, they even reached the partitions of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
One space of Viking enlargement typically missed, is the interactions they performed with the shoreline of Africa.
The “Ebook of Roads and Kingdoms”, an eleventh-century geography textual content by Abu Abdullah al-Bakri, describes the Vikings as “Majus”, a time period for heathens and fire-worshipers.
Historic textual content is fragmented and open to suspicion, however in accordance with some sources, in AD 859, a big Viking fleet started raiding kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula and throughout the Mediterranean. They attacked the Kingdom of Asturias, the Emirate of Córdoba, and the Umayyad Caliphate at Orihuela, the Balearic Islands and Roussillon.
The fleet, led by Hastein, a notable Viking chieftain of the late ninth century, and his protégée, Björn Ironside, son of the Viking king, Ragnar Lodbrok, then turned their consideration south to the Emirate of Nekor on the African coast.
They landed in Mauretania, present-day Morroco, and moved on town of Nekor, now partially submerged by the reservoir of the Abdelkrim Khattabi dam. On the time, Nekor was described as one of many biggest centres of Arabic tradition within the area of Rif.
Town was defended by Sa’id II ibn Salih, however fell to the raiding Vikings and was sacked over a interval of eight days. In line with some texts, lots of the metropolis inhabitants had been taken as slaves, whereas different accounts declare that Hastein bought ‘blámenn’, blue males, probably Soussians or Tuaregs to be offered within the Irish slave markets.
The raid on Nekor is talked about by Abdullah al-Bakri (primarily based on earlier textual content), the place he describes: “Majūs – God curse them – landed at Nakūr within the yr 244 (858–859). They took town, plundered it, and made its inhabitants slaves, besides those that saved themselves by flight. Amongst their prisoners had been Ama al-Raḥmān and Khanūla, daughters of Wakif ibn-Mu’tasim ibn-Ṣāliḥ. Muḥammed ransomed them. The Majūs stayed eight days in Nakūr.”
The identical fundamental story is recorded by various different writers, together with the tenth century Andalusi historian Ibn al-Qūṭīya, and the later authors Ibn Idhārī and Ibn Khaldūn, and a model additionally seems within the late ninth-century Christian Chronicle of Alfonso III.
Archaeologists are but to search out any bodily proof to assist the Viking raid on Nekor, nonetheless, skeletal stays of rodents (house-mice) on Madeira (not removed from Morocco by sea), means that the mice might have been transported on a Viking vessel and colonised the island between AD 903–1036.
Revealed within the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the paper additionally exhibits that the mice share similarities in mitochondrial DNA with Scandinavia and northern Germany, however not with mice present in Portugal.
Centuries later, between AD 1146–48, the Normans, a individuals arising within the medieval Duchy of Normandy from the intermingling between Norse Viking settlers and indigenous West Franks and Gallo-Romans, established the Kingdom of Africa.
The Kingdom was an extension of the frontier zone of the Siculo-Norman state, protecting Tunisia and elements of Algeria and Libya. The native aristocracy was largely left in place, and Muslim princes managed the civil authorities below Sicilian oversight. Norman rule was fleeting nonetheless, as in the course of the reign of William I, the Kingdom of Africa fell to the Almohad Caliphate between 1158–1160.
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