Last Updated: 2018-01-16

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Vikings (Old English: wicing—"pirate", Danish and Bokmål: vikinger ; Swedish and Nynorsk: vikingar ; Icelandic: víkingar , from Old Norse) were Norse seafarers, mainly speaking the Old Norse language, who raided and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of northern, central, eastern and western Europe, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries. The term is also commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Viking home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age. This period of Nordic military, mercantile and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, Estonia, the British Isles, France, Kievan Rus' and Sicily.
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