Norsemen

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For other uses of the term "Norse", see Norse.

Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who speak one of the North Germanic languages as their native language. (Norse, in particular, refers to the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Danish, Icelandic, and Norwegian in their earlier forms.)

The meaning of Norseman was 'people from the North' and was applied primarily to people from southern and central Scandinavia. They established states and settlements in areas which today are part of the Faroe Islands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Russia, Italy, Canada, Greenland, France, Ukraine, Estonia and Germany.

Norse, Norseman, and Normans are all applied to the Scandinavian population of the period from the late 8th century to the 11th century.

It was a common term for the Vikings, famously used in the prayer A furore normannorum libera nos domine ("From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord!"), doubtfully attributed to monks of the English monasteries plundered by Viking raids in the 8th and 9th centuries.

The Northmen were also known as Ascomannii by the Germans (perhaps due to their mythological ancestor Ask).

Lochlanach by the Irish and Dene (Danes) by the Anglo-Saxons.

The Slavs, the Arabs and the Byzantines knew them as the Rus' or Rhos (probably from various uses of roþs-, i.e. "related to rowing", hence Russia and Belarus).

The Slavs and the Byzantines also called them Varangians (Væringjar, meaning "sworn men"), and the Scandinavian bodyguards of the Byzantine emperors were known as the Varangian Guard.

Northmen (nordmenn/nordmænd) is a Scandinavian word for Norwegians.

[edit] See also

it:Norsemen ja:ノース人

Norsemen

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