The reason why the Scandinavian Vikings first started to expand throughout europe is still debatable but one common theory suggests that the Norsemen first descended upon the countries south to them in the 790s because Charlemagne was forcing the Pagans to convert to Christianity and killing those who refused so the Vikings and other Pagans wanted to avenge. They also went to explore and raid the overseas because: pillaging was a faster way to gain resources than farming in their climate, there was a shortage of women so they needed to acquire wifes, their naval technologies were superior and they had a youth bulge so they gained military advantage
The Viking’s first attack in Spain was in 844 during the reign of Ramiro I of Asturias, they first approached the Asturian coast of Gijon but they left and went to Coruna. They attempted to take the Hercules tower in Coruna but the citizens defended it bravely so King Ramiro I gathered an army in Galicia and Asturias and defeated the Vikings and forced them to retreat. However, they sailed to Lisbon and took the city to then sail South towards Cadiz and arrived at Seville in the 25 September 844 and taking control of the city on the 1 October. The Moorish army received reinforcements from every direction and liberated the city 40 days after and forced the Vikings to retreat again.
In 859 a huge Vikings fleet attacked Galicia and Asturias raiding the coast of what is today Portugal, Guadalquivir, raya, Cartama, Malaga, la Rudaya burning scores of buildings. They then left to the coast of Africa ravaging the land and taking a great number of Moors to Ireland. After that they returned to Andalucía and started raiding inland attacking Pamplona by surprise and making their king a prisoner. Their raids went as far as to the French border but they left in 861 after numerous raids.
3rd and 4th attack
Nearly a century passed before the Vikings attempted another attack on the coast of Spain. This time the Vikings seemed to be few in number and the attack was less dangerous. In 968 during the reign of the 7 year old Ramiro III the most powerful Viking fleet to land in Spain arrived at Galicia with 100 ships that were led by king Gundered. The Vikings arrived at Juncariae and went destroying villages towards St. jago de Compostella destroying the whole area, killing the bishop and roaming the countryside unopposed as far as the Cebrarian mountains. They stayed in Galicia for a year until the huge army of Gonzalo Sanchez, the count of Galicia, fell upon them killing most including king Gundered. This attack was the largest and most dangerous of them all, a few attacks followed this one in the 11th century until the last Viking attack in 1050.
Colegio La Paz, Torrelavega (Cantabria)
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