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Difference Between Norse and Viking

Norse vs Viking

“Viking” and “Norse” both refer to the Germanic people living in Scandinavia at the time of the Viking Age. These two words are used interchangeably. The difference lies in the occupation or work of the person. Both refer to the same people, that is, people belonging to Scandinavia or who lived in Scandinavia or settled in other parts of the word by traveling. Sometimes they were called Norse traders. These traders were full-time traders whereas Vikings were actually considered warriors who were lead by Jarl, the second son of a chieftain during peacetime, or people of noble birth. Vikings were never warriors full time. They were farmers, and when the situation presented itself, they fought like warriors.

“Norse” not only refers to the Norsemen of Scandinavia, it also refers to the language called the Norse language. Old Norse was a North Germanic language developed from the Proto-Norse language and spoken from AD 800 to AD 1300. From Old Norse developed East Norse which is modern Danish and Swedish and West Norse languages like modern Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese.
In history, “Norse” refers to Norse mythology, art, paganism, Norse activity in the British Isles, and Norsemen. This article deals with the differences there might be between the Norsemen and the Viking people. Norsemen lived in Scandinavia during the Viking age or in the Middle Ages. They spoke Old Norse and practiced a pagan religion. During the Viking Age, they expanded to countries like Iceland, North America, and Greenland and also conquered parts of Ireland, France, and Britain. The reason for their expansion was developing skills in warfare, trade, and crafts. They were the first people to form the Russian State so that they could control the trade routes as far as Constantinople, Baltic Sea, and Arabia. This shows that they were traders and took advantage of all and any situation for expanding their trade.
The modern descendants of Norsemen are now called Scandinavians who adopted Christianity in a large scale after it emerged in Scandinavia. The Norsemen also wrote many literary books which give insights into their culture and history.

Vikings in modern times are mythical Germanic people who acted as noble savages, but the truth is Vikings were Norse merchants, explorers, sometimes pirates and warriors who used to travel by their long boats to distant parts of the world for trade as well as conquering parts of Europe, Asia, and North America in order to expand and settle. The expansion took place mainly in the Viking Age during which the Vikings were powerful and were led by Jarl in times of war.

“Norse” and “Viking” refer to the same Germanic people who settled in Scandinavia during the Viking Age who spoke Old Norse. “Norse” refers to Norsemen who were full-time traders, and Vikings refers to people who were actually farmers but were part-time warriors led by people of noble birth.

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  1. This page was extremely helpful. I appreciated the clarity and simplicity of the answer given.

    Thank you.

    • References! Where did you get this anecdotal information from? Your response is far too general to be of any use.

      • I do not think he wrote this as a reference source.

        You shouldn’t be looking on blogs for sources anyway Karl.

        • It’s funny what people think they know. Christian Mythology has fooled so many. While others simply took a much more desirable approach towards a more simpler payout, at the expense of some undisireble sheep while traveling abroad. More-less, it was less troublesome, with greater results. After all what goods a secret if there’s someone to prove them wrong and strip them of their wealth and power. Thus the book of lies, continues to be herd by the questionable individuals that seek knowledge where little is given.

  2. Norsemen lived in Scandinavia during the Viking age or in the Middle Ages. They spoke Old Norse and practiced a pagan religion. Should have the following text added.
    “In America, the Norse were early to convert to Christianity via influence from the eastern Mediterranean. Roman Catholic Bishops in Greenland led the movement to Catholic worship. The Catholic migration from Greenland to America at the start of the of the Little Ice Age included historians. who wrote the Maalan Aarum (Engraved Years). But the American Catholics, who spoke Norse, lost the guidance of the Catholic clergy, when Ice blocked the Pan North Atlantic waterways.
    The English exploited the situation in the 17th centuries by calling the Catholics, who spoke Nore, “Indians” and
    suppressing most Catholic and Norse information from the printing press.
    The English MYTH that Americans were savage Pagans in a pristine wilderness, was made into a firm paradigm via suppression by omission.

  3. My Ancestors were Scandinavian and Irish. My Maiden name is McManigal. I also have a tiny percent of middle Eastern. My first ancestors followed a chieftan called Monigol. Would that be Viking or Norse?

  4. There is a misspelling in the first paragraph, fourth sentence – word should be world.

    … people belonging to Scandinavia or who lived in Scandinavia or settled in other parts of the word by traveling.

    Thanks for the clarification between the two words.

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