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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC


9th c.

Paris was repeatedly raided by the Vikings.

Coming from Denmark, Sweden and Norway they terrorised European kingdoms in the 8th-11th centuries.

In 845 AD, a fleet of 120 Viking ships sailed up the Seine.

They pillaged the city, laid waste to fields, and only left when they were bought off with 2600 kg of gold!

They launched their biggest attack in 885 AD - the largest Viking attack ever recorded, with some estimates of it being 700 ships and 30,000 men.

They lay siege to the city for more than a year, and were finally routed by the arrival of imperial Carolingian troops.

Fun fact : one way of placating the Vikings was to give one of their leaders, Rollo, the territory of Normandy, which lay along the Seine towards the coast, in exchange for help in preventing further Vikings attacks.

This is where the name Normandy comes from : Nortmanni = Norsemen!