Vikings 101

Viking Trade


Vikings were thought to be vicious beasts, who raided villages and killed many people, just to steal what they wanted. The vikings weren't just vicious raiders but trade was a part of their everyday life. They traded with other countries, and tribes, and they were very good farmers.

Where did the Vikings trade?

Viking traders sailed up lots of rivers and across seas from land to land. The ships of the traders carried goods that could be traded with other countries or people. Slaves were rounded up from homes in Britain and Ireland and were moved to other countries where they were traded. In the 8th century, slaves were the beginning of the trading empire. Settlement was built on trade and luxury items. Vikings traded all over Europe and as far as Central Asia. Wherever the Vikings went, they bought and sold slaves.

What did the Vikings trade and get in return?

The goods and supplies that the Vikings traded included jewellery, combs, swords, furs and slaves. In return, the traders got given items such as salt, silver, gold and spices. At first, trade was conducted by bartering but later on it changed and was conducted by coins. After a while, the main towns became popular and busy places to trade.

Why did the Vikings trade?

The Vikings often needed items they didn’t have, which they could get from other countries through trading. These items were often only made in that country. The Vikings also knew that other countries needed things that were common, and sometimes only found in their homeland, Scandinavia. Vikings often traded silver coins for there weight. They would then melt the silver into jewelery, because the more silver a Viking had, the more higher his social standing was. They would trade spices to put on their salty and plain food. Silk was also important because it showed a high social status.

How did the Vikings get the goods to trade?

Many of the goods that were traded had been made by the Vikings themselves such as artefacts carved from walrus tusks and whale bones. They captured slaves when raiding other places and traded them for more valuable items that they needed or for money. Other ways the Vikings got the goods to trade were by catching animals such as fish.


BBC News. (n.d.). Retrieved March 05, 2013, from

Oxford Big Ideas History 8 Aust Curriculum Value Pack (SB, WB, obook/assess) - Oxford University Press. (n.d.). Oxford Big Ideas History 8 Australian Curriculum. Retrieved March 05, 2013, from

Viking Traders. (n.d.). Viking Traders. Retrieved March 05, 2013, from

Vikings The Trading Empire Ep 2 Mp4 HD. (2013, February 18). YouTube. Retrieved March 05, 2013, from

Vikings as Traders. Teachers' notes 5. Retrieved
March 05, 2013, from