I am a Northman, one of the "Men of the Uplands". I have family in Greenland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Constantinople and many, MANY other places. My wife, sons, and I have a small farm with some sheep. My wife brews mead. I do blacksmithing. My father sits on council. It is a hard life. We do not have much.
The Irish call us Gaill, “foreigners”. Franks call us Normanni: “northmen”. Germans refer to us as Ashmen. Spanish Arabs call us Majus, “heathens”. Anglo-Saxons call us Danes. The Slavs and Byzantine Greeks call us Rus,’ which later would become the word for “Russian”.
My Webster’s tells me Viking can be a noun or a verb. "Any of the Scandinavian pirates of the 8th to 10th centuries" it says. Another dictionary tells me it is “the act of raiding”, giving us the phrase “To go a-viking.” Another definition says, “a label given to a Scandinavian people of a certain era.” My world history book says the original definition is "creek-men." My atlas finds no Viking land.
We have worked as mercenaries and private guards. When need for money is great, my brothers and I get out the boats and go raiding. WE GO A-VIKING! It is very profitable.
Lords and Ladies!
Charge your glasses and raise them high!
To Vikings, Northmen, or whatever you wish to call us. And if I may be so bold, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”