The First Viking Age
The sacking on the monastry of Lindisfarne marked only the beginning of the Viking Age. In the second half of the 9th century the threat became even more serious, as the Danes started regular raids and only eventually the kingdom of Wessex, under the reign of King Alfred, offered resistance.
After the attack on Lindisfarne, there were many similar raids in the following decades, and they were most often directed against monasteries and churches.
In the late 9th century the Viking threat became ever more serious. The Danes (another term often used for Vikings) started regular, systematic raids after finding out that England was a rich country worthy of conquest. From 865 onward, a large army brought most of the north and northeast of England under their control and when East Anglia submitted, its king Edmund was sacrificed by the Danes in a ritual murder. Wessex was the only remaining English kingdom that was offering stern resistance with King Alfred as its leader, who had succeeded to the throne in 871. He managed to unite several kingdoms under Wessex and negotiated the establishment of the Danelaw.
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