Norsemen

Exploration and expansion routes of Norsemen
Sea-faring Danes depicted invading England. Illuminated illustration from the 12th century Miscellany on the Life of St. Edmund (Pierpont Morgan Library)
Statues of Norse explorers at L'Anse aux Meadows

The Norsemen (or Norse people) were a group of Germanic people who inhabited Scandinavia between c. 800 and 1300 AD and spoke what is now called the Old Norse language. The language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages and is the predecessor of the modern Germanic languages of Scandinavia. During the late eighth century, Norsemen embarked on a large-scale expansion in all directions, giving rise to the Viking Age.

In English-language scholarship since the 19th century, the Viking Age Norsemen, seafaring traders, settlers and warriors have commonly been referred to as Vikings. The Norse Scandinavians established polities and settlements in what are now Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales,) Ireland, Iceland, Russia, Belarus, France, Belgium, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Greenland, Canada[1], and the Faroe Islands.

History of the terms Norseman and Northman

The word Norseman first appears in English during the early 19th century: the earliest attestation given in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is from Walter Scott's 1817 Harold the Dauntless. The word was coined using the adjective norse, which was borrowed into English from Dutch during the 16th century with the sense 'Norwegian', and which by Scott's time had acquired the sense "of or relating to Scandinavia or its language, esp[ecially] in ancient or medieval times".[2] As with modern use of the word viking, therefore, the word norseman has no particular basis in medieval usage.[3]

The term Norseman does echo terms meaning 'Northman', applied to Norse-speakers by the peoples they encountered during the Middle Ages.[4] The Old Frankish word Nortmann ("Northman") was Latinised as Normannus and was widely used in Latin texts. The Latin word Normannus then entered Old French as Normands. From this word came the name of the Normans and of Normandy, which was settled by Norsemen in the tenth century.[5][6]

The same word entered Hispanic languages and local varieties of Latin with forms beginning not only in n-, but in l-, such as lordomanni (apparently reflecting nasal dissimilation in local Romance languages).[7] This form may in turn have been borrowed into Arabic: the prominent early Arabic source al-Mas‘ūdī identified the 844 raiders on Seville not only as Rūs but also al-lawdh’āna.[8]

Other Languages
العربية: شماليون
català: Nòrdics
čeština: Seveřané
dansk: Nordboere
Esperanto: Normanoj
فارسی: نورس‌ها
Gàidhlig: Lochlannach
한국어: 노르드인
Bahasa Indonesia: Suku bangsa Norse
日本語: ノース人
norsk: Nordboere
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Nordijci
svenska: Nordmän