Earldom of Orkney

Earldom Of Orkney

Earldom of Orkney

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The Earldom of Orkney was a Norwegian dignity in Scotland which had its origins in the Viking period. The title of Earl of Orkney was passed down the same family line through to the Middle Ages.

Orkney and Shetland to the north, lie off the northernmost tip of Caithness Scotland. Picts came to Orkney during the Bronze Age and extant archaeological data shows that certainly, there were people living there prior to the Vikings who came to Orkney, probably by the latter part of the 8th century although this is up for dispute. Norwegian Vikings probably either came to the islands first as farmers who were seeking land or as warriors who were claiming territory and riches as was common with Viking conquests elsewhere. The question of whether the Picts were completely massacred by the settling Vikings, migrated away, or were assimilated, in peaceful coexistence and gentle mergeance, is a matter of contention. However, aside from traces of their lives there, their culture did not endure in the early history or character of Orkney.

By the 12th century, Orkney was under Norwegian control and by the 13th century, the Orkneyingasaga was written in Iceland, providing one of the earliest and most repeated versions of the history of Norse life on these isles. The Orkneyingasaga is largely fictional...
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