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T h e sea, ships of outstanding quality, cap- time of cultural, economic and political ferment, and the able seamen and traders and many natural resources which development advanced separately and at different rates provided the raw material for trade, all contributed to bind depending for example o n the very different scale of the this enormous area together. It provided the basis for what countries concerned and the natural conditions prevailing was in many respects a c o m m o n culture shared by Scan- m them, as well as o n their interface with other regions, dinavia and the new territories in the North Atlantic, which conditioned by geography.

This also applied to other forms of influence very complicated rules and a stock of words which was based firom Europe. Throughout the whole of the Viking Age, and inter alia on a knowledge of the old Scandinavian gods. also into the first centuries thereafter, Scandinavia and the Snorri wrote in his mother-tongue, Saxo in Latin, but in Atlantic territories had the political, economic and cultural both cases the impetus for their writing was their feeling sireagih to choose and adapt what was new to suit their that they were living though a time of great change.

T h r o u g h o u t the whole period 800-1200 seafaring in the N o r t h was based in most cases on passage in sight o f land. military transports and cattle drovers were different; winter was used for transport and travel by sledge. In difficult terrain the normal means of transport was by Ships usually anchored overnight in natural harbours. A foot o r o n horseback; easily passable routes were used by journey of this nature was described by O t t a r to Alfred the carts or sledges which were especially adapted to local condi- 46 Shipt and travel Fig.

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