2.1 Medieval European Invasions

Who invaded Europe and where were their homelands?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, Medieval Europe: Invasions, and explore the map. 

  • What three areas provided invaders?
  • What areas in Europe were controlled by Muslims?

Historians agree that Magyars came from Asia and arrived by horse. They disagree on the area of origin, the steeps of Central Asia, or the mountains of the Caucasus. 

How and why was Europe invaded?

  • From which direction did the Muslims invade?
  • What route did the Muslims invaders use to reach France?

Step 2: Click on the button, Contents.

Step 3: Select the Sources layer checkbox on the layer.

Step 4: Click Pushpin 1 and read the information.

Why did the Muslims invade France?

  • What areas were settled by the Magyars?
  • Which group invaded the most territory in Europe?

Where and why did the Vikings invade?

  • Which area do you think the Vikings invaded first?

Step 5: Click Pushpin 2 and read the information. 

  • The main reason why the Vikings invaded was for wealth. (T/F)
  • During the invasions, the Vikings killed the monks and captured some for slavery. 
  • Which geographic features supported the Viking invasions?

How did the Viking invasions change over time?

Step 6: Turn off all of the layers. Turn on the layer, Viking Settlements and Raids. Click the layer name to open a legend.

Step 7: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select Raids.

Step 8: Click the Play button, and observe the patterns.

  • Where did the Vikings establish the most settlements in the 10th century? 
  • The location of areas raided were different from the regions settled because the raided areas were accessible by sea or river. (T/F)

Step 9: Turn on the layer, Sources. Click Pushpin 3, and read the information. 

  • The Varangians were Vikings who were invited by the local princes to rule the Slavic lands.

Why is feudalism considered to be a response to the invasions?

To prevent further invasions, the Europeans built more castles for defense and trained fighters. 

Step 10: Turn on the Castles layer.

  • During what century were most of the castles built?

Step 11: Click Pushpin 4 and examine the diagram.

  • The social structure of feudalism supported the defense because the two groups in society pledged to defend the king’s lands. 


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World Regional Geography Lab Manual by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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