The Vikings were diverse Scandinavian seafarers from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark whose raids and subsequent settlements significantly impacted the cultures of Europe and were felt as far as the Mediterranean regions c. 790 - c. 1100 CE. The Vikings were all Scandinavian but not all Scandinavians were Vikings. The term Viking applied only to those who took to the sea for the purpose of acquiring wealth by raiding in other lands, and the word was primarily used by the English writers, not inclusively by other cultures. Most Scandinavians were not Vikings, and those who traded with other cultures were known as Northmen, Norsemen, or other terms designating their origin.
Beginning in 793 CE and continuing on for the next 300 years, the Vikings raided coastal and inland regions in Europe and conducted trade as far as the Byzantine Empire in the east, even serving as the elite Varangian Guard for the Byzantine Emperor. Their influence on the cultures they interacted with was substantial in virtually every aspect of life, most notably in the regions of Scotland, Britain, France, and Ireland. They founded Dublin, colonized Normandy (land of the Northmen) in France, established the area of the Danelaw in Britain, and settled in numerous communities throughout Scotland.