The term ‘Viking Period’ or víkingtíd is rather fluid. In the UK and most of western Europe it begins with the fateful raid on the monastery of Lindisfarne, off the east coast of Northumbria (northern England) recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 793 AD. While there had been regular contact with Scandinavia before this time, the raid marked a turning point in the relations of the Scandinavians with their western neighbours. Early Viking activity was confined to raiding – a stealthy arrival, fast robbery and ransacking of the target and equally fast withdrawal to their ships. By the mid-9th century, the character of the attacks changed: Scandinavians began spending the winter in the west rather than returning home, and over the next 50 years their ambitions turned towards military conquest rather than raiding. Trading settlements such as Dorestaad (Netherlands) and York were attacked. One by one the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were overrun or forced to make peace with the Viking ‘Great Army’ (se micla here) on unfavourable terms. Only the West Saxons in the southwest of England remained independent, and after many years of hard campaigning the West Saxon kings fought off the Viking threat. Scandinavian attention turned to eastern Europe across the Baltic, and Swedish merchants continued their penetration of the major rivers down to the Black Sea and Miklagarð (Constantinople). A century of relative peace and prosperity ensued. In the later 10th century, renewed Viking activity began in the west culminating in the wars between Edmund Ironside and Knut Svensson; in time Knut came to rule all England, Denmark and Norway and is known in English history by the Old English spelling of his name (Cnut) or its modernized form, Canute. The last great Viking was probably Hárald Harðráða, sometime adventurer, Varangian commander and king of Norway. With Hárald’s death at Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire, in 1066 the Viking Age in the west was over.