100 Things You Should Know About Vikings by Fiona MacDonald
32 Viking Facts That Uncover One Of History’s Most Misunderstood Civilizations
Sure, the pugnacious Norsemen probably sported headgear, but that whole horn-festooned helmet look? Painters seem to have fabricated the trend during the 19th century, perhaps inspired by descriptions of northern Europeans by ancient Greek and Roman chroniclers. Between rowing boats and decapitating enemies, Viking men must have stunk to high Valhalla, right? Quite the opposite. Excavations of Viking sites have turned up tweezers, razors, combs and ear cleaners made from animal bones and antlers.
Centuries after their heyday in the Middle Ages, the Vikings remain a topic of popular fascination. And rightly so: Bold and tough, they fanned out from their bases in Scandinavia to become the terror of European monasteries and villages all over Christendom. With a cunning mix of trading and looting, they battered down whole societies and eventually settled lands from North America to the Black Sea. Since then, Hollywood and Victorian Romanticists have left us with pop-culture images of these seaborne adventurers, but how accurate is our collective picture of them? The surprising and interesting Viking facts above hold the answers.
After the Anglo-Saxons , came the vicious Vikings! The Vikings were famous for sailing huge distances from their home in Scandinavia between AD and to raid and plunder, but they also traded with people from other countries. Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike! Among the many gods Vikings believed in were Thor, the god of thunder, and Loki, a cheeky mischief-maker who could shape-shift to become all different kinds of animals. What a beast!
The Vikings were raiders from Scandinavia who, during the period now called the Viking Age, terrorized coastal Europe for hundreds of years. Thanks in part to some fanciful representations, Vikings have a very specific image today—one that is sometimes accurate, and sometimes way off. Many stories of Viking brutality are disturbingly true, but their culture was far more nuanced than many people would assume.
1. Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets.
Most SURPRISING Facts About Vikings!
Vikings were very clean people at least by comparison to other people at the time! A Viking's most treasured weapon was his sword. They were handed down generations via inheritance, were often named and could be inscribed with runes by talented smiths to magically increase their power. The nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is falling down' could be linked to a Viking named Olaf the Stout who fixed cables from longships to the bridge and pulled it into the Thames. Vikings played Piggy in the Middle with rolled up bearskins. Buttons hadn't been invented yet so toggles, clasps and brooches were used.