The Vikings were Nordic sailors who spoke the ancient Norse language and who between the 8th and 11th centuries ravaged and traded in many areas of Europe in addition to conducting expeditions of exploration towards Iceland and Greenland. By extension Vikings are called Nordic peoples during the Viking era. Join us to know 25 Curiosities of the Vikings that will surely amaze you.
The vision that is currently held by the Vikings It is contaminated by the romantic idea of this town that developed during the eighteenth century. The historians and archaeologists of our days have many difficulties in redirecting these images to the reality of what the Vikings were and what happened during the so-called Viking age. Must break myths that we all believe, for example, the horns of the helmets: according to historians, the Vikings did not wear helmets with horns.
25 Curiosities of the Vikings
1. The term "Viking" comes from the Nordic word "Vikingar" which means "assailant" or "pirate". And it really should refer only to the Scandinavians who participated in the pillage trips that took place between the 8th and 11th centuries.
2. Not all those we call "Vikings" today were fierce warriors and navigators. Many were engaged in agriculture and ranching on their farms.
3. The Viking swords were the weapon most appreciated by the Vikings. They were inherited from parents to children for generations. In the swords the smiths taxed runes that supposedly increased their power in a magical way.
4. One of the curiosities of the Vikings is that they were fans of games and sports. Some of them were harmless like the Knattleik, which was a hockey-like sport. They practiced it with a ball and sticks.
5. Other sports practiced by the Vikings were wrestling, the raising of stones, the throwing of knives, the fight of horses and even mountaineering.
6. The life expectancy of a Viking was around 40 years.
7. The rights of Nordic women, when they married, were better in Viking society than in other parts of Europe or in later times. They were the owners of the keys of the main house, when the husband was not there they were in charge of the slaves and the hacienda and they had the right to divorce for various reasons. Women could also inherit and own property.
8. Due to complications in childbirth, the life expectancy of a Viking woman was only about 35 years.
9. Historians believe that many times, if the first child of a couple was a girl, she was left in the forest to die and the mother did not have to raise her. This accelerated a new pregnancy that was expected to produce a male.
10. One of the curiosities of the Vikings is that they were superstitious and believed blindly in gods and spirits. The figures that they carried in the prow of their drakkars to frighten the protective spirits of the lands they attacked, they were withdrawn when they reached their own shores so that their protectors would not be frightened or their gods would be offended.
11. Viking runes have angled shapes to facilitate carving on both stone and wood. The Vikings believed that writing was a "power" that the man had and that it was Odin himself who gave the runes to the humans, wresting them from the underworld that kept them in the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree of the world.
12. The Viking society was divided into three main social classes: the nobles who were the Jarls, the middle class, composed of the free Vikings, the Karls, and the lowest, the slaves who were the thralls.
13. Viking children were considered adults from 12 years of age. Since it was a society based on meritocracy, it was not impossible for a young man who was not a noble or even a slave born to reach positions of power and accumulate great wealth.
14. The Vikings had no buttons and to adjust their garments used different types of brooches.
15. As we have said, the Viking helmets did not have horns. Only one helmet with horns was found in an excavation and it was ritual, not battle. This idea comes from the opera "The Ring of the Nibelungs" from the year 1876.
16. The Vikings, who were great navigators, made a big mistake in one of their Mediterranean incursions. They thought to attack Rome and in their place they devastated a called city Moon. They saw it so rich and luxurious that they thought it could not be other than Rome itself. Here you can read the whole history of this historical fact: The bloody Viking expedition of 859 | They went to Rome and sacked Luna .
17. The pagan religion of the Vikings was at the root of their ferocity and courage as fighters. They believed that if they died in battle they would be chosen to join Odin in the salons of Valhalla while they waited and prepared for the arrival of the Ragnaraök .
18. We have the image that the Vikings were big, dirty and hairy beings who did not practice hygiene habits. This is a mistake. Archaeologists have found tweezers, combs, razor blades and even ear cleaners made from animal bones. The Viking chieftains had a predilection for dressing ostentatiously, wearing silk tunics and ornaments.
19. The Vikings used simple skis that had been invented by the Scandinavians about 6,000 years ago.
20. One of the curiosities of the Vikings is that 500 years before Christopher Columbus came to the New World. Leif Erikson arrived in Newfoundland about the year 1000 AD. If you want to know more about this topic you can read the post: L'Anse aux Meadows, proof that the Vikings came to America .
21. The houses of the Vikings had roofs covered with straw or grass. Of soft inclination, the roofs were covered first with birch bark and then with grass since it helped to maintain the heat and when compressing the walls of trunks it avoided that the wind sneaks.
22. Through English and French have come to Spanish words of Viking origin as keel, shroud, fjord, geyser, tackle, port, reindeer or saga.
23. The Vikings ate twice a day, the first about an hour after getting up and it was called "dagmal" and the second the "nattmal" was served at the end of the day. Another of the curiosities of the Vikings is that his only sweetener was honey.
24. One of the curiosities of the Vikings is that in some of its settlements important European cities have developed up to the present. Among them Dublin, Cork or Limerick.
25. The last great Viking king was Harald, defeated and killed in the year 1066 at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
It is believed that the Viking era had its end with the arrival of Christianity that changed the way of life of that people and that prohibited the taking of slaves that was one of the main incentives of the Viking raids. Did you know these curiosities of the Vikings ? Do you know any more? Share it with us and we can expand this list! If you want to know more about the Vikings, we invite you to read:
- 10 Curiosities of the Viking Ax | The favorite weapon of the Vikings
- 10 very striking Viking symbols | Did you know them?
- 10 Curiosities of the Viking Tattoos | How they were [With Images]
- Viking ships | 15 Curiosities of the feared drakkars
- 10 Viking Rituals You Did not Know About | Shocking