Television shows and movies often portray Vikings as barbaric savages. Hollywood has them raiding villages, setting things on fire, and killing people. Have you ever wondered why Vikings got such a bad rap in Hollywood? The truth is that we don’t really have any details about the Viking Era around 800 AD. It turns out that Vikings may have gotten a bad rap all this time. Experts’ recent breakthrough is completely changing the way people view the Vikings.
One thing we know is that Vikings never referred to themselves as Vikings. In Old Norse, Viking meant “a private raid.” When the Scandinavians were talking about raiders, they would say that they were “going Viking.” Over time, this verb started to be used as a noun to define these people.
When you think about the Vikings, you think of horned helmets. Experts believe that the Vikings never wore these helmets. The common misconception began when 19th-century painters began using Vikings in their art. They got their information from defamatory descriptions from northern Europeans. These helmets never really existed.
You would never expect it from a big, strong Viking, but they were cat lovers. Their goddess of fertility, Freya, was known to have a chariot pulled by two
To start fires, Vikings boiled a fungus called Fomes
The Vikings valued physical strength a lot. It was the only way that they could manage their self-sufficient lifestyle. If a Viking weren’t strong, they wouldn’t survive. Because of this, if a child were born sick or with a physical disability, the Vikings would abandon the child.
Vikings loved to ski. Experts discovered a pair of skis that dated back to 6000 BC. The Vikings didn’t only use skis as a method of getting around; they also used them as a competitive sport. They loved skiing so much that they worshipped Ullr, who was the God of Skiing.
Vikings are portrayed on TV and movies as being dirty and gruff. This was not the case Archaeologists have found tweezers, razors, combs and ear cleaners that were made from antlers and animal bones. This just proves that the Vikings cared about their appearance. There is also proof that they bathed regularly in the hot springs.
Painting Their Shields
The Vikings painted their shields, but it wasn’t to decorate them or to show who was in what family. The only material they had for shields was wood. Since this was known to be a weak material for a shield, the Vikings painted them to hide the wood grain. This would give them the appearance that was stronger than they were.
The Vikings are known as being great shipbuilders. They created ships that were motored by both manpower and wind. Longships in other cultures were built based on the Viking’s design.
The word, berserk, comes from the Vikings. Elite Viking warriors wore animal pelts and went into battle in a drug and
Vikings wore eyeliner made from burnt almonds, lead, oxidized copper, ash, and soft semi-precious stones. They didn’t do this because they wanted to have a smokey eye look. They did it to protect their eyes from the sun’s glare, the same way that baseball players do.
Peaceful Farming Lives
Vikings didn’t storm town after town, taking everything over the way that they do on TV. In reality, those who lived in the Norse communities lived peaceful farming lives. They would grow barley, oats, and wheat, which allowed them to make porridge, flour, and ale. They grew vegetables such as beans, cabbage, and onions, and they kept livestock such as sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and chickens. They lived a peaceful, self-sufficient existence.
History has always shown that Viking warriors were male, up until now. Researchers at Stockholm and Uppsala Universities found evidence that there were Viking warriors with high-status positions that were women. In the grave of a female Viking, they found battle weapons, two horses, and a board game set. This was an indication that she was a high-ranking warrior with a vast knowledge of strategy.
Scandinavian Viking Women
A Scandinavian Viking woman was allowed to own property and file for divorce. If the woman’s husband passed, she would be expected to provide for her family. This allowed women to be granted economic opportunities, such as trading and farming.
Swords were prized possessions. They were very expensive, which made them a symbol of wealth. The craftsmanship was intricate, and the blades were expensive. Although they were considered prized possessions, most Vikings could not afford them.
The Vikings believed in and feared the Valkyries. According to Norse mythology, these powerful female beings were praised by the sky God, Odin. The Valkyries would decide which warriors would live through the battles, and which ones would die.
The Vikings loved to drink. They consumed a drink call mead, which consisted of three fermented ingredients, honey, yeast, and water. Back then, honey was the only sweetener that the Vikings knew about.
Vikings often traded slaves to help maintain their farms. These people were called thralls. They would abduct young men and women from Northern Europe. Not the best way to get the help that they needed.
Filing Of the Teeth
Vikings often filed down small notches in their teeth. Anthropologists believe that the markings either represent achievement, or they are just a way to embellish the teeth.
It is believed that the Vikings raided Ireland over 1,000-years-ago. It is also thought that they brought leprosy with them. Strains of this infectious skin disease were found in human remnants in Dublin, which was linked to the Vikings of medieval Scandinavia.