We are here to debunk common myths about the Vikings!
Viking culture is considered to be one of the richest and yet the most mysterious cultures in the world. And because of these mysteries, some lies about it may pop up regarding certain aspects of the culture. If you want to feel more like a viking and live like a true viking come on down to our humble viking store to help you get outfitted with authentic viking bracelets and more.
You probably think of fearsome blond warriors dressed in metal armour with more names than a lifetime while dreaming of the Vikings. Guess what: this conceptual image has not been 100% correct in fact. There are here seven widely accepted Nordic warriors’ falsehoods, discarded.
1. The norse warriors called themselves “vikings”.
Historians are still using the term “Vikings” in the name of the sailors who pillaged, explored, and founded a lot of Northern Europe between the end of the 8th and the middle of the 11th centuries. But while they were alive, they never marked themselves with the name — nor did they see themselves as united individuals.
Vikings from all walks of life originated from various tribes headed by chiefs around today’s Danish, Norwegian and Swedish cultures. Nobody knows how the term “viking” came in or why we took it to describe the whole Nordic raiders. According to historians, “Viking” comes from the word vik of Old North, which means “inlet” or “bay,” which refers to the pirates, who raid the water corpora. The term “to go viking” was used by ancient Scandinavians to describe the act of discovery or adventures.
2. All vikings were warriors.
Many Vikings had no special fighting experience or military expertise and merely wished to earn extra bucks off common farmers, fishers, and peasants. They had to supply their weapons and armors if they wanted to pursue the roving bands—and because the seafarers usually plundered the coastal settlements and destroyed those villages they did not often wage hand in hand.
But in this myth, there are some things true: some Vikings have been deadly powers in the battleground, particularly those who worshiped Odin the god of war and death, the fierce elite warriors, called “Berger.” These men are said to have tried too hard to fall into the trance. Nowadays it is possible to retrace the etymology of the English word “berserk.”
3. Vikings wore horned helmets.
In fact, the Vikings didn’t wear horn helmets, unlike common opinion. Only a Viking helmet is known to exist – and it is a plain piece of iron armor with no sharp embellishment, with its archeological evidence.
Experts agree that the Vikings either placed leather or iron defensive head coverings or actually went without them. But during the 1840s, costume designer Carl Emile Doepler developed the stage set to create an epic drama based loosely on Norse and Germany’s sagas, Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (1848). With horns he created helmets and he looks – a modern stereotype has been created.
4. Vikings were wearing chainmail and carrying swords.
Viking warriors swinging great swords (or magic hammers) on the field of battle, covered in heavy chain shirts only exist in film or television shows. Few Vikings wore mail coatings, but it was pricey and mostly given only to high-ranking people in the war to respect their jobs. The raiders were presumably made of fur, bones, squirrel cloth, or animal skins while carrying defensive coverings.
Just the richest Vikings possessed swords as far as weapons are concerned. Spears, short and long swords, long knives, bows and arrows, and wooden or leather shields were their principal weapons. Weapon charms for authentic viking bracelets are sold in our viking store online.
5. The Vikings became unclean and unconscious.
Vikings have led a hard way, but they have not allowed it to influence their look (or smelled). Archeologists have discovered items like tweezers, pebbles, nail cleaners, toothpicks, and ear cleaners, suggesting proper personal hygiene for Nordic raiders. They even had frequent baths. Their hair was tanned, groomed, and bleached with lye (yup, even the men). Vikings were also very fashionable and had intricate authentic viking bracelets that they would adorn. Get one now at our viking store online.
6. They were just blonde vikings.
Many blond Vikings were living in Sweden, and Denmark was typically replete with redheads, but many sailors still had dark hair. Scandinavian raiders took foreign slaves, married to (or lived in) people from other nations, and brought with them the people of faraway lands. This combination of race contributed to a multitude of physical features.
7. Fierce sounding names were available to Vikings.
Vikings are packed with the prominent figures who acquired threatening (if not mildly hyperbolic) surnames for his infamous breach and bloody struggle, Thorfinn Skull-Cleaver, Haldar Unchristian, and Eric Bloodaxe, to name a few. But not everyone from North America was chosen to terrorize the enemy’s souls. They also identified looks, features, and acts — not necessarily compliments.
One (relatively) peaceful guerrilla was dubbed “the Friend of the Kids” for he failed to skewer the kids prisoner on the spot of his lance, unlike his fellow warriors. A prominent Viking king of the 11th century was named MagnÃos Barefoot or Barelegged, as he travelled to contemporary Scotland and took the kilt to his favored mode statement, and then carried Norway with his garment. (The sartorial comment from Magnús Barefoot eventually killed him when a fatal battle wound was struck on his bare legs.)
We hope that we have helped you dispel some of the misconceptions about the rich viking cultures. If you are so interested in viking cultures then feel free to check out our viking store online at vikinglair.com. We offer the best approximations of viking bracelets, jewelry, and other viking related items. If you want to feel like a viking, shop at Viking Lair today!
Louie is the father behind the travel blog Browseeverywhere.com. He has a background in photography, E-commerce, and writing product reviews online at ConsumerReviews24. Traveling full time with his family was his ultimate past-time. If he’s not typing at his laptop, you can probably find him watching movies.