10 Outrageous but True Viking Facts

10 Outrageous but True Viking Facts

Vikings have long captured the imagination of people around the world, with their fierce reputation as warriors and explorers. But beyond the popular image of horned helmets and raiding parties, there are many surprising and little-known facts about these fascinating historical figures. Here are 10 outrageous but true Viking facts:

  1. Vikings were skilled metalworkers, known for their intricate jewelry, weapons, and armor. They used a variety of techniques, including filigree and granulation, to create beautiful and durable objects.

  2. Vikings had a strong tradition of storytelling and poetry, and many of their stories and myths have survived to this day. The most famous of these is probably the epic poem Beowulf, which tells the story of a hero battling monsters and dragons.

  3. Vikings were known for their hygiene and personal grooming habits. They bathed regularly, used combs and razors to keep their hair and beards tidy, and even had a special type of soap made from ash and urine.

  4. Vikings were surprisingly egalitarian when it came to gender roles. Women had more rights and freedoms than in many other cultures at the time, and some even served as warriors or chieftains.

  5. Vikings were skilled navigators and sailors, using the sun, stars, and currents to guide their longships across the seas. They also built lighthouses and used landmarks to help them navigate.

  6. Vikings were avid traders, and their goods and wares traveled far and wide. They traded in everything from furs and textiles to precious metals and spices, and had contact with cultures as far away as China and Africa.

  7. Vikings believed in a complex system of gods and goddesses, with Odin, Thor, and Freyja being among the most important. They also believed in an afterlife, and buried their dead with weapons and other objects to prepare them for the journey to the next world.

  8. Vikings were skilled farmers and fishermen, and were able to thrive in some of the harshest environments on earth. They used innovative techniques such as crop rotation and irrigation to grow crops, and developed a variety of fishing methods to harvest the bounty of the seas.

  9. Vikings were also known for their love of games and sports. They played a variety of board games and dice games, and also engaged in more physical activities like wrestling, sword fighting, and archery.

  10. Vikings were responsible for the creation of one of the earliest known democratic assemblies, known as the Althing. This gathering of chieftains and representatives met annually to make laws and settle disputes, and was a groundbreaking example of democratic governance.

These 10 outrageous but true Viking facts only scratch the surface of the rich and complex history of this fascinating culture. From their remarkable achievements in art, science, and exploration to their enduring legacy in modern society, the Vikings continue to captivate and inspire us today.

Works Cited:

  • “10 Facts about Viking Culture.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 10 Nov. 2016, www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-vikings.
  • Jesch, Judith. “Viking Poetry: The Poetics of Oral Tradition.” Oxford Handbooks Online, 2017, doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935340.013.33.
  • Price, Neil. The Viking World. Routledge, 2008.
  • Roesdahl, Else. The Vikings. Penguin Books, 1998.
Related Links-

Reading next

How to Keep Your Jewelry Clean: A Guide to Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel, and Other Metals
Exploring Gói: The Norse Month of Thaw

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.