The Viking era and all its glorious information are always under fire for its mythological facts and accuracy as to what things are true and which are exaggerated. It may do the readers well to know who the Vikings were and and some preliminary information before they get to the nitty gritty of debates.
Countless misconceptions of the Vikings exist and continue to be perpetuated today. Here are some of the more well-known Viking myths that have no grounding in historical fact:
- Vikings did not wear horned helmets. There is no evidence to suggest that they ever did, apart from in some ritual ceremonies. Having horned helmets would seriously impede your ability to fight effectively in close combat. Viking helmets were in fact conical, made from hard leather with wood and metallic reinforcement, or made in iron with a mask and chain mail. The idea of Vikings wearing horned helmets arose during the 19th century.
- Vikings were not simply savage brutes. Images of wild-haired, wild-eyed raiders are how the Vikings were mythologised. In fact, the Anglo-Danes occupying parts of Great Britain were described as excessively clean by their Anglo-Saxon neighbors, as they insisted on bathing at least once a week and kept their hair well-groomed.
- Vikings did not play the lyre.
- Vikings were not typically buried in a dolmen.
1.“7 Misconceptions about the Vikings That Might Surprise You.” The Franklin Institute, 9 July 2019, https://www.fi.edu/blog/viking-misconceptions.
2. “Facts and Myths about Denmark's Vikings.” VisitDenmark, https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/things-do/history-and-culture/vikings-facts-and-myths.