5 Things You Should Know About Viking History

As a history buff, you may have heard of a few Vikings you aren’t sure about: Rurik, Buliwyf, or Eric the Red.

You probably know them as people. They weren’t people, but they likely weren’t gods, either.

What were they? Vikings!

Viking history is fascinating, but there are some things that even diehard fans might not know. Check out the Viking guide below to learn five things and get a crash course on where these fierce warriors came from and why they remain popular now.

  1. Early Norse Expansion and Exploration

The Vikings were a group of warriors and merchants who lived between the 8th and 11th centuries in Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden. They are known for exploring and expanding across Europe and their unique culture and traditions. The Vikings were known for their long voyages, trading, and raiding during their era.

  1. Age, Religion, and Society

The Viking religion was polytheistic, with the gods Odin and Thor at the top of the pantheon. The Vikings worshiped in temples called hof and made sacrifices to their gods. Socially, Viking society was divided into three classes: the jarls (nobles), the karls (freemen), and the thralls (enslaved people).

They believed in a concept called wealth, where compensation was paid to make up for wrongs committed by one person against another. The Vikings were honorable yet ruthless warriors, and their influence is still felt today in modern depictions of them as fearsome barbarians.

  1. Art and Architecture

The Viking Age was a time of beautiful art and architecture. One of the most recognizable examples is intricate knotwork designs, frequently adorned jewelry, clothing, weapons, and ships.

Viking metalwork was often embellished with runes and symbols. This represents the Old Norse language and its alphabet. Viking carvings and architecture typically feature images of symbols of power. 

  1. Symbols and Designs on Viking Clothing

Viking history symbols and designs on Viking clothing depict various aspects of Norse culture. The designs highlight heroism, bravery, battles, and myths. Many of the designs were taken from the myths and legends that were a part of everyday life in Viking culture.

The tree of Life, dragon, eagle, and wolf are some symbols that often appear on Viking clothes found here. These emotional and thoughtful symbols served as a reminder of the Viking culture, its values, and its traditions. The Vikings believed the symbolism attached to their clothing warded off evil, promoted luck, and brought good luck.

  1. Weapons and Warfare

The Vikings were a fierce and formidable naval force whose primary weapon consisted of the sharp, curved blade of the Ulfberht, a type of sword known for its strength and durability, thanks to its iron composition. They also extensively used axes, spears, which were sometimes poisoned, and large wooden shields and lances. Viking warfare was based on small raids and ambushes, often involving surprise tactics and hit-and-run attacks.

Go Explore Viking History Today

Viking history is fascinating—they were fierce warriors, traders, explorers, and settlers. The Vikings left an incredible mark on history and culture. There is so much to learn about Viking history, so take some time to explore their rich and fascinating culture.

Arm yourself with facts and knowledge, and make sure you don’t miss out on all the significant aspects of Viking history. We’re glad you did! Explore!

If you find this article helpful, check out more of our blogs!