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The Viking Age

Viking Tattoos Historical or Not?

Viking Tattoos Historical or Not?

For more information on counter-intuitive facts of ancient and medieval history, see Anthony Esolen’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization.   Did the Vikings wear tattoos? One piece of historical evidence says yes, at least the...
Viking Names and Naming Conventions

Viking Names and Naming Conventions

Named After a Relative Viking parents named their children after a deceased relative, preferably a direct ancestor such as a grandparent or great-grandparent. Vikings venerated their ancestors. By naming a child after a dead relative, it was believed that part of the...
Vikings: From Pagans to Christians

Vikings: From Pagans to Christians

While Charlemagne “converted” pagans to Christianity by the sword, the conversion of Vikings to Christianity occurred without violence for the most part. In the early Viking Age, Viking traders noted that they suffered losses in trade contracts and deals because the...
Vikings and Norse Mythology

Vikings and Norse Mythology

In the world of Norse mythology, we find gods and goddesses, giants, strange and powerful creatures, elves, dwarves and land spirits. It is difficult for a 21st century person to conceive of the worldview of the Vikings, brimming as it was with such a variety of...

Viking Symbols: Power, Protection and Magic

Symbols play a large role in Viking society, just as they do in all societies. Symbols are cultural shorthand, a sign that conveys layers of meaning about the culture. The pagan Vikings used symbols to represent their gods, beliefs and myths. Cultural symbols can take...
Viking Explorations and Settlements: Iceland, Greenland and Vinland

Viking Explorations and Settlements: Iceland, Greenland and Vinland

When the Vikings burst out of their homelands starting in the 8th century, they raided, fought and settled in many parts of Europe and Russia, but they also took off on voyages of discovery across the Atlantic Ocean. They moved into Scotland and Ireland and most of...
Viking Literature: Stories, Sagas and Myths

Viking Literature: Stories, Sagas and Myths

Viking culture was rich in stories, tales and poems. Kings, brave heroes, beautiful women, dangerous journeys, battles, fearsome dragons and otherworldly creatures were all subjects of tales told by skalds and everyone else. In the Viking Age, no one wrote them down,...
Viking Navigation: Sailing the Open Seas

Viking Navigation: Sailing the Open Seas

Most Viking journeys followed coasts or rivers, yet Vikings also possessed the ability to sail out of sight of land across the sea to new lands. This ability astonished their contemporaries, who were in awe of these fearless mariners and warriors. How did the Vikings...
Viking Ships for War, Trade and Exploration

Viking Ships for War, Trade and Exploration

The technological innovation in Scandinavian ship building gave the Vikings the tactical superiority they needed to raid and subdue most of Europe and Russia during the Viking Age. Viking longships were fast, strong enough to cross open ocean, light enough to carry...
Viking Art

Viking Art

Vikings loved elaborate decorations and they decorated many of the things they used: weapons, jewelry, runestones, ship woodwork and even their common, everyday items. They loved abstract and intricate animal designs and multiple interlacing lines. The animals...
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