The Viking Age

Viking Tattoos Historical or Not?

Viking Tattoos Historical or Not?

Listen to the audio of this blog post about Viking tattoos   Did the Vikings have  tattoos? One piece of historical evidence says yes, at least those Swedish Vikings who raided and traded through Russia probably. The Vikings themselves issued few literary works,...
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

Viking Symbols: Power, Protection and Magic

Viking symbols play a large role in their iconography, 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...
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: The Six Art Styles

Viking Art: The Six Art Styles

Viking art is emblematic of the surprisingly ornate material culture of the Northerners. 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...
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