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15 Cool Things You Never Knew About Vikings

Vikings are cool because we can use them in pop culture as a shortcut to connote violence and manliness -just right for a superhero action movie. But Vikings were a real group of seafaring Scandinavian conquerers who invaded far-flung places for hundreds of years. And guess what? They were quite manly and violent -at least the ones who did the conquering. They left their legacy in places all over Europe and even North America.


Learn something new about Vikings in a trivia list at TVOM. Be warned that some of those things can be disturbing.

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That would be the Wootz steel. High carbon crucible steel alloy used in the manufacture of high quality swords such as the Ulfberht and Ingelrii inscribed swords.
Those Norse traders got around, and the craftsmen were true artists.
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Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you.

My favorite Norse trade story involves super-hard steel forged in batches by Indians and transported to the north of Europe where only Frankish and Norse craftsmen had the strength and skill to forge it into weapons.
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Amusing little link. For the most part, the guy who created it had no idea what he was talking about. Viking meant a raider/pirate. Not all Scandinavians were vikings. It is like calling all Americans "Cowboys."
Blood Eagle: There are no actual contemporary accounts of this practice. And no bodies showing evidence of it have been found.
Berserkers: While many warriors engaged in battle rage, the use of drugs and living in the wild emulating wolves and bears is purely supposition.
The onion soup picture shows morion and bascinet helmets as well as lochaber axes. That places the illustration in 16th-18th century Scotland. The Viking age ended in the 11th century.
Longships with no bathrooms? Until about the 19th century, no ships had toilets.
Thrusting spikes on their shields? Show one. Spiked shields are sometimes found on Scottish targes several centuries after the Viking age.
Erik the Red was born in Norway. As a child, he moved to Iceland with his father Thorvald who was the one exiled. Erik left Iceland because of a killing--he was outlawed for only three years.And Erik was the founder of the Norse settlements in Greenland.
The comments on the mental effect of blood, and the hopes of finding monsters to fight in America are, at best groundless speculation.
BTW, based on skeletal remains, the height range for Norsemen was 5'7" to 5'11"
And "Skraelings" usually translated to mean "wretches" was used in the same way the Greeks called non Greeks "barbarians."
Teeth filing: Those are real Norseman teeth in the photo, but were they filed into points?
He missed the really cool things such as:
The Norse trade routes created Russia and brought Arab silver and Chinese silk to northern Europe. Iceland was the first European democracy. They navigated across thousands of miles of open ocean and discovered the Americas 500 years before Columbus.
And the most common artifacts found buried with Norse remains? Combs and grooming tools.
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