Vikings, for sure, are well known to many of us, as representatives of one of the most martial and ferocious peoples. Their figures are often used in books and as a basis for shooting films, but many of the Viking history facts and resources that came to the present days can be easily called ordinary stereotypes.
These erroneous judgments arose as a result of superimpose of different facts to each other. Vikings are the peoples of Scandinavia, who lived in the 9-11th centuries. All these centuries right up to our days, Scandinavians have been depicted by artists, their exploits and conquests are described in various books. Each of these authors brought into the description more new and bright details that in his opinion were describing these barbarians in their best light. As a result, now it’s mainly impossible to distinguish truth from fiction in Viking culture facts.
The horned helmet
The first thing that comes to our mind when we have an association with Vikings in our heads is the image of a strong man in a helmet with horns and ancient Slavs jewelry. However, this is just the forced stereotype we were talking before. In fact, the Vikings wore headgear (they were designed to protect the warrior’s head in battles). Yet, horns “appeared” on Vikings’ helmets already in the 19th century with the help of painters. Artists were inspired by the Greek and Roman chroniclers, they described the northern conquerors and “borrowed” horned helmets from Germanic and Scandinavian priests. Such attributes were used in religious ceremonies. Nowadays Slavic amulets and Slavic pendants are still popular.
Did the Vikings live in conditions of unsanitary conditions?
Do you really think that these people were so busy with wars that did not care about their hygiene at all? Wrongly! An English chronicler of the 13th century (John from Wallingford) said that the Scandinavians were extremely attractive to noble Englishwomen and the main reason for that was their neatness. According to this source, the peoples who inhabited Scandinavian territories regularly washed their bodies, combed hair and changed their underwear.
Another undeniable fact, which proves the cleanliness of the Vikings, is archaeological excavations. Owing to this fact, scientists managed to find out that most of the settlements were arranged on hot springs, and among the household utensils there were found ridges, tweezers and some other beauty-care items. As for handcrafting ancient slavic jewellery included powerful amulets and ancient symbol rings and slavic pagan pendants.
Absence of Norse Viking Jewellery
The fact that there are no crafts and refined things in medieval Scandinavians is another stereotype. Probably, it was done to make the image of the Viking jewellery history facts. However, when you get a little more acquainted with the Viking historical facts, they appear in a completely different light.
Vikings at one time were known as excellent armorers. Professional armorers were impressing with magnificent and great swords, spears, axes and two-handed axes. However, all these weapons were of the ordinary size and by no means as caricatured, the way they are shown by painters and screenwriters.
Another property of the facts about Viking culture, which has survived to this day, is Norse Viking jewelry made of bronze, silver and gold. In particular, this type of art reflects the attitude to religion. Norse Viking rings, pendants, bracelets – everywhere you can find symbols of different deities. In those days these adornments were worn as amulets, but now they are regarded as real works of art.
All the Vikings are warriors and barbarians
Of course, we are accustomed thinking that all the men of this people were engaged only in fighting against other nations, plundering and committing outrages. However, Viking historical events,facts and myths indicate the opposite. Medieval Scandinavians were excellent farmers and cattle-breeders. Most time of the year they spent in the fields, cultivating oats, barley and rye, meanwhile breeding pigs, sheep and goats allowed families to live comfortably. The Vikings were also famous for Slavic pagan jewellery.
Discovery merit of the America belongs to Vikings
In the 10th century, Scandinavian seafarers discovered Iceland, after which they formed colonies in Greenland (the “Saga of the Greenlanders” is a written source). A little later, the merchant Bjarni Heryolvson, who had lost his way, reached the coast of North America. He told to Leyva Erickson about this, and the last one tried to create colonies there. Historical testimony was the “Saga of Eric the Red.”