Facts About Vikings

Interesting Facts About Vikings

While many have heard of these Norse explorers, most could not recite many facts about Vikings. Some have a mental picture of Vikings as nothing but savages who tore through the land taking what they wanted and destroying anything in the path. Others may have a more sanitized version of these men. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Here are some interesting facts about Vikings that you probably never knew.

Vikings Did Not Wear Horned Helmets

There have been no Viking helmets recovered that had any kind of horn. Most historians agree that while Vikings did not wear these helmets, they may have been used by Scandinavian people for ritualistic purposes.

Vikings Used Birds as Navigational Tools

The birds used for this purpose were ravens. They would follow the path of the raven while looking for new lands to explore.

Vikings Treated Their Women with Respect

Some may have an image of a Viking dominating his wife while she humbly submitted to his stern authority. This is not the case. Women had many rights in this culture. They could marry whoever they wished and could even seek divorce if they wanted.  While their Viking husbands were away, the women were adept at running the homes.

Viking were Very Much into Grooming

While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, Vikings were exceptionally clean.  Vikings made their own soap as well as grooming tools, such as tweezers and razors. They were even known to bleach their hair as blond hair was considered more attractive in their culture. For men known for their brutality, they were very high maintenance!

Viking Children Did Not Attend School

Instead of attending school they would help with chores at home. When the boys were old enough, they would sometimes accompany their fathers on their journeys.

The Longest Known Viking Ship is Over 23 Meters Long

The ship, known as Gokstad, was found in 1880. When fully loaded with men and gear, the ship would have weighed over 20 kg.

The study of Vikings is fascinating to many people. In fact, just as there are reenactment groups for Civil War and Revolutionary War time periods, there are also such groups for Vikings.

The players in such groups gather at various places to reenactment important moments in Viking history and to educate those who have come to watch. These men and women take their roles as Viking characters very seriously. Most do not come out of character at all during the entire event, even those that last for several days.

While many myths about Vikings – such as the horned helmets mentioned above – may be hard to quench, there are plenty of places to go in order to find correct facts about Vikings.  There are several museums dedicated to all things Vikings.

Some of the museums include exhibitions featuring a Viking ship. All of the museums, of course, work to put out factual information in order that all visitors may be better able to understand who the Vikings really were.

Whatever you may think about the Vikings, one thing is sure: The world is a different place because of them.