Vikings (Old English: wicing—"pirate", Danish and Bokmål:
vikinger; Swedish and Nynorsk: vikingar; Icelandic: víkingar, from
Old Norse) were Norse seafarers, mainly speaking the Old Norse
language, who raided and traded from their Northern European homelands
across wide areas of northern, central, eastern and western Europe,
during the late 8th to late 11th centuries. The term is also
commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the
inhabitants of Viking home communities during what has become known as
the Viking Age. This period of Nordic military, mercantile and
demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early
medieval history of Scandinavia, Estonia, the British Isles, France,
Kievan Rus' and Sicily.
Facilitated by advanced sailing and navigational skills, and
characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times also
extended into the
Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle
East and Central Asia. Following extended phases of (primarily sea- or
river-borne) exploration, expansion and settlement, Viking (Norse)
communities and polities were established in diverse areas of
north-western Europe, European Russia, the
North Atlantic islands and
as far as the north-eastern coast of North America. This period of
expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while
simultaneously introducing strong foreign cultural influences into
Scandinavia itself, with profound developmental implications in both
Popular, modern conceptions of the Vikings—the term frequently
applied casually to their modern descendants and the inhabitants of
modern Scandinavia—often strongly differ from the complex picture
that emerges from archaeology and historical sources. A romanticised
Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th
century; this developed and became widely propagated during the
19th-century Viking revival. Perceived views of the
alternatively violent, piratical heathens or as intrepid adventurers
owe much to conflicting varieties of the modern Viking myth that had
taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations
Vikings are typically based on cultural clichés and
stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy.
These representations are not always accurate – for example, there
is no evidence that they wore horned helmets.
1.1 Other names
2.1 Viking Age
2.3 End of the Viking Age
3.1 Literature and language
3.2 Burial sites
3.4 Everyday life
3.4.1 Social structure
3.4.3 Farming and cuisine
3.4.5 Games and entertainment
3.4.6 Experimental archaeology
4 Weapons and warfare
6.1 Medieval perceptions
6.2 Post-medieval perceptions
6.2.1 In 20th-century politics
6.2.2 In modern popular culture
6.3 Common misconceptions
6.3.1 Horned helmets
6.3.3 Use of skulls as drinking vessels
7 Genetic legacy
8 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
A Norwegian fjord
One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning "creek,
inlet, small bay". Various theories have been offered that the word
viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian
district of Viken (or Víkin in Old Norse), meaning "a person from
Viken". According to this theory, the word simply described persons
from this area, and it is only in the last few centuries that it has
taken on the broader sense of early medieval Scandinavians in general.
However, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from
the Viken area were not called 'Viking' in
Old Norse manuscripts, but
are referred to as víkverir (Modern Norwegian: vikvær), 'Vík
dwellers'. In addition, that explanation could only explain the
masculine (Old Scandinavian víkingr) and ignore the feminine (Old
Norse víking), which is a serious problem because the masculine is
easily derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa. The
form also occurs as a personal name on some Swedish runestones. There
is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before
the end of the Viking Age.
Another etymology (supported by, among others, the recognised
etymologist Anatoly Liberman) derives Viking from the same root as
Old Norse vika, f. ‘sea mile’, originally ‘the distance between
two shifts of rowers’, from the root *weik or *wîk, as in the
Proto-Germanic verb *wîkan, ‘to recede’. This is found in the
Proto-Nordic verb *wikan, ‘to turn’, similar to Old Icelandic
víkja (ýkva, víkva) ‘to move, to turn’, with well-attested
nautical usages. Linguistically, this theory is better
attested, and the term most likely predates the use of the sail by
Germanic peoples of North-Western Europe, because the Old Frisian
spelling shows that the word was pronounced with a palatal k and thus
in all probability existed in North-Western Germanic before that
palatalisation happened, that is, in the 5th century or before (in the
western branch). In that case, the idea behind it seems to be
that the tired rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart
when he relieves him. The
Old Norse feminine víking (as in the phrase
fara í víking) may originally have been a sea journey characterised
by the shifting of rowers, i.e. a long-distance sea journey, because
in the pre-sail era, the shifting of rowers would distinguish
long-distance sea journeys. A víkingr (the masculine) would then
originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterised by
the shifting of rowers. In that case, the word Viking was not
originally connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this
meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas.
In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the
Widsith, which probably dates from the 9th century. In Old English,
and in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by
Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term generally referred to
Scandinavian pirates or raiders. As in the
Old Norse usages, the term
is not employed as a name for any people or culture in general. The
word does not occur in any preserved
Middle English texts. One theory
made by the Icelander Örnolfur Kristjansson is that the key to the
origins of the word is "wicinga cynn" in Widsith, referring to the
people or the race living in Jórvík (York, in the ninth century
under control by Norsemen), Jór-Wicings. The word Viking was
introduced into Modern English during the 18th-century Viking revival,
at which point it acquired romanticised heroic overtones of "barbarian
warrior" or noble savage. During the 20th century, the meaning of the
term was expanded to refer not only to seaborne raiders from
Scandinavia and other places settled by them (like
Iceland and the
Faroe Islands), but secondarily to any member of the culture that
produced said raiders during the period from the late 8th to the
mid-11th centuries, or more loosely from about 700 to as late as about
1100. As an adjective, the word is used to refer to ideas, phenomena,
or artefacts connected with those people and their cultural life,
producing expressions like Viking age, Viking culture, Viking art,
Viking religion, Viking ship and so on.
Europe in 814.
Roslagen is located along the coast of the northern tip
of the pink area marked "Swedes and Goths".
Vikings were known as Ascomanni ("ashmen") by the Germans for the
ash wood of their boats,"Dubgail and Finngail" ( "dark and fair
foreigners") by the Irish, Lochlannach ("lake person") by the
Gaels and Dene by the Anglo- Saxons.
The Slavs, the
Arabs and the Byzantines knew them as the Rus' or
Rhōs, probably derived from various uses of rōþs-, "related to
rowing", or derived from the area of
Roslagen in east-central Sweden,
where most of the
Vikings who visited the Slavic lands came from. Some
archaeologists and historians of today believe that these Scandinavian
settlements in the Slavic lands played a significant role in the
formation of the
Kievan Rus' federation, and hence the names and early
Russia and Belarus. The modern day name for
Sweden in several neighbouring countries is possibly derived from
rōþs-, Ruotsi in Finnish and Rootsi in Estonian.
Slavs and the Byzantines also called them
Old Norse Væringjar, meaning 'sworn men', from
vàr- "confidence, vow of fealty", related to
Old English wær
"agreement, treaty, promise", Old High German wara
"faithfulness"). Scandinavian bodyguards of the Byzantine emperors
were known as the
Franks normally called them Northmen or Danes, while for the
English they were generally known as Danes or heathen and the Irish
knew them as pagans or gentiles.
Anglo-Scandinavian is an academic term referring to the people, and
archaeological and historical periods during the 8th to 13th centuries
in which there was migration to—and occupation of—the British
Isles by Scandinavian peoples generally known in English as Vikings.
It is used in distinction from Anglo-Saxon. Similar terms exist for
other areas, such as
Ireland and Scotland.
Main article: Viking Age
Sea-faring Danes depicted invading England. Illuminated illustration
from the 12th century Miscellany on the Life of St. Edmund (Pierpont
The period from the earliest recorded raids in the 790s until the
Norman conquest of England
Norman conquest of England in 1066 is commonly known as the Viking Age
of Scandinavian history.
Vikings used the
Norwegian Sea and Baltic
Sea for sea routes to the south. The
Normans were descended from
Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in northern
France—the Duchy of Normandy—in the 10th century. In that respect,
descendants of the
Vikings continued to have an influence in northern
Europe. Likewise, King Harold Godwinson, the last
Anglo-Saxon king of
England, had Danish ancestors. Two
Vikings even ascended to the throne
of England, with
Sweyn Forkbeard claiming the English throne in
1013–1014 and his son
Cnut the Great
Cnut the Great becoming king of England
Viking Age may be assigned not only to Scandinavian
lands (modern Denmark,
Norway and Sweden), but also to territories
under North Germanic dominance, mainly the Danelaw, including
Scandinavian York, the administrative centre of the remains of the
Kingdom of Northumbria, parts of Mercia, and East Anglia.
Viking navigators opened the road to new lands to the north, west and
east, resulting in the foundation of independent settlements in the
Shetland, Orkney, and Faroe Islands; Iceland; Greenland; and
L'Anse aux Meadows, a short-lived settlement in Newfoundland, circa
Greenland settlement was established around 980, during
the Medieval Warm Period, and its demise by the mid-15th century may
have been partly due to climate change. The Viking Rurik dynasty
took control of territories in Slavic and Finno-Ugric-dominated areas
of Eastern Europe; they annexed
Kiev in 882 to serve as the capital of
the Kievan Rus'.
As early as 839, when Swedish emissaries are first known to have
visited Byzantium, Scandinavians served as mercenaries in the service
of the Byzantine Empire. In the late 10th century, a new unit of
the imperial bodyguard formed. Traditionally containing large numbers
of Scandinavians, it was known as the
Varangian Guard. The word
Varangian may have originated in Old Norse, but in Slavic and Greek it
could refer either to Scandinavians or Franks. The most eminent
Scandinavian to serve in the
Varangian Guard was Harald Hardrada, who
subsequently established himself as king of
There is archaeological evidence that
Vikings reached Baghdad, the
centre of the Islamic Empire. The Norse regularly plied the Volga
with their trade goods: furs, tusks, seal fat for boat sealant, and
slaves. Important trading ports during the period include Birka,
Hedeby, Kaupang, Jorvik, Staraya Ladoga, Novgorod, and Kiev.
Generally speaking, the Norwegians expanded to the north and west to
places such as Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, and Greenland; the Danes to
England and France, settling in the
Danelaw (northern/eastern England)
and Normandy; and the Swedes to the east, founding Kievan Rus'. Among
the Swedish runestones mentioning expeditions overseas, almost half
tell of raids and travels to western Europe. According to the
Icelandic sagas, many Norwegian
Vikings also went to eastern Europe.
In the Viking Age, the present day nations of Norway,
Denmark did not exist, but were largely homogeneous and similar in
culture and language, although somewhat distinct geographically. The
names of Scandinavian kings are reliably known only for the later part
of the Viking Age. After the end of the
Viking Age the separate
kingdoms gradually acquired distinct identities as nations, which went
hand-in-hand with their Christianisation. Thus the end of the Viking
Age for the Scandinavians also marks the start of their relatively
brief Middle Ages.
Main article: Viking expansion
Travels of the Vikings
Iceland by Norwegian
Vikings began in the ninth
century. The first source that
Greenland appear in is a
papal letter of 1053. Twenty years later, they are then seen in the
Gesta of Adam of Bremen. It was not until after 1130, when the islands
had become Christianized, that accounts of the history of the islands
were written from the point of view of the inhabitants in sagas and
Vikings explored the northern islands and coasts
of the North Atlantic, ventured south to
North Africa and east to
Russia, Constantinople, and the Middle East. They raided
and pillaged, traded, acted as mercenaries and settled wide-ranging
Vikings probably returned home after their raids.
Later in their history, they began to settle in other lands.
Vikings under Leif Ericson, heir to Erik the Red, reached North
America and set up short-lived settlements in present-day L'Anse aux
Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada. This expansion occurred during the
Medieval Warm Period.
Viking expansion into continental Europe was limited. Their realm was
bordered by powerful cultures to the south. Early on, it was the
Saxons, who occupied Old Saxony, located in what is now Northern
Saxons were a fierce and powerful people and were often
in conflict with the Vikings. To counter the Saxon aggression and
solidify their own presence, the Danes constructed the huge defence
Danevirke in and around Hedeby. The
witnessed the violent subduing of the
Saxons by Charlemagne, in the
Saxon Wars in 772–804. The Saxon defeat resulted in
their forced christening and the absorption of
Old Saxony into the
Carolingian Empire. Fear of the
Franks led the
Vikings to further
expand Danevirke, and the defence constructions remained in use
Viking Age and even up until 1864. The south coast
Baltic Sea was ruled by the Obotrites, a federation of Slavic
tribes loyal to the Carolingians and later the Frankish empire. The
Vikings—led by King Gudfred—destroyed the Obotrite city of Reric
on the southern Baltic coast in 808 AD and transferred the merchants
and traders to Hedeby. This secured their supremacy in the Baltic
Sea, which remained throughout the Viking Age.
The motives driving the
Viking expansion are a topic of much debate in
Nordic history. One common theory posits that
Charlemagne "used force
and terror to Christianise all pagans", leading to baptism, conversion
or execution, and as a result,
Vikings and other pagans resisted and
wanted revenge. Professor Rudolf Simek states that
"it is not a coincidence if the early Viking activity occurred during
the reign of Charlemagne". The penetration of Christianity
Scandinavia led to serious conflict dividing
Norway for almost a
Viking settlements and voyages
Another explanation is that the
Vikings exploited a moment of weakness
in the surrounding regions. England suffered from internal divisions
and was relatively easy prey given the proximity of many towns to the
sea or to navigable rivers. Lack of organised naval opposition
throughout Western Europe allowed
Viking ships to travel freely,
raiding or trading as opportunity permitted. The decline in the
profitability of old trade routes could also have played a role. Trade
between western Europe and the rest of Eurasia suffered a severe blow
Roman Empire fell in the 5th century. The expansion of
Islam in the 7th century had also affected trade with western
Raids in Europe, including raids and settlements from Scandinavia,
were not unprecedented and had occurred long before the Vikings
Jutes invaded the
British Isles three centuries earlier,
pouring out from
Jutland during the Age of Migrations, before the
Danes settled there. The
Saxons and the
Angles did the same, embarking
from mainland Europe. The Viking raids were, however, the first to be
documented in writing by eyewitnesses, and they were much larger in
scale and frequency than in previous times.
Vikings themselves were expanding; although their motives are unclear,
historians believe that scarce resources were a factor. Vikings
wanted to loot the wealthy and become the dominant class. While doing
so, they enslaved many and solved them across the sea.[clarification
The "Highway of Slaves" was a term used to describe a route that the
Vikings found to have a direct pathway from
Baghdad while traveling on the Baltic Sea. With the
advancements of their ships during the ninth century, the
able to sail to
Russia and some northern parts of Europe.
End of the Viking Age
During the Viking Age, Scandinavian men and women travelled to many
parts of Europe and beyond, in a cultural diaspora that left its
Newfoundland to Byzantium. This period of energetic
activity also had a pronounced effect in the Scandinavian homelands,
which were subject to a variety of new influences. In the 300
years from the late 8th century, when contemporary chroniclers first
commented on the appearance of Viking raiders, to the end of the 11th
Scandinavia underwent profound cultural changes.
Blar a' Bhuailte, the site of the Vikings' last stand in Skye
By the late 11th century, royal dynasties legitimised by the Catholic
Church (which had had little influence in
Scandinavia 300 years
earlier) were asserting their power with increasing authority and
ambition, and the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and
taken shape. Towns appeared that functioned as secular and
ecclesiastical administrative centres and market sites, and monetary
economies began to emerge based on English and German models. By
this time the influx of Islamic silver from the East had been absent
for more than a century, and the flow of English silver had come to an
end in the mid-11th century. Christianity had taken root in
Norway with the establishment of dioceses during the 11th
century, and the new religion was beginning to organise and assert
itself more effectively in Sweden. Foreign churchmen and native elites
were energetic in furthering the interests of Christianity, which was
now no longer operating only on a missionary footing, and old
ideologies and lifestyles were transforming. By 1103, the first
archbishopric was founded in Scandinavia, at Lund, Scania, then part
The assimilation of the nascent Scandinavian kingdoms into the
cultural mainstream of European Christendom altered the aspirations of
Scandinavian rulers and of Scandinavians able to travel overseas, and
changed their relations with their neighbours. One of the primary
sources of profit for the
Vikings had been slave-taking. The medieval
Church held that Christians should not own fellow Christians as
slaves, so chattel slavery diminished as a practice throughout
northern Europe. This took much of the economic incentive out of
raiding, though sporadic slaving activity continued into the 11th
century. Scandinavian predation in Christian lands around the North
and Irish Seas diminished markedly.
The kings of
Norway continued to assert power in parts of northern
Britain and Ireland, and raids continued into the 12th century, but
the military ambitions of Scandinavian rulers were now directed toward
new paths. In 1107, Sigurd I of
Norway sailed for the eastern
Mediterranean with Norwegian crusaders to fight for the newly
established Kingdom of Jerusalem, and Danes and Swedes participated
energetically in the
Baltic Crusades of the 12th and 13th
A variety of sources illuminate the culture, activities, and beliefs
of the Vikings. Although they were generally a non-literate culture
that produced no literary legacy, they had an alphabet and described
themselves and their world on runestones. Most contemporary literary
and written sources on the
Vikings come from other cultures that were
in contact with them. Since the mid-20th century, archaeological
findings have built a more complete and balanced picture of the lives
of the Vikings. The archaeological record is particularly rich
and varied, providing knowledge of their rural and urban settlement,
crafts and production, ships and military equipment, trading networks,
as well as their pagan and Christian religious artefacts and
Literature and language
Old Norse and The Norse Sagas
One of the few surviving manuscript leaves from the Heimskringla
Sagas, written by
Snorri Sturluson c. 1260. The leaf tells of King
The most important primary sources on the
Vikings are contemporary
Scandinavia and regions where the
Vikings were active.
Latin letters was introduced to
Christianity, so there are few native documentary sources from
Scandinavia before the late 11th and early 12th centuries. The
Scandinavians did write inscriptions in runes, but these are usually
very short and formulaic. Most contemporary documentary sources
consist of texts written in Christian and Islamic communities outside
Scandinavia, often by authors who had been negatively affected by
Later writings on the
Vikings and the
Viking Age can also be important
for understanding them and their culture, although they need to be
treated cautiously. After the consolidation of the church and the
Scandinavia and its colonies into the mainstream of
Christian culture in the 11th and 12th centuries, native
written sources begin to appear, in
Latin and Old Norse. In the Viking
colony of Iceland, an extraordinary vernacular literature blossomed in
the 12th through 14th centuries, and many traditions connected with
Viking Age were written down for the first time in the Icelandic
sagas. A literal interpretation of these medieval prose narratives
Vikings and the Scandinavian past is doubtful, but many
specific elements remain worthy of consideration, such as the great
quantity of skaldic poetry attributed to court poets of the 10th and
11th centuries, the exposed family trees, the self images, the ethical
values, all included in these literary writings.
Vikings have also left a window open to their
language, culture and activities, through many
Old Norse place names
and words, found in their former sphere of influence. Some of these
place names and words are still in direct use today, almost unchanged,
and sheds light on where they settled and what specific places meant
to them, as seen in place names like
Egilsay (from Eigils Ø meaning
Ormskirk (from Ormr kirkja meaning Orms Church or
Church of the Worm),
Meols (from merl meaning Sand Dunes), Snaefell
(Snow Fell), Ravenscar (Ravens Rock),
Vinland (Land of
Wine or Land of
Kaupanger (Market Harbour),
Tórshavn (Thor's Harbour), and
the religious centre of Odense, meaning a place where
worshipped. Viking influence is also evident in concepts like the
present-day parliamentary body of the
Tynwald on the Isle of Man.
Common words in everyday English language, like some of the weekdays
Thursday means Thor's day), axle, crook, raft, knife, plough,
leather, window, berserk, bylaw, thorp, skerry, husband, heathen,
Hell, Norman and ransack stem from the
Old Norse of the
give us an opportunity to understand their interactions with the
people and cultures of the British Isles. In the
Northern Isles of
Shetland and Orkney,
Old Norse completely replaced the local languages
and over time evolved into the now extinct Norn language. Some modern
words and names only emerge and contribute to our understanding after
a more intense research of linguistic sources from medieval or later
records, such as
York (Horse Bay),
Swansea (Sveinn's Isle) or some of
the place names in Northern France like Tocqueville (Toki's farm).
Linguistic and etymological studies continue to provide a vital source
of information on the Viking culture, their social structure and
history and how they interacted with the people and cultures they met,
traded, attacked or lived with in overseas settlements. It has
been speculated that several place names on the west coast of southern
France might also stem from Viking activities. Place names like
Taillebourg (Trelleborg, meaning City of
Thralls or Castle of Thralls)
exist as far south as the Charente River.
Gascony and vicinity
is an active area of Viking archaeology at present. A lot of Old
Norse connections are evident in the modern-day languages of Swedish,
Norwegian, Danish, Faroese and Icelandic.
Old Norse did not exert
any great influence on the
Slavic languages in the Viking settlements
of Eastern Europe. It has been speculated that the reason was the
great differences between the two languages, combined with the Rus'
Vikings more peaceful businesses in these areas and the fact that they
were outnumbered. The Norse named some of the rapids on the Dnieper,
but this can hardly be seen from the modern names.
A consequence of the available written sources, which may have
coloured how the Viking age is perceived as a historical period, is
that much more is known of the Vikings' activities in western Europe
than in the East. One reason is that the cultures of north-eastern
Europe at the time were non-literate, and did not produce a legacy of
literature. Another is that the vast majority of written sources on
Scandinavia in the
Viking Age come from Iceland, a nation originally
settled by Norwegian colonists. As a result, there is much more
material from the
Viking Age about
Norway than Sweden, which apart
from many runic inscriptions, has almost no written sources from the
early Middle Ages.
Main article: Runestone
Runestone in Sweden
Runic inscriptions of the larger of the
Jelling Stones in Denmark
Two types of Norse runestones from the Viking Age
The Norse of the
Viking Age could read and write and used a
non-standardised alphabet, called runor, built upon sound values.
While there are few remains of runic writing on paper from the Viking
era, thousands of stones with runic inscriptions have been found where
Vikings lived. They are usually in memory of the dead, though not
necessarily placed at graves. The use of runor survived into the 15th
century, used in parallel with the
The majority of runic inscriptions from the Viking period are found in
Sweden and date from the 11th century. The oldest stone with runic
inscriptions was found in
Norway and dates to the 4th century,
suggesting that runic inscriptions pre-date the Viking period. Many
Scandinavia record the names of participants in Viking
expeditions, such as the Kjula runestone that tells of extensive
warfare in Western Europe and the Turinge Runestone, which tells of a
war band in Eastern Europe. Other runestones mention men who died on
Viking expeditions. Among them are around 25
Ingvar runestones in the
Mälardalen district of Sweden, erected to commemorate members of a
disastrous expedition into present-day
Russia in the early 11th
Runestones are important sources in the study of Norse
society and early medieval Scandinavia, not only of the Viking segment
of the population.
Jelling stones date from between 960 and 985. The older, smaller
stone was raised by King Gorm the Old, the last pagan king of Denmark,
as a memorial honouring Queen Thyre. The larger stone was raised
by his son, Harald Bluetooth, to celebrate the conquest of
Norway and the conversion of the Danes to Christianity. It has three
sides: one with an animal image, one with an image of the crucified
Jesus Christ, and a third bearing the following inscription:
King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his
father, and in memory of Thyrvé, his mother; that Haraldr who won for
himself all of
Norway and made the Danes Christian.
Runestones attest to voyages to locations such as Bath,
Greece, Khwaresm, Jerusalem, Italy (as Langobardland),
Serkland (i.e. the Muslim world), England (including
London), and various places in Eastern Europe. Viking Age
inscriptions have also been discovered on the
Manx runestones on the
Isle of Man.
Norse funeral and Ship burial
Burial mounds at Gamla Uppsala
Funerary stone setting
Viking burial mounds and stone set graves, known as tumuli
Prow of the
Oseberg ship, at Oslo Museum
Head post from the
There are numerous burial sites associated with
Europe and their sphere of influence—in Scandinavia, the British
Isles, Ireland, Greenland, Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Germany, The
Baltic, Russia, etc. The burial practices of the
Vikings were quite
varied, from dug graves in the ground, to tumuli, sometimes including
so-called ship burials.
According to written sources, most of the funerals took place at sea.
The funerals involved either burial or cremation, depending on local
customs. In the area that is now Sweden, cremations were predominant;
Denmark burial was more common; and in
Norway both were common.
Viking barrows are one of the primary source of evidence for
circumstances in the Viking Age. The items buried with the dead
give some indication as to what was considered important to possess in
the afterlife. It is unknown what mortuary services were given to
dead children by the Vikings. Some of the burial sites that are
most important for understanding the
Norway: Oseberg; Gokstad; Borrehaugene.
Gettlinge gravfält; the cemeteries of Birka, a World Heritage
Site; Valsgärde; Gamla Uppsala; Hulterstad gravfält, near Alby;
Denmark: Jelling, a World Heritage Site; Lindholm Høje; Ladby ship;
Mammen chamber tomb and hoard.
Salme ships – The largest ship burial ground ever
Scotland: Port an Eilean Mhòir ship burial; Scar boat burial, Orkney.
Faroe Islands: Hov.
Mosfellsbær in Capital Region; the boat burial in
Ukraine: the Black Grave.
Main article: Viking ships
There have been several archaeological finds of
Viking ships of all
sizes, providing knowledge of the craftsmanship that went into
building them. There were many types of Viking ships, built for
various uses; the best-known type is probably the longship.
Longships were intended for warfare and exploration, designed for
speed and agility, and were equipped with oars to complement the sail,
making navigation possible independently of the wind. The longship had
a long, narrow hull and shallow draught to facilitate landings and
troop deployments in shallow water. Longships were used extensively by
the Leidang, the Scandinavian defence fleets. The longship allowed the
Norse to go Viking, which might explain why this type of ship has
become almost synonymous with the concept of Vikings.
A reconstructed longship
A model of the knarr ship type
Examples of viking ships.
Vikings built many unique types of watercraft, often used for more
peaceful tasks. The knarr was a dedicated merchant vessel designed to
carry cargo in bulk. It had a broader hull, deeper draught, and a
small number of oars (used primarily to manoeuvre in harbours and
similar situations). One Viking innovation was the 'beitass', a spar
mounted to the sail that allowed their ships to sail effectively
against the wind. It was common for seafaring
Viking ships to tow
or carry a smaller boat to transfer crews and cargo from the ship to
Ships were an integral part of the Viking culture. They facilitated
everyday transportation across seas and waterways, exploration of new
lands, raids, conquests, and trade with neighbouring cultures. They
also held a major religious importance. People with high status were
sometimes buried in a ship along with animal sacrifices, weapons,
provisions and other items, as evidenced by the buried vessels at
Oseberg in Norway and the excavated ship burial at
Ladby in Denmark. Ship burials were also practised by
as evidenced by the excavations of the
Salme ships on the Estonian
island of Saaremaa.
Well-preserved remains of five
Viking ships were excavated from
Fjord in the late 1960s, representing both the longship and
the knarr. The ships were scuttled there in the 11th century to block
a navigation channel and thus protect Roskilde, then the Danish
capital, from seaborne assault. The remains of these ships are on
display at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.
A reconstructed Viking house in Iceland
Viking Age longhouse at Fyrkat, Denmark
Reconstructed town houses from
Haithabu (now in Germany)
The Viking society was divided into the three socio-economic classes:
Thralls, Karls and Jarls. This is described vividly in the Eddic poem
of Rígsþula, which also explains that it was the God Ríg – father
of mankind also known as
Heimdallr – who created the three classes.
Archaeology has confirmed this social structure.
Thralls were the lowest ranking class and were slaves. Slavery was of
vital importance to Viking society, for everyday chores and large
scale construction and also to trade and the economy.
servants and workers in the farms and larger households of the Karls
and Jarls, and they were used for constructing fortifications, ramps,
canals, mounds, roads and similar hard work projects. According to the
Thralls were despised and looked down upon. New thralls
were supplied by either the sons and daughters of thralls or they were
captured abroad. The
Vikings often deliberately captured many people
on their raids in Europe, to enslave them as thralls. The thralls were
then brought back home to
Scandinavia by boat, used on location or in
newer settlements to build needed structures, or sold, often to the
Arabs in exchange for silver. Other names for thrall were 'træl' and
Karls were free peasants. They owned farms, land and cattle and
engaged in daily chores like ploughing the fields, milking the cattle,
building houses and wagons, but used thralls to make ends meet. Other
names for Karls were 'bonde' or simply free men.
The Jarls were the aristocracy of the Viking society. They were
wealthy and owned large estates with huge longhouses, horses and many
thralls. The thralls did most of the daily chores, while the Jarls did
administration, politics, hunting, sports, visited other Jarls or were
abroad on expeditions. When a Jarl died and was buried, his household
thralls were sometimes sacrificially killed and buried next to him, as
many excavations have revealed.
In daily life, there were many intermediate positions in the overall
social structure and it is believed that there must have been some
social mobility. These details are unclear, but titles and positions
like hauldr, thegn, landmand, show mobility between the Karls and the
Other social structures included the communities of félag in both the
civil and the military spheres, to which its members (called félagi)
were obliged. A félag could be centred around certain trades, a
common ownership of a sea vessel or a military obligation under a
specific leader. Members of the latter were referred to as drenge, one
of the words for warrior. There were also official communities within
towns and villages, the overall defence, religion, the legal system
and the Things.
Women had a relatively free status in the Nordic countries of Sweden,
Denmark and Norway, illustrated in the Icelandic
Grágás and the
Frostating laws and
Gulating laws. The paternal aunt,
paternal niece and paternal granddaughter, referred to as odalkvinna,
all had the right to inherit property from a deceased man. In the
absence of male relatives, an unmarried woman with no son could
inherit not only property but also the position as head of the family
from a deceased father or brother. Such a woman was referred to as
Baugrygr, and she exercised all the rights afforded to the head of a
family clan – such as the right to demand and receive fines for the
slaughter of a family member – until she married, by which her
rights were transferred to her new husband. After the age of 20,
an unmarried woman, referred to as maer and mey, reached legal
majority and had the right to decide her place of residence and was
regarded as her own person before the law. An exception to her
independence was the right to choose a marriage partner, as marriages
were normally arranged by the family. Widows enjoyed the same
independent status as unmarried women. A married woman could divorce
her husband and remarry. It was also socially acceptable for a
free woman to cohabit with a man and have children with him without
marrying him, even if that man was married; a woman in such a position
was called frilla. There was no distinction made between children
born inside or outside marriage: both had the right to inherit
property after their parents, and there was no "legitimate" or
"illegitimate" children. Women had religious authority and were
active as priestesses (gydja) and oracles (sejdkvinna). They were
active within art as poets (skalder) and rune masters, and as
merchants and medicine women. They may also have been active
within military office: the stories about shieldmaidens is
unconfirmed, but some archaeological finds such as the
Viking warrior may indicate that at least some women in military
authority existed. These liberties gradually disappeared after the
introduction of Christianity, and from the late 13th-century, they are
no longer mentioned.
Typical jewellery worn by women of the Karls and Jarls: ornamented
silver brooches, coloured glass-beads and amulets
The three classes were easily recognisable by their appearances. Men
and women of the Jarls were well groomed with neat hairstyles and
expressed their wealth and status by wearing expensive clothes (often
silk) and well crafted jewellery like brooches, belt buckles,
necklaces and arm rings. Almost all of the jewellery was crafted in
specific designs unique to the Norse (see Viking art). Finger rings
were seldom used and earrings were not used at all, as they were seen
as a Slavic phenomenon. Most Karls expressed similar tastes and
hygiene, but in a more relaxed and inexpensive way.
Farming and cuisine
The sagas tell about the diet and cuisine of the Vikings, but
first hand evidence, like cesspits, kitchen middens and garbage dumps
have proved to be of great value and importance. Undigested remains of
plants from cesspits at Coppergate in
York have provided much
information in this respect. Overall, archaeo-botanical investigations
have been undertaken increasingly in recent decades, as a
collaboration between archaeologists and palaeoethno-botanists. This
new approach sheds light on the agricultural and horticultural
practices of the
Vikings and their cuisine.
The combined information from various sources suggests a diverse
cuisine and ingredients. Meat products of all kinds, such as cured,
smoked and whey-preserved meat, sausages, and boiled or fried
fresh meat cuts, were prepared and consumed. There were plenty of
seafood, bread, porridges, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, berries
and nuts. Alcoholic drinks like beer, mead, bjórr (a strong fruit
wine) and, for the rich, imported wine, were served.
Certain livestock were typical and unique to the Vikings, including
the Icelandic horse, Icelandic cattle, a plethora of sheep
Danish hen and the Danish goose. The
York mostly ate beef, mutton, and pork with small amounts
of horse meat. Most of the beef and horse leg bones were found split
lengthways, to extract the marrow. The mutton and swine were cut into
leg and shoulder joints and chops. The frequent remains of pig skull
and foot bones found on house floors indicate that brawn and trotters
were also popular. Hens were kept for both their meat and eggs, and
the bones of game birds such as the black grouse, golden plover, wild
ducks, and geese have also been found.
Seafood was important, in some places even more so than meat. Whales
and walrus were hunted for food in
Norway and the north-western parts
North Atlantic region, and seals were hunted nearly everywhere.
Oysters, mussels and shrimps were eaten in large quantities and cod
and salmon were popular fish. In the southern regions, herring was
Milk and buttermilk were popular, both as cooking ingredients and
drinks, but were not always available, even at farms. Milk came
from cows, goats and sheep, with priorities varying from location to
location, and fermented milk products like skyr or surmjölk were
produced as well as butter and cheese.
Food was often salted and enhanced with spices, some of which were
imported like black pepper, while others were cultivated in herb
gardens or harvested in the wild. Home grown spices included caraway,
mustard and horseradish as evidenced from the
Oseberg ship burial
or dill, coriander, and wild celery, as found in cesspits at
Coppergate in York. Thyme, juniper berry, sweet gale, yarrow, rue and
peppercress were also used and cultivated in herb gardens.
Everyday life in the Viking Age
Vikings collected and ate fruits, berries and nuts. Apple (wild crab
apples), plums and cherries were part of the diet, as were rose
hips and raspberry, wild strawberry, blackberry, elderberry, rowan,
hawthorn and various wild berries, specific to the locations.
Hazelnuts were an important part of the diet in general and large
amounts of walnut shells have been found in cities like Hedeby. The
shells were used for dyeing, and it is assumed that the nuts were
The invention and introduction of the mouldboard plough revolutionised
Scandinavia in the early
Viking Age and made it
possible to farm even poor soils. In Ribe, grains of rye, barley, oat
and wheat dated to the 8th century have been found and examined, and
are believed to have been cultivated locally. Grains and flour
were used for making porridges, some cooked with milk, some cooked
with fruit and sweetened with honey, and also various forms of bread.
Remains of bread from primarily
Sweden were made of barley
and wheat. It is unclear if the Norse leavened their breads, but their
ovens and baking utensils suggest that they did.
Flax was a very
important crop for the Vikings: it was used for oil extraction, food
consumption and most importantly the production of linen. More than
40% of all known textile recoveries from the
Viking Age can be traced
as linen. This suggests a much higher actual percentage, as linen is
poorly preserved compared to wool for example.
The quality of food for common people was not always particularly
high. The research at Coppergate shows that the
bread from whole meal flour — probably both wheat and rye – but
with the seeds of cornfield weeds included. Corncockle (Agrostemma),
would have made the bread dark-coloured, but the seeds are poisonous,
and people who ate the bread might have become ill. Seeds of carrots,
parsnip, and brassicas were also discovered, but they were poor
specimens and tend to come from white carrots and bitter tasting
cabbages. The rotary querns often used in the
Viking Age left
tiny stone fragments (often from basalt rock) in the flour, which when
eaten wore down the teeth. The effects of this can be seen on skeletal
remains of that period.
Sports were widely practised and encouraged by the Vikings.
Sports that involved weapons training and developing combat skills
were popular. This included spear and stone throwing, building and
testing physical strength through wrestling (see glima), fist
fighting, and stone lifting. In areas with mountains, mountain
climbing was practised as a sport. Agility and balance were built and
tested by running and jumping for sport, and there is mention of a
sport that involved jumping from oar to oar on the outside of a ship's
railing as it was being rowed. Swimming was a popular sport and Snorri
Sturluson describes three types: diving, long-distance swimming and a
contest in which two swimmers try to duck one another. Children often
participated in some of the sport disciplines and women have also been
mentioned as swimmers, although it is unclear if they took part in
Olaf Tryggvason was hailed as a master of both
mountain climbing and oar-jumping, and was said to have excelled in
the art of knife juggling as well.
Skiing and ice skating were the primary winter sports of the Vikings,
although skiing was also used as everyday means of transport in winter
and in the colder regions of the north.
Horse fighting was practised for sport, although the rules are
unclear. It appears to have involved two stallions pitted against each
other, within smell and sight of fenced-off mares. Whatever the rules
were, the fights often resulted in the death of one of the stallions.
Icelandic sources refer to the sport of knattleik. A ball game akin to
hockey, knattleik involved a bat and a small hard ball and was usually
played on a smooth field of ice. The rules are unclear, but it was
popular with both adults and children, even though it often led to
injuries. Knattleik appears to have been played only in Iceland, where
it attracted many spectators, as did horse fighting.
Hunting, as a sport, was limited to Denmark, where it was not regarded
as an important occupation. Birds, deer, hares and foxes were hunted
with bow and spear, and later with crossbows. The techniques were
stalking, snare and traps and par force hunting with dog packs.
Games and entertainment
Rook, Lewis chessmen, at the British Museum in London
Both archaeological finds and written sources testify to the fact that
Vikings set aside time for social and festive
Board games and dice games were played as a popular pastime at all
levels of society. Preserved gaming pieces and boards show game boards
made of easily available materials like wood, with game pieces
manufactured from stone, wood or bone, while other finds include
elaborately carved boards and game pieces of glass, amber, antler or
walrus tusk, together with materials of foreign origin, such as ivory.
Vikings played several types of tafl games; hnefatafl, nitavl
(Nine Men's Morris) and the less common kvatrutafl.
appeared at the end of the Viking Age.
Hnefatafl is a war game, in
which the object is to capture the king piece—a large hostile army
threatens and the king's men have to protect the king. It was played
on a board with squares using black and white pieces, with moves made
according to dice rolls. The Ockelbo
Runestone shows two men engaged
in Hnefatafl, and the sagas suggest that money or valuables could have
been involved in some dice games.
On festive occasions storytelling, skaldic poetry, music and alcoholic
drinks, like beer and mead, contributed to the atmosphere. Music
was considered an art form and music proficiency as fitting for a
cultivated man. The
Vikings are known to have played instruments
including harps, fiddles, lyres and lutes.
Experimental archaeology of the
Viking Age is a flourishing branch and
several places have been dedicated to this technique, such as Jorvik
Viking Centre in the United Kingdom,
Sagnlandet Lejre and
Center (da) in Denmark,
Foteviken Museum in
Sweden or Lofotr
Viking Museum in Norway. Viking-age reenactors have undertaken
experimental activities such as iron smelting and forging using Norse
techniques at Norstead in
Newfoundland for example.
On 1 July 2007, the reconstructed Viking ship Skuldelev 2, renamed Sea
Stallion, began a journey from
Roskilde to Dublin. The remains of
that ship and four others were discovered during a 1962 excavation in
Roskilde Fjord. Tree-ring analysis has shown the ship was built of
oak in the vicinity of Dublin in about 1042. Seventy multi-national
crew members sailed the ship back to its home, and Sea Stallion
arrived outside Dublin's Custom House on 14 August 2007. The purpose
of the voyage was to test and document the seaworthiness, speed, and
manoeuvrability of the ship on the rough open sea and in coastal
waters with treacherous currents. The crew tested how the long,
narrow, flexible hull withstood the tough ocean waves. The expedition
also provided valuable new information on Viking longships and
society. The ship was built using Viking tools, materials, and much
the same methods as the original ship.
Other vessels, often replicas of the
Gokstad ship (full- or
half-scale) or Skuldelev I have been built and tested as well. The
Snorri (a Skuldelev I Knarr), was sailed from
Newfoundland in 1998.
Weapons and warfare
Viking Age arms and armour
Knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on
archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on
the accounts in the
Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th
century. According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own
weapons and were permitted to carry them all the time. These arms were
indicative of a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking had a
complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, mail shirt, and sword. However,
swords were rarely used in battle, probably not sturdy enough for
combat and most likely only used as symbolic or decorative
items. A typical bóndi (freeman) was more likely to fight
with a spear and shield, and most also carried a seax as a utility
knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land
battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less "honourable"
than a melee weapon.
Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in
their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The Húscarls, the elite
guard of King
Cnut (and later of King Harold II) were armed with
two-handed axes that could split shields or metal helmets with ease.
The warfare and violence of the
Vikings were often motivated and
fuelled by their beliefs in Norse religion, focusing on
Thor and Odin,
the gods of war and death. In combat, it is believed that
Vikings sometimes engaged in a disordered style of frenetic,
furious fighting known as berserkergang, leading them to be termed
berserkers. Such tactics may have been deployed intentionally by shock
troops, and the berserk-state may have been induced through ingestion
of materials with psychoactive properties, such as the hallucinogenic
mushrooms, Amanita muscaria, or large amounts of alcohol.
Trade route from the
Varangians to the Greeks and Volga
The scales and weights of a Viking trader, used for measuring silver
and sometimes gold. (From the Sigtuna box)
Vikings established and engaged in extensive trading networks
throughout the known world and had a profound influence on the
economic development of Europe and
Scandinavia not the
Except for the major trading centres of Ribe,
Hedeby and the like, the
Viking world was unfamiliar with the use of coinage and was based on
so called bullion economy.
Silver was the most common metal in the
economy, although gold was also used to some extent.
in the form of bars, or ingots, as well as in the form of jewellery
and ornaments. A large number of silver hoards from the Viking Age
have been uncovered, both in
Scandinavia and the lands they
settled.[better source needed] Traders carried small
scales, enabling them to measure weight very accurately, so it was
possible to have a very precise system of trade and exchange, even
without a regular coinage.
Organized trade covered everything from ordinary items in bulk to
exotic luxury products. The Viking ship designs, like that of the
knarr, were an important factor in their success as merchants.
Imported goods from other cultures included:
Spices were obtained from Chinese and Persian traders, who met with
the Viking traders in Russia.
Vikings used homegrown spices and herbs
like caraway, thyme, horseradish and mustard, but imported
Glass was much prized by the Norse. The imported glass was often made
into beads for decoration and these have been found in their
Åhus in Scania and the old market town of
Ribe had major
production of glass beads.
Silk was a very important commodity obtained from
day Istanbul) and China. It was valued by many European cultures of
the time, and the
Vikings used it to illustrate status such as wealth
and nobility. Many of the archaeological finds in
Wine was imported from France and Germany as a drink of the wealthy,
to vary the regular mead and beer.
To counter these valuable imports, the
Vikings exported a large
variety of goods. These goods included:
Amber – the fossilised resin of the pine tree – was
frequently found on the
North Sea and Baltic coastline. It was worked
into beads and ornamental objects, before being traded. (See also the
Fur was also exported as it provided warmth. This included the furs of
pine martens, foxes, bears, otters and beavers.
Cloth and wool. The
Vikings were skilled spinners and weavers and
exported woollen cloth of a high quality.
Down was collected and exported. The Norwegian west coast supplied
eiderdowns and sometimes feathers were bought from the Samis. Down was
used for bedding and quilted clothing.
Fowling on the steep slopes and
cliffs was dangerous work and was often lethal.
Slaves, known as thralls in Old Norse. On their raids, the Vikings
captured many people, among them monks and clergymen. They were
sometimes sold as slaves to Arab merchants in exchange for silver.
Other exports included weapons, walrus ivory, wax, salt and cod. As
one of the more exotic exports, hunting birds were sometimes provided
Norway to the European aristocracy, from the 10th century.
Many of these goods were also traded within the Viking world itself,
as well as goods such as soapstone and whetstone.
Soapstone was traded
with the Norse on
Iceland and in Jutland, who used it for pottery.
Whetstones were traded and used for sharpening weapons, tools and
knives. There are indications from
Ribe and surrounding areas,
that the extensive medieval trade with oxen and cattle from Jutland
(see Ox Road), reach as far back as c. 720 AD. This trade satisfied
the Vikings' need for leather and meat to some extent, and perhaps
hides for parchment production on the European mainland.
Wool was also
very important as a domestic product for the Vikings, to produce warm
clothing for the cold Scandinavian and Nordic climate, and for sails.
Viking ships required large amounts of wool, as evidenced by
experimental archaeology. There are archaeological signs of organised
textile productions in Scandinavia, reaching as far back as the early
Iron Ages. Artisans and craftsmen in the larger towns were supplied
with antlers from organised hunting with large-scale reindeer traps in
the far north. They were used as raw material for making everyday
utensils like combs.
In England the
Viking Age began dramatically on 8 June 793 when
Norsemen destroyed the abbey on the island of Lindisfarne. The
devastation of Northumbria's Holy Island shocked and alerted the royal
courts of Europe to the Viking presence. "Never before has such an
atrocity been seen," declared the Northumbrian scholar Alcuin of
York. Medieval Christians in Europe were totally unprepared for
the Viking incursions and could find no explanation for their arrival
and the accompanying suffering they experienced at their hands save
the "Wrath of God". More than any other single event, the attack
Lindisfarne demonised perception of the
Vikings for the next twelve
centuries. Not until the 1890s did scholars outside
to seriously reassess the achievements of the Vikings, recognizing
their artistry, technological skills, and seamanship.
Norse Mythology, sagas, and literature tell of Scandinavian culture
and religion through tales of heroic and mythological heroes. Early
transmission of this information was primarily oral, and later texts
were reliant upon the writings and transcriptions of Christian
scholars, including the
Snorri Sturluson and Sæmundur
fróði. Many of these sagas were written in Iceland, and most of
them, even if they had no Icelandic provenance, were preserved there
after the Middle Ages due to the continued interest of
Norse literature and law codes.
The 200-year Viking influence on European history is filled with tales
of plunder and colonisation, and the majority of these chronicles came
from western witnesses and their descendants. Less common, though
equally relevant, are the Viking chronicles that originated in the
east, including the Nestor chronicles,
Novgorod chronicles, Ibn Fadlan
Ibn Rusta chronicles, and brief mentions by Photius,
patriarch of Constantinople, regarding their first attack on the
Byzantine Empire. Other chroniclers of Viking history include Adam of
Bremen, who wrote, in the fourth volume of his Gesta Hammaburgensis
Ecclesiae Pontificum, "[t]here is much gold here (in Zealand),
accumulated by piracy. These pirates, which are called wichingi by
their own people, and Ascomanni by our own people, pay tribute to the
Danish king." In 991, the
Battle of Maldon
Battle of Maldon between Viking raiders and
the inhabitants of Maldon in Essex was commemorated with a poem of the
A modern reenactment of a Viking battle
Early modern publications, dealing with what is now called Viking
culture, appeared in the 16th century, e.g. Historia de gentibus
septentrionalibus (Olaus Magnus, 1555), and the first edition of the
13th-century Gesta Danorum of
Saxo Grammaticus in 1514. The pace of
publication increased during the 17th century with
Edda (notably Peder Resen's
Edda Islandorum of 1665).
In Scandinavia, the 17th-century Danish scholars
Thomas Bartholin and
Ole Worm and the Swede
Olaus Rudbeck used runic inscriptions and
Icelandic sagas as historical sources. An important early British
contributor to the study of the
Vikings was George Hicke, who
published his Linguarum vett. septentrionalium thesaurus in 1703–05.
During the 18th century, British interest and enthusiasm for Iceland
and early Scandinavian culture grew dramatically, expressed in English
Old Norse texts and in original poems that extolled
the supposed Viking virtues.
The word "viking" was first popularised at the beginning of the 19th
Erik Gustaf Geijer
Erik Gustaf Geijer in his poem, The Viking. Geijer's poem
did much to propagate the new romanticised ideal of the Viking, which
had little basis in historical fact. The renewed interest of
Romanticism in the Old North had contemporary political implications.
The Geatish Society, of which Geijer was a member, popularised this
myth to a great extent. Another Swedish author who had great influence
on the perception of the
Vikings was Esaias Tegnér, member of the
Geatish Society, who wrote a modern version of Friðþjófs saga hins
frœkna, which became widely popular in the Nordic countries, the
United Kingdom, and Germany.
Viking long ships besieging Paris in 845, 19th century portrayal
Fascination with the
Vikings reached a peak during the so-called
Viking revival in the late 18th and 19th centuries as a branch of
Romantic nationalism. In Britain this was called Septentrionalism, in
Germany "Wagnerian" pathos, and in the Scandinavian countries
Scandinavism. Pioneering 19th-century scholarly editions of the Viking
Age began to reach a small readership in Britain, archaeologists began
to dig up Britain's Viking past, and linguistic enthusiasts started to
identify the Viking-Age origins of rural idioms and proverbs. The new
dictionaries of the
Old Norse language enabled the
grapple with the primary Icelandic sagas.
Until recently, the history of the
Viking Age was largely based on
Icelandic sagas, the history of the Danes written by Saxo Grammaticus,
the Russian Primary Chronicle, and Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib. Few
scholars still accept these texts as reliable sources, as historians
now rely more on archaeology and numismatics, disciplines that have
made valuable contributions toward understanding the
In 20th-century politics
The romanticised idea of the
Vikings constructed in scholarly and
popular circles in northwestern Europe in the 19th and early 20th
centuries was a potent one, and the figure of the Viking became a
familiar and malleable symbol in different contexts in the politics
and political ideologies of 20th-century Europe. In Normandy,
which had been settled by Vikings, the Viking ship became an
uncontroversial regional symbol. In Germany, awareness of Viking
history in the 19th century had been stimulated by the border dispute
Denmark over Schleswig-Holstein and the use of Scandinavian
mythology by Richard Wagner. The idealised view of the Vikings
appealed to Germanic supremacists who transformed the figure of the
Viking in accordance with the ideology of the Germanic master
race. Building on the linguistic and cultural connections between
Norse-speaking Scandinavians and other Germanic groups in the distant
Vikings were portrayed in
Nazi Germany as a pure
Germanic type. The cultural phenomenon of
Viking expansion was
re-interpreted for use as propaganda to support the extreme militant
nationalism of the Third Reich, and ideologically informed
interpretations of Viking paganism and the Scandinavian use of runes
were employed in the construction of Nazi mysticism. Other political
organisations of the same ilk, such as the former Norwegian fascist
party Nasjonal Samling, similarly appropriated elements of the modern
Viking cultural myth in their symbolism and propaganda. In communist
Russia, the ideology of Slavic racial purity led to the complete
denial that Scandinavians had played a part in the emergence of the
principalities of the Rus', which were supposed to have been founded
by Slavs. Evidence to the contrary was suppressed until the 1990s.
Novgorod now enthusiastically acknowledges its Viking history and has
included a Viking ship in its logo.
In modern popular culture
Viking reenactment training (Jomsvikings group)
Tim Kirk's cover painting for Robert E. Howard's Tigers of the Sea
fits precisely the popular, instantly recognisable image of a Viking
Led by the operas of German composer Richard Wagner, such as Der Ring
Vikings and the Romanticist Viking Revival have
inspired many creative works. These have included novels directly
based on historical events, such as Frans Gunnar Bengtsson's The Long
Ships (which was also released as a 1963 film), and historical
fantasies such as the film The Vikings, Michael Crichton's Eaters of
the Dead (movie version called The 13th Warrior), and the comedy film
Erik the Viking. The vampire Eric Northman, in the HBO TV series True
Blood, was a Viking prince before being turned into a vampire. Vikings
appear in several books by the
Danish American writer Poul Anderson,
while British explorer, historian, and writer
Tim Severin authored a
trilogy of novels in 2005 about a young Viking adventurer Thorgils
Leifsson, who travels around the world.
In 1962, American comic book writer
Stan Lee and his brother Larry
Lieber, together with Jack Kirby, created the
Marvel Comics superhero
Thor, which they based on the Norse god of the same name. The
character is featured in the 2011
Marvel Studios film
Thor and its
sequels Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. The character also
appears in the 2012 film The Avengers and its associated animated
Since the 1960s, there has been rising enthusiasm for historical
reenactment. While the earliest groups had little claim for historical
accuracy, the seriousness and accuracy of reenactors has increased.
The largest such groups include The
Vikings and Regia Anglorum, though
many smaller groups exist in Europe, North America, New Zealand, and
Australia. Many reenactor groups participate in live-steel combat, and
a few have Viking-style ships or boats.
Minnesota Vikings of the
National Football League
National Football League are so-named
owing to the large Scandinavian population in the US state of
Modern reconstructions of
Viking mythology have shown a persistent
influence in late 20th- and early 21st-century popular culture in some
countries, inspiring comics, role-playing games, computer games, and
music, including Viking metal, a subgenre of heavy metal music.
Main article: Horned helmet
Magnus Barelegs Viking Festival
Apart from two or three representations of (ritual) helmets—with
protrusions that may be either stylised ravens, snakes, or horns—no
depiction of the helmets of Viking warriors, and no preserved helmet,
has horns. The formal, close-quarters style of Viking combat (either
in shield walls or aboard "ship islands") would have made horned
helmets cumbersome and hazardous to the warrior's own side.
Historians therefore believe that Viking warriors did not wear horned
helmets; whether such helmets were used in Scandinavian culture for
other, ritual purposes, remains unproven. The general misconception
that Viking warriors wore horned helmets was partly promulgated by the
19th-century enthusiasts of Götiska Förbundet, founded in 1811 in
Stockholm. They promoted the use of
Norse mythology as the
subject of high art and other ethnological and moral aims.
Vikings were often depicted with winged helmets and in other
clothing taken from Classical antiquity, especially in depictions of
Norse gods. This was done to legitimise the
Vikings and their
mythology by associating it with the Classical world, which had long
been idealised in European culture.
The latter-day mythos created by national romantic ideas blended the
Viking Age with aspects of the
Nordic Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age some 2,000 years
earlier. Horned helmets from the Bronze Age were shown in petroglyphs
and appeared in archaeological finds (see
Bohuslän and Vikso
helmets). They were probably used for ceremonial purposes.
Hägar the Horrible
Hägar the Horrible and Vicky the Viking, and sports
kits such as those of the
Minnesota Vikings and
Canberra Raiders have
perpetuated the myth of the horned helmet.
Viking helmets were conical, made from hard leather with wood and
metallic reinforcement for regular troops. The iron helmet with mask
and mail was for the chieftains, based on the previous Vendel-age
helmets from central Sweden. The only original Viking helmet
discovered is the Gjermundbu helmet, found in Norway. This helmet is
made of iron and has been dated to the 10th century.
The image of wild-haired, dirty savages sometimes associated with the
Vikings in popular culture is a distorted picture of reality.
Viking tendencies were often misreported, and the work of Adam of
Bremen, among others, told largely disputable tales of Viking savagery
Use of skulls as drinking vessels
There is no evidence that
Vikings drank out of the skulls of
vanquished enemies. This was a misconception based on a passage in the
Krákumál speaking of heroes drinking from ór
bjúgviðum hausa (branches of skulls). This was a reference to
drinking horns, but was mistranslated in the 17th century as
referring to the skulls of the slain.
Studies of genetic diversity provide indication of the origin and
expansion of the Viking population.
Haplogroup I-M253 (defined by
specific genetic markers on the Y chromosome) mutation occurs with the
greatest frequency among Scandinavian males: 35% in Norway, Denmark,
and Sweden, and peaking at 40% in south-western Finland. It is
also common near the southern Baltic and
North Sea coasts, and
successively decreases further to the south geographically.
Female descent studies show evidence of Norse descent in areas closest
to Scandinavia, such as the
Inhabitants of lands farther away show most Norse descent in the male
A specialised genetic and surname study in
Liverpool showed marked
Norse heritage: up to 50% of males of families that lived there before
the years of industrialisation and population expansion. High
percentages of Norse inheritance—tracked through the R-M420
haplotype—were also found among males in the Wirral and West
Lancashire. This was similar to the percentage of Norse
inheritance found among males in the
Recent research suggests that the Celtic warrior Somerled, who drove
Vikings out of western
Scotland and was the progenitor of Clan
Donald, may have been of Viking descent, a member of haplogroup
Swedes (Germanic tribe)
Viking raid warfare and tactics
Ushkuiniks – Novgorod's privateers inherited Vikings' warfare
United Kingdom portal
^ Whitelock, Dorothy. Sweet's
OUP 1967, p. 392
^ Viking (people), Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ a b Roesdahl, pp. 9–22.
^ Brink 2008
^ Wawn 2000
^ Johnni Langer, "The origins of the imaginary viking", Viking
Heritage Magazine, Gotland University/Centre for Baltic Studies. Visby
(Sweden), n. 4, 2002.
^ The Syntax of
Old Norse by Jan Terje Faarlund; p 25
ISBN 0-19-927110-0; The Principles of English
Etymology By Walter
W. Skeat, published in 1892, defined Viking: better Wiking, Icel.
Viking-r, O. Icel. *Viking-r, a creek-dweller; from Icel. vik, O.
Icel. *wik, a creek, bay, with suffix -uig-r, belonging to Principles
Etymology By Walter W. Skeat; Clarendon press; p. 479
^ Eldar Heide (2005). "Víking – 'rower shifting'? An etymological
contribution" (PDF). Arkiv för nordisk filologi. 120: 41–54.
Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Walter W. Skeat: Principles of English
Etymology Clarendon press, p.
^ Kvilhaug, Maria. "The Tribe that Gave
Vikings Their Name?". Freya.
Retrieved 17 March 2015.
^ "What Did The
Vikings Do Before They Began to Play Football? -
OUPblog". 15 July 2009.
^ a b Hans C. Boas (13 May 2014). "Indo-European Lexicon - PIE Etymon
and IE Reflexes". Linguistics Research Center. The University of Texas
at Austin. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Eldar Heide (2005). "Víking - 'rower shifting'? An etymological
contribution" (PDF). Arkiv för nordisk filologi. 120: 41–54.
Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Bernard Mees (2012). "Taking Turns: linguistic economy and the name
of the Vikings". Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Arkiv
för nordisk filologi. academia.edu. 127: 5–12. Retrieved 20 April
^ Eldar Heide (2008). "Viking, week, and Widsith. A reply to Harald
Bjorvand". Centre of Medieval Studies (University of Bergen). Arkiv
för nordisk filologi. academia.edu. 123: 23–28. Retrieved 20 April
^ Beard, David. "The Term "Viking"". archeurope.com.
Europe. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April
^ Wolf 2004, p. 2.
^ Smyth, Alfred (1970–73). Saga-book of the Viking Society.
University College London. pp. 101–117.
^ Educational Company of
Ireland 2000, p. 472.
^ Brookes 2004, p. 297.
^ a b D'Amato 2010, p. 3.
^ Douglas Harper:
Etymology Dictionary. A private
^ a b "Land of the Rus – Viking explorations to the east". National
Museum of Denmark. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ a b "Dangerous journeys to Eastern Europe and Russia". National
Museum of Denmark. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Sawyer, History of the Vikings, p. 2
^ Peter Sawyer, The Viking Expansion, The Cambridge History of
Scandinavia, Issue 1 (Knut Helle, ed., 2003), p. 105.
^ Lund, Niels "The Danish Empire and the End of the Viking Age", in
Sawyer, History of the Vikings, pp. 167–81.
^ The Royal Household, "Sweyn", The official Website of The British
Monarchy, 15 March 2015, accessed 15 March 2015
^ Lawson, M K (2004). "Cnut: England's Viking King 1016-35". The
History Press Ltd, 2005, ISBN 978-0582059702.
^ The Royal Household, "Canute The Great", The official Website of The
British Monarchy, 15 March 2015, accessed 15 March 2015
^ Badsey, S. Nicolle, D, Turnbull, S (1999). "The Timechart of
Military History". Worth Press Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903025-00-1.
^ "History of Northumbria: Viking era 866 AD–1066 AD"
^ Toyne, Stanley Mease. The Scandinavians in history Pg.27. 1970.
^ The Fate of Greenland's Vikings, by Dale Mackenzie Brown,
Archaeological Institute of America, 28 February 2000
^ Langmoen IA (4 April 2012). "The Norse discovery of America".
Neurosurgery. 57 (6): 1076–87; discussion 1076–1087.
doi:10.1227/01.neu.0000144825.92264.c4. PMID 16331154.
^ Ross, Valerie (31 May 2011). "
Climate change froze
Vikings out of
Greenland". Discover. Kalmback Publishing. Retrieved 6 April
^ Rurik Dynasty (medieval Russian rulers) Britannica Online
^ Hall, p. 98
^ "Vikings' Barbaric Bad Rap Beginning to Fade".
News.nationalgeographic.com. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 21 May
^ Sawyer, History of the Vikings, pp. 110, 114
^ "Los vikingos en Al-Andalus (abstract available in English)" (PDF).
Jesús Riosalido. 1997. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July
2011. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
^ John Haywood: Penguin
Historical Atlas of the Vikings, Penguin
(1996). Detailed maps of Viking settlements in Scotland, Ireland,
Iceland and Normandy.
^ Sawyer, P. H. (2013-04-15). Kings and Vikings:
Europe AD 700–1100. Routledge. ISBN 9781134947775.
^ Haine, Thomas (2008-03-01). "What did the Viking discoverers of
America know of the
North Atlantic Environment?". Weather. 63 (3):
60–65. Bibcode:2008Wthr...63...60H. doi:10.1002/wea.150.
^ Matthias Schulz (27 August 2010). "'Sensational' Discovery:
Archeologists Find Gateway to the Viking Empire". Spiegel Online
International. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
^ Lotte Flugt Kold (3 November 2014). "Dannevirke".
danmarkshistorien.dk (in Danish). Aarhus University. Retrieved 20
^ Näsman, Ulf (2000-11-01). "Raids, Migrations, and Kingdoms". Acta
Archaeologica. 71 (1): 1–7. doi:10.1034/j.1600-0390.2000.d01-1.x.
^ a b Rudolf Simek, "the emergence of the viking age: circumstances
and conditions", "The vikings first Europeans VIII–XI century—the
new discoveries of archaeology", other, 2005, pp. 24–25
^ Bruno Dumézil, master of Conference at Paris X-Nanterre, Normalien,
aggregated history, author of conversion and freedom in the barbarian
kingdoms. 5th–8th centuries (Fayard, 2005)
^ "Franques Royal Annals" cited in Sawyer, History of the Vikings, p.
^ Dictionnaire d'histoire de France, Perrin, Alain Decaux and André
Castelot, 1981, pp. 184–85. ISBN 2-7242-3080-9.
^ "the Vikings" R. Boyer history, myths, dictionary, Robert Laffont
several 2008, p96 ISBN 978-2-221-10631-0
^ François-Xavier Dillmann, "Viking civilisation and culture. A
bibliography of French-language", Caen, Centre for research on the
countries of the North and Northwest, University of Caen, 1975,
p. 19, and "Les Vikings: the Scandinavian and European
800–1200", 22nd exhibition of art from the Council of Europe, 1992,
^ "History of the Kings of Norway" by Snorri Sturlusson translated by
Professor of History François-Xavier Dillmann, Gallimard
ISBN 2-07-073211-8 pp. 15–16, 18, 24, 33–34, 38
^ Macauley Richardson, Lloyd. "Books: Eurasian Exploration". Policy
Review. Hoover Institution. Archived from the original on
^ Crone, Patricia. Meccan trade and the rise of Islam. First Georgias
^ "Viking expeditions and raids". National Museum of Denmark.
Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Richards, J.D. (2005). The Vikings : a very short introduction.
New York: Oxford University Press. p. 50.
^ Tignor, Adelman, Brown, Elman, Liu, Pittman, Shaw. Worlds Together
Worlds Apart. London: Norton. p. 352. CS1 maint: Multiple
names: authors list (link)
^ Worlds Together Worlds Apart Volume One: Beginnings Through the 15th
Century- Fourth EditionTignor, Adelman, Brown, Elman, Liu, Pittman,
Shaw. Worlds Together Worlds Apart. London: Norton.
p. 352. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ Roesdahl, pp. 295–97
^ Gareth Williams, "Kingship, Christianity and coinage: monetary and
political perspectives on silver economy in the Viking Age", in Silver
Economy in the Viking Age, ed. James Graham-Campbell and Gareth
Williams, pp. 177–214; ISBN 978-1-59874-222-0
^ Roesdahl, p. 296
^ The Northern Crusades: Second Edition by Eric Christiansen;
^ "Written sources shed light on Viking travels". National Museum of
Denmark. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Hall, 2010, pp. 8 passim.
^ Roesdahl, pp. 16–22.
^ Hall, pp. 8–11
^ Lindqvist, pp. 160–61
^ See List of English words of
Old Norse origin for further
explanations on specific words.
^ See Norman toponymy.
^ Henriksen, Louise Kæmpe: Nordic place names in Europe Viking Ship
^ Viking Words The British Library
^ Joel Supéry. "Germanic Toponomy".
Vikings in Aquitaine. Archived
from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
^ Joel Supéry. "A colony in Gascony?".
Vikings in Aquitaine. Archived
from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
^ The French Regions of
Aquitaine to be precise.
^ Annie Dumont (2007). "Méthodes d'étude d'un site fluvial du haut
Moyen Age: Taillebourg – Port d'Envaux, (Charente-Maritime)" (PDF).
Proceedings of the 4th International Congress of Medieval and Modern
Archaeology (in French). Medieval Europe, Paris 2007. Retrieved 1
^ Department of Scandinavian Research University of Copenhagen
^ See information on the "Slavonic and Norse names of the Dnieper
Trade route from the
Varangians to the Greeks.
^ Else Roesdahl (prof. in Arch. & Hist.): The Vikings, Penguin
Books (1999), ISBN 0-14-025282-7
^ Sawyer, P H: 1997
Jelling stones. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008.
^ Rundata, DR 42
^ baþum (Sm101), see Nordiskt runnamnslexikon PDF
^ In the nominative: krikiaR (G216). In the genitive: girkha (U922$),
k—ika (U104). In the dative: girkium (U1087†), kirikium
(SöFv1954;20, U73, U140), ki(r)k(i)(u)(m) (Ög94$), kirkum (U136),
krikium (Sö163, U431), krikum (Ög81A, Ög81B, Sö85, Sö165, Vg178,
U201, U518), kri(k)um (U792), krikum (Sm46†, U446†), krkum (U358),
kr... (Sö345$A), kRkum (Sö82). In the accusative: kriki (Sö170).
Uncertain case krik (U1016$Q). Greece also appears as griklanti
(U112B), kriklati (U540), kriklontr (U374$), see Nordiskt
^ Karusm (Vs1), see Nordiskt runnamnslexikon PDF
^ iaursaliR (G216), iursala (U605†), iursalir (U136G216, U605,
U136), see Nordiskt runnamnslexikon PDF
^ lakbarþilanti (SöFv1954;22), see Nordiskt runnamnslexikon PDF
^ serklat (G216), se(r)kl... (Sö279), sirklanti (Sö131), sirk:lan:ti
(Sö179), sirk*la(t)... (Sö281), srklant- (U785), skalat- (U439), see
Nordiskt runnamnslexikon PDF
^ eklans (Vs18$), eklans (Sö83†), ekla-s (Vs5), enklans (Sö55),
iklans (Sö207), iklanþs (U539C), ailati (Ög104), aklati (Sö166),
akla- (U616$), anklanti (U194), eg×loti (U812), eklanti (Sö46,
Sm27), eklati (ÖgFv1950;341, Sm5C, Vs9), enklanti (DR6C), haklati
(Sm101), iklanti (Vg20), iklati (Sm77), ikla-ti (Gs8), i...-ti
(Sm104), ok*lanti (Vg187), oklati (Sö160), onklanti (U241), onklati
(U344), -klanti (Sm29$), iklot (N184), see Nordiskt runnamnslexikon
^ luntunum (DR337$B), see Nordiskt runnamnslexikon PDF
^ a b Jasmine Idun Tova Lyman (2007),
Viking Age graves in Iceland
(PDF), University of Iceland, p. 4
^ Medieval Archaeology: An Encyclopaedia (Pamela Crabtree, ed., 2001),
"Vikings," p. 510.
^ Roesdahl, p. 20.
^ Roesdahl p. 70 (in Women, gender roles and children)
^ The Hemlanden cemetery located here is the largest Viking Period
Scandinavia Phillip Pulsiano; Kirsten Wolf, eds. (1993).
Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia (Illustrated ed.). United
Kingdom: Taylor & Francis. pp. 238–39.
^ Erlandson (2005). "A Viking-Age Valley in Iceland: The Mosfell
Archaeological Project" (PDF). Medieval
Archaeology Journal of the
Society for Medieval Archaeology. XLIX. Archived from the original
(PDF) on 19 April 2011. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
^ See also Jon M. Erlandson.
^ [I)ór Magnússon: Bátkumlió í Vatnsdal, Arbók hies íslenzka
fornleifafélags (1966), 1-32
^ A comprehensive list of registered pagan graves in Iceland, can be
found in Eldjárn & Fridriksson (2000): Kuml og haugfé.
^ Dale Mackenzie Brown (28 February 2000). "The Fate of Greenland's
Vikings". Archaeology. the
Archaeological Institute of America.
Retrieved 22 February 2014.
^ Longships are sometimes erroneously called drakkar, a corruption of
"dragon" in Norse.
^ Hadingham, Evan: Secrets of Viking Ships (05.09.00) NOVA science
^ Durham, Keith: Viking
Longship Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2002.
^ Block, Leo, To Harness the Wind: A Short History of the Development
of Sails, Naval Institute Press, 2002, ISBN 1-55750-209-9
^ Ian Heath, The Vikings, p. 4, Osprey Publishing, 1985.
^ Curry, Andrew (10 June 2013). "The First Vikings". Archaeology. the
Archaeological Institute of America. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
^ a b Roesdahl, pp. 38–48, 61–71.
^ Mari Kildah (5 December 2013). "Double graves with headless slaves".
University of Oslo. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
^ a b c d e Borgström Eva (in Swedish): Makalösa kvinnor:
könsöverskridare i myt och verklighet (Marvelous women : gender
benders in myth and reality) Alfabeta/Anamma,
ISBN 91-501-0191-9 (inb.). Libris 8707902.
^ Borgström Eva(in Swedish): Makalösa kvinnor: könsöverskridare i
myt och verklighet (Marvelous women : gender benders in myth and
Stockholm 2002. ISBN 91-501-0191-9
(inb.). Libris 8707902.
^ a b c Ohlander, Ann-Sofie & Strömberg, Ulla-Britt, Tusen
svenska kvinnoår: svensk kvinnohistoria från vikingatid till nutid,
3. (A Thousand Swedish Women's Years: Swedish Women's History from the
Viking Age until now), [omarb. och utök.] uppl., Norstedts akademiska
förlag, Stockholm, 2008
^ a b c Ingelman-Sundberg, Catharina, Forntida kvinnor: jägare,
vikingahustru, prästinna [Ancient women: hunters, viking wife,
priestess], Prisma, Stockholm, 2004
^ "Appearance – What did the
Vikings look like?". National Museum of
Denmark. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Sk. V. Gudjonsson (1941): Folkekost og sundhedsforhold i gamle dage.
Belyst igennem den oldnordiske Litteratur. (Dvs. først og fremmest de
islandske sagaer). København. (in Danish) Short description in
English: Diet and health in previous times, as revealed in the Old
Norse Literature, especially the Icelandic Sagas.
^ a b c Pernille Rohde Sloth, Ulla
Lund Hansen & Sabine Karg
Viking Age garden plants from southern
diversity, taphonomy and cultural aspect" (PDF). Danish Journal of
Archaeology. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
^ This will cause a lactic acid fermentation process to occur.
^ "Forråd til vinteren – Salte, syrne, røge og tørre [Supplies
for the winter – curing, fermenting, smoking and drying]". Ribe
Vikingecenter (in Danish). Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ a b Roesdahl, p. 54
^ "Viking Food". National Museum of Denmark. Retrieved 20 April
^ See the article on the
Northern European short-tailed sheep
Northern European short-tailed sheep for
specific information. In southern
Scandinavia (ie. Denmark), the heath
sheeps of Lüneburger
Heidschnucke was raised and kept.
^ "The animals on the farm – Genetic connection". Ribe
Vikingecenter. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
^ "Poultry". Danish Agricultural Museum. Archived from the original on
19 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
^ O'Conner, Terry. 1999? "The Home – Food and Meat." Viking Age
Jorvik Viking Centre.
^ Roesdahl pp. 102–17
^ Nedkvitne, Arnved. "Fishing, Whaling and Seal Hunting." in Pulsiano,
Phillip (1993). Medieval Scandinavia: An Encyclopedia. Garland
Reference Library of the Humanities.
^ Inge Bødker Enghoff (2013). Hunting, fishing and animal husbandry
at The Farm Beneath The Sand, Western Greenland. Man & Society.
Greenland National Museum, Dansk Polar Center.
ISBN 9788763512602. Archived from the original on 21 April 2016.
Retrieved 23 June 2014.
^ a b "A Viking Feast – an abundance of foods".
Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 19 June
^ Roesdahl, pp. 110–11
^ Fondén, R; Leporanta, K; Svensson, U (2007). "Chapter 7.
Nordic/Scandinavian Fermented Milk Products". In Tamime, Adnan.
Fermented Milks. Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9780470995501.ch7.
^ a b "The Seastallion from Glendalough" (PDF) (in Danish).
Vikingeskibsmuseet. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
^ a b Hall, A. R. 1999? "The Home: Food – Fruit, Grain and
Viking Age York. The
Jorvik Viking Centre.
^ "The farm crops".
Ribe Vikingecenter. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
^ a b "From grains to bread – coarse, heavy and filling". Ribe
Vikingecenter (in Danish). Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
Retrieved 19 June 2014.
^ Bo Ejstrud et.al. (2011). "From
Linen – experiments with
Ribe Viking Centre" (PDF). University of Southern Denmark.
ISBN 978-87-992214-6-2. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
^ a b c d Kirsten Wolf: Daily Life of the
Vikings Greenwood Press
"Daily life through history" series, 2004, ISBN 0-313-32269-4,
^ a b Isak Ladegaard (19 November 2012). "How
Vikings killed time".
ScienceNordic. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
^ a b c "Games and entertainment in the Viking period". National
Museum of Denmark. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Darrell Markewitz 1998–2010. "Iron Smelting at the Norse
Encampment – Daily Life in the
Viking Age circa 1000 AD at Vinland.
The Viking Encampment living history program at Parks Canada L'Anse
aux Meadows NHSC in Newfoundland". Warehamforge.ca. Retrieved 21 May
^ Return of Dublin's Viking Warship Archived 18 October 2008 at the
Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 14 November 2007.
^ "Beyond Lands' End: Viking Voyage 1000". Dougcabot.com. Archived
from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
^ "Scans of Viking Swords Reveal a Slice of Norse Culture". Live
Science. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
^ Fedrigo, Anna; Grazzi, Francesco; Williams, Alan R.; Panzner,
Tobias; Lefmann, Kim; Lindelof, Poul Erik; Jørgensen, Lars; Pentz,
Peter; Scherillo, Antonella (2017-04-01). "Extraction of
archaeological information from metallic artefacts—A neutron
diffraction study on Viking swords". Journal of Archaeological
Science: Reports. 12: 425–36.
^ Shona Grimbly (16 August 2013). Encyclopedia of the Ancient World.
Routledge. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-1-136-78688-4.
^ Dennis Howard Green; Frank Siegmund (2003). The Continental Saxons
from the Migration Period to the Tenth Century: An Ethnographic
Perspective. Boydell Press. pp. 306–.
^ Howard D. Fabing. "On Going Berserk: A Neurochemical Inquiry."
Scientific Monthly. 83 [Nov. 1956] p. 232
^ Robert Wernick. The Vikings. Alexandria VA: Time-Life Books. 1979.
^ a b Gareth Williams: Viking Money
^ Graham-Campbell, James: The Viking World, Frances Lincoln Ltd,
London (2013). Maps of trade routes.
^ Gerriets, Marily. "Money among the Irish:
Coin Hoards in Viking Age
Ireland" The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland,
vol.115, 1985, pp. 121-139
^ Andrew Curry (July 2008). "Raiders or Traders?". Smithsonian
Magazine. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
^ a b c
Vikings as traders Archived 28 February 2014 at the Wayback
Machine., Teachers' notes 5. Royal Museums Greenwich
^ "Herbs, spices and vegetables in the Viking period". National Museum
of Denmark. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
^ Heidi Michelle Sherman (2008). Barbarians come to Market: The
Emporia of Western Eurasia from 500 BC to AD 1000. ProQuest LLC.
pp. 250–55. ISBN 9780549718161. Retrieved 24 February
^ HL Renart of Berwick:
Glass Beads of the Viking Age. An inquiry into
the glass beads of the Vikings. Sourced information and pictures.
Amber Regia Anglorum. Sourced information and pictures.
^ Yngve Vogt (1 November 2013). "Norwegian
Vikings purchased silk from
Persia". Apollon – research magazine. University of Oslo. Retrieved
24 February 2014.
^ Marianne Vedeler:
Silk for The Vikings, Oxbow 2014.
^ Elizabeth Wincott Heckett (2002). "Irish
Viking Age silks and their
Hiberno-Norse society". Department of Archaeology, University
College Cork, NUI Cork, Ireland. Textile Society of America Symposium
Proceedings. University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Digital Commons).
Retrieved 28 February 2014.
^ a b c Jørgensen, Lise Bender; Jesch, Judith (2002). "Rural Economy:
Ecology, Hunting, Pastoralism, Agricultural and Nutritional Aspects".
The Scandinavians – from the
Vendel Period to the Tenth Century.
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Stress.
pp. 131–37. ISBN 9780851158679.
Historical Documents, c. 500–1042 by Dorothy Whitelock; p.
^ Derry (2012). A History of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark,
Finland, Iceland, p. 16.
^ Northern Shores by Alan Palmer; p. 21; ISBN 0-7195-6299-6
^ The Viking Revival By Professor Andrew Wawn at bbc
^ The Oxford Illustrated History of the
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Look up Viking in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Viking Age.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for
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Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Vikings – View videos at The History Channel
Portal – The Danish Vikings
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Encyclopædia Britannica: Viking, or Norseman, or Northman, or
Borg Viking museum, Norway
Ibn Fadlan and the Rusiyyah, by James E. Montgomery, with full
translation of Ibn Fadlan
Reassessing what we collect website – Viking and Danish London
History of Viking and Danish London with objects and images
Wawm, Andrew, The Viking Revival –
BBC Online, Ancient History in
Depth (updated 17 February 2011)
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[AFM 849.9 [=851], similar AU 851.3 "Tetact Dubgennti du Ath Cliath co
ralsat ár mór du Fhinngallaibh", translated as "The dark heathens
came to Áth Cliath, made a great slaughter of the fair-h