The Vikings

Viking exhibition at the National Museum.
Viking exhibition at the National Museum.

Things I learnt about the Vikings today:

  • Viking is an occupation. Not everybody in the Viking era was a Viking.
  • They mainly did trade and exploration.
  • When they did pillage and plunder, they liked to lie in wait and ambush their targets.
  • They explored pretty much all of Europe, and went as far as Russia and Newfoundland
  • The names Russia and Normandy actually refer to something related to the Vikings. Russia refers to the Rus people, and Normandy means “north man”.
  • They rarely went back to Scandinavia after going on a viking.
  • The men wore jewellery, mostly to impress other people.
  • They did not wear horned helmets.
  • Berserk is a loan word from old Norse, meaning either “bear skin” or “bare skin”.
  • They enjoyed board games such as chess.
  • One of the Vikings (Harald Bluetooth) claimed to have united Denmark and Norway and converted Danes to Christianity. While his first claim might be true, Christianity ┬ánever really took off.

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