For questions about the Scandinavian seafaring raiders and traders of the 8th--11th centuries AD, as well as about their home culture.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

14
votes
3answers
630 views

Why were the Normans such good builders?

The Normans are a bunch of Vikings that settled in northern France, and within a century they were Christians speaking French. By 1066 they had become very experienced at fighting wars between ...
2
votes
4answers
11k views

Did the Romans ever encounter the Vikings?

Did the Romans ever scout Scandinavia for possible conquest? Or was trade ever done between them?
-4
votes
1answer
301 views

Question closed [closed]

Question was closed & was still receiving downvotes so i decided to delete it:)
5
votes
2answers
432 views

Did Charlemagne's Christian conquest of Germany cause the Vikings to hit back at Britain?

A documentary on The Dark Ages says that Vikings invaded the British isles after Charlemagne of France conquered some of Germany and forced the Germans to convert or die in the years 783-804. The ...
10
votes
1answer
134 views

Prevalence of smallpox among the Norse in Northern Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland

The Norse are the only people that - we can verify today - had pre-columbian contact with the New World. While it's clear that their settlements didn't last, it does appear that they interacted with ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Did medieval Icelanders use runes?

The land-taking of Iceland took place while Norse culture used runes. It was in the midst of transitioning from the Elder to the Younger Futhark. The runes are closely identified with the Old Norse ...
6
votes
1answer
751 views

What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

For those who don't know, the Ulfberht sword was a Viking weapon of the finest quality, made with exquisite skill from the best materials available. They were produced between 800 and 1000 CE in ...
10
votes
4answers
676 views

Is there evidence of extensive Viking presence in North America?

The Vikings appear to have had two long-lasting communities in Greenland, and a site has been found at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland Canada. But is there any solid evidence that the Vikings had ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Did barbarians capture monks or priest of civilized kingdoms to teach them?

I'm watching the loosely accurate TV show Vikings. When Vikings pillage the Briton monastery of Lindisfarne, they also capture some monks as slaves. Later, one of the monks assimilates pretty well to ...
3
votes
1answer
338 views

Why is Kubb - a skittles game - associated with the Viking Age?

Is there any evidence to suggest that kubb might have been played in the Viking Age, or was it just associated with Viking history to promote it? If so, who invented it, or when did it originate?
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Viking culture: unhygienic use of water bowl

I am interested in understanding something which I have seen in the film 13th warrior where the Vikings all use the same bowl of water to clean themselves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkcsLFSAS30 ...
15
votes
1answer
474 views

What did Vikings wear in cold wet conditions at sea?

As you can see from this BBC documentary, the crew of this 2009 summertime journey from Denmark to Ireland in a Viking longship suffered from hypothermia (approx 00:20:00 into the video), even though ...
5
votes
0answers
149 views

What evidence is there that Alfred paid the Danes to leave Wessex in 876?

The Danes struck at Wareham in 876. Alfred made peace there with Guthrum, and there was an exchange of hostages. However, the Danes broke the peace and during the night they killed the hostages and ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How accurate is the respresentation of York/Jórvík in the manga Vinland Saga?

In the manga Vinland Saga, the heroes arrive at "York". Clearly, it should have been called Jórvík but let's forgive them that for now. Below is how the manga shows the city from the sky. Comparing ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Is there evidence that Harald Bluetooth died from an arrow to the rear?

There's a popular opinion, that a famous Danish king Harald Bluetooth died as a result of taking an arrow, well... straight to his rectum. Not only have I encountered said story over the Internet on ...
6
votes
2answers
150 views

Are there any written records of Norse mythology dated prior to Christianization?

As I understand it, most of what we know about Norse mythology is based on texts written in sagas by Christians in the late Middle Ages. Do we have any contemporary accounts of Norse mythology from ...
5
votes
2answers
391 views

Travelling by a Viking ship

What it was like to travel on a Viking ship back then? Please, focus on these points: How long it would take for a Viking raider group to get to their favourite destinations using a Viking warship? ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

Did the Vikings practice voluntary human sacrifice?

In the TV series Vikings there's a scene at the Vikings temple where a Viking warrior happily agrees to be sacrificed in exchange for the goodwill of the Norse gods for his friends and family. I was ...
13
votes
1answer
358 views

How did this 900AD key work?

The Wikipedia Keys article shows this ancient Anglo-Viking voided key from circa 900AD: Unlike a tumbler lock which needs cuts at exact depths on the key to align its barrels, this key looks very ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are Russians descended from Varangian Vikings? [closed]

Some historians say yes, but some do not. There had been archaeological diggings in Saint-Petersburg and the Novgorod region, as seen in one rare documentary on Youtube. ( haha I am not studying ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Size of Viking armies and raiding parties in 9th-10th centuries?

I am watching the Vikings series, and although I don't consider it a historically accurate series, I noticed somethings that I am curious about. The series takes place in the late 8th century, ...
1
vote
0answers
195 views

Vikings as Transmitters of Red Hair [closed]

I read that red hair originates in Scandanavia, and not in Britain. That before the Viking conquests of Britain and Ireland in the 8th-10th centuries those islands were populated mainly by dark-haired ...
15
votes
4answers
787 views

What would be accurate illustrations of vikings and viking culture?

Vikings didn't have horned helmets as is often depicted. Where can I find accurate representations how vikings and viking society looked?
0
votes
2answers
5k views

Were the Vikings descendents of the Tribe of Dan? [closed]

I've heard the Vikings were descendents of the Hebrew Tribe of Dan. Is it true? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_Israelism http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/tracingdan2.html
3
votes
2answers
312 views

Ratio of population to military size throughout European history? [closed]

I realise that this is a fairly broad question, but I am trying to get a sense of the ratio between the total population and the size of the military that societies could support at different times ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

What were the board dimensions of the Viking era bed finds?

While some boards were lost or too deteriorated to get exact dimensions, the reproduction of the Oseberg and Goteland beds had to be based on something. The most I've been able to find were the ...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

Are there non-russian sources related to how Rurikid Dynasty became rulers of Russia?

Most of the information - at least as taught in Russia - related to how Rurik Dynasty became rulers of Rus is based on "Повѣсть времяньныхъ лѣтъ" ("Tale of Bygone Years", aka "Primary Chronicle"). Is ...
3
votes
1answer
428 views

In which places of the UK did the Vikings/Scandinavians have most frequent contact or colonies?

I was in York, England and there was a museum called Jorvik Viking Centre, which spoke about the Vikings who lived there. It said that the area back then was mostly populated by the Vikings. Since ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

In Viking combat, how much damage was done using the shield?

A while back I was watching some show on cable that was centered on recreating ancient combat (sorry, don't recall which of the many clones it was). One thing they stressed was that Vikings did NOT ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

First Royalty in Scotland?

The standard answer is Kenneth Macalpine as far as I can see with lesser kings before him, I assume between Scotland and England this where out modern/current Royals come from, I was trying to ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

In the History Channel series the Vikings, who is Ragnar? [closed]

I've been watching the Vikings series on Amazon and I am curious who Ragnar, the main protagonist is supposed to be based on? I think he is supposed to be the "first" viking leader to raid England. I ...
10
votes
1answer
210 views

How long was a journey “from the Varangians to the Greeks?”

Textbooks about Russian history often discuss the importance of trade routes "from the Varangians to the Greeks," which allowed ships to pass from the Baltic to the Black Sea using a network of ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Are there any records of Vikings burning each others 'island of boats' out of desperation?

According to Wikipedia, the Vikings sometimes tied their boats together in order to provide a stable battleground and to make it easier for the crew of other boats to help each other. Despite the ...
19
votes
2answers
832 views

What would a Norseman in the early 11th century have worn as daily clothing?

Most of the Norse clothing we know about seems to come from burials. However, in many cultures, bodies dressed for burial are wearing either "good" clothes, or special clothes for the dead. Is there ...
16
votes
1answer
819 views

What was it like for a coastal village to experience a Viking raid in around the tenth century?

Were fishing villages really completely at the mercy of these Vikings, or could they defend them selves? Did villagers have their own weapons? Could they expect any support from a Lord or Land Baron? ...