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81

They actually did try, they just failed. The main problem was that all they really discovered was marginal territory for the purposes of Norse culture. Meanwhile they had to compete with other native cultures that were designed and optimized to live in those places. The base they had to operate out of for North America was Greenland. This itself was ...


47

In short, either when it was empty or it had a stand. Drinking horns were used by many different cultures on different continents (Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe e.t.c.) and in different time periods up to this day. Often, they were not intended to be put down while liquid remained but this was not always the case. Xenophon, among others, attested to ...


40

The question is illogical because there was no such thing as a viking in the days of the undivided Roman Empire or of the Western Roman Empire. A viking is defined as a Scandinavian pirate or sea raider during the period of about 795 to 1100 AD at the widest. It is always incorrect to capitalize viking and use it as an ethnic word instead of an ...


39

It started with the vikings themselves... Helmets with horns? Depictions of an Iron Age date exist featuring people with horned helmets/heads, such as upon the Golden Horns. Similar images are also known from the Viking period itself. In the Oseberg burial from Norway, which dates to the early Viking period, a tapestry was found on which horned ...


26

The evidence for this is weak, but interesting and indicative of "on a much smaller scale", but not "as well" as in equally transformative: From East to West: They introduced the mouse to the American continent. For sure, if we accept Greenland and Iceland as part of that continent, unsure if we only count Newfoundland: House mice samples from Iceland, ...


25

In short: no. Culturally, the Vikings are well-documented to be part of the Norse culture of the Dark Ages, which in turn is clearly descended from an earlier common Germanic culture. Linguistically, the Vikings spoke Old Norse, which is part of the North Germanic branch of Indo-European. The Israelites spoke Ancient Hebrew, which is part of the Semitic ...


25

You might want to find a copy of the 1990 translation of Hans Delbrück, The History of the Art of War - v.II IIRC, if not III. He discusses the size of Viking forces beseiging Paris, and how small they must have been to have been bought off at the price they were. What you must remember is that communications didn't exist, other than someone on a horse ...


23

It looks like it might fit a padlock of a design similar to this: The padlock is locked by inserting the shackle (u-shaped part) into the body so that the ward springs (arrowhead shaped part of the shackle) clip into it. The key is used by inserting it into the slot of the body so that the holes in the key align with the shackle and any other pins in the ...


21

Interesting question. Firstly, it's impossible to know for certain how the traditional round shield was used, but we can make a number of assumptions based on evidence from literature (the sagas), the archaeology of construction and wounds suffered in battle and by looking at later fight books such as MS I.33, Talhoffer's duelling shields etc. Taking the ...


20

10th-century writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan describes voluntary human sacrifice in his account of a Viking funeral: When their chieftain dies, his family ask his slave-girls and slave-boys, “Who among you will die with him?” and some of them reply, “I shall.” Having said this, it becomes incumbent upon the person and it is impossible ever to turn back. ...


19

Usually "Danes", or the "pagans"[note], or possibly the "Northmen" - though the last was more of a Continental usage. In Francia these Scandinavians were called 'Northmen' or 'Danes' (in translation), and in England they were called 'Danes' or 'pagans' in contemporary chronicles. Brink, Stefan. "Who were the Vikings?" Brink, Stefan, and Neil Price, ...


19

If the kiss was between unmarried, heterosexual youths the boy would be criminally liable to the girl's father, guardian, or another male family member. "... if a woman was an aggrieved party and owned a right of prosecution, she was to put her claim into the hands of a man." [Byock, "Viking Age Iceland" pp. 317] After all, "giving away a daughter in ...


17

I found at least one source that advances the notion that Crichton is referencing a source who had an agenda, and may have exaggerated for effect. Ahmad ibn Fadlan wrote about his visit to the Rus: § 84. Every day they must wash their faces and heads and this they do in the dirtiest and filthiest fashion possible: to wit, every morning a girl ...


17

Initially, raids were sporadic and for the wealth of monasteries and slaves. They were quick, and would get away once finished with their err... business. So the English could not effectively put up a challenge. After the death of Ragnar Lothbrook , the protagonist of the series you are watching, the Norsemen invaded England. They came in really large ...


17

There are many theories on why the Viking expansion occurred and there is no real consensus on which (or which combination) is the correct one. This particular explaination, that Pagan Scandinavia attacked Christian Europe in an ideological response to the Carolingian expansion, is merely yet another theory on this highly contentious topic. Although it seems ...


17

A runic alphabet works like other alphabets: one rune corresponds to one or more specific sounds. Runes only really have one significant difference: they are designed to be carved in wood, which means that they usually have vertical or slanted straight lines, but no or very few horisontal and curved lines. However, as the Younger Futhark was specifically ...


15

Coastal villages were generally unprotected throughout the middle ages and monasteries had little or no protection. Whilst the Vikings were bad some of the time, they were more traders than raiders. 'Viking' is a verb, not a noun. To go "a-viking' meant digging shields out from the bottom of the boat and hanging a figurehead on the prow and taking what you ...


14

The crucial question here is: what for? Any colonization, to survive must be profitable. Look at the colonization of N America in the modern times. First British colony failed. Second survived but with great difficulty. Until they found some profitable business to do in these colonies (first tobacco later cotton).


13

As Yannis says, The "10th-century writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan describes voluntary human sacrifice in his account of a Viking funeral", but note that the designation he uses is "the rus" and it is situated at the Bulghars in the Volga area. Since what became Russia has its origins when vikings from Scandinavia came to the area, and quickly became slavic ...


12

If there was an extensive Viking presence in North America, it has not been documented. And the doings of the "western" (Norwegian) Vikings are fairly well documented. What would be accurate illustrations of vikings and viking culture? One of the issues is that the Vikings didn't "know" that they had "discovered" (or were close to discovering), a new ...


12

I passed the question to Cathy Raymond. Although she does not earn her living in either history or in textiles (due, I suspect, to her preference for a non-gruel based diet), I've read her research for a couple of years, and I've come to trust her opinion. One of the reasons I place faith in her opinion is that after answering the question, she offered the ...


12

I am going to say Yes, to the title question, and No to the question in the body. Is there a link... There is a genetic link, but not in the direction you were expecting. An article published on the National Geographic website makes some claims concerning Native American DNA signatures located among Icelandic populations: Analyzing a type of DNA passed ...


12

No. The number of viking transfers back and forth were too small to make a significant difference. We only know from recent finds the Vikings did set up a small temporary settlement in Newfoundland. The discovery was made in the 60's. It's likely those vikings traveled to Newfoundland to gather wood (almost non existent on Greenland), wintered, and ...


11

TL;DR: We don't know, but at least ~170 swords bearing - in whole or in part - some variation of "VLFBERHT" are known to exist. Number of Extant VLFBERHT swords: I came across the closest available approximation to an answer we're likely to get: The finds The number of extant sword blades with the signature Vlfberht is not known... Probably the ...


11

I presume you're not talking about the Byzantine half of the Roman Empire here. Those ties are well known. So, taking the subject line of your question, Romans of the western half of the Roman Empire meeting Vikings would be impossible because Rome fell before the label Viking was generally applied to Scandinavians. Taking the text of your question, the ...


11

Infectious diseases require a certain critical mass of people to become endemic in a population. Smaller than that, and they burn themselves out by making every susceptible person either immune or dead. The smaller and more isolated the population, the more quickly this happens. Based on what I'm seeing in Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human ...


11

It's important to remember that European style civilization requires tools and materials that in Europe were sourced from widespread trade and specialization. Iron plows, wooden ships, paper, and so on. Iceland was only sustainable because it was able to trade with the mainland for those things, and that remains the case to this day. Greenland, even more ...


10

There have been several travels in boats reconstructed from the relevant times. One that I can find good records of is the boat known is Aifur. It travelled in 1994 from Sigtuna in Sweden to Novgorod. This took 41 days. In 1994, the Aifur crossed the Baltic Sea and sailed up the rivers Neva and Volkhov to Novgorod. Distance covered was 1382 km. The ...


10

The numbers involved in Viking raids on 9th and 10th century England are not easy to gauge, but it is possible to come up with some estimates. First though, it is useful to get a clearer overall picture of the raids. DIFFERENT PHASES OF RAIDS AND THEIR FREQUENCY AND SCALE According M & H. Whittock in ‘The Viking Blitzkrieg AD 789 – 1098’ (referring to ...


10

There are two ways to answer this question, the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to use language as an indication of lineage. Language is probably the foremost component of a culture, so this is a valid and typical approach. The language Russians use ("Russian") is Slavic, while the language the Varangians used was Germanic. Historically it ...


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