Vikings were seafaring people living in Scandinavia from the 8th to 11th century. They left behind an impressive legacy, and here are 10 interesting secrets about this fascinating group of people:
1. Viking ships could be rowed as well as sailed, with oarsmen sitting side by side in rows along the ship’s sides. This made them faster than most other vessels at the time.
2. Some Vikings even had their own personal boats which they used for fishing and trade trips called Knarrs.
3. Vikings were not just warriors; they were skilled craftsmen too! They crafted jewelry, pottery, tools, weapons, and armor using iron and bronze among other materials.
4. Viking women had rights and were respected members of their communities, able to own property and even initiate divorce proceedings if necessary.
5. Vikings believed in a variety of gods including Odin, Thor, and Freyja, who all represented different parts of society such as war, fertility, or wealth.
6. Vikings wore horned helmets for ceremonial purposes but not during battles because the horns would have been too easily damaged or grabbed by opponents.
7. Although most commonly associated with Scandinavia, Viking influence spread across Europe from Ireland to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul).
8. The famous Viking longboats often featured intricate carvings along the entire length of the ship’s hulls depicting scenes from Norse mythology.
9. Viking men and women were buried with their possessions as grave goods, to accompany them on their journey to the afterlife.
10. The Viking people had a unique language called Old Norse that was spoken throughout Scandinavia until the 14th century.
These facts demonstrate just how much of an impact Vikings have had on history and culture over the centuries, making them one of the most influential groups in pre-medieval Europe.