Viking History: Facts & Myths
..of the Norsemen were famous longship vessels, which were lightning-fast and adaptable in a variety of waters.
The Norse’s ship-building skills reached its pinnacle with ‘The Keel’ in the 7th century, a ship with a long structural beam that ran through the entire ship, making it speedy and stable, while preventing any lateral shift.
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The Vikings were groups of traders, explorers and warriors that came in their ships. These travellers(The term Viking refers to a pirate) discovered the Americas much before Columbus, along with a host of other places across the globe, due to their seafaring occupation.
In many stories and history books, these people are attributed as ‘bad people’ who come for looting treasures and for women, but in reality, their motives and cultures are richer and more diverse.
.. was a period from A.D. 800 till 1050, when these Scandinavian people used to go all across northern Europe for trade and also for raiding the coasts.
The Viking raid in 793 when monks were killed, treasures looted and libraries burnt in Lindisfarne, England, made everyone perceive the Vikings as a savage group of warriors who had no respect for religion or appreciation for any kind of education.
By the 9th century, the Norse came to know about Europe’s stacks of wealth and came together to build raid ships that could help them attack the French coast, along with the towns in Paris, Limoges, etc due to their ships being capable of manoeuvring up the rivers.
The longships had carved dragon heads at the bow, as it was a sign of their artistic attention to detail, and also because it was believed to keep evil spirits away.
The 10th century saw the Vikings set up colonies in the west coast of Greenland, from where they undertook a set of journeys to Baffin Island, Labrador and Vinland(or Newfoundland). Presently the only confirmed Viking site in the New World is on the northern tip of Newfoundland, the rest two being unconfirmed.
Over the centuries, many misperceptions created popular Viking myths, like their usage of the horned helmet, when in reality they went bareheaded or had a simple leather and metal-frame helmet, sometimes with a faceguard.
Another myth was they the Vikings were filthy and unkempt, something which was proven false by archaeologists who found evidence of the usage of combs, spoons and grooming utensils.