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Life During the Viking Era

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    It has been nearly one thousand years since the last Vikings ventured abroad raiding and pillaging peasant towns and Christian monasteries. Yet the enduring imagery of monks being slaughtered and churches being looted is ever present in our minds. Every time someone utters the word ‘’Viking’’ we tend only to think of violent, barbaric warriors in bloodstained tunics who went off raiding, killing, and plundering. Although Vikings did indeed raid, kill, and plunder many people fail to realize that most Vikings were primarily farmers, fishermen, merchants, carpenters, and craftsmen. Just like every other society during the Middle Ages, Vikings needed to provide food for their families which usually meant working the land and maintaining the family farmstead.  ...

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What Did Vikings Drink?

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For the Norse, though, mead was associated with Odin.  One of the most well-known stories of Odin was how he stole the Mead of Poetry whereupon drinking it he gained the gift of understanding and creating the most-treasured Norse art form.  This is another reason why the interlocking horns of the Triskele are one of Odin’s symbols.  It was said that great poets were blessed by Odin and shared in his mead, while less-talented poets only got the spittle that Odin dropped behind.   

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The Viking Shield - A Historic Look

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Even the indomitable berserkers used shields (and are often mentioned biting shield edges in their frenzy), and wielders of the mighty, two-handed Dane Axe or the fell hewing spear still carried shields slung on their backs.  Displayed on the gunwales of their dragon ships, the shield became one of the most recognizable symbols of the Vikings.

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Scottish Vikings

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Over 700 Viking items to choose from!   Shop now!             Scotland played an important role in Viking raiding, trading, and colonization; and the Vikings played an important role in the history and national identity of Scotland. While several references in surviving sagas and other Norse lore strongly state that Scotland was best avoided – being a land of fierce savages and abominable weather – many Vikings obviously ignored the advice. In addition to the rich supply of archaeological evidence, Scotland boasts some of the highest Nordic DNA outside of Scandinavia, and shares many cultural similarities with Norway. Within a relatively short period of time in the early ninth century, Vikings had taken enough territory in Scotland...

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The Rus of Kiev and the Varangians

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All these aspects bear witness to how Swedes understood their participation in the building of the Russian state, and the link between the Russians and their Viking ancestors.

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Viking Symbols and Meanings

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Symbols play an important role in Norse culture.  The spirituality of the Norse Vikings was so ingrained in their culture and thought process that they had no word for religion.  There was no separation – as there so often is today...

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Irish Vikings

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In December of 2017, the massive Irish DNA Atlas project published findings that today’s Irish population could be as high as 20% Norse.

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Santa and Odin - Christmas and Yule

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When going to war, Odin rode on Sleipnir’s back. And while the other Norse gods were known for having chariots that were drawn by magical flying beasts (like Thor’s goats or Freya’s cats), the Eddic poem, Sigdrifumal, mentions Sleipnir having runes cut into his teeth and onto the straps of his sleigh, which proves that Sleipnir (at least at times) pulled a sleigh ...versus a chariot.

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Ragnarok: The inevitable, cataclysmic destruction of everything.

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It is a grim tale of doom, where those of us who have listened to the many wonderful tales of gods and heroes must now watch them die.

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The Viking Sieges of Paris: History, Myth, and Significance, Part 2 of 2

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With mocking laughter they banged their shields loud with open hands; their throats swelled and strained with odious cries … 

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