Vikings Facts

Vikings Facts
Vikings were people that originated from Scandinavia (now Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), who traveled and traded and expanded during a period known as the Viking Age in the years from roughly 700 to 1125. Vikings traveled in the longship - a ship whose design evolved from its beginnings at the time of the Stone Age until the 13th century. Many people associate the Vikings with raids and pillaging, but they were also involved in legitimate trade as they settled colonies and expanded. As Europe began to become more advanced, with legitimate royal dynasties and organized religions rooted in Christianity, and as military ambitions shifted to new goals, the Viking Age slowly came to an end.
Interesting Vikings Facts:
There is debate as to the origins of the word 'viking'. Some believe it is originated from the name of an old Norwegian district Viken, while others believe it refers to Scandinavian pirates. The word Viking was not used in modern English until the 18th century.
Vikings spoke the Old Norse language.
It is believed that Vikings arrived on the North American continent approximately 500 years prior to Christopher Columbus' arrival. They landed on Canada's shores in approximately 1000 AD.
Vikings had their own gods, including Thor (god of thunder), Ullr (god of skiing), and Loki (a shape-shifter).
The Vikings were experts in ship building. Their famous boat the longboat was easy to steer and landed smoothly on beaches. They could often hold 100 people.
Vikings lived in longhouses with grass roofs to help insulate.
It was common to send a deceased Viking on a burial ship out to sea, accompanied by their personal items and sometimes even animals. These ships were often lit before sending out to sea.
The word 'berserk', often used in English to describe someone who has gone crazy, originated from the word 'Berserkers'. Berserkers were Viking warriors that terrified others, known to wear animal skins and howl like wild animals.
Contrary to popular belief, Vikings did not wear helmets with horns on them. This image became popular in the 1800s when Vikings were romanticized. Prior to the Vikings' existence, Germanic and Norse priests sometimes wore helmets with horns.
Vikings were well-groomed, according to the razors, combs, ear cleaners, and tweezers that have been recovered during excavations of their old grounds.
Vikings were slave traders, and they often captured people in their homelands and sold them at slave markets as far away as the Middle East.
Viking women had more rights in their marriages than most other women of the time. They were allowed to divorce, own property, and inherit property.
Many Vikings were farmers, and they often grew their own food and raised livestock, while others spent more time at sea trading or pillaging.
Vikings preferred blond hair and they often bleached their hair with special soap that is believed to have helped fight head lice as well.
One of the most famous Vikings was Leif Erickson, who led his crew to America.
Erik the Red was another famous Viking, who gave Greenland its name to help encourage others to move there. Greenland is mostly snow and ice.

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