When it came to weapons, the Vikings a jack of all trades. Not only did they have a range to choose from, but they reserved them for different purposes. It’s a myth that the Vikings didn’t use bows. Archaeological evidence shows that they definitely used bows, but they just weren’t common. Like the famed English longbowmen, Viking archers also used a long D-shaped bow. Without a doubt, the Vikings used swords.
Though it needed a skilled swordsman to wield, the Vikings even fought with double-edged swords. Of course, some still used the more inferior, skill-edged ones. Vikings also used axes, spears, and shields. Axes were useful around homesteads, while spears and shields accompanied Vikings into battle.
You’ve probably heard the legend about Viking berserkers. The good news about these ferocious warriors is that it’s 100% true. If you haven’t heard about the Viking berserkers, you’re unlikely to forget them. Though the Vikings made incredible warriors, the berserkers were in a class of their own. According to Viking legends, these warriors went into battle in a state of blind fury where they just demolished whatever crossed their paths. Good luck to their enemies.
They even went into battle without armor. Maybe it’s because these warriors consumed hallucinogenic mushrooms or a large quantity of alcohol before going into battle. Bewildered state or not, these warriors went “berserk” in battle. Their legacy today lives on as it was from this class of warriors that the word “berserk” was coined.
A Fan of Cats
For cat lovers, it might surprise you to hear that the Vikings were cat lovers, too. Actually, it might not surprise you at all because you know cats are awesome. Apparently, the Vikings thought so too. Dog lovers don’t need to get defensive because this warring nation was keen on dogs, too, as they even took dogs with them to battle. But cats were still their favorite pets. As Vikings were typically farmers, cats took care of rodents and pests.
They needed them to make sure their crops survived. No wonder these formidable warriors thought cats were good luck. Cats were also treasured in Viking society because they believed their feline friends could see ghosts. We’re not exactly sure if that’s lucky – but the Vikings apparently thought so.
If there’s one thing most people know about the Vikings, it’s that they were pretty formidable warriors. Centuries later, the Vikings would probably take this as a compliment. While they were certainly a fearsome force on the battlefield, the Vikings weren’t taking any chances. They were extremely superstitious and named the swords, hoping that it would bring them good fortune on the battlefield.
Interestingly, swords received their names from the swordmaker or owner. Typical names included Sigrun (the name of the goddess, which translates to “Victory Woman”), Cerrunos (a god of agriculture and farming), and Blodyn, which, interestingly, was a god of bad luck.
Clearly, chieftains were a big deal in Viking society. During a feast or celebration, Viking warriors would arrange their tables around the throne of a chieftain. These tables were called mead benches, and as the name suggests, there was plenty of mead to go about. Of course, as the Vikings were celebrating a festival or success in a battle, there was plenty of reason to have lots of mead.
In fact, mead was so important during these feasts that they called this arrangement after the drink. While it might be better to hold one’s tongue, we could even say that mead may have been even more important than the chieftain.