Random Facts About Vikings
The Vikings did not wear horns on their helmets; that was a sign of a chieftain only, and a practice that ended early in the Celtic age. It was usually a sign of afilliation with Kernnanos, a god of the wild animals.
Vikings were farmers first and warriors second; because the Scandinavian custom of the time said that all land inheritance went to the first-born son, all later born males had to find thier own land, hence their terrorization of Europe, and settling in Scotland and Ireland.
Vikings had the most nutritious diet in Europe, hence their amazingly large stature compared to the rest of the Europeans of the time.
Vikings bathed several times a week, so the Anglo women liked them better than their own men. (Can you blame them? Back then most people never bathed.)
Four of the week days are named after Norse gods:
Tuesday: Tyr, the one-armed leader of the gods' army.
Wednesday: Wotan, the chief god.
Thursday: Thor the god of thunder (in German, the day is also known as Donnerstag -- thunder day).
Friday: Frigg, Wotan's wife.
Sunday and Monday have similar names in modern Scandinavia -- I don't know if those names came from Norse to English or vice versa. Saturday, I guess is after Saturn -- but in Norse it's called Laurdag/Lørdag -- washing day.
The Vikings invented pants.
Dublin was founded by Viking raiders in the ninth century
The worst possible death for a Viking chief was to die peacefully in bed.
The Berserkers, literally "bear shirts," were the most feared of the Vikings. They worked themselves into a frenzy before going into battle and fought on, regardless of pain.
They invented one of the most horrible methods of torture and execution. Called The Blood Eagle it was performed by splitting open a person's ribs at the spine, spreading them wide "like an eagle" and tossing the victims lungs over his shoulders while still alive. Death came from shock and asphyxiation.
Some Real Viking Names
Thorvald the Skull-Splitter, Rollo the Dangler, Ragnar Hairybreeks, Auden the Bald, Styrbjorn Man-Cleaver, Sigurd Snake-Eye
Some Viking Names I Made Up
Jorund Hot-Breeches, Magnus the Swarthy, Asgrim Killyoudead, Hauk the Large-Bulged,
Go here to find your Viking name. Let me know what you get.