Barbarians In The Vikings

1122 Words5 Pages
The Vikings are commonly known as barbarians, evil, sometimes even marauders. However, the Vikings didn’t just raid prospering villages or monasteries. They also spent a lot of time exploring overseas. While the rest of Europe was squabbling over what land belongs to whom, the Vikings were isolated, all alone on their three little peninsulas. This left them plenty of time to expand their knowledge on ships and navigation, and led them to bring ships into their culture.

Viking longships were lean, speedy, lightweight ships that could easily cut through the most vicious waves that the ocean could throw at them. The Norse people were separated from mainland Europe by the North Sea. As their nation advanced, they built longships and started exploring
…show more content…
Instead of using a saw to split the wood, they would use their axes. The Vikings would firmly attach the planks to the sides of the keel by employing strong iron nails as a fastener. Unlike many of the ships in that age, the Vikings would use the “clinker” method, . The Viking’s unconventional “clinker” method included overlapping the planks one after another to create a smooth exterior for the ship. One clever way of preventing leaks was, to dip a wool string in tar and force it between the planks to seal any gaps. After securing a good exterior and leak-proof sides, the Vikings would then attach floor boards and rowing benches to the…show more content…
“When venturing beyond the horizon, natural phenomena helped to indicate the way,” (Richard Hall, Exploring the World of the Vikings, 54). If only water lay in all directions, the Vikings could tell where they were by using natural ocean life such as whales or seabirds to signify how far they were from land. Other natural phenomenas included cloud and wave patterns.

The Viking longboats used a single rudder on the ships for steering. This singular rudder was on the right side or the “starboard,” side of the ship. This was also known as the “steeringboard” side. “The term ‘starboard’ is thought to have originated in the Viking Era,” (PBS, NOVA, 5). Many believe the rudder was placed on the right side of the ship because the majority of sailors were right handed.

More and more is being learned about the Vikings and their culture to this day. The ships hold some of the most important clues to their success during the Viking Era. Ship-wise, the Vikings were as different from the other civilizations as they could be, right down from the building of the ship to their navigation

More about Barbarians In The Vikings

Open Document