Vikings Myths

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When the average person thinks about Vikings they probably imagine muscular, wild eyed, and bearded men ready for battle. Some aspects of that statement might be true, however there are a lot of misconceptions about the Vikings. Among the most common myths about the Vikings is that they wore horned helmets when in fact they did not, instead their helmets were rounded made with leather and metal reinforcements often including a face guard. The idea that Vikings wore horned helmets was invented in the 19th century when they became a romanticized group of people. Gerry Larson an avid explorer of Norwegian heritage says that, “Romantic authors did not know what sort of equipment the heroes of the sagas had used and archaeology as a science did…show more content…
What a lot of people don’t know is that Vikings weren’t just barbarians who only raided villages and stole treasures, although a vast majority did do that and one could say there was indeed a greedy side of the Vikings. The ones that raided mostly stole from monasteries because they were easy targets given the monks that dwelled there had no weapons. Monasteries were full of treasures that were intriguing to the Vikings, being mostly gold and jewels, but they also had the essential items such as food, clothes, and tools. In 793 AD a raid on the monks from Lindisfarne started the beginning of the Vikings age and their migration from Scandinavia, the attack was swift, savage, and unexpected. “Monks were killed, thrown into the sea or taken as slaves along with many treasures of the church, and the library itself razed” (Goodrich). One can only imagine another reason the Vikings didn’t have a problem raiding monasteries is because of the massive differences in their religions, the monks were Christians like most of Europe at that time and the Vikings were Pagans, given it was something that was different from their own religion, something unknown to them, I can only assume is how they justified it, if they did at all. After numerous raids on the monasteries the monks struck with fear, sought to dehumanize the Vikings. The monks saw the Vikings as barbarians assaulting Christianity with no respect for religion, but it went beyond that, it was a collision of cultures with different religions and traditions. Knowing that information the Vikings were probably angered and it could have only given them more intuition to steal from the monasteries. What’s more important is that not all Vikings were fearsome warriors who went on voyages to raid, instead they went to settle as farmers, craftsmen, and
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