Why Do Vikings Use Weapons In Society

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In Viking society every freeman was expected to own a weapon and be familiar with its use. Weapons had a major impact on Viking society for many diverse reasons. Depending on what they could afford, every free Viking must have been able to use a weapon, a weapon like a spear was very common as it was cheap and easy to make and a weapon like a sword was only common to people with a higher social ranking and someone with more money. In the Viking culture honour played a very important role; any discouragement of honour was sorted through using weapons. As well as honour, pride was very important to the Vikings. Pride was shown through weapons such as the sword, which holds greatest authority. Weapons were used for raiding and conquering, but…show more content…
The definition of honour is high respect; great esteem, to be admirable is crucial to the Vikings, so if a Viking felt vulnerable in any way to losing that title, the end result would be weapons. Weapons were used to defend the Viking’s name in honour and in pride. William R. Short provides evidence that honour was more important than any physical possession that the Vikings had. Short states that any attempt to diminish honour was fulfilled with weapons, or with a threat of use of weapons and that the law legalised it. There are many motives for the Vikings use of weapons, but one of the most momentous ones was to protect their honour, but as well as that they have great pride shown through…show more content…
A Viking can see if another Viking is wealthy by what type of weapons they use. A wooden axe is a common weapon amongst Thralls; they might possibly have a shield as well. Spears were also seen and used regularly by people of lower wealth, as they weren’t very hard to make. If a Viking wants to get a weapon that is cheap and easy to make but they are wealthy, they can get their weapon decorated for a higher price. A sword is only available to a Viking who is extremely wealthy or higher up in the social structure such as Jarl. Social rankings of Vikings are also determined by what type of weapons they have and use. Social ranking goes with what type of job you have. Farmers and slaves have the lowest social ranking Thralls; craftsmen have a low social ranking, Karls. Chiefs are moderately high, Jarls as well as Nobles and priests. Kings have the highest social ranking; therefore they have access and generally have particularly noble weapons. William R. Short supports the view that only extremely wealthy, those at the highest point of the social hierarchy could afford to own the full panoply of weapons and defence. Weapons impacted the Vikings because they used them to show where they stand
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