Brief History of The Viking Age
Many Viking Weapons have been used for battle, work and spiritual celebrations. The famous Viking age occurred from the late 8th century into mid 11th century Europe.
These famous Viking tribes travelled from the northern Scandinavian countries down into northeastern Europe and Britain.
These warriors caused a lot of problems to their enemies due to their cultural ways of war and conquest.
The Vikings are famously known for living a very aggressive nomadic life where only the strong survive.
Many weapons and designs the Vikings used came from plundering and their nomadic lifestyle. Picking up ideas from other tribes and warriors throughout Europe.
This way of life bred some absolute beasts which helped the Vikings and their culture go down in history as one of the most fierce groups of people.
Viking weapons were more than just something used in battle. They were used as tools and to show wealth and status through fancy designs and materials.
According to their god Odin, every free Norsemen was required to keep a weapon on them at all times. For their own safety as well as their tribe and family.
The most common Viking weapons found through research include;
- The Sword
- Bearded Axe
Let’s jump right into these incredibly simple yet effective weapons used in the Viking Age.
The Viking sword is a small one-handed sword that would most likely be used alongside a shield.
However, swords were very rarely used because only the wealthiest warriors could afford to make them. You could tell the status of a Viking based on his sword because they varied in design from plain to decorated.
When a Viking eventually raided enough to afford a sword, it was honoured and sometimes passed down through generations.
Many swords were used as decoration or during burial ceremonies and would likely have never seen battle.
The sword was considered the most important of the Viking weapons due to its many uses and significance.
The Vikings who used spears were mostly poor and lower class such as farmers. The spear however was a cornerstone weapon for most Vikings and was very common.
The spear was relatively the cheapest weapon to forge because it required much less metal than the sword or axe.
There were two known variations of the spear used, one was lighter, rounded, used for throwing and mainly one-handed. The other was heavier and the head was made bigger because it was used for thrusting while using both hands.
The king of the Norse gods, Odin, used a famous spear during battles, giving the spear a very special meaning and legend.
Viking Bearded Axe
The most common and popular weapons amongst the Vikings would have to be the bearded axe and the Dane axe.
Not only was it an effective weapon, but most Vikings carried one at all times to also be used as a tool for survival.
Many burials from the Viking age found that men, women and children were most commonly buried with an axe. In Norse legend, Vikings needed an axe or other weapons when they died in order reach Valhalla.
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Diffrent Viking Axes
A Viking axe would be forged in different designs for different purposes to best suit the upcoming battle.
The bearded axe was very popular, mostly used in one hand for close-quarter combat. It was quick and very effective at ripping through its enemies.
Another popular axe used was a Dane axe, which was designed to be used with two hands and was longer and heavier. Warriors who used this axe had to be incredibly stronger to be able to wield such a weapon.
A throwing axe is a small axe used to hit a target at a distance or up in a tower. Most bearded axes would double as a throwing axe. The Vikings wanted to be efficient in their weaponry and to make sure their weapons served many purposes.
Viking knives had many uses in everyday life, from hunting, battle, at home and burials.
There are two types of knives used by the Vikings, one was a plain one-edged knife that even slaves were allowed to use and be buried with. It could be used for hunting and fighting but it wasn’t the most effective weapon in battle.
The other Viking knife is the famous seax, which was a long heavy single-edged blade that would have been used in battle.
Wealthier men would own a bigger seax and turn it into a machete or sword with a longer handle.
Viking Weapons Summarized
The famous Vikings that roamed the earth only a few centuries ago have left a big mark in our history books.
We can learn a lot from the way they lived and their beliefs, for example, they knew a man’s purpose in life was to conquer.
They went out and spent their whole lives conquering, training, partying, and making families. Society lacks many traits these amazing warriors stood for. We need to learn and grow to reach our full potential as these men have.
These most used Viking weapons made a huge impact on Viking culture, from the spear, sword, bearded axe and knives. Everything served a purpose and shared a meaning, nothing that didn’t was used.