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Vikings often won during battle because they prioritized both their physical and mental strength. They understood that to win you needed both.
Even if you do win on strength alone, you need that strategy to sustain your wins long-term. Through the quotes above, the adventures of the Vikings were able to live long after them.
Which of these Viking quotes and sayings is your favorite? Tell us your thoughts below! The Swedish district of Uppland has the highest concentration with as many as 1, inscriptions in stone, whereas Södermanland is second with The majority of runic inscriptions from the Viking period are found in Sweden.
Many runestones in Scandinavia record the names of participants in Viking expeditions, such as the Kjula runestone that tells of extensive warfare in Western Europe and the Turinge Runestone , which tells of a war band in Eastern Europe.
Other runestones mention men who died on Viking expeditions. Among them include the England runestones Swedish : Englandsstenarna which is a group of about 30 runestones in Sweden which refer to Viking Age voyages to England.
They constitute one of the largest groups of runestones that mention voyages to other countries, and they are comparable in number only to the approximately 30 Greece Runestones  and the 26 Ingvar Runestones , the latter referring to a Viking expedition to the Middle East.
They were engraved in Old Norse with the Younger Futhark. The Jelling stones date from between and The older, smaller stone was raised by King Gorm the Old , the last pagan king of Denmark, as a memorial honouring Queen Thyre.
It has three sides: one with an animal image, one with an image of the crucified Jesus Christ, and a third bearing the following inscription:.
Runestones attest to voyages to locations such as Bath ,  Greece how the Vikings referred to the Byzantium territories generally ,  Khwaresm ,  Jerusalem ,  Italy as Langobardland ,  Serkland i.
Viking Age inscriptions have also been discovered on the Manx runestones on the Isle of Man. The last known people to use the Runic alphabet were an isolated group of people known as the Elfdalians , that lived in the locality of Älvdalen in the Swedish province of Dalarna.
They spoke the language of Elfdalian , the language unique to Älvdalen. The Elfdalian language differentiates itself from the other Scandinavian languages as it evolved much closer to Old Norse.
The people of Älvdalen stopped using runes as late as the s. Usage of runes therefore survived longer in Älvdalen than anywhere else in the world.
Traditionally regarded as a Swedish dialect,  but by several criteria closer related to West Scandinavian dialects,  Elfdalian is a separate language by the standard of mutual intelligibility.
Residents in the area who speak only Swedish as their sole native language, neither speaking nor understanding Elfdalian, are also common.
Älvdalen can be said to have had its own alphabet during the 17th and 18th century. Today there are about 2, native speakers of Elfdalian. There are numerous burial sites associated with Vikings throughout Europe and their sphere of influence—in Scandinavia, the British Isles, Ireland, Greenland, Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Germany, The Baltic, Russia, etc.
The burial practices of the Vikings were quite varied, from dug graves in the ground, to tumuli , sometimes including so-called ship burials.
According to written sources, most of the funerals took place at sea. The funerals involved either burial or cremation , depending on local customs. In the area that is now Sweden, cremations were predominant; in Denmark burial was more common; and in Norway both were common.
There have been several archaeological finds of Viking ships of all sizes, providing knowledge of the craftsmanship that went into building them.
There were many types of Viking ships, built for various uses; the best-known type is probably the longship. The longship had a long, narrow hull and shallow draught to facilitate landings and troop deployments in shallow water.
Longships were used extensively by the Leidang , the Scandinavian defence fleets. The longship allowed the Norse to go Viking , which might explain why this type of ship has become almost synonymous with the concept of Vikings.
The Vikings built many unique types of watercraft, often used for more peaceful tasks. The knarr was a dedicated merchant vessel designed to carry cargo in bulk.
It had a broader hull, deeper draught, and a small number of oars used primarily to manoeuvre in harbours and similar situations. One Viking innovation was the ' beitass ', a spar mounted to the sail that allowed their ships to sail effectively against the wind.
Ships were an integral part of the Viking culture. They facilitated everyday transportation across seas and waterways, exploration of new lands, raids, conquests, and trade with neighbouring cultures.
They also held a major religious importance. People with high status were sometimes buried in a ship along with animal sacrifices, weapons, provisions and other items, as evidenced by the buried vessels at Gokstad and Oseberg in Norway  and the excavated ship burial at Ladby in Denmark.
Ship burials were also practised by Vikings abroad, as evidenced by the excavations of the Salme ships on the Estonian island of Saaremaa.
Well-preserved remains of five Viking ships were excavated from Roskilde Fjord in the late s, representing both the longship and the knarr.
The ships were scuttled there in the 11th century to block a navigation channel and thus protect Roskilde , then the Danish capital, from seaborne assault.
The remains of these ships are on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. In , archaeologists uncovered two Viking boat graves in Gamla Uppsala.
They also discovered that one of the boats still holds the remains of a man, a dog, and a horse, along with other items.
Viking society was divided into the three socio-economic classes: Thralls, Karls and Jarls. Archaeology has confirmed this social structure.
Thralls were the lowest ranking class and were slaves. Slaves comprised as much as a quarter of the population.
Thralls were servants and workers in the farms and larger households of the Karls and Jarls, and they were used for constructing fortifications, ramps, canals, mounds, roads and similar hard work projects.
According to the Rigsthula, Thralls were despised and looked down upon. New thralls were supplied by either the sons and daughters of thralls or captured abroad.
The Vikings often deliberately captured many people on their raids in Europe, to enslave them as thralls. The thralls were then brought back home to Scandinavia by boat, used on location or in newer settlements to build needed structures, or sold, often to the Arabs in exchange for silver.
Karls were free peasants. They owned farms, land and cattle and engaged in daily chores like ploughing the fields, milking the cattle, building houses and wagons, but used thralls to make ends meet.
Other names for Karls were 'bonde' or simply free men. The Jarls were the aristocracy of the Viking society. They were wealthy and owned large estates with huge longhouses, horses and many thralls.
The thralls did most of the daily chores, while the Jarls did administration, politics, hunting, sports, visited other Jarls or went abroad on expeditions.
When a Jarl died and was buried, his household thralls were sometimes sacrificially killed and buried next to him, as many excavations have revealed.
In daily life, there were many intermediate positions in the overall social structure and it is believed that there must have been some social mobility.
These details are unclear, but titles and positions like hauldr , thegn , landmand , show mobility between the Karls and the Jarls. Members of the latter were referred to as drenge , one of the words for warrior.
There were also official communities within towns and villages, the overall defence, religion, the legal system and the Things.
Like elsewhere in medieval Europe, most women in Viking society were subordinate to their husbands and fathers and had little political power.
Most free Viking women were housewives, and the woman's standing in society was linked to that of her husband. Norse laws assert the housewife's authority over the 'indoor household'.
She had the important roles of managing the farm's resources, conducting business, as well as child-rearing, although some of this would be shared with her husband.
After the age of 20, an unmarried woman, referred to as maer and mey , reached legal majority and had the right to decide her place of residence and was regarded as her own person before the law.
Concubinage was also part of Viking society, whereby a woman could live with a man and have children with him without marrying; such a woman was called a frilla.
A woman had the right to inherit part of her husband's property upon his death,  and widows enjoyed the same independent status as unmarried women.
Such a woman was referred to as Baugrygr , and she exercised all the rights afforded to the head of a family clan, until she married, by which her rights were transferred to her new husband.
Women had religious authority and were active as priestesses gydja and oracles sejdkvinna. Examinations of Viking Age burials suggests that women lived longer, and nearly all well past the age of 35, as compared to earlier times.
Female graves from before the Viking Age in Scandinavia holds a proportional large number of remains from women aged 20 to 35, presumably due to complications of childbirth.
Scandinavian Vikings were similar in appearance to modern Scandinavians ; "their skin was fair and the hair color varied between blond, dark and reddish".
Genetic studies show that people were mostly blond in what is now eastern Sweden, while red hair was mostly found in western Scandinavia.
Men involved in warfare, for example, may have had slightly shorter hair and beards for practical reasons.
Men in some regions bleached their hair a golden saffron color. The three classes were easily recognisable by their appearances. Men and women of the Jarls were well groomed with neat hairstyles and expressed their wealth and status by wearing expensive clothes often silk and well crafted jewellery like brooches , belt buckles, necklaces and arm rings.
Almost all of the jewellery was crafted in specific designs unique to the Norse see Viking art. Finger rings were seldom used and earrings were not used at all, as they were seen as a Slavic phenomenon.
Most Karls expressed similar tastes and hygiene, but in a more relaxed and inexpensive way. Archaeological finds from Scandinavia and Viking settlements in the British Isles support the idea of the well groomed and hygienic Viking.
Burial with grave goods was a common practice in the Scandinavian world, through the Viking Age and well past the Christianization of the Norse peoples.
The sagas tell about the diet and cuisine of the Vikings,  but first hand evidence, like cesspits , kitchen middens and garbage dumps have proved to be of great value and importance.
Undigested remains of plants from cesspits at Coppergate in York have provided much information in this respect. Overall, archaeo-botanical investigations have been undertaken increasingly in recent decades, as a collaboration between archaeologists and palaeoethno-botanists.
This new approach sheds light on the agricultural and horticultural practices of the Vikings and their cuisine. The combined information from various sources suggests a diverse cuisine and ingredients.
Meat products of all kinds, such as cured , smoked and whey -preserved meat,  sausages, and boiled or fried fresh meat cuts, were prepared and consumed.
Certain livestock were typical and unique to the Vikings, including the Icelandic horse , Icelandic cattle , a plethora of sheep breeds,  the Danish hen and the Danish goose.
Most of the beef and horse leg bones were found split lengthways, to extract the marrow. The mutton and swine were cut into leg and shoulder joints and chops.
The frequent remains of pig skull and foot bones found on house floors indicate that brawn and trotters were also popular. Hens were kept for both their meat and eggs, and the bones of game birds such as black grouse , golden plover , wild ducks, and geese have also been found.
Seafood was important, in some places even more so than meat. Whales and walrus were hunted for food in Norway and the north-western parts of the North Atlantic region, and seals were hunted nearly everywhere.
Oysters , mussels and shrimps were eaten in large quantities and cod and salmon were popular fish. In the southern regions, herring was also important.
Milk and buttermilk were popular, both as cooking ingredients and drinks, but were not always available, even at farms. Food was often salted and enhanced with spices, some of which were imported like black pepper , while others were cultivated in herb gardens or harvested in the wild.
Home grown spices included caraway , mustard and horseradish as evidenced from the Oseberg ship burial  or dill , coriander , and wild celery , as found in cesspits at Coppergate in York.
Thyme , juniper berry , sweet gale , yarrow , rue and peppercress were also used and cultivated in herb gardens. Vikings collected and ate fruits, berries and nuts.
Apple wild crab apples , plums and cherries were part of the diet,  as were rose hips and raspberry , wild strawberry , blackberry , elderberry , rowan , hawthorn and various wild berries, specific to the locations.
The shells were used for dyeing, and it is assumed that the nuts were consumed. The invention and introduction of the mouldboard plough revolutionised agriculture in Scandinavia in the early Viking Age and made it possible to farm even poor soils.
In Ribe , grains of rye , barley , oat and wheat dated to the 8th century have been found and examined, and are believed to have been cultivated locally.
Remains of bread from primarily Birka in Sweden were made of barley and wheat. It is unclear if the Norse leavened their breads, but their ovens and baking utensils suggest that they did.
This suggests a much higher actual percentage, as linen is poorly preserved compared to wool for example. The quality of food for common people was not always particularly high.
The research at Coppergate shows that the Vikings in York made bread from whole meal flour—probably both wheat and rye —but with the seeds of cornfield weeds included.
Corncockle Agrostemma , would have made the bread dark-coloured, but the seeds are poisonous, and people who ate the bread might have become ill. Seeds of carrots, parsnip , and brassicas were also discovered, but they were poor specimens and tend to come from white carrots and bitter tasting cabbages.
The effects of this can be seen on skeletal remains of that period. Sports were widely practised and encouraged by the Vikings. This included spear and stone throwing, building and testing physical strength through wrestling see glima , fist fighting , and stone lifting.
In areas with mountains, mountain climbing was practised as a sport. Agility and balance were built and tested by running and jumping for sport, and there is mention of a sport that involved jumping from oar to oar on the outside of a ship's railing as it was being rowed.
Children often participated in some of the sport disciplines and women have also been mentioned as swimmers, although it is unclear if they took part in competition.
King Olaf Tryggvason was hailed as a master of both mountain climbing and oar-jumping, and was said to have excelled in the art of knife juggling as well.
Skiing and ice skating were the primary winter sports of the Vikings, although skiing was also used as everyday means of transport in winter and in the colder regions of the north.
Horse fighting was practised for sport, although the rules are unclear. It appears to have involved two stallions pitted against each other, within smell and sight of fenced-off mares.
Whatever the rules were, the fights often resulted in the death of one of the stallions. Icelandic sources refer to the sport of knattleik. A ball game akin to hockey , knattleik involved a bat and a small hard ball and was usually played on a smooth field of ice.
The rules are unclear, but it was popular with both adults and children, even though it often led to injuries. Knattleik appears to have been played only in Iceland, where it attracted many spectators, as did horse fighting.
Hunting, as a sport, was limited to Denmark, where it was not regarded as an important occupation. Birds, deer , hares and foxes were hunted with bow and spear, and later with crossbows.
The techniques were stalking, snare and traps and par force hunting with dog packs. Both archaeological finds and written sources testify to the fact that the Vikings set aside time for social and festive gatherings.
Board games and dice games were played as a popular pastime at all levels of society. Preserved gaming pieces and boards show game boards made of easily available materials like wood, with game pieces manufactured from stone, wood or bone, while other finds include elaborately carved boards and game pieces of glass, amber , antler or walrus tusk, together with materials of foreign origin, such as ivory.
The Vikings played several types of tafl games; hnefatafl , nitavl nine men's morris and the less common kvatrutafl. Chess also appeared at the end of the Viking Age.
Hnefatafl is a war game, in which the object is to capture the king piece—a large hostile army threatens and the king's men have to protect the king.
It was played on a board with squares using black and white pieces, with moves made according to dice rolls. The Ockelbo Runestone shows two men engaged in Hnefatafl, and the sagas suggest that money or valuables could have been involved in some dice games.
On festive occasions storytelling , skaldic poetry , music and alcoholic drinks, like beer and mead , contributed to the atmosphere.
The Vikings are known to have played instruments including harps , fiddles , lyres and lutes. Viking-age reenactors have undertaken experimental activities such as iron smelting and forging using Norse techniques at Norstead in Newfoundland for example.
On 1 July , the reconstructed Viking ship Skuldelev 2 , renamed Sea Stallion ,  began a journey from Roskilde to Dublin. The remains of that ship and four others were discovered during a excavation in the Roskilde Fjord.
Tree-ring analysis has shown the ship was built of oak in the vicinity of Dublin in about Seventy multi-national crew members sailed the ship back to its home, and Sea Stallion arrived outside Dublin's Custom House on 14 August The purpose of the voyage was to test and document the seaworthiness, speed, and manoeuvrability of the ship on the rough open sea and in coastal waters with treacherous currents.
The crew tested how the long, narrow, flexible hull withstood the tough ocean waves. The expedition also provided valuable new information on Viking longships and society.
The ship was built using Viking tools, materials, and much the same methods as the original ship. Other vessels, often replicas of the Gokstad ship full- or half-scale or Skuldelev have been built and tested as well.
The Snorri a Skuldelev I Knarr , was sailed from Greenland to Newfoundland in Elements of a Scandinavian identity and practices were maintained in settler societies, but they could be quite distinct as the groups assimilated into the neighboring societies.
Assimilation to the Frankish culture in Normandy for example was rapid. Knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century.
According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons and were permitted to carry them at all times.
These arms indicated a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking had a complete ensemble of a helmet , shield , mail shirt, and sword. However, swords were rarely used in battle, probably not sturdy enough for combat and most likely only used as symbolic or decorative items.
Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less "honourable" than melee weapons.
Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The warfare and violence of the Vikings were often motivated and fuelled by their beliefs in Norse religion , focusing on Thor and Odin , the gods of war and death.
Such tactics may have been deployed intentionally by shock troops , and the berserk-state may have been induced through ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, such as the hallucinogenic mushrooms, Amanita muscaria ,  or large amounts of alcohol.
The Vikings established and engaged in extensive trading networks throughout the known world and had a profound influence on the economic development of Europe and Scandinavia.
Except for the major trading centres of Ribe , Hedeby and the like, the Viking world was unfamiliar with the use of coinage and was based on so called bullion economy, that is, the weight of precious metals.
Silver was the most common metal in the economy, although gold was also used to some extent. Silver circulated in the form of bars, or ingots , as well as in the form of jewellery and ornaments.
A large number of silver hoards from the Viking Age have been uncovered, both in Scandinavia and the lands they settled.
Organized trade covered everything from ordinary items in bulk to exotic luxury products. The Viking ship designs, like that of the knarr , were an important factor in their success as merchants.
To counter these valuable imports, the Vikings exported a large variety of goods. These goods included: . Other exports included weapons, walrus ivory , wax , salt and cod.
As one of the more exotic exports, hunting birds were sometimes provided from Norway to the European aristocracy, from the 10th century. Many of these goods were also traded within the Viking world itself, as well as goods such as soapstone and whetstone.
Soapstone was traded with the Norse on Iceland and in Jutland , who used it for pottery. Whetstones were traded and used for sharpening weapons, tools and knives.
This trade satisfied the Vikings' need for leather and meat to some extent, and perhaps hides for parchment production on the European mainland.
Wool was also very important as a domestic product for the Vikings, to produce warm clothing for the cold Scandinavian and Nordic climate, and for sails.
Sails for Viking ships required large amounts of wool, as evidenced by experimental archaeology. There are archaeological signs of organised textile productions in Scandinavia, reaching as far back as the early Iron Ages.
Artisans and craftsmen in the larger towns were supplied with antlers from organised hunting with large-scale reindeer traps in the far north.
They were used as raw material for making everyday utensils like combs. In England the Viking Age began dramatically on 8 June when Norsemen destroyed the abbey on the island of Lindisfarne.
The devastation of Northumbria 's Holy Island shocked and alerted the royal courts of Europe to the Viking presence. Not until the s did scholars outside Scandinavia begin to seriously reassess the achievements of the Vikings, recognizing their artistry, technological skills, and seamanship.
Norse Mythology , sagas, and literature tell of Scandinavian culture and religion through tales of heroic and mythological heroes.
Many of these sagas were written in Iceland, and most of them, even if they had no Icelandic provenance, were preserved there after the Middle Ages due to the continued interest of Icelanders in Norse literature and law codes.
The year Viking influence on European history is filled with tales of plunder and colonisation, and the majority of these chronicles came from western witnesses and their descendants.
Less common, though equally relevant, are the Viking chronicles that originated in the east, including the Nestor chronicles, Novgorod chronicles, Ibn Fadlan chronicles, Ibn Rusta chronicles, and brief mentions by Photius , patriarch of Constantinople, regarding their first attack on the Byzantine Empire.
Other chroniclers of Viking history include Adam of Bremen , who wrote, in the fourth volume of his Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum , "[t]here is much gold here in Zealand , accumulated by piracy.
These pirates, which are called wichingi by their own people, and Ascomanni by our own people, pay tribute to the Danish king.
Early modern publications, dealing with what is now called Viking culture, appeared in the 16th century, e. Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus History of the northern people of Olaus Magnus , and the first edition of the 13th-century Gesta Danorum Deeds of the Danes , by Saxo Grammaticus , in The pace of publication increased during the 17th century with Latin translations of the Edda notably Peder Resen's Edda Islandorum of In Scandinavia, the 17th-century Danish scholars Thomas Bartholin and Ole Worm and the Swede Olaus Rudbeck used runic inscriptions and Icelandic sagas as historical sources.
An important early British contributor to the study of the Vikings was George Hickes , who published his Linguarum vett. During the 18th century, British interest and enthusiasm for Iceland and early Scandinavian culture grew dramatically, expressed in English translations of Old Norse texts and in original poems that extolled the supposed Viking virtues.
The word "viking" was first popularised at the beginning of the 19th century by Erik Gustaf Geijer in his poem, The Viking. Geijer's poem did much to propagate the new romanticised ideal of the Viking, which had little basis in historical fact.
The renewed interest of Romanticism in the Old North had contemporary political implications.11/25/ · 50 Striking Viking Quotes on Honor, Battle, and More. By. Nia Simone McLeod. Published on November 25, AM EST. The adventurous Vikings symbolize strength, honor, and wisdom. The Viking quotes below show lessons learned through their worldwide conquests and wars. The Striking Vikings represent our league in WFTDA competition both at home and abroad. They are made up of the strongest, fiercest, most competitive players our league has to offer. Please allow me to introduce your Striking Vikings! 10/16/ · Vikings were the seafaring Norse people from southern Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden) who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries raided, pirated, traded and settled throughout parts of Europe, and explored westward to Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland.