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5 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT THE VIKINGS


by Fran O'Reilly September 16, 2016 0 Comments

It's no secret that Vikings were pretty fascinating warriors of their time. Overwhelming in their approach they would often dethrone anyone in power who dare stand before them in order to conquer the land and seas of which they stood and sailed upon. With such an engrossing deep lore in human history there are literally hundreds upon thousands of truly fascinating facts throughout their time about the Vikings and all that they stood for. Today, I wanted to share with you a small collection of my personal favourite Viking facts that you probably didn't know...

VIKINGS WERE PRETTY SMART FIRE STARTERS!

Vikings were much smarter than many people may first give them credit for. It is believed they first discovered a fungus that could be found inside tree bark known as touchwood. They quickly learned that if you boiled the fungus for several days in human urine before beating it into a pulp like felt material that the urine within the felt creates sodium nitrate allowing the man-made material to slowly smolder instead of burn too quickly, allowing the Vikings to create longer lasting fires which could easily be transported with them on their travels for future use.

VIKINGS WERE QUITE THE MALE GROOMERS!

As you can imagine being at sea facing the elements whilst battling your way through the blood and gore of your fallen foes you'd assume that Vikings would have stunk to the high heavens. Well, you'd be wrong. Excavations on numerous preserved Viking sites have unearthed combs, ear cleaners, tweezers and even razors! Many of which were hand carved from animal bones and antlers. This suggesting that the Vikings were keen groomers of their facial forests and hair.

VIKINGS BURIED THEIR LOVED ONES IN BOATS ONCE THEY PASSED OVER!

It a well known fact that Vikings loved their beloved sea boats. So much so that it was viewed as a true honour to be laid to rest upon one. In the Norse religion warriors who has lost their lives during battle were believed to reach glorious enriching realms upon their passing. Their bodies would be laid to rest upon a trusty vessel as it was believed that as their bats had served them well in life they would help them to reach their final destinations in the afterlife. Fallen warriors and their families would be laid to rest surrounded by valuable treasures such as their trusty weapons and costly valuables, much like the an Egyptian within his Tomb.

VIKING WIFE'S HAD SOME RIGHTS TO YOU KNOW!

It is believed that Viking females were often married as young as twelve or thirteen years of age. They were expected to maintain the household alongside raising their children whilst the husband was away on his many adventures. For that generation, Viking wife's had more freedom than most. For as long as they were not Thralls they could legally inherit property as well as request a divorce to reclaim their dowries if the should choose to do so.

VIKINGS MAY NOT HAVE WORE HORNED HELMETS LIKE WE WERE LEAD TO BELIEVE!

Throughout history we were lead to believe that Vikings often sported horned helmets during battle. Well, this might not have been nearly as accurate as we may have first thought. Although it is clear that head gear was indeed worn, depictions dating back from the Viking age do not seem to support horned helmets were all that accurate. It seems that as time has passed artist descriptions may have added that image into our minds making them fictional rather than factual. The only authentic Viking helmet ever discovered is remarkably horn free. Leading us to believe that horned helmets may have never existed. Feathers and other like items may have been used as a decorative piece upon the helmet, but there's not a single spot of evidence to support that horns ever did. 

So there you have it! Another beard blog comes to an end for today folks. As always please leave your thoughts, comments and any questions you may have in the section provided below.

And until next time, Beard on Brothers, Beard on...



Fran O'Reilly
Fran O'Reilly

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I'm your daily blogger here at 'The Beard Struggle'. Have a beard related question? Get in touch!