Over the centuries, the Viking image has shifted dramatically. They are now alternately portrayed as savage and violent heathens or adventurous explorers, as they were romanticized in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are a lot of misconceptions about them like: They wore horned helmets, Everyone in the medieval Nordic world was a Viking, They ‘blood eagled’ their enemies, They burned their dead in ships, they drank from the skulls of their enemies, They sailed in dragonhead ships, They were lawless, wild, blood-feuders, Ivar the Boneless was boneless, and so on…
We occasionally hear stories about how ruthless the Vikings were during their golden age. According to some accounts, the Vikings used to throw infants up in the air to attempt to “catch” them with the tips of their spears. So far, only one source of Nordic literature has told the story of a man who sacrificed his life for the infants. It was first published in the Landnámabók (Book of Settlement). However, scholars have not discovered any other sources from the Viking Age that mention infants being killed with spears. Most likely, these heinous tales are the product of modern writers’ imaginations. Another claim made about them is that they owned slaves. Did the Vikings only own slaves? Slavery was common in Britain before the Roman era, with slaves being routinely exported. Slavery was an accepted part of society during and after the Roman Empire; Anglo-Saxons kept the slave system going, sometimes in collusion with Norse traders who sold slaves to the Irish. Saint Patrick, a Romano-British monk, was kidnapped by Irish raiders in the early fifth century and taken to Ireland as a slave.”
It was clear that the Vikings loved their children just as much as any other tribe. The Vikings were not all that ferocious. The majority of Vikings were farmers, and fighting was only a part-time occupation for them. They were normal people with normal feelings and affection for their families. The Norse were people who lived in their time and held the same values. There are good and bad Vikings, just like everyone else. Vikings instilled fear in many homes, but they were not only warriors who terrorized Europe; they were also tolerant of other cultures and religions that they were willing to adopt, and their contributions to Europe’s cultural development are enormous and undeniable.
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