Norse Trade, more Bang for the Buck

For as long as history can trace, the Norse have been well known as great traders. Their trade reach extended all the way to the Far East, through Russia and the Black Sea, to the Middle East. Regular trade thrived throughout Europe and in the Mediterranean. The Volga trade route along the Volga River connected Norse tradesmen all the way to the southern shores of the Caspian Sea to trade with Muslim countries, sometimes as far as Baghdad through the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers trade routes. The reach of the…

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The Norse Social Class System of the Viking Age

The Norse had a social class structure to their society. They had kings, priests, jarls and lords, freemen and slaves (thralls). Before the formal organization of the Scandinavian countries, the Norse were considered as a single people consisting of various family clans. Nordic society was set and organized with a deliberate means to the ends. Norse social stratification was layered like most other cultures of the World. The Kings and royal families were at the very top of the class structure. Kings were generally placed and chosen by birth, as…

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The Shield used by the Vikings

There is Skaldic poetry that is specifically dedicated to the Norse shield. They are known as the “shield poems.” The shield was as much a part of Norse culture as was the ax. It was well developed and one of the best shields made. The Viking shield was very different from that of the shields used around the World. The shields were made from wood with a metal center and were colorfully painted. Upon first glance, there doesn’t seem to anything special about these shields but you’d be very wrong…

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