Norse Weapons – The Bow

The Vikings used a bow they called a ‘bogi‘ in Old Norse. Bows were predominately used for hunting, but in many cases they were also used for battle, especially in battles or attacks at sea. Even though nautical battles were not common to the Norse who preferred to fight on land, bows were indeed used in sea battles. They could use their bows to fire at an enemy awaiting them on the beach as they tried to land. They used the bow to attack other ships by firing arrows and throwing other…

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Less Commonly Known Viking Weapons – The Atgeir

The Atgeir was a ‘spear-like spear’ that was used before and through the Viking Age. One reference to the atgeir comes from Icelandic Sagas about the Viking hero Gunnar Hámundarson whom used an atgeir in Njál’s Saga that would “sing” by making a ringing sound when it anticipated ‘bloodshed’ when it was used in battle. Gunnar was a great warrior.  He is described as being nearly invincible in combat. According to Njál’s Saga, he was a powerful, athletic man “capable of jumping his own height in full body armor, both back and…

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The Vikings never had Horns on their Helms

One of the most common stereotypes associated with “Vikings” is that they wore horned helms. The other most common misconception is calling them “Vikings,” but that is another argument. Viking was something they did, not who they were.  They were the Norse and went viking. Norse helms never had horns on them. Contrary to the popular belief that Vikings wore horned helmets, there is no evidence that this ever happened. The horned and winged helmets were an invention of 19th century art and theater. If you think about it, as cool as a…

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