The mighty Viking warriors were known across all of Europe, and with good reason, the Vikings were fierce and ferocious in battle and feared no man. To come across the path of one, let alone many Viking warriors could easily spell trouble, their battle skill and size and strength would pose problems for any class of ancient warrior.
Hailing from the countries of Scandinavia, the rugged Vikings or Norse grew up in countries that would have harsh and bitter winters, and the term Norse actually means 'those from the North'. Maybe this climate helped them to become strong and hardy, the often bearded Viking warriors were known for their resilience. Sweden, Norway and Denmark these were thought to be the main countries where a Viking would live but of course over time, the Vikings would travel much further afield, dropping anchor on foreign shores, bringing their own rules enforced by their axes and swords.
Learn more about the Viking warriors, what motivated them, whether they were barbarians or family men, what they wore and how they travelled. We also have information what kind of weapons they favoured on the battlefield, their battle rituals, the armour they used and much more.
The Vikings of history lend us many famous names like legendary Ragnar Lodbrok. Read more about the Famous Viking Warriors >>
The Viking warriors armour was simple but effective, most importantly it was lightweight. Read more about the Viking Warrior Armour >>
The Viking berserkers were the crazed and blood thirsty warriors of the far north. Read more about the Viking Warrior Berserkers >>
The clothing of the Viking warriors was designed to keep them warm in the cold north. Read more about the Viking Warrior Clothing >>
The Viking warriors were not afraid of death, it was just a step closer to Valhalla. Read more about the Viking Warrior Death and Burial >>
Many myths and untruths exist about the Vikings, here we uncover the true facts. Read more about the Viking Warrior Facts >>
The Viking warriors were famed for their overseas raids, travelling far to find treasure. Read more about the Viking Warrior Raids >>
The Viking shield was an essential item for every Viking warrior their first line of defence. Read more about the Viking Warrior Shields >>
From the ancient texts written in old Norse we know that the origin of the might Viking warriors hailed from what is know as Scandinavia. Comprised of three main countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and in winter the very north of Scandinavia would be a cold, dark and testing place. The south of Scandinavia by contrast would offer much more forgiving conditions, highly suitable for crop growing and farming.
The start of the documented existence of the Viking starts around the late 8th century and lasted until the mid 11th century. The first documented raids on England are recorded in 793, and the considered end of the era is in 1066 at the battle of Hastings, where William the Duke of Normandy, who was of Viking descent defeated king Harold.
The Vikings were well known travellers and to make the numerous journeys they did across the oceans of Europe, the Vikings warriors travelled in their longboats. Expertly constructed the Longboats that survive today like the Gokstad ship are probably not indicative of the size of boats the Vikings used at the time for raiding, and the Gokstad is actually the smallest class of Viking long ship known as a Karvi. The more commonly used ships for raids would likely have been Snekkja or Skeid class longboats, which were much larger and capable of carrying larger raiding parties.
Since the first raid upon England in 793, the Vikings reputation as brutal reputation became set in stone. Before that day a long ship looming on the horizon might have meant new items to trade, after the long ship was something to fear.
Over time this fear of the Norse longboats soared, and the Vikings continued to raid in ever increasing scale and fashion. By 1066, the Vikings had travelled not only throughout a large portion of Europe, but in North American and Asia.
The Viking warriors were masters of their chosen weapons, the sword, the spear and the axe. Bladed weapons were the favourite tools of the deadly Norsemen and they had no issue with risking their life in the pursuit of victory.
Armour for a Viking warrior was minimal, a shield would be the primary defence too, and many a helmet too. Lightweight padded fabric armour and leather jackets were options favoured by the Vikings, but of course mobility and speed was one of their tools in combat and too much armour would have slowed the Vikings down too much.
The most feared of all the Viking warriors, the legendary berserker were thought to fight with no concern for their own safety or for others. Tales have been told of how the berserker would fight with no armour or clothing, causing mayhem and destruction in their wake.
The source of the Viking berserker rage or ‘berserkergang’ as it was known is the source of much contention. Some historians believe it was drug induced, either mushrooms or alcohol, other believe it was a state of mind achieved only by the berserker them self. Either way the Viking berserker was not someone to stay to close too, whether you were friend or foe.
When the rest of Europe was in the grip of a Christian and catholic revolution, the counties in Scandinavia were completely separate and fully embracing of their mighty and powerful gods like Odin and Thor. These gods were powerful and violent, and the Viking warriors of the old Norse era were also considered violent and powerful by the people that encountered their raids.
Masters of combat with the sword, the axe and the spear, the Viking warriors were capable of raiding with extreme speed and ferocity and had a well earned reputations among all of Europe.