Viking Weapons – The Key To Winning Wars

They raided and traded.  They cruised the high seas like nobody’s business.  And they explored and settled in various parts of Europe, becoming a prominent civilization.  Who are these people I speak of?  They are none other than the Vikings.  And contrary to popular depiction, these guys were not brutal savages as some tend to think.  However, let’s not underestimate them.  While not crazy violent, they were warriors…and great warriors at that.  This was due in large part to their awesome weapons which they were armed with at all times.  Being a Viking and going from place to place, they had to be prepared for attacks at any moment with weapon in tow.

Viking Helmets:

Viking warrior weapons were not only important in fighting.  They also served as a representation of social status and wealth.  In fact, Viking literature even suggests that men would be buried with their weapons.  As far as types of weapons used, they ranged from swords to spears to axes to bow and arrow.  The most prestigious of these pieces was the sword, as it came at the highest cost to make and purchase.

Viking Shield – Brown:

Viking Shield - Brown

In addition to being armed, Viking warriors were also armored with chainmail and helmets.  The helmets they were basically looked like a bowl on their heads with riveted nose guards and made of iron materials.  They also accessorized their attire with small wooden, round shields.  They sailed from victory to victory on long ships from land to land and fought on foot.  Once again, they were not barbarians, but rest assured that their reputation preceded them as skilled masters of combat and impeccable strength.

When it comes to Viking weapons, they were a sight to be seen.  In contrast to common images, these weapons were not just junky pieces of metal, but elaborately ornamented with inlays, twisted wire, and decorations crafted of bronze, silver, and copper.  For the average Viking, the weapon of choice was the spear with a length of 2-3 meters and incorporating an iron spear head and wooden shaft.  The bow and arrow served purpose in both hunting, as well as war, and was usually made from elm, yew, or ash trees with an iron arrowhead.  These suckers were powerful with an effective range of around 250 meters and a draw force of 90 pounds.

Viking Battle Sword:

Viking Battle Sword

In terms of cutting weapons, there were knives, axes, and of course, swords.  The typical knife was called a “knifr” was available for use to all classes, including slaves.  This was a simple, single edged knife, sometimes decorated, and served functions for utility use, hunting, and combat.  If you were of the upper class, you might also own a “seax”, a heavier, falchion-like knife.  As for the axe, it is considered the most common hand weapon because it was also used as a tool for daily, routine activities.  The shaft was wooden with an iron head and steel edge and was made to be thrown or swung with powerful force and effect.  Axes were of various sizes, depending on its purpose, and some were even as long as a man.  To round out the cutting weapons was the sword, reserved for the elite.  Following the model of the Dark Ages, swords were crafted for single handed use with a double-edged blade and meant to work together with a shield.

Truly, Viking weapons added a lot to these warriors’ plights and served as baluable tools for every day activities.  To see our collection of Viking weapons, go to:

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