Vikings worked hard, but they also played hard, and in much the same way men do today, by playing ball, wrestling and holding competitions to display their strength and skillfulness. Many of their games were violent and often became bloody, sometimes resulting in death. They mainly served to show how "manly" a person was and showcased the competitors' strength and dexterity.Know More
Vikings often tested their physical strength with stone-lifting competitions, which could be considered the equivalent of weightlifting today. One of the most popular ball games mentioned in Viking literature was called knattleikr and involved full body contact. Sometimes wooden bats, similar to those in baseball and cricket, were used. These ball games also ended violently.
Surprisingly, intellectual prowess was also regarded highly, and archaeologists have found many boards and game pieces from board games at many different Viking sites. Many Viking sagas have described people playing board games as nobles, and it has even been suggested that a prerequisite for becoming a king was being skilled at board games. Not so surprisingly, drinking games were also popular, with the Viking women often joining in on the fun. Finally, Vikings also enjoyed music, mummery (similar to a play) and miming,Learn more about Cultures & Traditions
Vikings did not have reliable written maps or accurate tools such as compasses to help them on their seagoing voyages, but they were able to navigate using a system of narratives, climate and weather knowledge, landmarks, memory and chance. There is evidence that they may have used primitive tools such as sundials to help with aspects of navigation such as determining latitude, but this is more of a theory than a verified fact. Astronomical advantages such as the reliable position of the sun, moon and stars likely helped Vikings navigate around the northern Atlantic Ocean, but given how many Viking shipwrecks have been found over the years, it's safe to say that their seagoing missions were not always successful.Full Answer >
During the Viking Age, between the seventh and 11th centuries, Norse traders, raiders and colonists established a presence in countries as far apart as modern-day Canada and Iran. The Vikings emerged mostly from coastal communities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden to explore, and eventually settle in, most European and Mediterranean countries. They established colonies in North America and maintained a presence in Greenland that lasted nearly 500 years.Full Answer >
Vikings from countries, such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway, had jobs like traders, blacksmiths, jewelry makers, potters, bone carvers, blacksmiths, weapon makers, veterinarians, fence repairers, ship builders and herdsman.The Vikings were excellent craftsman and are especially known for their ability to design and build raiding and merchant ships.Full Answer >
Vikings ate a wide and varied diet that consisted of an array of meats, including pork, elk, bear, reindeer, wild chicken, geese and fish. Although they once raised horses for food, Christian church doctrine forbade the practice and it was eventually abolished.Full Answer >