1.The swords were handed from father to son
The most important thing for a Viking warrior was his weapon. Vikings had different sorts of weapons and surprisingly swords weren’t very popular. For those who prefer the sword they had a connection with it and it might was the most expensive item that a Viking owned. Losing it was a tragedy. Therefore a warrior named the sword and passed it to his son for generations.
2. The person who killed could be legally killed by anyone
“Jarls” were the high leaders (nobleman) and they protected and defended people in front of the law. The most important leader was their king which chosen by the population. When a “trial” took place, the jarls and the king discussed the details of the trial, but the king had the final say. If the defendant was found guilty of crimes, he was considered outlawed. Anyone could legally kill him.
3. The names of the Week Days come from the Vikings
The Vikings influenced a major part of Europe. They took the Roman week day names and changed them after the name of their gods. Sunday and Monday are the days of the Sun and Moon. Tuesday is the day of Tyr, the god of war. Wednesday is the day of Odin, the father of gods. Thursday is the day of Thor, the god of thunder. Friday is the day of Freya, the god of love. The only week day that is still named by Romans is Saturday, which is the day of Saturn.
4. When someone was challenged to a duel and didn’t show up, he could be legally killed without consequences
The duel took place after three or seven day after the challenge. If one of them didn’t show up, he was outlawed and lost the dispute by default. If the duel took place with, the results of it weren’t considered murder. Therefore, the best choice for them was to stand up and fight the duel. Sometimes another way for duel was a capable warrior to stand in behalf of an outclassed participant.
5. One of their social games was holding a warrior under the water until he escaped
Vikings had many games and sports to play. One of them was a “swimming competition”, but it might be rather called the drowning competition. The rules were very simple. They had to hold the opponent underwater. The person who managed to hold his opponent the longest he was considered the winner. Some stories tell us that many deaths occurred because of this game.
6. If a child was born with a handicap, he was left outside to die
When a child was born with a visible handicap it was considered a weakness and a burden for the family. Therefore, they took the child outside and left him to die. Children who survived by the age of 5 they had to contribute to the family by learning to fight, working the farm and work in home. When they were physically able, they had to take tasks independently. By the age of 12 he was considered an adult.
7. Before the battles, they were eating hallucinogenic mushrooms
Vikings dominated Europe between the XVIIIth and XIth. They were seen as the most brutal and barbaric community that could live. They literally terrorized the North of Europe. When they fought, some of them entered into a so called mind state of “Berserker”. One theory says that Berserker was achieved by eating Psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms). It causes strong hallucinations and increases the adrenaline level. In this state, they butcher anyone who got in their way.
8. Some historical sources indicated they were sacrificing children
The Christian propaganda included the terror of Vikings. Some Christian writings suggest that Vikings committed human sacrifices. However, Viking writings tell us that human sacrifice is the ultimate sacrifice and it was done only if Odin demanded it. The latest discoveries indicate that human bones were found among with jewelleries and weapons in place known as a religious ritual (Tisso, Denmark). The bones came from five children and it is believed that they sacrificed them to reconnect with the gods, but the sacrifices took place in extreme cases.
9. The royal Vikings had a special form of execution, called “Blood Eagle”
Vikings had many forms of executions, but royals had a reserved one: The Blood Eagle. It included multiple stages and started with the victim being tied with his face down. The second stage was carving on the victim’s back an eagle with outstretched wings and started to crack all the ribs from the spine with an axe. The next stage supposed to pull back the bones and the skin so the victim’s back look like wings. After this horrible procedure, the wounds were rubbed with salt. In the final stage his lungs were pulled out through the back (if he was still alive) and spread all over the wounds.
10. They used soap and hygienic tools to clean themselves
Most of us imagine Vikings being filthy and barbaric. However, some archaeological evidences prove that Vikings were dedicated to hygiene. Archaeologists found combs, tweezers, ear spoons and razors. Even more, the Vikings used some form of strong lye soap for bleaching their beards and hair (they preferred to be blonds) and also for cleanliness.