From books to movies, there are many references to the Vikings. Pop culture often depicts them as a bunch of warmongers and barbaric brutes. Some associate them with the trademark horned helmets of the Vikings or with thrilling voyages against dragons. But who exactly are these people?
People of the Sea
The Vikings are a Germanic people who relied greatly on the sea. They explored, settled, and raided many parts of Europe and even traded with other cultures. Their shallow-drafted hulls allowed them to wade through rough seas and low rivers. Through their longships, they managed to reach faraway lands, going as far as the Volga River in Russia and Constantinople.
They’re one of the civilizations that used weaponry as a status symbol. A typical Viking freeman or bondi had a sword, and the more opulent ones wore a full set of armor alongside weapons.
Over time, the Vikings succeeded in exploring a great part of Europe. This resulted in a dynamic diaspora, which slowly dissolved the race in new cultures like the Byzantines.
An Important Part of History
Though actual evidence about the Vikings is sparse, they played a huge role in history. Without them, the history of Scandinavia and other European nations such as Ireland and England would be different.
The exploits of the Vikings shaped Europe’s early civilizations. Though they no longer exist, people should still remember them for their contributions.