Top 5 Facts: Vikings


Due to their penchant for plundering, burning and killing, the Vikings were given their name by their victims – a word used to describe a pirate in early Scandinavian languages.

Having Olaf

The last Viking chief in the old independent tradition was Olaf II Haraldsson of Norway, king in 1015. Other chiefs and bands were absorbed into the army as a warrior caste.

Go east!

While the Viking raids of the 10th and 11th Centuries were mainly in western Europe, small bands of men travelled far to the east, reaching as far into Asia as Constantinople.

Horny issue

It’s a common misconception that all Viking warriors wore helmets. On the contrary, most Viking helmets would have probably featured little ornamentation.

Son of God

The most famous Viking was arguably Ragnar Lodbrok. He’s best known for his assertion that he was a descendant of Odin, the foremost God in Norse mythology.