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Misconception: The Vikings pillaged as their only way of living It was actually only a very small percentage of the Vikings that were warriors; the majority was farmers, craftsmen and traders.For the Vikings who took to the sea, pillaging were one among many other goals of their expeditions.To this day, Saturday is referred to as laugardagur / laurdag / lørdag / lördag, or “washing day” in the Scandinavian languages, though the original meaning is lost in modern speech in most cases.However, “laug” does still mean “bath” or “pool” in Icelandic.It should be noted that the Norse god Thor wore a helmet with wings on it, which do look somewhat similar to horns. For the social science theoretical concept of relationships between people, see Social network.Another theory is that the old trade routes of western Europe and Eurasia experienced a decline in profitability when the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, forcing the Vikings to open new trading routes in order to profit from international trade. [Image Copyright © Rolf Hicker] Misconception: The Vikings were hated everywhere One could imagine that the Vikings were hated everywhere because of their raids, but it seems that they were also respected by some.The French King Charles the III – known as Charles the Simple – gave the Vikings the land they had already settled on in France (Normandy), and he even gave his daughter to the Viking chief Rollo.

Misconception: The Vikings were a nation The Vikings were not one nation but different groups of warriors, explorers and merchants led by a chieftain.The Vikings settled peacefully in many places such as Iceland and Greenland, and were international merchants of their time; they peacefully traded with almost every county of the then-known world.Misconception: The Vikings wore helmets with horns This most be the biggest misconception about Vikings, but the fact remains, there are no records of such helmets having ever existed.Misconception: The Vikings lived only in Scandinavia The Vikings did originate from the Scandinavian countries, but over time they started settlements in many places, reaching as far as North Africa, Russia, Constantinople, and even North America.There are different theories about the motives driving the Viking expansion, the most common of which is that the Scandinavian population had outgrown the agricultural potential of their homeland.Misconception: The Vikings drank from skull cups The origin of this legend is Ole Worm’s “Reuner seu Danica literatura antiquissima” from 1636 in which he writes that Danish warriors drank from the “curved branches of skulls” – ie, horns (pictured above), which was probably mistranslated in Latin to mean human “skulls”.

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