Who were the Viking warriors?
The Viking people come from northern Europe and they are famous for their looting and explorations. During the three centuries that their supremacy lasted, Vikings created great commercial networks and they were able to reach North America. Their capacity for expansion and ferocity led them to found the Norman kingdom on the island of Sicily. They even reached to assault the coastal enclaves of the Caliphate of Córdoba and the Byzantine Empire. Historians consider that Viking supremacy ended at the end of the 11th century, after the decisive defeats they suffered at the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings.
Although most used weapons by the Vikings were axes, Norse warriors also used swords. According to Scandinavian religious beliefs, if a warrior died holding a sword he secured the Valhalla. Viking swords used to be straight double-edged pieces with a blunt point. The balance point of these swords was at the upper end, a characteristic that gave them greater weight and forcefulness. This feature allowed warriors to deal very powerful blows, but it was more difficult to recover the sword after launching an attack.
Usually, Viking swords were wielded at one hand and a warrior's combat equipment was completed with a wooden or metal shield. This type of weapon was perfect to be wielded in open formations or in chaotic combat situations. The Ulfberth swords, a name that could refer to a renowned workshop or forge, are the best known of the Viking swords.
Viking Symbols on Swords
The most recurrent symbols in Viking weaponry are runes and natural motifs. Many of them made reference to Norse mythology or appealed to the protection of nature. It was not usual to see inscriptions on the swords, unless they belonged to a renowned workshop, as it is speculated that happens with the Ulfberth swords. What used to make the difference in Vking swords were the pommel.
The design of the pommel on a sword could give information about the origin, the dynasty or the power and influence of the wielder. However, Viking swords never stood out for being specially decorated, not even ceremonial swords.
The Vikings series
Currently, interest in the Viking people has grown thanks to series and movies. The most popular fiction in recent years has been "Vikings", inspired by the sagas of the legendary hero Ragnar Lodbrock. Since its premiere in 2013, the Michael Hirst series has helped to better understand the daily life of the Viking people. In Medieval Shop, you can find a wide variety of Viking swords, both decorative and functional.
In addition, on our website you will find several replicas of the weapons used by the protagonists of Vikings.