10 of the lesser known facts about the Vikings

6. Vikings had laws that guaranteed some rights and freedoms to women.

Viking women had a lot of freedom when you consider other women from the area back in those days. The only women that didn’t have rights were “thrall” women. There were a lot of laws that guaranteed the rights of Viking women: they were able to inherit property, to request a divorce and to reclaim their dowry (wealth) if the marriage has ended.

7.Most Viking men spent their time in farming instead of pillaging.

It maybe sounds strange and unbelievable, but instead of swords, most Vikings used farming tools on an everyday basis. Of course, some of them were pirates, warriors, and raiders, but most of the Viking population were farmers. They used to cultivate barley, rye, oats and other plants. They also  had herds of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs.


8. Vikings worshiped skiing and used to ski a lot.

Scandinavian people invented primitive skis probably 6,000 years ago, but Russians maybe invented them even earlier. During the Viking age, Norse people used skis as a means of transportation across the harsh winter terrain, but also as a past time activity. Even one of the gods they worshiped (Ullr), was devoted to skiing.

9. Viking men liked their hair blond.

Viking culture had a fascination with blonde hair. Their ideal for beauty was a person whit a blond hair. That is why Viking that had black hair, usually men, used a strong soap with a high potash concentration in order to bleach their hair. Some groups of Vikings bleached their beards also. Besides being used as a cosmetic product, this soap, and its ingredients probably helped the Vikings get rid of pesky head lice too.

10. Vikings were never organized in a bigger unified group.

Not only didn’t they recognize the ruling of other Vikings, the probably didn’t even call themselves Vikings. This term was used  for all Scandinavians that ventured in overseas expeditions. The land that is today Denmark, Norway and Sweden, was a huge area ruled by chieftains of many tribes that were in a constant war with each other.


Lead image source 
Source: History