When someone says the word Viking, I’d be willing to bet that the majority of us immediately think of a great, long- bearded beast with a battle-axe in one hand and alcohol in the other, bent on pillage and conquest. Something akin to a pirate. Our modern, romanticized impressions of who and what the Vikings were contain a lot of myths and misconceptions. An array of books, movies and television shows have been inspired by a modern fascination with Vikings. However, many inaccurately portray true Viking history.
The Vikings are famous for having inflicted great violence and suffering, and they did. They attacked vulnerable communities along the coasts of Scotland, England, Ireland, France, Italy and inland Russia. However, contrary to …show more content…
However, archaeologists find evidence of combs, ear spoons, razors, tweezers and other grooming utensils on a regular basis that suggest that the Norsemen actually maintained a level of personal hygiene. They even produced soap! In England, the Vikings living there even had a reputation for excessive cleanliness due to their custom of bathing once a week. To this day, Saturday is referred to as lørdag or “washing day” in the Scandinavian languages.
Unlike the pirate like Vikings featured in one episode of Spongebob, the traditional attire of Vikings was Long leggings worn under a tunic, with leather boots and Animal skins and furs for warmth. The warriors are traditionally depicted with battle-axes and other crude weapons in battle, which is one of the few elements of the stereotypical Viking appearance which is correct. Battle axes were commonly used, amongst swords, spears, round shields, bows and arrows.
They didn’t have long, red tresses, as seen in many films, either. Norman men shaved the back half of their head entirely, the front half of the hair was often left to grow long. The hit TV series “Vikings” captures this …show more content…
It is common in modern films, almost cliché, to give barbaric characters heavy Scottish accents, so much so that I myself didn’t question whether or not the Scottish accent of the adult Vikings in How to train your dragon was out of place, which it was. Not only this, but the Viking children were given American accents, when really the Vikings had no contact with America whatsoever. Now, obviously this is an animated film, set in a fictitious world inhabited by a multitude of dragons, children and families being its target audience, but, due to the huge influence of popular movies on their audiences, little historical inaccuracies aren’t picked up and become truth to many who haven’t been taught otherwise, particularly children. The makers of How to train your dragon may have led viewers to believe little things about Vikings that aren’t accurate, to enhance entertainment.
Vikings, again, demonstrates historical accuracy, down to the detail of even their accents. Dr. Shannon Godlove, the coordinator of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Certificate Program at Columbus State University, understands their accent to be Vulgar Latin mixed with reconstructed Frankish. It is clear that thorough, historical research and attention to detail pays off in the eyes of the audience, when