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Ancient Vikings: 12 Facts cont.

Viking ships are often mentioned whenever the Norse culture is studied. Sailors relied on two separate classes of Viking ships: the longship and the knarr. In this article, you will learn the difference between the two ships, as well as more information regarding dishonorable deaths and final resting places for ancient Vikings.

4) Viking Ships

Used for warfare and exploration, the longship was constructed to be fast and agile through the waters. The placement of the oars worked well with the sail and made it easier to change directions without depending on the wind. The longship possessed a long and narrow hull. As for the knarr, it was used as a merchant vessel that wasn’t expected to reach great speeds. It possessed a better cargo space than the longship, but was really designed to provide a short and broad hull, and a deep draft. Also, the knarr did not utilize oars like the longship did.

5) Torturous Death

When St. Edmund the Martyr (841,869), King of East Anglia, came face-to-face with his maker, it was at the hands of the Vikings. Sadly, he was wither killed by being placed in the spread-eagle position and had his ribs pried open to expose the still-breathing lungs or was subjected to a whipping that was then followed by a onslaught of arrows. His head was then cut off to boot.

6) Key Founding

Did you know that during the 9th century, Dublin was founded by Viking raiders?

7) Language Barriers”¦No!

Since the Icelandic language is distinctly similar to Old Norse, schoolchildren in Iceland have no problem reading the Eddas and the sagas – great epics written in the Old Norse language.

8) A Dishonorable Death

You’d think that passing in your sleep wouldn’t be such a bad way to go, but to an ancient Viking, it was the worst possible way to leave this earth. Warriors preferred to die in bloody battle over a peaceful death.

9) Interesting God

Did you know that the Vikings actually had a god associated with snowshoes? His name was Ull and he was often depicted on a pair of skis and a bow in his hand.

10) Just What is a Viking?

Some people are clueless just to what a Viking really was. To clarify, a Viking belonged to the Norse or Scandinavian culture, which consisted of warriors, explorers, merchants, and pirates. The men were known to raid and colonize large regions about Europe, from the late 8th to early 11th century.

11) Government Accolades

The oldest parliament in the world honors goes to Iceland, which first held meetings in 930 that consisted of Viking chieftains gathering in the great outdoors to work out their differences.

12) Buried But Not Forgotten

When it comes to burial sites linked to the Vikings, you will learn that there are quite a few to pay a visit to. Over the years, archeologists have been able to study the religious and cultural past of the Viking through these sites, which include Jelling, Denmark (a World Heritage Site), Oseberg, Norway, Gokstad, Norway; Borrehaugene, Horten, Norway; Tuna, Sweden; Gamla Uppsala, Sweden; Hulterstad gravfalt (located close to the villages of Alby and Hulterstad; and at Oland, Sweden, where a ship outline of standing stones is found.