(TW: Rape, Racism) I feel like people don’t know how Vikings worked…

I know they make a nice Heavy Metal “mascot” but man, some light reading on the subject would be nice. A condensed response to some of the images I’ve seen lately:

-Vikings raped MEN AND WOMEN. It was not “Sweet, let’s bone all the ladies we’ve just conquered.” It was not just violence against women, it was violence against everyone. It was “I just conquered you and I will have ALL of you submit to the worst form of humiliation and depowerment.” Rape was rightly considered a horrible offense, punishable by death within the Viking Culture. It is terrible and psychologically horrendous, hence why it was used against their enemies. I felt this important to point out because Vikings have a reputation for “raping the women and killing the men,” this is false, and serves as an attempt to “correct” Viking’s views on sex. History is shitty most of the time and Viking rape practices are not something to glorify, just know that it was not done in the name of heterosexuality.  And to further shatter your hetero world, Vikings had male prostitutes, consensual sex with anyone was awesome and great as long as you married and produced children. Though a male being in the submissive position was fiercely looked down upon, hence vikings raping men after battle. However, once men reached a certain age and had produced their heirs, they earned the right to be submissive in sex without being judged.

-Santa Claus was based off Odin. The Beard, the pointed hat, the general appearance is based off Vegtam the wanderer. The eight Reindeer is the eight-legged Horse Sleipnir. The 12 days of Christmas? The Midwinter Feast. Your Christmas ham is the annual boar sacrifice to Frey. Your tree, stockings, wreath, mistletoe, yule log and carolers are all based off Viking Traditions. 

-No horns. The majority of people know this already, but they don’t really why the myth of the horned helmet still persists. Well firstly, there may be some truth to this, as decorated headpieces were often used in ritual practices (in many cultures), but never in battle. It’s been said that archaeologists when uncovering viking burial sites, saw the drinking horns placed in close proximity to the helmets and assumed they fell off. They may have felt secure in this assumption because of Celtic discoveries like the “Thames Helmet.” Greek & Roman historians wrote of the headpieces of the Vikings and Celts and made all sorts of claims, but this is always taken with a grain of salt as they were not clear on the usage of such headpieces. And of course you can blame artists, who started depicting Vikings based off these writings. They added Greco-Roman influence to “lift” the status of Vikings and the Norse Pantheon into Classical Antiquity.  

-Vikings did “convert” to Christianity. I know this seems like basic history, but people really don’t seem to understand this fact. The majority of Vikings converted to Christianity by the mid-1100’s, they were among the last of the pagans to convert. However, the Sami people held out a whole lot longer, not converting until the 1700’s. This is “convert” in the on paper sense of the term,  they most likely continued their beliefs in the Norse pantheon, but each Scandinavian realm had their own Archbishop by then, and the sieges and raiding were replaced with Christian Crusades, which were basically the same fucking thing. And of course, the belief and worship of the Norse Pantheon is still alive and well today. 

-Vikings were not filthy. I’ve wrote on this subject before, Vikings washed their faces and brushed their hair every morning. Every Saturday, or Laurdag, literally meaning “washing day” was reserved for bathing of the entire body (for reference, the Anglo-Saxons bathed annually). Some of the most common items found at Viking sites were combs. Also found were razors, tweezers, ear spoons and a type of soap that doubled as hair bleach. So don’t feel bad if you bleach your hair to get that Viking blonde, cause they did it too! They took great pride in their hygiene and appearance and this myth persists because of Christian, Muslim and Roman historians who had a particularly biased view on the matter. Fun fact: when one was baptized into Christianity in the Medieval period, you received a set of white garments, Vikings would often get baptized, slightly alter their appearance, and get baptized again, just for the free duds. 

-To be a Viking does not mean White Pride. And if you think it does, then fuck your stupid face. Be proud of your heritage (and everyone else’s!) not your skin tone. Why Vikings have become the mascot for White Nationalists is beyond me. They had many peaceful and profitable trading relationships with most Europeans, as well as Native Americans, Africans, Mediterraneans, Arabic and Slavic cultures. Not all their relations were peaceful, there were definitely conflicts, but these arrose because of actions not appearance. And of course, mating and breeding with these various peoples was frequent. Vikings were tolerant of other people living on their land and respectful when settling (not raiding) on other’s land, often trading sea-fairing knowledge for agricultural. They valued these relationships highly and were known to be buried with the gifts given to them by other cultures. Yes, the Vikings kept slaves, but they kept slaves from their own culture as well, and these “thralls” we able to purchase their own freedom. Once the slave purchased their freedom they were often adopted into the Master’s family, regardless of origin, and granted citizenship. So, the idea of the “Pure Norse” is pretty farfuckingfetched, and I get increasingly pissed at the claims of Asatru being a “white religion,” and the douches that insist people of color have no claim to it. 

Done. Come at me bros. 

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    I appreciate someone taking the time to write all this down. As a historian it drives me crazy to see misconceptions...
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