The typical image that we have of Vikings is that they’re hulking, unwashed, and vicious brutes who ruthlessly raided and plundered many European nations. Although Viking history is replete with violence, they also have a rich culture and a socially stratified and well-defined society. They may have burned down churches and pillaged villages, but Vikings were also explorers and navigators who founded cities and traded goods across the globe. Yes, there are also a lot of myths and misinformation about them. Read on to find out some lesser-known facts that you need to know about the Vikings.
1. They did not drink from skulls.
A Viking metal mount for a drinking horn dated 900-1000AD. Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Popular culture usually depicts Vikings as skull cap drinkers. However, there is no single piece of historical writing that mentions Vikings participating in this cringe-worthy and barbaric practice. Vikings were indeed raiders and even traders, but there is no evidence that shows that they drank from skulls. This famous image may have originated from the fact that they did like to drink out of bones – they drank out of horns of cattle.