I’ve always thought that vikings were awesome, but I never really knew much about them. I figured they were some rugged old guys who used to do some scary stuff, like raid villages, grab some plunder, then head back to camp to drink alcohol and slur some unsophisticated game towards the viking women. Well, this image wasn’t exactly spot on, and several things about the vikings actually surprised me quite a bit. Check it out:
First off. Christopher Columbus (why does he have a holiday) did not discover North America. Sorry folks, but your third grade teacher owes you an apology. The Vikings actually discovered it 500 years earlier. You would think they would get more credit. I propose that we take away Christopher Columbus day and give it to the Vikings. They are way more awesome, and I’m sure they slaughtered fewer natives.
Secondly, the vikings did not have any of those funny little hats with the horns sticking out. That’s just show business. I mean, really. Would you expect some grungy ass bearded Viking to tromp around like he’s in some animal look-alike fashion show (they actually had a reputation for being clean, but its more fun to imagine them as grungy buff guys). They had way better stuff to do with their time than worry about some little horns poking out of their helmet, such as making cutting edge boats and robbing Christians. Which brings us to our next two points.
The Vikings built some awesome boats. Although they didn’t wear horns, they would carve a wooden dragon head into the front of their boats, which were quite advanced little vessels. The boats were big enough to carry up to 180 people, which was unprecedented for the time. Imagine 180 big old bearded vikings headed towards your town, each armed with some scary looking weapons and all aboard a giant dragon boat. Now thats pretty scary.
And who would the Vikings go after? Well, they weren’t a bunch of stupid cavemen. They quickly realized that Europeans would take all sorts of valuable stuff and stick it into Monastaries, and instead of protecting it with an army, they would rely on God to protect it for them. Well, you can guess how well that worked. God must have been sleeping on the job or something, cause the vikings were basically able to march right in, grab some loot, and head back to camp.
Speaking of god, the vikings had pretty awesome Gods. Just to get an idea of their gnarlyness, their God of all Gods, Odin, had three wives, and in his spare time he would take on human form, walk around with the mortals, and seduce and impregnate as many women as he could. And you thought the old testament was gnarly?
Another crazy God of theirs was Freya. This girl was goddess of Sex, War, and Death. I wonder what she had to do to get that job… Anyways, after her husband left her she spent some time mourning, and the rest looking for a good lay. Thats one girl I wouldn’t want to upset.
And those are just a couple of the most gnarly ones. They also had Thor, who would strike you down with a hammer whenever he pleased. Idun, a goddess of youth. Freya’s brother, Frey, a God of fertility. And of course they had Hel, God of the dead.
Now that’s a lineup of Gods worth worshiping. I don’t want to be offensive, but C’mon Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Step it up a bit. One God is just way to boring. Take a few lessons on creativity from the vikings.
And, finally, today I lurnd that the Vikings, along with all this wine, blood, and sex, were pretty sophisticated humans. I already mentioned their sophisticated taste for wine. In fact, the reason they discovered North America was because they wanted to find grapes for wine. And, would you believe me if I said the Vikings valued poets as much as warriors? While half the crew is off raiding Monasteries and discovering continents, the intellectuals are back at home sipping their merlot, reciting poetry, and passing on their heritage through the oral tradition. Those Vikings are impressive little buggers.
So, you might not believe any of what I’ve said. It’s probably smart not to. But, if you’re curious, I lurnd this stuff from two different places. One was an awesome documentary from Hulu. I encourage checking out all the documentaries there. You can lurn stuff too! Also, the God stuff came from this site. Hasta Luego.