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celticviking
Monday, November 14th, 2011, 12:42 AM
Did You Know..?

CLEAN FREAKS
Despite their reputation for animalistic and uncouth behavior, the Vikings were actually quite fastidious about personal grooming. Among the most frequent artifacts unearthed in Viking Age excavations are a variety of tools used for personal grooming, such as tweezers, razors and combs carved out of animal bone or antlers. The Vikings made soap as well, which they used to wash themselves and to bleach their hair, blonde hair being especially valued in the Viking culture, not unlike certain other modern civilizations we know.

The Norsemen who conquered the British Isles had a reputation for excessive cleanliness, due to their custom of bathing once a week, on Saturdays (unlike the local Anglo-Saxons). To this day, Saturday is referred to as “washing day” in the Scandinavian languages.



NORSE WORDS
The word “cholesterol” is believed by some to be derived from the Norse word “kohlastroll” which, depending on what ancient text is consulted, either meant “foods slow to be digested” or “trolls for breakfast.”



ORIGINS OF FROST GIANTS
It was believed that Frost Giants had been formed by the tears of the gods. Gazing down from Valhalla, whenever profoundly moved by human events—whether it be mothers dying in child-birth or true love torn asunder—the gods shed their godly tears. These fell from the heavens onto the highest, coldest mountaintops, and when the teardrops touched the icebound earth, like seeds of life, they crystallized and grew, and alive with the spirit-energy of that god’s emotion, it formed giant-sized creatures made entirely of ice. This also explains why, though brutish in appearance, most Frost Giants were known to be sensitive creatures, much given to shows of emotion.



DAYS OF THE WEEK
Our own modern-day words for the very days of the week are in fact remnants of both Viking language and culture and Roman as well. Monday is “moon day.” Tuesday is derived from “Tyr’s day,” Tyr being the Norse god of heroic glory. Wednesday is derived from “Wodin’s Day,” an Anglo spelling of Odin’s day, Odin being one of the greatest gods in the Norse pantheon. Thursday is of course “Thor’s day,” Friday “Freyja’s day,” Saturday named for the Roman god Saturn, a left-over from Roman Latin, and Sunday is, of course, the “Sun’s day,” derived from worship of the sun, the fiery orb which still is the source of all life on this planet.



GO “BERSERK”
The word “berserk” is actually derived from a real tribe of Norsemen who called themselves “Berserkers,” The word itself either stems from the Old Norse word “bare-sark,” as in “bare of shirt” and refer to the berserker's habit of going unarmored into battle. Ynglingasaga records this tradition, saying of the warriors of Odhinn that "they went without coats of mail, and acted like mad dogs and wolves" Describing a tribe who venerated the bear and its ferocity, the word itself is derived from the old Norse berserkir which meant being bear-like in battle or “one of bear-like strength who drank the blood of wolves before battle.” Notwithstanding the Viking need for protein, it would seem to some scholars of Norse culture that a few Bloody Mary’s would’ve done just as well.



THE DOG WHO WOULD BE KING
The Swedish Vikings were known to have a particularly wicked sense of humor. After conquering the tribes on the Danish peninsula, to further humiliate them they actually installed a little dog – a terrier named Rekkae -- as king of the Danes, and forced the Danish people to swear fealty to their new canine king, giving it the best of food and drink. After this dog-king died, the conquering Swedes, deepening the Danes’ embarrassment, installed another dog as his successor, a poodle, and named him King Snio. Snio lasted a good deal longer, but then was eaten alive by lice.



NO THRILL TO BE A THRALL
During the Viking Age, a slave was called a thrall (the origin of our word “enthrall”). A person could become a thrall by giving himself up due to starvation, being captured and sold, or being born into a thrall family. The first was considered to be the most shameful way of entering slavery and was the first method of acquiring slaves to be forbidden. The most common way of acquiring thralls was the capture of prisoners in foreign countries or the buying of such captured foreigners. Often regarded as a domestic worker, thralls were kept as livestock and their master had power over their life and death. If so decided by his master, a thrall could be used as a human sacrifice in the funeral of a Viking chief. On top of that, thralls were never offered a good dental plan.



SWORDS MADE BY DUCKS!
The word “sword” is derived from the Norse word “sverd,” a double edged slashing sword from the 8th Century made of woven rods of iron and steel. Flexible and strong, the sverd is believed to be the first sword to use carbon. First, iron shavings were divided into small bits the size of a kernel of corn and then fed to domesticated ducks. Somehow during the digestive process, the iron shavings within the ducks were bonded with carbon (possibly a combination of stomach acid and enzymes). Upon expulsion of the shavings from the duck, the carbon-laced pieces were collected and hammered together to make primitive carbon steel rods. These rods were then twisted with iron rods and hammered into a long, durable blade that, unlike other swords of the day, would not break during battle.



THREE INSULTS
The Vikings did not take lightly to being insulted. Their laws insisted that if a person was insulted three times by another person, only the first two insults could be settled by lawsuits. The third insult had to be avenged in blood. If it wasn’t, then the insulted party could never again sue for damages for future insults.



PEE THAT STARTS FIRES
Strange but true, Vikings used urine to start fires. They harvested a substance known as touchwood fungus that grew on the bark of oak and beech trees. This fungus was beaten into a flat, felt-like material that was charred by fire and then boiled in urine for days. Urine contains sodium nitrite which, infused into the touchwood, would allow it to slowly smolder but not burn, so fire could easily be transported during a journey.



ONE SLAP KILLS DOZENS
A women’s dignity was of utmost importance in Viking society. If a woman was publicly insulted or harmed, her male kin would leap to defend her honor. In one such incident, a husband publicly slapped his wife, which was one of the worst insults a woman could endure. Her clan declared war on her husband and his kin, and before the feud was over, dozens had been slain.



http://www.runewarriors.net/viking-fun-facts.htm?nf

Granraude
Monday, November 14th, 2011, 12:50 AM
GO “BERSERK”
The word “berserk” is actually derived from a real tribe of Norsemen who called themselves “Berserkers,” The word itself either stems from the Old Norse word “bare-sark,” as in “bare of shirt” and refer to the berserker's habit of going unarmored into battle. Ynglingasaga records this tradition, saying of the warriors of Odhinn that "they went without coats of mail, and acted like mad dogs and wolves" Describing a tribe who venerated the bear and its ferocity, the word itself is derived from the old Norse berserkir which meant being bear-like in battle or “one of bear-like strength who drank the blood of wolves before battle.” Notwithstanding the Viking need for protein, it would seem to some scholars of Norse culture that a few Bloody Mary’s would’ve done just as well.

Most people I know who are in to reenactment, believe the other theory. Berr meaning bear, they wore bear pelts to battle, like the ulvhednar/ulfsark who wore wolf pelts.

Cults of Odin.

Kauz R. Waldher
Monday, November 14th, 2011, 01:14 AM
Most people I know who are in to reenactment, believe the other theory. Berr meaning bear, they wore bear pelts to battle, like the ulvhednar/ulfsark who wore wolf pelts.

Cults of Odin.

Yeah, that is how I was taught. Though we can never be sure ...
I'm guessing that's who the enemy were supposed to be on The 13th Warrior? I thoguht they were Celts at first with their feminine worship. But then I saw the bear skinned suits ... so what the hell? Berserkr or Celt or a fabrication?