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Thread: What Did the Vikings Look Like?

  1. #11
    Senior Member wittwer's Avatar
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    Vikings

    Here's a copy of the patch worn by the Minnesota and North Dakota National Guard. These areas were settled by a large number of Scandinavians due to the similarity of climate and geography:



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    You see even modern vikings wear "horned helmets".
    As for the original Vikings, they probably were half starved, scurvy looking fellows in need of a good bath and some clean clothes...
    Last edited by wittwer; Thursday, July 7th, 2011 at 08:05 PM. Reason: regional change

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ælfrun View Post
    They used the horns to drink mead from
    Yeah, that's true But beer was more common that mead. We used salt as preservation and therefore they needed to rehydrate. The beer wasnt as strong as now, and water wasnt a common thirst drink.

    We also had a sourmilk called "skyr" which was drunk just up til modern times, my mom remember it from when she was young. The children would get the fresh milk, it was called sweet milk.

    We have a beer here called Odin's beer, but he only drank wine... (Mead is a type of wine too).

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    Senior Member Akasha's Avatar
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    The Vikings looked just as you and me, but they were probably more blonds.

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    Viking/Norse King Physical Descriptions

    Denmark

    Cnut the Great, King of Denmark, Norway, and England (c.995-1035)

    "Canute the king was large of build and very strong, a most handsome man in every respect except that his nose was thin and slightly aquiline with a high ridge. He was fair in complexion, had an abundance of fair hair, and eyes that surpassed those of most men both as to beauty and keenness of vision."
    From the Knytlinga Saga (c. 1265)

    Norway

    Magnus I, King of Norway (1024-1047)

    "[O]f middling height with a straight fair countenance, fair-haired, a good speaker and a quick thinker, strong-minded, generous with his wealth, a great warrior and very bold with weapons."
    From the Heimskringla of Snorri Sturluson (1179-1242)

    Harald Hardraada, King of Norway (1015-1066)

    "A handsome man of distinguished bearing. He was fair-haired, with a fair beard, and long moustaches, with one eyebrow higher than the other. He had large hands and feet, but they were well-made. He was five ells [seven and a half feet!] tall."
    From the Heimskringla of Snorri Sturluson (1179-1242)

    Olaf III, the Peaceful, King of Norway, son of Haraldr Hardraada, father of Magnus Barefoot (died 1093)

    "[A] tall man, and everyone agrees that there has never been seen a fairer man or a man of nobler appearance. He had blond hair, a light complexion, and pleasing eyes, and he was well porportioned. He was taciturn for the most part, and not much of a speechmaker, though he was good company after drink."
    From the Morkinskinna chronicle

    ''Olaf was a stout man, well grown in limbs; and every one said a handsomer man could not be seen, nor of a nobler appearance. His hair was yellow as silk, and became him well; his skin was white and fine over all his body; his eyes beautiful, and his limbs well proportioned. He was rather silent in general, and did not speak much even at Things; but he was merry in drinking parties. He loved drinking much, and was talkative enough then; but quite peaceful. He was cheerful in conversation, peacefully inclined during all his reign, and loving gentleness and moderation in all things."
    From the Heimskringla of Snorri Sturluson (1179-1242)

    Eystein Magnusson, King of Norway, brother of Sigurd the Crusader and Olafr Magnusson (c.1088-1123)

    ''King Oystein was the handsomest man that could be seen. He had blue open eyes; his hair yellow and curling; his stature not tall, but of the middle size. He was wise, intelligent, and acquainted with the laws and history. He had much knowledge of mankind, was quick in counsel, prudent in words, and very eloquent and very generous. He was very merry, yet modest; and was liked and beloved, indeed, by all the people."
    From the Heimskringla of Snorri Sturluson (1179-1242)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akasha View Post
    The Vikings looked just as you and me, but they were probably more blonds.
    They were a bit shorter than us, I think men in Norway during that time were on average 10 cm shorter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    They were a bit shorter than us, I think men in Norway during that time were on average 10 cm shorter.
    That is hard to believe. Norwegian men are so tall now !
    All things must come to the soul from it's roots, from where it is planted. The that is beside the running water is fresher, and gives more fruit.

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    Looks probably weren't so different to what they are now. I mean, other than a few sailors from the Hanse period landing their ships and settling near the harbour, coming from Northern Germany; and apart from Walloons coming from Belgium, what other large waves of people settled in Scandinavia before the 20th century?

    I actually find the picture reconstructed a little offensive. The features they gave the woman are about as masculine and unattractive as it gets; to then postulate this as how a Viking woman looked, is beyond ridiculous. If they're trying to get rid of the "brute" image then they certainly aren't achieving that by it.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Senior Member Sybren's Avatar
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    Indeed, that picture is downright scary

    There must've been beautiful Norse women then also, mostly those reconstructions just look like crap. I think that you can only go so far with a skull, reconstructing the whole face. There was soft tissue, of which they don't know exactly how it was distributed over the face.

    That, and poor artistry i guess...
    Bûter, brea en griene tsiis
    Wa't dat net sizze kin is gjin oprjochte Fries!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Looks probably weren't so different to what they are now. I mean, other than a few sailors from the Hanse period landing their ships and settling near the harbour, coming from Northern Germany; and apart from Walloons coming from Belgium, what other large waves of people settled in Scandinavia before the 20th century?

    I actually find the picture reconstructed a little offensive. The features they gave the woman are about as masculine and unattractive as it gets; to then postulate this as how a Viking woman looked, is beyond ridiculous. If they're trying to get rid of the "brute" image then they certainly aren't achieving that by it.
    Not only Hanseatene, there has also been stranded Spanish and Portugese sailors, celtic imports, mixing with sami...

  10. #20
    Senior Member Akasha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ælfrun View Post
    That is hard to believe. Norwegian men are so tall now !
    How tall they where is not just a question of genes but also a matter of life situation.

    What you might see is that a community who work really hard every day from their young tend to get shorter...

    I’m not sure about the average height of the Vikings as they where famous for being really tall..

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