The untold way of life of the vikings

Jaron Pak The vikings and their fiercely unique culture have long been topics of interest for history buffs. But when the History Channel started producing a historical drama that followed the adventures of a band of viking heroes, no one really expected it to turn into the ratings phenomenon it's become.

The untold way of life of the vikings

Very few people realise that many early Vikings mostly worked as farmers. Many Vikings only fought when raiding expeditions were organised.

The untold way of life of the vikings

This chapter provides an insight into the everyday life of the Norse people when they were not at sea. Societal structure It was not until towards the end of the Viking Age eighth century to the twelfth century that the separate nations of Scandinavia began to emerge.

Prior to this time, the Norse were referred to as a single group, subdivided according to clans a group of related families.

The untold way of life of the vikings

The Norse men who went raiding and trading across the sea were known as the Vikings. Refer animation Norse society was stratified layered with the royal families at the top of the class structure.

The chiefs jarls of the clans, who were also landowners and warrior noblemen, were just below the kings at the top of the social rank. Freemen karls were in the middle of the social ladder.

Islamic Ring Found in 9th-Century Viking Grave

Some freemen owned large farms and up to 30 slaves, or worked as fishermen, craftsmen or boat builders. Slaves thralls were at the very bottom of the hierarchy and were often traded for large amounts of silver and gold. A small number of slaves were fortunate enough to be able to buy their freedom.

Law and order The Norse people had their own laws. Laws were made and judgements were handed down at the Thing. The Thing was a public assembly at which all freemen could have a say in the governance of the land.

It met in each region for a week during spring and autumn. In Iceland, there was no king, so from about AD it had an Althing. The powers of the Thing allowed it to set taxes, decide who was king and deal with arguments over marital affairs and property.

What jobs did Vikings do?

It was also at the Thing that murders were investigated. An accused murderer might call upon the support of twelve men to swear his or her innocence. Sometimes, the convicted murdered could be sentenced to death or relatives of the victim would demand that the dispute be settled with a duel to the death.

Settlements and houses In Viking times, most Norse families lived on a farm in a longhouse. A longhouse was a large, hall-like building which was up to 30 metres long. Longhouses had walls made of timber or stone and a thick turf roof to retain heat. Excavations have shown that, like all Norse homes, the hearth was situated at the centre of the longhouse to provide warmth and light for all those inside.

Originally a single room, the longhouse was later divided into several separate rooms which usually included a bedroom and kitchen.

Family members, farm workers and even some livestock were all housed under the great roof.Women in the Viking Age enjoyed more freedom and held more power in their society than many other women of their day.

Technically, women couldn’t even be Vikings. As Judith Jesch, author of. Watch video · Life of a Viking. The Vikings are known as masters of the sea, but what was the viking life like before these warriors began their raids?

The Viking raids were only organized by rich people, such as the chieftain’s family, the king’s family or a very rich farming family. However, warriors might be recruited from the entire area.

THE FARMER’S LIFE IN THE VIKING PERIOD THE VIKING HOUSE Only a few Vikings lived in towns. All Vikings were Norse, but not all Norse were Vikings — and those who were did their viking only part time.

Vikings didn't wear horned helmets (a fiction probably created for 19th century opera). And while rape and pillage were part of the agenda, they were a small part of Norse life. Everyday life in Viking times The Viking townspeople had little room to produce their own food—only small, fenced yards for keeping pigs and chickens.

What Was Life Like for Women in the Viking Age? - HISTORY

Most of their food came from the surrounding countryside and was sold at markets. The Untold Truth - How The NASA Viking Mission Found life on Mars (6) 46min NR Former NASA Viking Lander astrobiologist Gilbert V.

Levin describes in detail how his biology instrument flown on NASA's twin Viking Lander mission found living microbes in the soil of Mars.

Everyday life in Viking times - Q-files Encyclopedia