6 Gifts left for Humanity by the Vikings

Image Source Visit Andalucia

For many years Vikings were seen as cruel barbarians who only knew how to fight and kill. But it is not so. They did a lot of important and constructive things which changed the world.

Vikings were great traders. Wherever they went, they created new cities or increased the ones that already existed, such as Kiev, in Russia, and Dublin, in Ireland. They took hides and slaves to Constantinople and Baghdad and returned with silk, spices, precious metals and wines. They were also great explorers reaching the islands of Scotland, Iceland, Greenland and even America. In many of these regions, such as Iceland and Greenland, they founded permanent settlements.

Vikings trusted law and order. Althing, an assembly that was a mix of parliament and court, was the first institution of its kind founded in Europe.

We have listed 6 gifts left by the Vikings but you can be sure that the legacy left by them is much greater.

1. Advances in shipbuilding and navigation

Image Source Irish Archaeology

One of the most important innovations of the Vikings was their way of crossing the seas. The idea of long wooden boats with shallow hulls and several rows of oars made the construction lighter, faster and more flexible. In addition, they had simple navigation tools, such as solar compasses, which allowed them to navigate great distances – so much so that they were on four continents at the same time, being considered the first global civilization in history.

2. Language

The Nordic language had a great influence on the English language

By waging major clashes with the British around 800 Ad, the Vikings were also able to mix a little of their culture in the UK. The English and Nordic languages ​​were the ones that best presented a miscegenation that remains today. Countless words that have been exported to other languages ​​have their origins in this period of battles.

3. Dublin

Dublin representation at the time of its conquest by the Irish in 1014
Image Source Vikingeskibs Museet

The city is cute and very receptive. But did you know that it was the Vikings who create the first settlement that gave rise to what today is Dublin? The story, however, was a little cruel: in the beginning, the city was one of the largest slave markets in all of Europe. Viking domination in the region lasted for 3 centuries, coming to an end in the year 1014.

4. Skis

Wooden ski, over 1,600 years old, discovered in Norway
Image Source Secrets of the Ice

The first skis date from the year 8000 BC, in Russia, but the Vikings used it more widely – so much that the word originates from the old Nordic term “skío”. These people used the object both as a means of transport and leisure, something that remains today.

5. Combs

Vikings were so clean that they were often buried with their combs and other personal artifact
Image Source Mega Curioso

You might think that Vikings were dirty thugs, but that is a very wrong view. In fact, they had much more advanced personal hygiene than other peoples in Europe at the time. So much so that the popularization of the combs is credited to the Vikings, who did not live without the artifact. In addition, they had tweezers, razor blades and even ear spatulas to remove the accumulated wax.

6. Novels

Image Source Mega Curioso

Much of what is known about Vikings is due to Icelandic scriptures by unknown authors. Despite being somewhat fanciful, these stories told a little about life in the era of the territorial expansion of the Vikings, being recognized as the first sagas or novels in history. The accounts mix reality and mythology, making success among lovers of worlds dominated by gods.