Viking Helmet With Horns Not True

Discussion in 'History and Culture' started by longknife, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    I'd call that the BBC clarifying a common misconception that Vikings, raiders, invaders and other warring pillaging types was a full time occupation...

    standing full time armies were a rarity until relatively recently, they couldn't afford to have thousands of healthy men standing around doing nothing expecting to be fed and paid.
    warfare and raiding were often seasonal in nature, it normally wouldn't occur during spring seeding or harvest time...raiding warriors and the civilian population from which they came, needed to be fed, housed and clothed...
     
  2. Max Rockatansky

    Max Rockatansky Well-Known Member Donor

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  3. Thingamabob

    Thingamabob Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    "Viking Helmet With Horns Not True".

    If not more than one Viking was found buried with a horned helmet than it is "true". If the media and the arts prefer portraying Vikings in horned helmets as though it was a common thing to do then that's not our fault. But a horned helmet is not the figment of someone's imagination. An exaggeration? Almost certainly. But false? Absolutely not.
     
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    No, it is false because there is no evidence in the historical record.

    There are absolutely no contemporary records (made during that era) to show that they were used. No pictures, no carvings, no writings.

    And there is plenty of such records in existence. The Saxons who invaded England were Vikings. But on none of the writings of this invasion in England, nor in Scotland or Ireland are there records of horned helmets.

    Oh, there might have been one or two. Perhaps not unlike the Roman soldiers, most did not wear crests. But some did, either running front to back or side to side (this was generally saved for officers). Some of them (Viletes) even wore a wolf head over the helmet.

    So at some time did some Viking chieftain add horns to his helmet? It is very possible. One also may have added the ass end of a cow onto his helmet, who knows? There is no record of such anywhere.

    The entire "Horned Viking" thing appears to have come from 1876, when a German artist created costumes and illustrations for a Richard Wagner opera Der Ring des Nibelungen. It never appeared in any illustrations made prior to that.
     
    wyly and perdidochas like this.
  5. Thingamabob

    Thingamabob Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I understand all of that but it only takes one find (burial for example) to create the belief that it was in general use. I think we can say with a great deal of certainty that it was not in general use but that doesn't mean it wasn't used at all. I was employed for 2 years as a 'Viking' at a "living Viking Museum" here in Sweden. https://www.fotevikensmuseum.se/ We informed visitors that the horned helmet was not a Viking thing but that it was most likely found (buried) as something of Norse festivities and the imagination took it from there. At that time (more than 10 years ago) that was our understanding. Now, if you have more recent information that excludes the horned helmet from ever exciting at all ... then that is another matter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  6. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    But here is the thing. One has never been found in use. Ever.

    Not in the historical record, from cultures they have encountered they had encountered in over 500 years of existence, from the 7th to the 11th centuries. And this record is vast, stretching from North America to England, into the Middle East and North Africa, and Eastward into edges of China.

    They met thousands of cultures. The Chinese, the Egyptians, North American Indians, the Romans, the Byzantines, and nobody wrote about these helmets, or painted pictures of them or made carvings?

    And they left behind plentiful records of their own. Paintings, etchings, writings (they were actually a highly literate culture for the period). And none of them recorded this either?

    Not one depiction of such in art work. Not one depiction of such in writings about them. Not one ever found on a historical battlefield or grave. Not one, ever.

    No, it is fictional. As much as the anachronistic "Knights in armor" of King Arthur. Yet another piece of historical fantasy romanticism that was invented centuries after the actual events.

    By the way, the image of Valkyrie with wings on their helmets? It also dates to the same 1876 play. In the tens of thousands of artifacts recovered, not one ever depicted them like that. Now that is the almost universally accepted image of a Valkyrie, but it is not accurate. The Vikings never put wings on their helmets.

    I can only assume you get your history from Mel Brooks.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  7. Thingamabob

    Thingamabob Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    You are simply WRONG. Deal with it the best that you can.
     
  8. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Then prove it.

    Show me a single contemporary depiction of such a helmet attributed to the Vikings.
     
  9. Thingamabob

    Thingamabob Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    "Prove it"? Is it a letter from my employer you're asking for? You may be used to intimidating other people but you are making a big mistake if you think it will work with me, sonny boy.
     
  10. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    I said contemporary, as in contemporary to the period itself. Not a modern interpretation.

    As in "proof that existed at the time of the event". Not some modern "proof" that dates to something that is happening now.

    Your letter means as much as a letter from the SCA that somebody was a "good knight".

    Now show me a document, painting or carving from the 7th through 11th centuries depicting a helmet with horns.

    A "living history" exhibit? Is that a joke? It must be, since it is nothing but play-acting. Pretending all of the romanticized and good parts of a historical period, done for the entertainment more than the education of the viewers.
     
  11. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    The Vikings were primarily traders. And they ran one of the largest trading networks of the era, ranging from China to Africa, and throughout Europe. But like many traders, they would resort to piracy also if they thought they could get away with it.
     
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