Weapons and Armor

The Vikings were greatly feared for their strength and skill in battle. They used a vast array of weapons and armor: swords, axes, and spears were their main weapons, but some also used bows and daggers. Armor consisted of helmets, shields, and chain mail or leather tunics. They fought mostly on foot and used their ships mainly as a transport to the scene of battle.

The greatest of Viking weapons was his sword. It was highly prized for its fighting strength and was a status symbol; the higher the rank of the warrior, the greater the sword. It usually had a wide, double-edged blade, was between 70 and 80 centimeters long, and had a richly decorated hilt. The blades were pattern welded and had a fuller ground out the length of the blade. The fuller lightened the blade without reducing itís strength and increased itís flexibility. Swords were thought so highly of that many Vikings named them.

Original Viking Sword Pics

The Viking battle axe was a very deadly weapon. It could easily cleave through armor and still leave a mortal wound. They were made by welding a sharp cutting edge onto a shaped block of iron. The butt end was then slotted over a wooden handle and wedged tight. It served multiple purposes as it was also their working axe. This made it a very affordable weapon.

Original Viking Axe Pics

The Viking spear was probably their most popular weapon. It wasnít as expensive as a sword, and was still very deadly. They had a slender, tapering blade up to 50 centimeters long attached to a wooden shaft by a socket. They were very dangerous thrusting weapons, and they could also be thrown.

The Vikings wore strong iron helmets. Most were simple cup shapes, with a strip of metal to protect the nose. Others were more complex and had a goggle-shaped mask that protected the eyes and nose, and flaps to protect the neck. They did not have horns on their helmets.

Original Viking Helms

Viking shields were usually round and made of wood. Sometimes they were covered in leather with the rim strengthened by an iron band. They were typically about 1 meter in diameter, and gave protection to the body from shoulder to thigh. Often the shields were brightly painted.