Kult of Athena


Friday, February 26, 2010

Vikings: A Bit Further Than Minnesota

After many months and long toil, I have arrived at my new home east and a little north in Massachusetts. I moved up from the south with all of my my possessions, from the shores of the sea, and the road has not been easy. However, with my Newfound surroundings I am very satisfied and I know that my new life here will be just as amazing, if not better than the last.

As I write these words, and recollect my travels throughout our great state, I realize that my wanderings pale in comparrison with those of one of the greatest warrior cultures ever to tremble the ground before their enemies: The Vikings.

From as far back as 700 AD these terrifying Northmen, from a region with winter weather that would make New England look like Southern France in the summertime, would sail down in their dragon ships and raid the coasts of Ireland, England, Scotland, France, and even cities on the Mediterranean in search of glory.

They had the ultimate freedom if their courage, will, and skills on the hard north Atlantic would hold them on the hard seas. The Vikings had kings and chieftains; the chieftains had eldest sons to carry on their names and keep their borders well protected. But what of the others? Common men? Youngest sons? Daughters? What did their lives amount to? They sought foreign, sunny shores (and to these beserkers of the Finland, Sweden, Norway, and other northern lands where there is no sun 10 months out of the year, England was a sunny shore) to bring them fortune, power, weapons, women, and strength. They believed that to further your station in the world, you had to literally go out and take it.

In their conquests, the Vikings became great kings, amassed mountains of gold and goods, stolen or won in combat, and pushed their influence even to the lands of the Baltic Sea and Greece. Their mark has been left all over history even to the shores of North America. Leif Erikson and his band were said to have found Northern Canada and Newfoundland hundreds of years before Columbus ever sailed.

During the Crusades, converted Viking warriors sailed to the rock of Gibralta and to Jerusalem and helped to repel the Saracen hordes in the name of their new Christ god. They helped to spread His word, Scandanavian culture, and great fear to their enemies. History claims them as maurauders and barbarians, but they were noble warriors with a great and powerful name in the north.

The Viking culture gives the industry of arms and armor so much to work with, that many a smith and master forger have recreated some of the most famous blades of legend and other more original pieces that will someday earn their own place in the epic story of steel.

The Albion Thegn Sword (Left)


the Valiant Armory Hedemark Sword (Right) are only two weapons in a nearly endless flow of creative steel that can best sum up the weapons of the Vikings. Many other armorers, such as Dark Sword Armory, Cold Steel, and Hanwei make excellent Viking Swords that fall into what is called Wheeler's Configuration of Viking Swords

Many of the best pieces of Viking steel can be found at dealers such as Kult of Athena(my personal favorite), Sword Buyers Guide, and even a very new and kick ass vendor,The Scabbard.

But, aside from the sword, Vikings utilized their great skills to wield more ferocious and less delicate weapons. Spear and axe were less expensive than a full made sword and were carried into battle just as often.

Also, the vikings very appearance, his winged helm (there was never any historical proof the rediculous horned pieces of modern fiction and overzealous NFL fans), and set beserker vizage that made the viking the terror of the ancient world. One of the greatest examples of their armored craftsmanship was the Mask of the Sutton Hoo.

The original was found in a rich boat burial in Sutton Hoo, England and is believed to have belonged to the 7th century Anglo-Saxon king Redwald.

The Vikings, the sea bound Hell's Angels of antiquity, were skilled sailors, riders, raiders, and kings. They were the strongest of the strong and sang their history, of battles won and lost,their gods, and the unquenchable thirst for freedom of the body and spirit, in great halls of their fathers or halls of their own making.

They have been featured in literature, and Deadliest Warrior. They have their everlasting place in the hearts of warriors from the dark ages to the present and have aided to shape the world of the sword, the stuff of legend, and the unknown corners of the map.