Many people believe that the Vikings were savages who ran all over Northern Europe doing whatever they please, but this isn’t entirely true although the Vikings did raid neighboring country’s they did have rules amongst them.
Just like all people, the Vikings believed in some sort of afterlife. They believed that when they die and have followed the Nine Noble Virtues, they will live forever in Valhalla, which is their version of heaven. The Nine Noble Virtues is like the Ten Commandments, only is the Viking way, following these virtues will make a Viking respected amongst their clan and will allow them to get to heaven.
The main reason the Vikings became raiders was because they all wanted to be feared, but they also wanted to find love on their voyages from sailing to one country to the next. Another reason why they raided countries was the lack of resources. Because the Scandinavian countries were either extremely hilly or very flat with very poor soil, they had to travel to other countries to steal their food and/or livestock.
The Vikings didn’t really have a currency, they traded with jewelry or with items such as weapons or animal fur, in Viking society precious metals such as silver gold or other valuable metals were used to show power or how wealthy the person was. The Vikings never used coins until they started trading with other countries in the late 900s, they started getting coins that were used as currency in nearby countries.
Being a raider and a trader are similar is some ways, but at the same time they are quite different as a trader always sells his items for money and buys any item for money as well, but something similar between the two is that they are always trying to make a profit and travels around, when traders travel, they aren’t looking for someone to steal from, but a potential customer who catches his eye on something that they own. For a raider it is a lot easier to make a profit as they steal instead of having to barter for it. A trader often makes his own items to make a unique item that he can sell for more because it is unique.
When traveling the Vikings did not use maps because the already had certain ways to know where they are and where they were headed. The Vikings looked at the position of the sun and the stars to pinpoint where they are and how far away land was, they looked at the color of the sea, the way the waves were moving and how the wind blowing.
Now although the Vikings did raid other countries and were considered barbarian, they still had meaning behind their culture. Everything that the Vikings did had a meaning and a reason for it.
- Dr. Bodhi Sanders, 2010, viewed 27/8/19 https://thewisdomwarrior.com/2010/09/17/the-nine-noble-virtues-viking-values-for-the-warrior-lifestyle/
- Gareth Williams, February 2011 viewed 29/8/19 https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/vikings/money_01.shtml
- Patti Winington. 'The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru'. Learn Religions, Apr. 17, 2019, https://www.learnreligions.com/noble-virtues-of-asatru-2561539
- Thor-Egil Paulsen, March 1995, viewed 29/8/19 http://www.viking.no/the-viking-travels/viking-trade/the-vikings-and-money/