The most vivid events in history can be rightfully considered the campaigns of the Vikings, as they themselves will fairly be called very interesting figures in the period from IX to XI century. The very word "Viking" roughly means "floating in the sea". In the native language of the Normans, "vic" means "fjord", which in our opinion will be "bay". Therefore, many sources interpret the word "Viking" as "a man from a bay". The common question "Where did the Vikings live?" Will be just as inappropriate as the statement that "Viking" and "Scandinavian" are one and the same thing. In the first case we are talking about the type of occupation of a person, in the second - about belonging to a certain people.
As for belonging to a particular ethnic group, it can be difficult to identify, since the Vikings settled in the occupied territories, permeated with all local "blessings", and also saturated with the culture of these lands. The same can be said about the names by which the "people of the fort" were awarded different nations. Everything depended on the place where the Vikings lived. Normans, Varangians, Danes, Russes - such names received a "naval army" on all the new and new shores where it landed.
A lot of myths and misconceptions hover around bright historical characters, which were the Vikings. Where the Norman invaders lived, what they did, apart from their campaigns and raids, and whether they were engaged in anything other than them in general-very delicate questions that tormented the heads of historians to this day. However, for today it is possible to deduce at least seven misconceptions concerning "Scandinavian barbarians".
Cruelty and thirst for conquest
In most films, books and other entertainment resources, the Vikings appear before us like bloodthirsty barbarians who do not represent their lives without the daily stabbing of their ax in someone's skull.
The original reason for the military campaigns against the Normans was the overpopulation of the Scandinavian lands where the Vikings lived. Plus constant clan feuds. Both of them compelled a considerable part of the population to go in search of a better life. And river robbery became nothing more than a bonus of their hard way. Naturally, badly fortified European cities became easy prey for seafarers. However, as for other nations - the French, the British, Arabs and others, which also did not disdain bloodshed for the benefit of their pockets. Suffice it to recall that all this happened in the Middle Ages, and this method of profit was equally attractive to representatives of various powers. And the national tendency to bloodshed was not to blame.
Another claim that the Vikings were hostile to everyone except themselves was also a delusion. In fact, strangers could both take advantage of the hospitality of the Normans, and join their ranks. Many historical records confirm that among the Vikings could meet the French, Italians and Russians. An example of staying in the Scandinavian possessions of Ansgaria - the messenger of Louis the Pious - is another proof of the hospitality of the Vikings. You can also recall the Arab ambassador ibn Fadlan - the film "The 13th Warrior" was shot for this story.
Natives of Scandinavia
Although, contrary to the above remark, the Vikings are equated with the Scandinavians - this is a profound error, which is explained by the fact that the Vikings lived in the territory of Greenland, Iceland, as well as France and even Ancient Rus. The very assertion that all the "people of the fiord" are from Scandinavia is a mistake.
Where the Vikings lived in the beginning of the Middle Ages - the question is inappropriate, since the very "maritime community" could include different nationalities, from different lands. Among other things, it is worth noting and the fact that the French king freely gave part of the land to the Vikings, and those in gratitude became the guard of France, when it attacked the enemy "from the outside." It is not uncommon that this enemy was also Vikings from other lands. By the way, that's how the name "Normandy" appeared.
Dirty pagan savages
Another oversight of many of the storytellers of the past is the image of the Vikings as dirty, unscrupulous and wild people. And this again is not true. And proof of this - the findings that were extracted during excavations in various places where the Vikings lived.
Mirrors, ridges, baths - all these remains of ancient culture, found during excavations, confirmed that the Normans were a clean people. And these findings were extracted not only in Sweden, Denmark, but also in Greenland, Iceland and other lands, including Sarskoe hillfort, where Vikings lived on the Volga bank that was in the territory of Ancient Rus. In addition to everything else, the case when they found the remains of soap made by the hands of the Normans themselves is not always good. Once again proves their cleanliness and the joke of the British, approximately sounded like this: "Vikings are so clean that they even go to the bath once a week." It does not hurt to remind that the Europeans themselves visited the bathhouse much less often.
Another false statement, since the remnants of the bodies of the Vikings say the opposite. Those who are tall warriors with blond hair, in fact, in the growth reached no more than 170 centimeters. Vegetation on the head of these people was of different colors. The only thing that is undeniable is the preference of this type of hair for the Normans themselves. This was facilitated by the use of a special coloring soap.
Vikings and Ancient Rus
On the one hand, it is believed that the Vikings had a direct relationship to the formation of Russia as a great power. On the other hand, there are sources denying their participation in any event in the history of the ancient Slavs. Particularly controversial historians perceive Rurik's allegiance to the Scandinavians, and vice versa. Nevertheless, the name of Rurik is close to the Norman Rerek - the so-called many boys in Scandinavia. The same can be said about Oleg, Igor - his relative and son. And my wife Olga. It is enough to look at their Norman counterparts - Helge, Ingvar, Helga.
Many sources (practically all) unanimously declare that the Viking possessions spread to the Caspian and Black Seas. In addition, to swim to the Caliphate, the Normans used to cross the Dnieper, the Volga and many other rivers that flowed on the territory of Ancient Rus. Repeatedly noted and the existence of trade transactions in the Sarskoye settlement, where the Vikings lived on the Volga. In addition, raids often accompanied by looting in the area of Staraya Ladoga, Gnezdovsky burial mounds were also mentioned, which also confirms the presence of Norman settlements on the territory of Ancient Rus. Incidentally, the word "Rus" also belongs to the Vikings. Even in the "Tale of Bygone Years" it was said that "Rurik came with all his Rus."
The exact location where the Vikings lived - on the Volga River or not - is controversial. Some sources mention that they were based right near their forts. Others argue that the Normans preferred a neutral space between water and large settlements.
Horns on helmets
And one more misconception is the presence of horns on the top of the military vestments of the Normans. During all the time of excavation and research in the places where the Vikings lived, no helmets were found with horns, except for the one that was found in one of the burial grounds of the Normans.
But a single case does not give grounds for such a generalization. Although this image can be interpreted in a different way. That's how it was profitable to represent the Vikings to the Christian world, which ranked them among the devil's offspring. And all that has to do with Satan, for some reason Christians necessarily have horns.