Rus viking armor

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Thus they are often referred to in English-language research as " Viking Rus'". The scholarly consensus [1] is that the Rus' people originated in what is currently coastal eastern Sweden around the eighth century and that their name has the same origin as Roslagen in Sweden with the older name being Roden. Basing themselves among Slavs and Volga Finns in the upper Volga regionthey formed a diaspora of traders and raiders exchanging furs and slaves for silk, silver and other commodities available to the east and south.

Around the ninth century, on the river routes to the Black Seathey had an unclear but significant role in forming the principality of Kievan Rusgradually assimilating with local Slavic populations. They also extended their operations much further east and south, among the Bulgars and Khazarson the routes to the Caspian Sea. By around the eleventh century, the word Rus ' was increasingly associated with the principality of Kiev, and the term Varangian was becoming more common as a term for Scandinavians traveling the river-routes.

Little, however, is certain about the Rus '. This is to a significant extent because, although Rus ' people were active over a long period and vast distances, textual evidence for their activities is very sparse and almost never produced by contemporary Rus' people themselves.

It is believed that writing was brought to the Rus by the Slavs for religious reasons, but this happened long after their early history.

The word Rus ' in the primary sources does not always mean the same thing as it does when used by today's scholars. Meanwhile, archaeological evidence and researchers' understanding of it is accumulating only gradually.

As a trading diaspora, Rus' people intermingled extensively with Finnic, Slavic, and Turkic peoples and their customs and identity seem correspondingly to have varied considerably over time and space.

The other key reason for dispute about the origins of Rus' people is the likelihood that they had a role in ninth- to tenth-century state formation in eastern Europe ultimately giving their name to Russia and Belarusmaking them relevant to what are today seen as the national histories of RussiaUkraineSwedenPolandBelarusFinland and Baltic states.

The etymology and semantic history of the word Rus ' has been a highly contentious topic, on which debate is ongoing. This is partly because of a widespread assumption that by identifying the linguistic origin of the name Rus 'scholars can identify the origins of the people whom it described. This assumption has, however, been criticized in twenty-first-century scholarship.

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The earliest Slavonic-language narrative account of Rus' history is the Primary Chroniclecompiled and adapted from a wide range of sources in Kiev at the start of the thirteenth century. It has therefore been influential on modern history-writing, but it is also much later than the time it describes, and historians agree it primarily reflects the political and religious politics of the time of Mstislav I of Kiev.

However, the chronicle does include the texts of a series of Rus'—Byzantine Treaties from, and By the Rus'—Byzantine Treaty insome signatories of the Rus' had Slavic names while the vast majority had Norse names.Knowledge about military technology of the Viking Age late 8th to midth century Europe is based on relatively sparse archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and laws recorded in the 14th century.

According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons, as well as permitted to carry them at all times. As war was the most prestigious activity in Viking Age Scandinaviabeautifully finished weapons were an important way for a warrior to display his wealth and status.

The richest might have a helmet and mail armour; these are thought to have been limited to the nobility and their professional warriors retainers.

Several layers of thick woollen clothing may have been used by poorer warriors. The average farmer was likely limited to a spear, shield, and perhaps a common axe or large knife seax. Some would also bring their hunting bows mostly long bow or flat bow to use in the opening stages of battle. The bow and arrow was used both for hunting and in battle.

They were made from yewash or elm. A yew bow found at Viking Hedebywhich probably was a full-fledged war bow, had a draw force of well over pounds. A unit of length used in the Viking Age called a bow shot corresponded to what was later measured as Illustrations from the time show bows being pulled back to the chest, rather than to the corner of the mouth or under the chin, as is common today. Arrowheads were typically made from iron and produced in various shapes and dimensions, according to place of origin.

Most arrowheads were fixed onto the arrow shaft by a shouldered tang that was fitted into the end of a shaft of wood. Some heads were also made of wood, bone or antler. Evidence for eagle feather flights has been found with the feathers being bound and glued on.

The end of the shaft was flared with shallow self nocks, although some arrows possessed bronze cast nocks. The historical record also indicates that Vikings may have used barbed arrows, but the archaeological evidence for such technology is limited.

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The earliest find of these relics were found in Denmark, seemingly belonging to the leading-warrior class based on the graves in which they were found. The spear was the most common weapon of the Scandinavian peasant class. Throwing spears were constantly used by the warrior class; despite popular belief, it was also the principal weapon of the Viking warrior, an apt fit to their formations and tactics.

They consisted of metal heads with a blade and a hollow shaft, mounted on wooden shafts of two to three metres in length, and were typically made from ash wood. The spear heads could measure between twenty and sixty centimetres with a tendency towards longer heads in the later Viking Age. The barbed throwing spears were often less decorated than the ostentatious thrusting spears, as the throwing spears were often lost in battle.

The spear was used both as a throwing weapon and as a thrusting weapon, although there was some specialization in design. Lighter, narrower spearheads were made for throwing; heavier broader ones, for stabbing. Limited evidence from a saga [ citation needed ] indicates that they may have been used with two hands, but not in battle. The head was held in place with a pin, which saga characters occasionally pull out to prevent a foe from re-using the weapon.

Compared to a sword, the spear can be made with inferior steel and far less metal overall. This made the weapon cheaper and probably within the capability of a common blacksmith to produce.

Despite this, the spear held great cultural significance to the Viking warrior, as the primary weapon of Odinthe king of the Norse gods and the god of warfare, was the spear Gungnir. A polearm known as the atgeir is mentioned in several sagas of Icelanders and other literature.

Atgeir is usually translated as "halberd", akin to a glaive. No weapon matching their descriptions have been found in graves.

These weapons may have been rare, or may not have been part of the funerary customs of the Vikings. Two distinct classes of knives were in use by Vikings.

The more common one was a rather plain, single edge knife of normal construction, called a knifr. These are found in most graves, being the only weapon allowed for all, even slaves. Smaller versions served as the everyday utility tool, while longer versions were likely meant for hunting or combat or both. Weapon knives sometimes had ornamental inlays on the blade.The reconstruction of the Birka warrior.

Taken from Hjardar — Vike : The question of lamellar armour is popular among both experts and reenactors. I myself have dealt with this issue several times and I have collected the literature. Grave no. A ringed-pin was found the right shoulder of the dead.

At waist level, a ring from the belt was discovered. Judging by the funerary remains, it can be assumed that two men were laid in these mounds with their armours. Pins and belt fragments also points to the Viking Age.

It seems logical to suppose that both graves were constructed in the same century, although there are some minor differences in the construction and the orientation of graves.

The hall of Birka with finds of chainmail rings and lamellae. Taken from Ehlton : 16, Fig. Made by Kjell Persson. It is estimated that the armour from Birka protected the chest, back, shoulders, belly and legs down to knees Stjerna : The armour was dated to the first part of 10th century Stjerna : Dawson stands partially in opposition and claims that the armour was wrongly interepreted, because only three types from eight could be lamellae and the number of real lamellae is not enough for a half of chest armour.

The reconstruction of the Birka armour on the basis of Balyk-Sook armour. People often think that there are many finds from the area of Old Russia. In fact, there are only a few finds from the period of 9thth century and they can be interpreted as eastern import, just like the example from Birka personal conversation with Sergei Kainov ; see Kirpichnikov From this early period, finds come for example from Gnezdovo and Novgorod.

The Russian material dated between 11thth is much more abundant, including about finds see Medvedev ; Kirpichnikov With high probability, Old Russian lamellar armour from the Viking Age came from Byzantium, where they were dominant thanks to their simpler design and lower cost already in the 10th century Bugarski : The lamellar armour has become very popular among reenactors. The main arguments for usage are:. While these arguments are understandable, it has to be stressed that lamellar armour is in no way suitable for Viking Age reenactment.

The argument that this type of armour was used by Rus can be counteracted by the fact that even in the time of the greatest expansion of lamellar armours in Russia, the number of chainmail armours was four times higher.

If we keep the basic idea that the reenactment should be based on the reconstruction of typical objects, then it must be clear that the lamellar armour is only suitable for Nomad and Byzantine reenactment. T he same applies to leather lamellar armour. B efore any conclusion, we have to take into consideration that Birka and Gotland were territories of strong influences of Eastern Europe and Byzantium. This is also the reason for accumulation of artifacts of Eastern provenance, otherwise not known from Scandinavia.

In a way, it would be strange if we had not these finds, especially from the period when they were popular in Byzantium. However, t his does not mean that the lamellar armours were common in this area.

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Regarding the production of lamellar armour in the Scandinavian and Russian territory, there is no evidence to support that this was happening and such a production is highly improbable.Peter Beatson's excellent summary.

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rus viking armor

Blanket Stitch. Butted Seams. Stand-Up Seam. Sewing On Tablet Woven Braid. Looking for the Evidence. Search this site. Home Home. Research Blog Research Blog. Food Finds in Britain. Food Finds in Britian - Viking.

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Frankish Clothing. Historic Cook Books. Lamellar Armour. Mail Armour. Saxon Clothing. Scale Armour. Shoes part 1. Shoes part 2. Varangian DNA. Varangian Voice Articles. Viking - Saxon Sewing Box. Viking Clothing Guides. Viking Food. Viking Games pieces. Wooden Shields.Vikingalso called Norseman or Northmanmember of the Scandinavian seafaring warriors who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the 9th to the 11th century and whose disruptive influence profoundly affected European history.

These pagan Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish warriors were probably prompted to undertake their raids by a combination of factors ranging from overpopulation at home to the relative helplessness of victims abroad. The etymology of the word Viking is uncertain.

There are many theories about its origins. The Vikings were raiders, pirates, traders, explorers, and colonizers during the 9th to 11th century. They often traveled by sea from Scandinavia and took control of areas of Europe and beyond. The Vikings' original religion was the pagan and polytheistic Old Norse religion, which can be traced back to about BCE in what is now Denmark.

As Christianity took hold in Scandinavia, beginning in the 8th century CE, its followers dwindled in numbers. However, this older tradition continued Viking culture. The stereotype of Viking helmets having horns goes back to costuming in 19th-century opera. In reality, horned helmets would have been impractical during combat. They may have been worn only for ceremonial purposes in pre-Viking times. The main style of actual helmets was the spangenhelmconsisting of several pieces of iron riveted together.

Viking men would normally wear a woolen overtunic, linen undertunic, either tight or baggy trousers without pockets, woolen leg wrappings, and waterproof leather shoes. Viking society was organized into three classes: karls, who were freemen and landowners; jarls, who were wealthy nobles tasked with maintaining the well being of their subjects; and thralls, who were either slaves or bondsmen, the latter having to work for other men until they could pay their debts.

Viking women were able to own property and divorce their husbands, and they often ran their family's finances and farms in their husbands' absence. The Vikings originated from the area that became modern-day Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The impact of Viking raids on Europe included a greater Scandinavian influence on language in conquered areas. The Viking raids also left a literary legacy of sagas as well as an imprint on the DNA of local populations.

The Vikings were made up of landowning chieftains and clan heads, their retainers, freemen, and any energetic young clan members who sought adventure and booty overseas. At home these Scandinavians were independent farmers, but at sea they were raiders and pillagers. During the Viking period the Scandinavian countries seem to have possessed a practically inexhaustible surplus of manpower, and leaders of ability, who could organize groups of warriors into conquering bands and armies, were seldom lacking.

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These bands would negotiate the seas in their longships and mount hit-and-run raids at cities and towns along the coasts of Europe.

Elsewhere, the nonmilitary colonization of the Orkney Islandsthe Faroe Islandsand Iceland was clearly accomplished by the Norwegians. In England desultory raiding occurred in the late 8th century notably the raid on the monastery of Lindisfarne [ Holy Island ] in but began more earnestly inwhen a force led by the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok — HalfdanInwaer Ivar the Bonelessand perhaps Hubba Ubbe —conquered the ancient kingdoms of East Anglia and Northumbria and reduced Mercia to a fraction of its former size.

Yet it was unable to subdue the Wessex of Alfred the Great, with whom in a truce was made, which became the basis of a treaty in or soon after This recognized that much of England was in Danish hands.There are a few things to keep in mind as you read about Viking weapons and armor. First, free, adult male Vikings were always armed; they hung their weapons by their bed at night, within easy reach.

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In an honor-based society such as the Vikings, men stood ready to defend their honor and good name at any moment. Feuds and duels were a fact of life in Viking times. Because iron was hard to dig out of the ground, weapons could be costly. Only the richest Vikings would own the complete set of available weaponry: sword, sax a short swordaxe, spear, bow and arrows, shield, helmet and chainmail. Poorer Vikings would carry an axe or a spear and a shield.

Even the poorest Vikings had access to the ax he used at the farm. Women, children and slaves in general did not carry weapons, although free women and children carried the knives they used in farm work. Slaves were prohibited from carrying weapons of any type. The most expensive weapon was the sword, as it took the most iron to make.

rus viking armor

Rich men owned swords, the most prestigious weapon. Swords were double-edged and about 35 inches long. Most were pattern-welded, which means wrought iron strips and steel were twisted together then hammered into a blade with a hardened edge.

Swords were often highly decorated and many had names such as Blood-hungry or Leg-biter. Vikings carried their swords in scabbards, worn over the shoulder and always accessible to the right hand.

More Viking men carried axes or spears. Battle axes had long handles, were light, well balanced and deadly. Battle axes had a variety of head shapes with a cutting edge from 3 to 6 inches. Later axe heads were much larger, from 9 to 18 inches long. The long handle allowed the warrior a longer reach in a fight.

Axe heads as well as swords were richly decorated. The Mammen axe dated to even had gold and silver inlay. Spears were probably the most common weapon, taking the least amount of iron to make. They could be thrown or used to thrust at the enemy.

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Spear heads came in a variety of shapes and sizes from long and thin to spear heads with a wing shape near the shaft. Spear heads were also made of iron and many were decorated. Bows and arrows were also used in battle.

All Viking men would carry a round shield for protection. How rich a Viking was determined his defensive weapons. A rich man might also own chainmail and an iron helmet. Chainmail was difficult to make and no doubt quite expensive.

rus viking armor

Helmets were basically an iron bowl that protected the head, and many had a nose piece to protect the face. Poorer Vikings without access to chainmail wore thick, padded leather garments which gave some protection from edged weapons. Viking shields could be up to a meter wide.

rus viking armor

They were made of wooden boards riveted together with an central hole for a hand grip. Shields were also highly decorated and some were painted with patterns or mythological heroes.Oleg of Novgorod is the Grand Prince of Rus who is planing to invade Scandinavia and convert it to christianity. A feared viking prince, he earned his nickname "the Prophet" after taking the city of Constantinople. While negotiating his depature from the city, he claimed to have had a dream where his wine was poisoned.

Therefore he did not drink the wine offered to him by the Byzantines and survived the fate of two of his commanders. He was the confidant of Rurikhis brother-in-law. On his deathbed, he was named protector of Igor and the regent of Kievan Rus. A sanguine man, Oleg holds little sacred. He is willing to murder his way through his own family to reach his goal.

He enjoys torture and violence with sadistic glee. Beneath his exterior he holds deep sorrow for the betrayal by his first wife. She commited adultery with one of Oleg's aids and Oleg killed her for this. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Do you like this video? Contents [ show ]. Categories :. Ghosts, Gods, and Running Dogs.

Death and the Serpent.


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