The Association of Axes with Vikings

What is The Association of Axes with Vikings

Historians are amazing, they dive deep in obscure channels of history to uncover many hidden secrets and interesting facts, much to the dismay of most kids around the world poring over school history textbooks. But the Viking era, generates interest in most of us. Thanks once again to historians.

There was a time when the mention of tall and broad Vikings created fear among the less violent Englishman. Despite the British knight being garbed in luxury armors and with swords for fighting, the insatiable Vikings defeated them several times over, with their combating techniques and their fear-inspiring axes; not to mention their sheer brutality.

Why Were Axes Important For Viking Fighters?

For 300 years swords were known as the most prestigious weapon for Scandinavians, but not all could afford those weapons. The metals (iron and steel) used to make swords and axes were rare and very expensive. Since axes required less iron or steel, and less skill in handling than swords, so most of the Norse warriors used Viking axe, and these were enough for them. Even the poorest man in the Viking age owned an axe. Farmsneeded axes for wood cutting. A poor man in a tough spot could pick multipurpose the same farm axe and use it to fight. And they did fight. In fact one reason why they were so good at combat was that little Nordic children were taught simpler warrior skills by their fathers from a very young age.

How were Viking Axes Made?

Viking smiths were masters at axe making. Their axe heads were made of iron, and sometimes hardened steel was added to augment the sharpness of the cutting edge. The genuine Viking axe had only one cutting edge. Those with two cutting edges are just an imitation of the original axes, and not the real deal.

The size of the Viking axe head varied with time. Initially, they measured as 7 cm to 15cm, and gradually, the size increased to 22 cm to even 45cm.

Make no mistake, these axes were not ordinary ones; again we can praise historians and archaeologists too across time, for revealing hidden secrets and interesting facts, and the axes found in Britain. They were highly decorated with inlaid silver and gold. Some axes had a holder that joined the ax head and ax haft, while others had only ax head and haft. The ax for cutting wood had thicker heads, while those for splitting skulls needed less forces, hence thinner heads.

The regular length of the haft was around 80 cm, but the actual size of every ax’s haft was kept according to the cutting edge of the head. For instance, if the cutting edge is 20 to 30 cm long, then the haft will be 1 to 1.2 meters. But there was not a set standard for the length of the haft; it could be bigger or smaller according to the maker’s desire.

If you want to immerse yourself in the age of Vikings and engage in live-action role play, you can choose to get your own axe as there are now many stores selling Viking weaponry merchandise and replica Viking axes.

Burying Ritual

Viking axes were used for combats and woodcutting, the Nordics even took their weapons with them in death to the grave. Archeologists have found thousands of axes buried with the Scandinavian warriors in their graves. Hypnologists and researchers can even differentiate the remains of the wealthy Damascus Steel Sword from those of poor ones through the value of the weapons buried with them. Heavily decorated Viking axes belonged to the richest, and the poorly decorated ones were for lower-ranked warriors.

Dane Axe and Bearded Axe

The axes of the Viking age were of many designs, shapes, and sizes, but two of them were very prominent during the peak time of reign. Both were known to be the most weldable and very competent lethal weapons.

Dane Axe

The Dane axe, also known as the Danish axe, was used as a two-handed weapon as it was large and heavy with a highly long cutting edge or around 8 to 10cm. Their hafts were also exceptionally large, about 3 to 4 meters. These were designed especially for combat and wars. The elite Vikings were honored with these axes to fight in the wars.

The Dane axe was the most famous axe of its time. Impressed at its performance and importance, the Viking enemies too began to acquire it for fights.

Bearded Axe

Bearded axes which served the function of defending and attacking originated around 600 BC. Due to their unique design and lighter weight, they could be wielded even with one hand. It could quickly hook an enemy’s weapon as a defensive weapon, and its attack is so accurate that it was able to chop the enemy into mince on repeated attacks.

Vikings are so popular that they have been depicted in movies, literature and drama for ages. With the Netflix series glamourizing and reanimating interest in this amazing historical period, most of us series buffs have become diehard fans. Since this article has provided enough information about the Vikings axe, let’s end it with an itsy bitsy detail about your (read: and my) favorite character from the series.

Ragnar Lothbrokis a legendary, true-life Viking hero, and equally renowned as a Danish and Swedish king. He is purported to have used a single axe since the time he was a farmer to the time he became king. His axe called the “Axe of Ragnar Lothbrok” was as fierce and admirable as his character was. His axe was used for everything from raids to killings.

Many people who have watched the TV series Vikings want to learn more about their history and weapons. If you are interested in learning Vikings’ fight styles, you can contact organizations like Viking Invasions and the Academy of Viking Arts. And to get the best high-quality Viking axes and an array of so many other top class weapons, click here. Battling Blades is the best online store for your historic Samurai Sword. For the love of historic weapons needs a proper channel, that’s us.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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