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But the Vikings were great at absorbing people, and many people who had been kidnapped as slaves, became part of the Viking population in time.So, in Viking groups, you would probably find Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, French, and Russians — a very diverse group built around a core of Vikings from a particular region, say, southern Denmark or an Oslo fjord.Another theory is that the old trade routes of western Europe and Eurasia experienced a decline in profitability when the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, forcing the Vikings to open new trading routes in order to profit from international trade. [Image Copyright © Rolf Hicker] Misconception: The Vikings were hated everywhere One could imagine that the Vikings were hated everywhere because of their raids, but it seems that they were also respected by some.The French King Charles the III – known as Charles the Simple – gave the Vikings the land they had already settled on in France (Normandy), and he even gave his daughter to the Viking chief Rollo.What really made the Vikings different was the fact that they seemed to take special care to destroy items of religious value (Christian monasteries and holy sites) and kill churchmen, which earned them quite a bit of hatred in a highly religious time.The Vikings probably enjoyed the reputation they had; people were so scared of them that they often fled from their cities instead of defending them when they saw a Viking ship coming near.Misconception: The Vikings used crude, unsophisticated weapons Vikings are often shown with crude, unsophisticated weapons such as clubs and crude axes, but the Vikings were actually skilled weapon smiths.
Misconception: The Vikings wore helmets with horns This most be the biggest misconception about Vikings, but the fact remains, there are no records of such helmets having ever existed.Misconception: The Vikings pillaged as their only way of living It was actually only a very small percentage of the Vikings that were warriors; the majority was farmers, craftsmen and traders.For the Vikings who took to the sea, pillaging were one among many other goals of their expeditions.The Vikings lived from the late eighth to the early eleventh century and their relatively short history had had a massive impact on western society.
Misconception: The Vikings were a nation The Vikings were not one nation but different groups of warriors, explorers and merchants led by a chieftain.
Misconception: The Vikings were all dirty, wild-looking people In many movies and cartoons, the Vikings are shown as dirty, wild-looking, savage men and women, but in reality, the Vikings were quite vain about their appearance.