Viking Tattoos

Viking Tattoos Viking Tattoos

Viking tattoos have been a hot favorite with many celebrities. Anyone who has read the Celtic history knows that Vikings were the real heroes who wore tattoos. A Viking design depicts strength, courage, loyalty, pride and heroism.

The Vikings left few written records behind them but their surviving artwork shows they had many important designs and symbols, which are used as tattoos in the present times of fashion. The original meaning of most Viking symbols are a mystery that has not been solved even with passage of hundreds of years since their origin.

Viking tattoos are quite uncommon, but to those who wear them, they tend to symbolize a certain brute strength that few other designs hold. They also frequently represent a trailblazing attitude, and a sense of mystical energy.

Viking Tattoos – History

Historically there is little evidence that the Scandinavian Vikings used tattoos to express themselves. However, the Rus Vikings seem to have tattooed themselves according to Ahmad Ibn Fadlan an Arabic diplomat who encountered Rus Vikings while visiting the Bulgars in 922 AD.

Viking Tattoos – Meaning

Viking Tattoos – A Viking is one of the Norse (Scandinavian) explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the late eighth to the early eleventh century. These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. This period of Viking expansion is known as the Viking Age, and forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles and Europe in general.

One of the most common tattoos in the world, Viking tattoos have been a hot favorite with many celebrities. Anyone who has read the Celtic history knows that Vikings were the real heroes who wore tattoos. A Viking design depicts strength, courage, loyalty, pride and heroism.

The Vikings left few written records behind them but their surviving artwork shows they had many important designs and symbols, which are used as tattoos in the present times of fashion. The original meaning of most Viking symbols are a mystery that has not been solved even with passage of hundreds of years since their origin.

The Viking Tattoos

One of the most popular Viking Tattoos is meant to represent an actual Viking warrior. If you are to get a Norse tattoo, you would probably want to have an image of something real, historically accurate. Then reject all the designs that represent Norsemen wearing helmets with horns. Such a presentation of a Scandinavian helm grew popular as late as in the 19th century. The only extant authentic helmet that dates back to the Viking Age was found in Gjermundby, Norway, and it has no horns.

Norse warriors were very practical people and their weapons’ designs were usually rather simple. They valued usability, not spectacular effects. It is true that there are a few Viking Age images representing ceremonial helmets with two protrusions ending with birds’ or snakes’ heads, but they look altogether different and were not used in battles.
The same applies to wings. Helmets with wings are not historic. Vikings did not use them. A rather popular tattoo is valkyrie wings based on the Max Payne movie. In that movie people see valkyries as male demonic creatures with wings. The fact is that in Norse mythology valkyries are female deities with no wings. They were pictured as serving drinking horns to warriors coming to Valhalla, a place where brave people came after their death.
The other thing to avoid in authentic Viking tattoos is the massive double axe. The axes used by Norsemen were rather light and used single-handed. In the period of transition from the Viking Age to Middle Ages, Scandinavians also used the so-called Dane axe, which was indeed large, but it was not double. No double-headed axe has been found from early medieval Europe.

 

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