Every free Viking man owned and knew how to use a weapon. According to the Hurstwic website (see web links below), Viking poetry warned that men should be prepared to fight at any time and never be more than a step away from his weapon, day or night. Viking men were even buried with weapons.
BBC reports that a Viking's weapons were not only useful in war, but they also served as symbols of status and wealth. Swords, because of their cost to manufacture, were the most expensive and prestigious weapons.
There are several significant types of Viking warrior weapons, including swords, saxes, spears, axes, and bows and arrows. Swords, the most valued weapon, were given names and passed on from generation to generation.
For defensive protection, Vikings wore helmets and chain mail, and used shields, which were large, wooden and round. Helmets were made of iron pieces riveted together into a bowl shape with a nose guard riveted to the brow.
According to Viking-shield.com, Vikings were feared for their skills and strength, and fought on foot. They conquered lands by travelling on swift, nimble boats, then battling on land.
Viking weapons were not crude, but rather carefully decorated with inlays, twisted wire and decorations made of bronze, copper and silver. Viking spears were the most common weapons and were 2 to 3 meters long with a wooden shaft and an iron spear head.
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