Category Archives: The Vikings

Norse Gods and Goddesses: Facts About Freya

Here are some facts about Freya.

  • Freya is an important goddess in Norse mythology. Her name translates as The Lady and she is associated with fertility, love and beauty as well as gold and death.
  • She has two daughters who are named Hnoss and Gersemi, and she has a brother named Freyr. Freyr is associated with good fortune, sunshine and fine weather and is said to be an ancestor of Swedish royalty.
  • Freya wears a cloak made from falcon feathers, and rides in a chariot pulled by two cats. A boar named Hildisv√≠ni is her faithful companion and she sometimes rides on it.
  • She is a member of the Vanir, a group of gods associated with wisdom, fertility and magic. The Vanir appear in 13th century poems and are able to predict the future.
  • She also owns a necklace named Brisingamen.
  • Half of the warriors who die in battle go to Freya, and half go to the god Odin.
  • Freya rules over a large meadow called Folkvangr, which translates as People Field, or People of the Host.
  • Several well-known Norse books and poems feature Freya, including the 13th century Prose Edda. This important source of Scandinavian mythology was written in the 13th century.
  • People in rural Scandinavia thought Freya was a supernatural figure until the 19th century. She also has connections to various figures in German mythology.
  • Freya features in Wagner’s famous opera cycle, The Ring, and has been depicted in several paintings.
  • Freya has also been a popular girl’s name in Scandinavia since the early 1990s.
  • Several plants in Scandinavia are named after Freya. She has also lent her name to dozens of place names in Sweden, some of which suggest a public worship of her.

What next? Learn more about the Vikings by visiting our Vikings resources page.

Viking Helmets: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Viking helmets. Most Viking helmets were very simple. They commonly consisted of just a bowl and a nose guard. Although most people think Vikings wore horned helmets, most historians agree that they didn’t. The bowl of a Viking helmet was made from several pieces of iron joined together with rivets.… Continue Reading

Viking Shields: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Viking shields. The Vikings used round shields made of wood. Most Viking shields measured between 80cm and 90cm in diameter, but they could be as large as 95cm or as small as 70cm. Shields were often custom made to be the perfect size for the warrior who was going to… Continue Reading

Asgard: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Asgard. Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. It is said to be home to the Aesir tribe of gods, and is surrounded by a partially built wall. It is located in the first level. The other levels have worlds containing various creatures such as dwarfs, dark… Continue Reading

Viking Homes and Houses: Facts About Viking Longhouses

Here are some interesting facts about Viking longhouses. The Vikings built longhouses all over Scandinavia. The typical Viking longhouse was 6 metres wide and up to 75 metres long, with a wooden frame, and walls of wooden planks or clay. The Viking longhouse was usually divided into several different rooms. Several families lived in the… Continue Reading

Danegeld: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Danegeld. The Danegeld was a tax paid to Viking raiders, to stop them from attacking the coast and invading. It might be viewed as a form of protection money, although the literal translation was ‘Dane tribute’. In England the tax was first collected in 868. It became a regular… Continue Reading

Viking Longships: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Viking longships. The Vikings were seafaring warriors from Scandinavia. They explored and settled in areas of Europe, North America and even Asia, by means of their longships. The first longships (or longboats) were built as far back as the stone age, although most were built between the 9th and 13th… Continue Reading