Wednesday, September 04, 2013
So, how exactly did they fight? On the whole, details of the battles and combat of the period are sketchy at best, although some detailed descriptions of individual fights are recorded in the Icelandic sagas. It is mainly from grave finds of the early period, and carved stones and legal texts from the later periods that we draw our knowledge of the combat of the Viking Age. The laws of Norway, Denmark and Sweden state that every able-bodied man should own weapons according to his status. In Norway, a sword or axe, spear and shield must be owned. In Sweden and Denmark, this was a sword, spear, shield and iron helmet for each man. In addition, it is common for the law to state that each "bench" (in a ship) or each local chieftain (sturaesman) should have a mail shirt or protective jerkin and a bow and arrows.