Over 1000 years ago...

In school we were taught that Christopher Columbus discovered American in 1492. Year and years later some history teacher turns around and say "oh yes that's true but the Vikings were there first". For a second you think he is joking but lo and behold its all true. Today is Leif Ericson day, it seem in 1000AD Leif Ericson set foot on what is now North America. So there I was, stumped and wondering why teachers keep telling the same lie. The truth is far more interesting then fiction. Don't get me wrong Columbus was a pretty impressive guy and he did keep sailing when everyone else thought he was going to drop off the end of the earth but Vikings are really fascinating. I could spends days giving you facts about Viking culture, how they sailed most of the known world, traded and raided many different countries, had their own system of economics and runes, art and mythology (though they seem to get rather a bad press in movies etc). They also settled all over Europe dramatically changing place like Ireland (founded Dublin), England, Scotland and France. What I find most interesting is that they managed all of this with 9th century technology.

Some of the great things the Vikings gave us...
  • Very Cool LongShips "drakkar" meaning Dragon in Norse and tonnes of Nautical knowledge
  • Wednesday, was named for Odin
  • We also have loads of literature like Beowulf*, and the Volsunga Saga (from which we have Sleeping Beauty)
  • Mead! (not that I drink but the idea of drinking it from a Horn is still fun)
Anyway before I start to go on and on, two movies will be hitting us soon Beowulf and Pathfinder. Yes big budget action movies with little fact in them but you just know they are going to be good. OK maybe awful but good at the same time, like all the best action movies!

* Note Beowulf is actually an Old English poem based on Myth which was passed down through the Oral tradition. Much like the Trojan War in The Iliad was to Homer.

Comments

  1. Look, we don't have shoe sales on Viking Day, do we? Clearly, Columbus was here first. I gotta go to Macy's.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shoe Sales, well I can't argue with that, you can never have enough shoes.

    I just like Vikings...you know cool ship and board swords, Valkaries etc

    I really am living in the wrong era

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like I said in my post...love those Viking hats!!!!
    (shoe sales are good too) lol
    Peace

    ReplyDelete
  4. We can't give the Vikings credit because 'Ericson Day' does not have the same nice ring to it that 'Columbus' Day' does. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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