Carla's Reviews > The Viking Art Of War

The Viking Art Of War by Paddy Griffith
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's review
Jul 11, 2012

it was amazing
Read from December 24, 2013 to February 14, 2014

"It would indeed seem that a Viking combat was a very dangerous place to be. "

Well documented and rich in references, this elaborate analysis reminds us that, after all, a lot of what we can conclude about the Vikings is guesswork.
The part concerning Berserks was for me the most interesting and appealing. The author has this fine irony: "As for the rest of the 'wolf-like' behaviour, one is reminded of the howling of the Mountain Men in the old American West - or indeed of the Rebel Yell in the American Civil War. Men shout some pretty odd things in battle (or even at football matches); but this should not be taken as firm evidence that they believed themselves to be bears or wolves".

Another very interesting piece of information is that only one helmet from the Viking world reached our modern days, the Gjermundbu helmet, c. 880. For this we cannot be sure whether helmets were rare and thus restricted to a very small priviledged elite or spread more widely among the military classes.

To end this small comment, a passage about the Viking's very own trademark, the axe; "In common with the sword, or perhaps even more so, the battleaxe was custom-built for heavy, deliberate blows designed to split shield, helm, limb or torso. It was a highly uncompromising weapon which maybe epitomises the whole essence of Viking combat". There was even a king nicknamed Eric Bloodaxe.

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Reading Progress

12/24/2013 marked as: currently-reading
02/14/2014 marked as: read

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