Essay about Norse Clothing for Battle or Hunting

Essay about Norse Clothing for Battle or Hunting

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The Shield
There is Skaldic poetry that is specifically dedicated to shields. They are known as the "shield poems." The shield was as much a part of Norse culture as was the ax.
The Viking shield was very different from that of the shields used around the World. They were made from wood with a metal center and painted. Upon first glance, there doesn't seem to anything special about these shields but you would be very wrong to think so. The Viking shield was a superior and well thought out concept. It was not made from solid wood as were the other culture's shields of the day. This is in contrast of what you would think you wanted from a shield. Something solid enough to block hits from weapons and arrows. Something durable enough to protect you. Something strong enough to protect you from the swing of a sword, thrust of a spear, and arrow with your name on it.
The Viking shield was a brilliant concept and ahead of its time. It was actually made from what we would think of as soft and flimsy wood like fir, alder and poplar. Norse shields were not made from heavy oak or other known solid woods. In the Sagas, it is written that they were to be made from 'flexible' woods such as linden, lime, or basswood. Wow, that's a flimsy wood to be making a shield from. Why would the fierce Vikings use such a flimsy wood, instead of hard woods like their opponents?
This is because, unlike the hard woods such as oak, Viking shields weren't inclined to so easily split upon a successful hard impact. When there was a successful split of the Norse shield by a weapon, the fibers of the wood tended to bind around blade which prevented them from cutting any deeper unless a lot more pressure was applied. Something you definitely didn'...

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...centimeters (4-6 inches).
Most arrowheads had a tang that allowed it to be driven into a hole of a hardwood shaft and then secured in place with cord and pitch. It is estimated that the arrow shafts were probably 70 to 80 centimeters (28 to 32 inches) long and about 10 millimeters (3/8 inch) in diameter.
Njáls Saga tells of the use of a bow by the Icelandic hero, Gunnar Hámundarson that single-handedly defended his home against an attack led by Gizurr hvíti. The hero Gunnar used his bow from a loft in the upper level of the house, to kill and wound ten of his opponents before his bow string was cut by one of the attackers. It is said that he asked his wife Hallgerður for a lock of her hair to mend the bow, but Gunnar had slapped her previously so she vindictively refused. He was then forced to fight his attackers off in hand to hand combat where he was killed.

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