Viking shields were an essential part of the Viking warrior’s arsenal. These shields were carefully crafted to protect the warrior from enemy attacks during battle. Here’s a closer look at some of the top quality related to Viking shields and what they mean for these iconic pieces of Viking equipment.
Viking Shield Design: Viking shields were typically round, with a diameter of around 80cm (31 inches). They were made of wood, often from the lime tree, and covered in leather or animal hides. The shields were often decorated with intricate designs, featuring symbols and motifs that were important to Viking culture. These designs were not only aesthetically pleasing but also served a practical purpose, making the shield more difficult to grip and strike.
Viking Shield Materials: The wood used in Viking shields was often light and flexible, allowing the warrior to move quickly and easily in battle. The leather or animal hide covering was usually boiled and treated with resin to make it strong and durable. In some cases, metal edging or bosses were added to the shield for additional protection.
Viking Shield History: Viking shields were used throughout the Viking Age, which lasted from the 8th to the 11th century. They were an essential part of Viking warfare, providing protection for the warrior and allowing them to engage in close combat. Some Viking shields have been found in burial sites, suggesting that they were highly valued and often buried with their owners.
Viking Shield Symbols: The symbols used on Viking shields were often associated with Viking mythology and religion. For example, the Valknut symbol, which depicts three interlocking triangles, was associated with the god Odin and was believed to offer protection in battle. The Ægishjálmur symbol, also known as the Helm of Awe, was believed to grant the warrior courage and protection.
Viking Shield Combat: Viking shields were used in a variety of combat scenarios, from one-on-one duels to large-scale battles. They were versatile and allowed the warrior to use a range of weapons, including swords, axes, and spears. The shields could also be used offensively, as a striking weapon or to knock an opponent off balance.
In conclusion, Viking shields were an essential piece of equipment for Viking warriors. They were carefully designed and crafted to provide protection and were often decorated with intricate designs and symbols that were important to Viking culture. Whether used for defense or offense, Viking shields played a significant role in Viking warfare and remain a fascinating and iconic part of Viking history.