Hardcore Viking Facts that Inspire Fear and Respect
Hardcore Viking Facts that Inspire Fear and Respect

Hardcore Viking Facts that Inspire Fear and Respect

Khalid Elhassan - October 14, 2022

Hardcore Viking Facts that Inspire Fear and Respect
Norman knights attack the Anglo-Saxon shield wall at the Battle of Hastings. Ancient Origins

The Viking Descendants Who Finally Conquered England for Good

The Anglo-Saxons assembled atop a protected ridge, where they formed a shield wall. King Harold occupied the center of the line. However, their tactics and military doctrine, derived from their own Germanic tribal history and reinforced by generations of warfare against the Vikings who fought in similar fashion, were outdated. The Anglo-Saxons were an entirely infantry army, without archers and cavalry. Duke Williams had both, and that doomed the Anglo-Saxons. The battle begam with mounted charges by Norman knights, which were beaten back by the Anglo-Saxon shield wall.

However, a pair of feigned retreats drew sizeable numbers of Harold’s men from their battle lines into disastrous pursuits, in which the pursuers were surrounded and destroyed. That thinned the Anglo-Saxon lines, and by late afternoon, Harold was hard pressed, when a random arrow struck him in the eye, killing him. The leaderless Anglo-Saxons fought until dusk, then broke and scattered. The victorious William secured the countryside, then advanced upon and seized London. Now known as William the Conqueror, he was crowned as King William I on December 25th, 1066, bringing the Anglo-Saxon era to an end. The new king established the Norman Dynasty, and inaugurated a new era that reoriented England from the Scandinavian world to that of Continental Europe.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

Ancient Origins – Vikings in Byzantium: The Varangians and Their Fearless Conquests

Art Institute Chicago – The Art of the Viking Sword

Barlow, Frank – The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042- 1216 ­(1988)

BBC History – Alfred the Great

Big Think – Vikings Unwittingly Made Their Blades Stronger by Trying to Imbue Them With Spirits

Britain Express – Edward the Elder

Encyclopedia Britannica – Alfred, King of Wessex

Encyclopedia Britannica – Rurik

English Heritage – What Happened at the Battle of Hastings

English Monarchs – Edmund II Ironside

Hall, Richard Andrew – The World of the Vikings (2007)

History Collection – Crazy Facts About Medieval Times

History of Switzerland – The Legend of William Tell

History Today Magazine, Vol. 49, Issue 10, November, 1999 – Alfred the Great: the Most Perfect Man in History?

Horror History Net – Edmund Ironside, Murdered on His Toilet

National Museum of Denmark – Viking Swords

New World Encyclopedia – Kievan Rus

Orkneyjar – Earl Sigurd the Mighty, the First Earl of Orkney

Ranker – 13 of the Dumbest Things Pop Culture Has Us Believe About the Vikings

Sawyer, Peter Hayes – The Age of the Vikings (1972)

Smithsonian Magazine, August 2004 – In Search of William Tell

Soldiers of Misfortune – The Varangian Guard