Viking Exploration Part 1 by Rob Shackleford

Viking Exploration Part 1 by Rob Shackleford The Vikings sailed from America in the west to Constantinople and Asia Minor in the east, and perhaps even farther. It was the seaworthiness of the Viking ships, together with the Norsemen’s knowledge of navigation and seamanship, which made it possible for them to conquer the ocean. The Vikings’ understanding of the sea is also reflected in the Old Norse language that has about 150 words for waves. As impressive as the Vikings’ accomplishments as raiders and warriors were, their accomplishments as explorers and settlers were equally magnificent. The Vikings ventured far from…
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Viking Trade by Rob Shackleford

Viking Trade by Rob Shackleford Would you believe it if I suggested that Vikings were traders more than they were rape-and-pillagers? While the reputation of savage conquerors might be relevant for some peoples, such as the literate British and Irish who wrote many of the histories relating to their contacts with the Norse, but the peoples who were often referred to as Vikings (which means pirates) were also highly motivated explorers and traders. Not only had they developed cutting-edge technology in their raiding ships, but they also built highly efficient trading vessels that sailed most of the known world. Commerce…
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Writing and Research – Byzantines, Romans and Vikings Oh My! – by Rob Shackleford

Writing and Research - Byzantines, Vikings and Saxons Oh My! Originally submitted as a guest post to N.N. Light's Book Heaven in October 2021: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/writing-and-research-guest-post When I wrote my first novel, Traveller Inceptio, I became engrossed in issues of which most writers would be sympathetic: Was my story original? Was my writing style readable? Did I really have a clue? After all, I wasn’t a Stephen King, Andy Weir, Michael Crichton or Bernard Cornwell. What the heck did I know about innovative stories, sci-fi or historical fiction? As my storyline looks at the survival potential for 21st century researchers sent…
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Viking Ships 2 – by Rob Shackleford

Viking Ships 2 Without the Viking ships, there would be no Viking Age. Norse sagas, skaldic poems and contemporary foreign sources describe the Viking ships as marvellous at sea, being compared to dragons, birds and sea serpents. Viking ships were a technology far ahead of other ships of the time. They were seaworthy and could sail vast distances, while their shallow draft allowed them to navigate shallow rivers or estuaries, while they were able to be dragged onto a beach. When Magnus the Good (1047) put his ships to sea, it was as if a swarm of angels from the…
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Viking Ships 1 – by Rob Shackleford

Viking Ships 1 Think Vikings - think the dragon-headed Viking Long Ship The Viking ship are described by some scholars as perhaps the greatest technical and artistic achievement of the European dark ages. These fast ships had the strength to survive ocean crossings while having a draft of as little as 50cm (20 inches), allowing navigation in very shallow water. Their unique structure, used in Scandinavia from the Viking Age throughout the Middle Ages, were a vital part of Viking society, not only as a means of transportation, but also for the prestige that it conferred on her owner and…
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Viking Foods 10 – Drinking Horns by Rob Shackleford

Drinking Horns Every medieval, Viking and mythical movie (like Game of Thrones) have all major actors using drinking horns to quaff their brew of choice. A drinking horn is the horn of a horned creature such as a cow, buffalo, etc, which is used as a drinking vessel. Drinking horns are a custom that is over 2000 years old, having been known from Classical Antiquity, especially in the Balkans. They remained in use for ceremonial purposes throughout the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period in some parts of Europe, notably in Germanic Europe and in the Caucasus. But here…
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