- Vikings are famed for their raids.
Vikings have be heavily romanticized & tales of them have been altered or made up for political & entertainment purposes, even before their culture faded.There are quite a few misconceptions that are common not only in modern culture but older cultures and videogames as well. Seemingly equal numbers of tales depict them as heroic warriors or blood thirsty pagans. Most vikings did had blonde hair, sort of. Blonde hair was the ideal in viking society, so many bleached their hair. While some viking helmets used in rituals did have protrusions, none of these were used in battle and no viking helmets with 'horns' have ever been found. Horned helmets went out of style 2000 years before the vikings culture developed. Similarly, winged helmets are a complete fabrication. Vikings did not use human skulls as cups, nor adorn their cups with skulls. This also was a tradition of much older cultures in Europe that is falsely applied to vikings. The core of viking society was not prone to raiding, plundering, killing and raping. Reciprocity (The Golden Rule) was important to most vikings, from a personal level, up to foreign relations. Taken in the context of the times, vikings were no more violent that any other culture of the day. Their bad reputation is due mostly to the fact that monasteries and other centers of scholarly pursuits (where wealth could be found) were often their targets. 347 of the 430 recorded attacks on monasteries from the 9th to 11th centuries were credited to vikings. They also took captives for slaves. Mostly to be sold in Europe. But some they kept for themselves. They captured and valued slaves for intelectual and skilled labor and well as their physical ability. Thus, many of their surviving victims were previously educated, received further education as slaves, and most were shipped all around the world where they wrote about their experiences in many languages. Vikings were not filthy, smelly, unkempt, wild haired, lazy savages. Combs, razors, tweezers, ear spoons, and soaps are frequently found in viking archaeological sites. Some were known for bathing at least one a week, which other cultures of the day considered excessive. It has been suggested that the tradition of bathing every morning actually comes from a viking tradition. Vikings are generally not depicted as being smart even though many famous real vikings were well educated or otherwise demonstrated practical intelligence. Vikings were intolerant of inaccurate calenders and continuously revised heir calendar to correct inaccuracies. It eventually was revised to have 7 day weeks, 2 seasons 26 week long (Summer & Winter), 12 months, 364 day years, and leap years added a day for correction. They knew the exact moment of summer solstice and winter solstice. Despite similarities, this calendar was developed independently of the modern calender.