Women Of The Viking Age

Women during the Viking Age on Scandinavian soil, played very important roles in their society. We already know that there were some women who were warriors, they took up arms and went to battle, although, there is little evidence to support that fact as being something they would usually do. Its impossible to generalize that but of course some women would go to war. However, women in the scandinavian society during the Viking Age had important roles in the household and land ownership, that was their frequent power.

According to archaeological findings, women had defined roles in cooking, knitting, taking care of the house and the children, managing the slaves they owned and taking care of the farm as well as the land within their properties. During times of war and the absence of their husbands, they would take up arms to defend their land, their properties.

During times of war, women were frequently left alone with their children and became widows. All the possessions of a warrior, including is land and belongings, went to his wife. Viking Age women in the scandinavian society need not to be married to another man upon their previous husband’s death, it wasn’t an obligation, they were absolutely free to choose to be without a husband or to find a new one. As such, women would take the role of their deceased husbands as being the head of the household and also as being warriors, so in these cases it was frequent to see a woman fighting with, taking up shield and weapons. If a male warrior and his wife died, their land and property would be passed on to their eldest child, regardless of gender, if they had children of course.

The reason the Viking warriors gave their land to their wives ,upon their deaths, was because a marriage in Scandinavia was a contract in which both parties entered as equals. All material possessions were recognized as given to the newlywed wife for protection. Thus, we may rightly infer that Viking Age women had more rights than their christianized descendants, for that newly monotheistic religion brought much suffering to women because of the negative view around the female gender. We might even assume that during those times and in the scandinavian society, women had more rights than most women of our era. It seems that the Vikings were not the mindless, bloodthirsty barbarians the christians depicted.

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6 responses to “Women Of The Viking Age

  1. One quibble. Knitting came into being some time around the 14th century. Nalbinding was what was practiced prior to that. And LOTS of weaving. It is still on my to-do list to erect a warp weighted loom and try it. I already spin and weave (and most other household crafts a woman was expected to be proficient with) but that type of loom fascinates me.

  2. Why do people have a hard time accepting that women played more of an equal role in this culture and period? Probably because we’ve been brainwashed through the ages by Christians to think along those middle eastern dogmas I think. I’m no feminazi but being chained to a sink and kids isn’t my thing I’d probably been happier with an axe

    • Yes it’s true, unfortunately. We have been living in a society with ideals very much based on medieval and modern christian views of the world. The bible itself diminishes women, but not just women, truly… it deminishes freedom.

  3. posto isto, ficamos todos cientes da importante condição feminina nestas sociedades, que até hoje são consideradas, desenvolvidas. São civilizações prósperas, visionárias e com uma atitude virada para a construção sólida do que foi um dia um pedaço de terra bravia, e que é hoje um País.
    o papel da mulher é sobejamente conhecido e tantas vezes ignorado por ser considerado uma ameaça ao machismo imperialista, no entanto nunca desistem, continuam a lutar por igualdade de direitos e sempre por um Mundo mais justo e por conseguinte, mais harmonioso e equilibrado.

    mesmo aquelas que ainda vivem subjugadas pela família, marido, patrão, religião e outros fatores, é visível a sua proatividade, a sua capacidade de resistência às adversidades!

    que dádiva maior há, que a de oferecer ao Mundo os filhos que geram no seu ventre?

    na escandinávia, na China, índia ou no lugar mais remoto, deixam a sua marca que testemunha os seus feitos e provam a sua preponderante existência!

    posto isto, ficamos todos cientes da importante condição feminina nestas sociedades, que até hoje são consideradas, desenvolvidas. São civilizações prósperas, visionárias e com uma atitude virada para a construção sólida do que foi um dia um pedaço de terra bravia, e que é hoje um País.
    o papel da mulher é sobejamente conhecido e tantas vezes ignorado por ser considerado uma ameaça ao machismo imperialista, no entanto nunca desistem, continuam a lutar por igualdade de direitos e sempre por um Mundo mais justo e por conseguinte, mais harmonioso e equilibrado.

    mesmo aquelas que ainda vivem subjugadas pela família, marido, patrão, religião e outros fatores, é visível a sua proatividade, a sua capacidade de resistência às adversidades!

    que dádiva maior há, que a de oferecer ao Mundo os filhos que geram no seu ventre?

    na escandinávia, na China, índia ou no lugar mais remoto, deixam a sua marca que testemunha os seus feitos e provam a sua preponderante existência!

    gostei muito do teu artigo reconheço nele um relato importanteiro sobre importância da MULHER no Mundo!

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