The axe was a common tool and weapon in Viking culture. Its design was quite different from that of a sword. For example, the axes designed for battle had narrower heads than farm axes.
Axes found in flat graves like this one from Mammen were often engraved with pagan and Christian motifs. The rooster Gullinkambi, which sits on the Yggdrasil tree, and the Phoenix are both featured on this axe Viking axes
The Viking axe was more than just a weapon, it was a status symbol and an essential tool in the forested, snowy homeland of Norse warriors. These axes were used for chopping, cutting, and throwing. They also symbolized Norse culture and were considered sacred objects. Gransfors Bruk offers a variety of authentic Viking axe replicas and re-enactment weapons. These axes are not made from one piece, but rather wood and iron or steel, much like the originals were. They also have a long handle for two-handed use and come with a sheath for easy carrying. These axes are perfect for use at Renaissance fairs or Halloween parties.
These axes are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, from a thin curved blade to an oversized head. Some even have a hammer or spike at the base for added versatility. They are also often made from Damascus steel, which adds to their durability and looks. The authentic viking battle axes are also great for camping or hiking, as they can be used to chop through small trees or logs.
During the Viking age, even the poorest farmer had to own a wood axe for chopping and splitting wood. However, a farmer’s axe had a blunt, single edge and was not meant for fighting. A warrior’s axe had to be sharp and have a heavy blade, which was intended for cutting or chopping in combat. Vikings usually carried an axe, spear or halberd, shield, and seax, a type of knife that resembles a sword.
In battle, a warrior might hide his axe under the shield, so that it would not be visible to the opponent. This tactic could also be used to protect his axe from damage. Vikings were incredibly brave and ruthless fighters, and they often used both weapons during battle. The Viking sagas tell many stories of men who killed each other with their own axe.
Although it seems unlikely that axes were thrown in battle, the story told in Hardar saga og Holmverja tells of a Viking named Sigurd who threw his axe at Thorvaldr to kill him. In such desperate situations, a warrior might do whatever necessary to win the fight, including throwing his axe.
Viking axes were a vital part of a warrior’s equipment and a symbol of Norse culture. These axes were used for hunting, chopping wood, and even as weapons. They are often depicted in art and historical records, with warriors clutching them proudly as they charge into battle. However, a lot of people don’t realize that Viking axes were not only practical but also very effective weapons.
Viking ax heads were designed to be both functional and beautiful. They could be decorated with a variety of runic symbols and were usually made of high-quality steel. This meant that they were very sturdy and could withstand the force of a blow from an enemy. The sharp edge was also very effective, capable of cutting through armor and inflicting serious wounds.
One of the most important functions of a Viking axe was as a throwing weapon. Vikings would sometimes use their axes to attack a foe from a distance, using the curved blade as a spearhead. In this way, they were able to take down large opponents without having to face them head-on. Axes were also useful for blocking attacks from enemies behind shields.
Authentic Viking battle axes were different from farm axes because they were much lighter and had a smaller blade. They were able to be thrown quickly for a surprise attack, and they were more versatile than other Viking weapons. Besides, they were easier to carry and wield than swords or maces.
Vikings did not often wear armor, but they were renowned for their strength and fighting skills. A single blow from a Viking axe could dismember an arm or crack a helmet and shield in two. In fact, Robert the Bruce is famous for killing Henry de Bohun with a single swing of his axe at Bannockburn.
The axe was also a valuable tool for slashing and stabbing attacks. The axe head had pointed “horns” at each end, called oxarhyrna. These horns could be used to cut the throat or limbs of an enemy. They were also useful for slashing attacks, as demonstrated by Kolbeinn in chapter 33 of Hardar saga og Holmverja.
The axe is a formidable weapon in the hands of a capable Viking warrior (it could be wielded one-handed). Its long shaft, sharp iron head, and curved blade allowed it to cleave heads and body parts with devastating force. The axe was also used as an important tool in building the legendary Viking longships.
In the 8th century through the middle of the 11th century, the Vikings became a dominant force in Europe by raiding and conquering new lands. Their hardened Norse mindset, fierce fighting style, and elite combat skills contributed to their success. They were also renowned for their distinct weaponry. The axe was the preferred weapon of choice for their battles and raids. Even the poorest farm family had an axe for cutting and splitting wood. The axe was also the weapon of choice for the common Viking warrior who couldn’t afford to carry a sword into battle.
Authentic Viking axes are made from high-quality materials and feature a distinctive design. Their hafts (handles) can be up to 140cm (55 inches), and their blades can be seven to 15cm (3-4 inches). They were usually forged from steel, but they could also be crafted from wood. The handles of authentic Viking axes are usually decorated with runes. These runes are not only decorative but also carry meaning. They symbolize different aspects of life, including ancestry, heritage, and experience.
Some axes are designed to be used as throwing weapons. Others are primarily meant for close combat. Axes were often thrown against an opponent’s shield or armour. This tactic could be effective in a surprise attack or to distract an enemy. Axes were also thrown at the feet of an opponent to trip him or her. For example, in chapter 22 of Sturlu saga, Thorsteinn hooked one of his opponents with the head of his axe to drag him over to where he could be stabbed.
Axes designed for close combat often have a curved blade with a spur on the lower edge. This type of axe is sometimes called a “bearded” axe because of its shape. It was most common on axes that were used for close combat, while the spur on the axes designed to be thrown was usually straighter.
If you want to own a real Viking battle axe, there are several options available. You can buy one from a museum or at an auction. However, these weapons are not cheap and must be properly maintained to keep them in good condition. This makes them a great investment for history lovers and collectors.
Aside from the hammer, the axe is the most deadly weapon in the Viking arsenal. Its design allows for a concentration of power behind a relatively short cutting edge, ideal for punching through medieval armor. The axe can also be used for thrusting attacks, making it an excellent choice for close combat.
Despite their popularity, Viking axes have received relatively little research in the modern era. Jan Petersen’s 1919 book on the Viking sword laid the groundwork for the classification of the various Viking axes, but there is still much work to do on these deadly weapons. The axe was not only a powerful tool for battle, but it was also a status symbol and a sacred object.
The axes of the Vikings were of varying size and shape, depending on their purpose. Some were small and knife-like, while others were more than five feet long. The blades of these axes were usually seven to 15cm (3-6 inches) wide. The axe heads were often embellished with designs that could be interpreted as either pagan or Christian. One such axe from Mammen shows the rooster Gullinkambi, which is believed to wake the warriors each morning and signal the start of Ragnarok. The other side of the axe head is depicted with the Phoenix, a symbol of rebirth that belongs to Christianity.
In addition to the carved designs on the axe heads, some also had runes engraved on them. These symbols were used to mark ownership of the axe or protect its handle from being damaged by enemy raiders. Some axes also had inscriptions that showed that they had been used in a specific war.
The axe was a common weapon among the Vikings during their raids and expeditions across Europe in the 8th to 10th centuries AD. It was a simple, yet effective weapon that allowed them to change the course of Western history. Few weapons were as feared or as evocative as the Viking axe.