- Gift Vouchers
Dark Ages Helmet
Authentic Spangenhelm - meaning a framework of bands with the openings filled by iron/steel panels. Spangenhelms were often constructed with face masks or eye-guards called oculars. As well as providing facial protection and camouflage, this design also struck fear into the enemy. By the 9th century it was the most common helmet design in Northern and Western Europe and of standard use amongst Vikings and in Anglo-Saxon England.
THE NUMBER OF SHIPS INCREASES, THE ENDLESS FLOOD OF VIKINGS BEGINS TO GROW … THEY OVERRUN ALL THAT LIES BEFORE THEM AND NONE CAN WITHSTAND THEM. – Ermentarius, Frankish Monk.
NEVER BEFORE HAS SUCH TERROR APPEARED … NOR WAS IT THOUGHT THAT SUCH AN INROAD FROM THE SEA COULD BE MADE. Alcuin, on the sack of Lindisfarne, 793
The cult of Odin, the one-eyed god of war, stressed the importance of a warrior dying heroically in battle rather than shamefully in bed. Odin’s most enthusiastic devotees were the Berserkers, who, with the aid of drugs and alcohol, would work themselves up into a trancelike fury before battle. They had the strange habit of howling and chewing the edge of their shields before battle. Some Viking chieftains banned the cult, whereas others tolerated the Berserkers erratic behavior and used them as shock troops. Viking Warriors fought from as far north as Greenland to as far south as Syria. From the late 10th century they were formed into the Byzantine emperor’s elite Varangian Guard, and their ferocity helped the Byzantines keep Muslim invaders at bay for centuries. Their wild partying was as much an object of astonishment to their sophisticated hosts as their fierceness in combat. But it was for strength and loyalty that they were prized and liberally rewarded.