Viking names in the history of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

names of Vikings
Interest in culture and life of the inhabitantsThe Scandinavian countries of the early Middle Ages are constantly growing. This is due to the fascination with antiquities (runes, Scandinavian paganism, sagas), as well as the stable release of films and computer games about the Vikings. No less interesting are the names of the Vikings. They are euphonious, not devoid of meaning and perfectly suited for pseudonyms and nicknames within a certain circle of people.

Who are the Vikings, where are they from?

Vikings are called Scandinaviansailors of the early Middle Ages (VIII - XI century). They became famous for their sea trips, which stretched to the very North Africa. Vikings were simple inhabitants of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, who aspired to leave their native coasts and go in search of a new better life. Swedish settlers in Old Russian chronicles are referred to as Varangians, and Danish and Norwegian Vikings were nicknamed Normans, based on Latin sources. The most complete description of these seafarers, however, is given by the Scandinavian sagas, of which, in the majority, we have learned the names of Vikings, features from life and manners. In addition, the information on the names of researchers in many respects was derived from inscriptions on runic stones.

Noble stone, famous wolf, bear: the names of Vikings

Men's nicknames of Scandinavian people for a long timewere known to researchers. They are found in chronicles, chronicles, arches. So, "The Tale of Bygone Years" introduces us to the first Varangian in Russia - Rurik, who became the founder of the Novgorod Principality. This nickname can be translated as "the glorious king". Other men's names of Vikings, found in the annals, are no less pretentious. Remember even the rulers of Dir ("the beast") and Askold ("golden voice").

names of the Vikings

However, as already mentioned above, the bulk ofnames researchers drew from inscriptions on runic stones, as well as Scandinavian sagas and legends. Here is a list of some common nicknames at the time:

  • Ragnar is a warrior of the Gods;
  • Athelstan is a noble stone;
  • Björn is a bear;
  • Arne is an eagle;
  • Torstein - the stone of the Torah;
  • Leif is the heir.

In the era of the Vikings, names spread widely,containing in themselves an integral part of the name of the god Thor: Torquil, Thorstein. It was also considered a good sign to call a person the name of an animal. So there were the nicknames Bjorn, Arne, Ulf ("wolf"), Ulfbjorn, Webior ("holy bear").

Beautiful, sowing confusion: the female names of the Vikings
women's names of Vikings

The era of the Vikings has also spawned special female nicknames, which often continue to exist in the Scandinavian countries. Among them are the following:

  • Sigrid is a great victory;
  • Ingrid - beautiful;
  • Ragnhild is the counselor in the battle;
  • Gunnhild - battle of battles;
  • Tuva is thunder;
  • Helga is blessed;
  • Siggy is the shield of victory.

If many of the male Viking names were associated within the name of the god Thor, then the women gravitated toward the nicknames of the Valkyries - the mythological virgin warriors who accompanied the souls of the deceased warriors to Valhalla. The most famous of the names of the Valkyries are as follows:

  • Rundgrid - breaking shields;
  • Hild is a warrior;
  • Gel - invigorating;
  • Mist - foggy;
  • Rota - sowing confusion.
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