The Viking Horned Helmet
The modern image of a Viking can be described as a large and buffed man with battle gears complete with a horned helmet. The horned helmet is a popular icon related to Vikings. It has been a symbol for power although it is believed to be mainly used as a head protection during a battle. The horns that are in Viking helmets are basically considered as an adornment. During 789 A.D., horns are considered as a decoration in most part of Western Europe. Horns are believed to be a symbol of virility, potency and masculinity of the bull.
Horned helmets are actually of Celtic influence. Some bronzed helmets buried in Visko, Denmark in 1976 were related to Vikings and shows a pair of curved horn adornments. This particular relic may have been used in ceremonial offerings.
The actual evidences of the existence of horned helmets are often related to ceremonial events and not during the Viking's actual warfare. There is no exact proof or evidence that horned helmets were used by Vikings during their raids and battles.
A typical helmet used during battles is a simple hemispherical headgear with a face guard. To date, actual Viking horned helmets are yet to be discovered. Helmets are believed to be used by Viking chieftains who also wore armours. Other historians also suggest that chieftains wore horned helmets as a symbol of their rank.
During the Bronze Age, there were evidences of the existence of horned helmets. A cauldron was discovered in Zealand, Denmark that shows an image of a helmet with stag antlers as horns. This relic is also believed to be related to ceremonial sacrifices.
A portrayal of a Viking with a horned helmet and spears was illustrated in a 5th AD metalwork which originated from the Swedish coast. The image was thought to be a Viking complete with battle gears with a horned helmet who worshipped their god in a ceremonial dance. Figures of horned helmets continue to appear in a lot of relics that are mostly found in regions of England. Proofs and figures of the existence of horned helmets are commonly discovered in burial sites, cauldrons, decorative plates, tapestries and amulets.
Original Authors: Jennifer Tumanda
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 15/07/2008