Viking Skull Cups
A skull cup is a drinking vessel that is made from a human skull, usually from
those individuals whom warriors and enemies killed during a battle.
The Vikings are often associated with barbaric activities. They are generally
considered to be large men who raid monasteries and spread violence all throughout
Europe. The Viking age was the time when they conquered, settled and reined
over a number of islands and small countries. Vikings are said to be people
who convey inhuman acts. Because of such a concept, Vikings are related to skull
The use of skull cups by the Vikings is believed to be only a myth and non-factual.
This belief basically spread because of the mistranslation use of an Icelandic
term. The "Runer seu Danica literatura Antiquissima" of Ole Worm mentioned
a drinking session of warriors. This is referred to as "ór bjúgviðum
hausa" which literally means curved branches of a human skull. The skulls
are said to be "ex craniis eorum quos ceciderunt" which means skull
of those people who they have killed in battle. In Scandinavian language, the
word "skal" simply means "shell" and "skál/skål"
refers to bowl. This means that they are related to shell bowls instead of skull-cups.
The skull cups and the use of a drinking vessel that is made from a human skull,
is actually factual. There have been historical instances of this, related to
tribes that are German in origin. People with this kind of tradition are nomads
originating from Eurasia. It is said that these tribes drink from the skulls
of their defeated enemy who lost in battle as a sign of their victory.
Original Authors: Jennifer
Edit Update Authors: Ryan Norfolk
Updated On: 29/11/2006