Did the vikings eat fly agaric mushrooms before they went to battle?

May 2017
224
Monterrey
I wouldn't put the theory aside so quickly. Combined with a considerable amount of alcohol, it cannot be ruled out that fly agarics have an aggression-increasing effect on people who are already very aggressive. That these mushrooms are highly toxic is a fairy tale created to deter people from using them. A girl once led me to a place in the Bavarian forest where these things grow, and we ate them right away. There were no physical problems afterwards.


The ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms by Siberian tribes of the Kamchatka peninsula and by Indians of the Mexican highlands has been carried out in ritual and orgy for centuries. Ødman and Schübeler have advanced the hypothesis that the furious rage of the Berserks in the heyday of Viking culture a thousand years ago was brought about by the same agency, specifically the Amanita muscaria mushroom. A few years ago it was found that these fungi contain bufotenine, or n-n-dimethyl serotonin, a substance which is under scrutiny at this time for its possible neurochemical role in the causation of schizophrenia. Recent observations on the intravenous injection of bufotenine in man disclose that it is an hallucinogen, and that its psychophysiological effects bear a resemblance to the Berserksgang of the Norsemen in the time of the Sagas. These observations appear to offer support to the Ødman-Schübeler contention that the famed fury of the Berserks was what we would call a model psychosis today.

Uh, there certainly are toxic substances in fly agarics...but probably not so much as to have the reputation it has of being a deadly mushroom. It also has hallucinogenic substances. And as far as I know, it's a completely different mushroom they use in Mexico (and peyote is the popular one anyways).
 
Aug 2019
571
North
Ah! My mistake, I was thinking about Hastings!
The vikings weren't just raiders, period. They would oftentimes settle in the area that they had previously been raiding in. Such is the case of danelaw, where danish once-vikings instituded their own polity, the danelaw.
Therefore one could argue that normans too were vikings.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,027
Australia
The vikings weren't just raiders, period. They would oftentimes settle in the area that they had previously been raiding in. Such is the case of danelaw, where danish once-vikings instituded their own polity, the danelaw.
Therefore one could argue that normans too were vikings.
Not really. At the time the word referred to joining a group to go on a sea expedition. It involved trading and raiding but not invading and settling. So the Normans were not vikings.
 
Nov 2018
368
Denmark
The Normans weren’t Vikings, at the time they invaded England they regarded themselves as Christian Frenchmen and in real life they were a mixed bunch of Europeans .Their Northern heritage was only celebrated at solemn occasions and in fact they believed their Normanness was created by something inherent in the landscape itself.
 
Aug 2019
571
North
Not really. At the time the word referred to joining a group to go on a sea expedition. It involved trading and raiding but not invading and settling. So the Normans were not vikings.
Don't tell me that rollo didn't go to raids. Furthermore, I think that later normans too went to raids, that's why they had drakkars even in the time of william the bastard. Now, the raids may not have been that often, but I suspect they were taking place.
 
Aug 2019
571
North
The Normans weren’t Vikings, at the time they invaded England they regarded themselves as Christian Frenchmen and in real life they were a mixed bunch of Europeans .Their Northern heritage was only celebrated at solemn occasions and in fact they believed their Normanness was created by something inherent in the landscape itself.
Why did the normans using drakkars then, as we can see on bayeaux tapestry?
 
Nov 2018
368
Denmark
Why did the normans using drakkars then, as we can see on bayeaux tapestry?
Because at that time it was the best type of ship, it could sail on both the high seas and shallow water and the soldiers could land directly from the boats.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,160
Portugal
Why did the normans using drakkars then, as we can see on bayeaux tapestry?
A drakkar doesn't make a Viking. Even in the Viking Age those ships had other uses, like trade. The heads (usually dragon heads) were removed.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,160
Portugal
No, there were special cargo ships.
The Drakkar was a ship with a Dragon or other head in the bow. Usually it was a longship.

For instance the knarr more adequate to trade.

But for any activity, including piracy, it was used the best avaiable ship or the one that the party had.

Wikipedia has an article about it, for reference: Viking ships - Wikipedia