Viking hygiene?


Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
In England they are known as crucks due to the crooked timber used as framework
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Aug 2013
As I understand the meaning (and may be wrong) Viking is a verb rather than a noun.
This site has a pretty good explanation: What does the word 'Viking' really mean? - basically it's both.

At the end the article gives a modern definition:
In the academic world, “Viking” is used for people of Scandinavian origin or with Scandinavian connections who were active in trading and settlement as well as piracy and raiding, both within and outside Scandinavia in the period 750-1100.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
On hygiene , it's all fair and good for temperate Mediterranean folks to go bathing but when the climate is rougher
some adjustments have to be made
Tibetans were famed for the quantity of dirt they carried on their person , severe weather and the great lack of fuel certainly could account for it
alpines peasants would live in one room house with their cattle , the beast survival being as important as their children's
medieval washing was often the whipping of a clean cloth over the body , the dirty ones being washed in late spring
through central Europe , clothing wasn't washed in winter ,
the women doing the laundry would have totally frozen hand in the cold waters of the communal washing troughs


Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
Benin City, Nigeria
An English account from the 13th century portrays the Danes as cleanly whereas Ibn Fadlan's account from the 10th century portrays the 'Rus' (Swedish Vikings) as uncleanly:

There are more accounts of Islamic perceptions of Vikings in this article:

Aug 2018
that Rus wash basin thing seems more like a ritual to do with hierarchy or bonding. The leader gets the fresh basin of water whilst the rest get second/third/fourth hand water, with the sequence determined by the internal hierarchy within the group. Assuming this actually happened of course. There's no apparent practical reason why the servant couldn't bring a new basin of water to each individual so the reason appears to be symbolic and ritualistic.

This was a bunch of men on a mission, not how they lived back home.
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