- Cleanliness - Did Vikings Take Baths?
- Hnefatafl - Viking Board Game
- Home Life in the Viking Age
- Importance of Norwegian Fishing to the Vikings
- Ragnar Lothbrock - Legendary Viking Leader
- Reconstructions of Viking Ships
- Skrælings - Inuits and Indians
- The Viking Home - The Longhouse
- The Viking Longhouse
- The Wandering Farm - Viking Farming Practice
- Trelleborg - Viking Ring Fortresses - (Viking Castles)
- Types of Viking Ships
- Viking Burial Customs
- Viking Clothing - What did the Vikings Wear?
- Viking Cremations
- Viking Farming
- Viking Farming Methods
- Viking Food and Diet
- Viking Food and Dining
- Viking Games and Competitions
- Viking Inhumations
- Viking Leisure Activities
- Viking Longhouse - Weaving, Sails, Toys
- Viking Longships
- Viking Music and Poetry
- Viking Religion
- Viking Roads and Bridges
- Viking Sails - What were they like?
- Viking Ship Finds - Archeology
- Viking Ships
- Viking Ships and Shipbuilding
- Viking Shipyards
- Viking Skis - Sledges - Skates - Horses - Land Travel
- Vikings Discover North America - L'Anse-Aux-Meadows
- When did Viking Ships disappear from use?
The Viking Age was a period of considerable religious change in Denmark. Part of the popular image of the Vikings is that they were all pagans, with a hatred of the Christian Church, but this view is very misleading. It is true that almost the entire population of Denmark was pagan at the beginning of the Viking Age, but the Vikings had many gods, and it was no problem for them to accept the Christian god alongside their own.
We know very little about the Pagan practices of the Vikings. What we do know relates more to the stories told about the Gods. The most powerful god was the one-eyed Odin, the Allfather, god of warfare, justice, death, wisdom and poetry. Probably the most popular god, however, was Thor, who was stupid but incredibly strong. With his hammer Miollnir, crafted by the dwarfs, he was the main defender of the gods against the giants. He was also the god of thunder, and he was particularly worshipped by seafarers. The brother and sister Frey and Freyja, the god and goddess of fertility, were also important, and there were many other minor gods and goddesses.
The main enemies of the gods were the giants, and there were often conflicts between the two races. Among the gods, only Thor was a match for the giants in strength, so the gods usually had to rely on cunning to outwit the giants.
It was believed that the world would end with the final battle of Ragnarok, between the gods and the giants. A fire would sweep across the whole world, destroying both the gods and mankind. However, just enough members of both races would survive to start a new world.
By about 700 AD, Willibrord, the ‘apostle of the Netherlands’ was already carrying out missionary work among the Danes, but it was only with the missionary activities of Ansgar, from 826, that Christianity gained a foothold in Denmark.
As Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen in present-day northern Germany, Ansgar was able to ensure that churches were built in the trading centres of Hedeby (Schleswig) and Ribe.
The first document from the Papal See in Rome to a Danish king dates from 864. Christianity became the religion of the king when Harald Bluetooth allowed himself to be baptised by the priest Poppo c. 950.