Was Viking Double-Edged Axe Historical?
Besides the majestic ships, what do you think is the most common thing popping up in our mind whenever it comes to the Vikings? The most popular answer we might get is the axe which has become the symbol of the Viking Age.
But what is the historical Viking Axe? We might catch sight of many axes that people name them "Viking" as the prefix. But is it real? By far the answer that we have for this question is that the Vikings didn't use the double-edged axe. Why I say "by far"? Because by far there has been no official textual or archaeological evidence showing the existence of the Viking double-edged.
The Vikings used the single-edged axe
Usually, the image that forms in our mind about the Viking axe is a massive weapon that the huge Viking warriors would wield and chop down the heads of their enemies. But that was not the case though. In reality, the Viking axe was somewhat small compared to our imaginary Viking axe. The majority was quite small and there were also kind of bigger ones which must have been commissioned as the owner wished.
There has bee no evidence of the Viking double-edged axe by far
The Viking axe was quite light and well-balanced. What the Vikings focused the most about their weapons were the speed, fatal blows, and clever moves. The length of the haft varied because of the intended use and favour of the owner. Some might be longer because their owner wanted their weapon to reach the enemy over a long distance. Meanwhile, the shorter ones would be better for the face-to-face battle. The advantage of the axe with long haft was they could hurt the enemies from coming close to them which reduced the risks of being injured. However, this type of axe would not as strong as the short haft because the level of damage had been reduced from the distance between the hand holding the haft and the edge.
The Viking axes were common in the society because they were cheap to forge. Even the poorest men from the Viking society could afford themselves an axe. What they need were wood and a piece of iron. Then they would have the weapon for the survival.
Some axes were used only to chop something down. But there were some kinds of axes that came to life to show off the wealth and social position of the Vikings. For example, the Mammen Axe was among the most beautiful and luxurious Viking axe ever found. Not only was the Mammen axe decorated with layers of precious metal but it was also adorned with silver patterns and symbols.
One cool thing is that the Viking axe head once was forged from one single piece of iron. This made the Viking axe become the easiest weapon ever forged. We can figure out the process of forging a Viking axe. The piece of the iron which was commonly the material would be flattened out and bent to make the eye of the iron. The wrap was quite asymmetrical. Then the Viking blacksmith would sharpen the edge making it a real deadly weapon.
With the smart design of the axe, the Viking warriors could creatively use their weapons. They might hold it and injure the enemies directly. Also, they could easily hide their small axe behind their cloak or shield and delivered the enemies some surprise.
Some might argue that the Viking axe was not an ideal weapon because it weighed too much. However, with such materials, this was not the case. If one axe was carefully made, it could even weigh less than the Viking sword. In fact, there was no literally light weapon in the Viking age. Even the Viking axe was quite heavy because it was made from the many pieces of iron, unlike the Viking axe with one single piece only. Considering the simple materials and the great deadly attacks it could deliver, the Viking axe was ideal a weapon.
The Viking axe outlasts the seasons and makes itself to the modern world. Of course, the main use of the Viking axe to chop down the head of the enemies is no longer accepted. Rather, the Viking axe becomes the symbol for the inked community and the jewelry.
Viking Axe jewelry and Viking Axe tattoo not only honors the precious traditional value of the Viking weapon but also presents the faith of the wearer in the Viking axe. The Viking axe bears within itself the meaning that nothing can ever hold one back and the willingness to smash anything that dares to make one back down.
Viking axe tattoo in the arm