Three Norse Customs that Christianity Killed.

Author C.J. Adrien

When Christianity spread across Scandinavia during the Viking Age, it changed many  Norse cultural norms. The following are three of the most notable changes that took place as a result of their Christianization.

1. Grooming.

vk_comb Reindeer Antler Comb from Ribe, circa 8th Century

Prior to converting to Christianity, Norse culture valued good grooming habits. We know this from several sources, including both Christian and Muslim texts, as well as archeological finds of combs, washbowls, and saunas. Christianity, however, viewed Norse grooming habits as signs of vanity. In Christendom, it was required of some people, especially clerics, to never bathe. In fact, monks actually thought the dirtier they were, the holier they were because they were rejecting vanity. As Christianity spread across Scandinavia, the Scandinavian people joined the rest of Christendom in their smelliness. Read more about Norse grooming.

2. Religious Tolerance.

KKSgb7543 The baptism of Harald-Klak of Denmark.

History has…

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I am an artist, accountant and author living in western New York, transplanted from Denmark, Michigan, Florida, West Virginia, Pennsylvania (in that order!) I love the beauty of the world and sharing it with others through jewelry, photography, digital painting and writing.

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