VIOLENT VIKINGS, GENTLE HORSEMEN: THE HORSE CULTURE AND PRACTICE OF HORSEMANSHIP IN VIKING AGE SCANDINAVIA
Miller, Andrea Leigh
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Benjamin Thomas Hudson, Thesis Supervisor Benjamin Thomas Hudson, Thesis Supervisor Catherine Wanner, Honors Advisor
The Scandinavians of the Viking Age (from the eighth to the eleventh centuries) had formed a strong reliance upon their horses. Contrary to the engrained images that many have of the Viking Age Scandinavians, these ancient people were very loving of their horses and took good care of them. Horses were very important in Scandinavian life, making their way into the people’s religion in cult and burial practices. This thesis uses evidence from sagas, eddas, and art to prove that the Scandinavians’ highly skilled horsemanship had many similar aspects of natural horsemanship that is receiving ever-growing support today.