Viking canards corrected
Very interesting list of 10 common errors about Vikings. One I like:
2. Everyone in the medieval Nordic world was a viking.
Again, we can dispatch this one swiftly. No they weren’t. To the Norse, ‘viking’ was both a verb and a noun: a raid (víking) and a raider (víkingr). The Anglo-Saxons had a very similar word (wicing), which originally just mean ‘pirate’ but in time came to refer to Norse marauders. In any case, most vikings were young men off on their equivalent of a gap year, trying to get rich quick and have a few adventures before they settled down. In the Icelandic sagas, older men still going on summer raids are often presented as disruptive, antisocial elements within the community, who have never quite settled down or made much of their lives (like that single 40-something friend who still wants to stay up all night drinking and playing loud music when everyone else is ready to turn in for the night and the kids are asleep upstairs).
I imagine scholars who know the actual history have these little corrections down by heart, polished for quick delivery.