Once more, for those not listening in the back of the room, Vikings as a general rule, did wear helmets with horns on them. Horns may well have been worn for ceremonial occasions, but wearing horns in battle is really tricky for many reasons but the vikings could do anything and certainly horns were super cool!
This Authentic Styled Viking Helmet was typical for use by a Viking Warrior. This replica features a full metal helmet with a spike and plastic horns.
**Please note: This helmet does not have a leather liner.
Some Monks in England were walking around on their Island at Lindisfarne more than 1,000 years ago, doing monk-type things (chanting and slamming books into their foreheads, I beleive) when some strange ships were spotted in the distance.
The monks and many of the island residents wandered to the shore to greet the strangers. I can only imagine that they were smiling and waving to their new, heavily armored friends. Their new friends smiled back. And they waved, although it was battle axes and swords, not hands.
This was the first recorded encounter between the English and the Vikings, and it didn't involve trading beads and planting corn, mind you. Most of the residents of the Holy Island were slaughtered and everything of value was looted. The Vikings made it very clear from the start that they weren't interested in a happy, warm-and-fuzzy, symbiotic, "let's grow together" type of relationship.
Things didn't get easier for the English after that. Or for the rest of the world for that matter. The Vikings went on a three hundred year shopping spree in the home towns of their enemies, burning, looting and raping (in the early years, the Vikings did it in that order, which proved a little rough for them. The chronology was reversed after a few bad outings, though).
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The pollaxe (or polaxe, or poleaxe) became popular in the 14th and 15th centuries, during the golden age of plate mail. Armor became so strong during this time that it became really, really difficult to actually kill anyone (well, anyone of importance, right?). So the polaxe was created. A long shaft, crowned with a steel head that featured an axe-blade on one side and a spike or hammer-head on the other. And usually with another spike at the top, just to make it deadly from any angle.