Video: Ancient Norse Vikings Documentary
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One of the more fascinating parts of the saga of Egill Skallagrímsson was the hyperbole that wasn’t.
In the saga, it tells of a battle where he was struck in the head by and ax with a blow that that cleaved his helm to the bone, and he shrugged it off and kept fighting. Surely, over the top, right? Norse pole-axes were fearsome weapons. People dismisses much of it as ridiculous boasting. Until they found his grave. He had Paget’s disease, a bone growth problem, so his scull, by the time he died of old age, was massively thick, and it still bore the grown over notch left by the ax that struck him in his younger days. With the description of feeling cold and failing eyesight and bent, misshapen form fitting the symptoms of the disease, researchers have had to re-evaluate the accuracy of the Norse sagas, leaning toward giving them greater credence for their accuracy.