Real Vikings this week looks at how pagan beliefs shaped nearly every aspect of Viking life.
From how they worshipped to how they fought and ruled, their complex religion influenced many of their decisions and practices.
Actors from Vikings Clive Standen and Maude Hirst head to Scandinavia, where they find out that Norse paganism encompassed a broad range of beliefs prior to the Christianization of the region.
Worship was not made in formal temples but rather in the home or in sacred groves, much like the Celtic druids.
However, there were specific sites that seem to have been particularly important and remains have been found of some religious buildings.
Gods included major deities like Oden, Thor and Freyr but also local spirits and animism.
Burial was especially important and improper practice was believed to result in danger ghosts appearing.
There were priests and sacrifices could be inanimate objects, animals and humans.
Watch Real Vikings – Rise of the Pagans at 10 PM on History just after Vikings.
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