Dragon's Head

Photo © Mararie, 24 October 2010

A carved dragon's head was traditionally placed at the stem of the Viking longship, its purpose was to strike fear into the enemy . The figurehead was made removable as Icelandic law, popular throughout Scandinavia, stated that the dragon head must be removed when the ship was in port. The purpose behind this was so that the dragon head did not scare the spirits protecting the harbour. It seems apparent that the Normans continued this tradition, as none of the landed Norman craft display the dragon's head.

See Also

Medieval Shipping
History of Navigation

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