If the hirsute Swedish death-metal outfit Amon Amarth has one simple message that they are trying to get across, it's that "the Vikings were awesome." In keeping with their mission to spread the good word, Johan Hegg and his cohorts sent us this list of particularly badass Viking trivia. Who said history isn't fun?
"The Vikings were the first European people to discover North America. They called it Vinland. Viking settlements have been found in Newfoundland off the Canadian coast."
To Russia With Love
"Swedish Vikings founded the country of Russia. These Vikings were called Rus, and that's where Russia got its name."
Istanbul on Parade
"The Vikings often traveled the rivers of today's Russia to Constantinople—today's Istanbul. There they were employed by the emperor as his bodyguards, since they were considered to be fierce warriors and also loyal and trustworthy."
Today Is the Day
"Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday all have names after Viking gods. Wednesday means 'Odin's day,' Thursday means 'Thor's day,' and Friday means 'Frey's day.'"
I'm on a Boat
"The Viking ship, the longboat, was the fastest and most advanced ship of its day. No other ship existing in any part of the world during the era could outrun a true longboat."