Joma Vikings: The roughest community of cutthroats. They sowed destruction and death

Joma Vikings: The roughest community of cutthroats. They sowed destruction and death
Joma Vikings: The roughest community of cutthroats. They sowed destruction and death

The Joma Vikings were mercenaries.

The legend of the Jom Vikings appears in some Icelandic sagas from the 12th and 13th centuries, but their existence has never been confirmed by evidence. The Jóm Vikings, Jómsvikingové, were a legendary war party of Viking mercenaries, raiders or bandits in the 10th and 11th centuries. However, they were free and did not depend on the Scandinavian kings. They were mercenaries and were powerful enough to fight some battles completely on their own.

This group of Vikings is mainly mentioned in Norwegian sagas. Their fortress was supposed to be located on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, but its existence was never proven. Jomsborg, from which the name of the group of mercenaries is derived, is then identified with the names Jumne, Julin and Vineta, which appear in Danish and German sources. However, we still lack primary sources, so it is impossible to say with certainty that these Vikings existed. There are only three contemporary runestones and a few contemporary lausavis that mention one of their battles. We will return to that at the end of the article.

This video also talks about the Jomsvikings:

Source: Youtube

Who were the Joma Vikings?

Simply put, they were those who refused to accept any outside influence. They clung fiercely to their paganism, built on unwavering loyalty to the old Norse gods such as Odin and Thor, and at the same time were capable of fighting for any ruler who hired and paid them. That is why they sometimes found themselves on the side of Christian rulers. He was one of their famous leaders Sigvaldi Strut-Haraldsson.

However, they fought some battles completely independently. These battles include, for example, the battle at Fýrisvellir against the first Swedish king Erik the Victorious in 985 or 986.

The Jomsvikings were the superheroes of the Icelandic sagas and were a legendary mercenary army. Fearlessness has always been associated with the Jomsvikings. The intrepid Scandinavian warrior brotherhood, in which each warrior had to follow the 11 military rules set by the order, had clear laws. Violation of the rules could be punished by immediate expulsion from the order.

You can find more information here:

Source: Youtube

What were the 11 rules?

Only experienced warriors, regardless of origin, men aged 18-50 could join the order. Everyone always had to demonstrate fighting prowess in a combat duel. Yoms were not allowed to flee in the face of an enemy of equal or inferior strength and were obliged to defend their brothers and avenge their deaths. They were not allowed to show fear by word or action, and arguments between them were forbidden. In winter, no one was allowed to leave Jomsborg for more than three days without the brotherhood’s permission.

All the spoils of battle had to be divided equally among the entire brotherhood, and members were never allowed to speak ill of each other. The blood feud between the members had to be mediated by the Jomsviking leaders.

During the battles, women and children were not allowed to be in the fort and no one was allowed to be captured.

Brave Sigvaldi and the last of the Joms

The leader Sigvaldi fought at the Battle of Svolder on September 9, 1000. There, he is said to have abandoned his ally, the King of Norway, in the middle of the battle Olaf Trygvasson, who fell here. No one heard of Sigvaldi then, but it is possible that he was killed by the English. His brother Thorkel the Tall he tried to avenge him, but also fell.

These were the two greatest Yoma warriors in death, so it was easy to put an end to these mercenaries once and for all. The Norwegian king took it upon himself Magnus I and in 1043 he marched against the fortress of Jomsborg. He conquered this and dealt the last blow to the Joma Viking war party.

For this reason, it is still unknown where the Joma Vikings lived, and many historians question their general existence.

But archaeological finds say otherwise, which reveal that it is very likely that the Icelandic sagas may be true. According to archaeologists, the Jomvikings lived in Jomsborg, a fortress in the south on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea.

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History with a question mark

He may have founded and patronized the Jomsviking order or brotherhood Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark. The leader of the brotherhood was Palnatoke (“Toke’s archer”), a legendary Danish hero and chief of the island of Fyn. Thanks to him, the Jomsvikings acquired their first fleet of longships. However, even this part of history is not confirmed.

However, in 2009 a remarkable archaeological discovery was made when a pile of ancient skeletons was found near the English town of Weymouth in the county of Dorset. However, these were not ancient Roman soldiers or Anglo-Saxons, but precisely the remains of the Jomsvikings. DNA analysis clarified that the skeletons belonged to young Scandinavian men in their twenties, some of whom had filed teeth.

The find in Dorset may be one of the earliest evidence of the existence of the Jomsvikings. The most interesting were the traces found on the neck and head bones of the fossils. They showed that the men were executed not from behind, but face to face with their executioner. This method of execution is mentioned in one of the Icelandic sagas. Looking the person who is killing you in the eye is a sign of courage.

We can fantasize about whether the Jómsvikings really existed. However, archaeological findings rather confirm this, and in addition, rune stones also speak to the benefit. One is located near the town of Ystad in Sweden. It is erected in memory of a man named Asbjörn. The second then describes the battle of Uppsala. The runes speak of great warriors who were fearless and never ran away from their enemies.


The article is in Czech

Tags: Joma Vikings roughest community cutthroats sowed destruction death

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