Comment on Rikke Malmros, ‘The Vikings used tents on their longships’

Published 16th Jul 2007

In my book Ships and Men in the Late Viking Age: The Vocabulary of Runic Inscriptions and Skaldic Verse. 2001, pp. 154, 164-65, 173, I discuss the word tjald, referred to by Rikke Malmros, and suggest that it can mean ‘sail’ as well as ‘tent’. Thus, not all of the examples cited by Malmros need necessarily refer to an awning or covering on the longship – the interpretation depends heavily on the context of usage. Readers may wish to refer to that book to evaluate the evidence for themselves.

Created by Judith Jesch, professor of Viking Studies, University of Nottingham