Historical Design Lies?
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    Historical Design Lies?

    I was researching viking related stuff because I'm design a viking character and I found out that vikings never had horned helmets? Then who came up with the idea of giving vikings horned helmets and why would they do that?

    Now I don't know if I should go with a historically accurate design or follow the cliche so people will interpret the character as a viking. I wonder what other cliches are historically false, but dominate the portrayal in entertainment? Like did archers ever use flaming arrows or is that a lie too?

    So what do you do? Seek the historical truths or conform to false modern interpretations?

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    Heh, I remember how disappointed I was when I found that out too. Having been brought up on Asterix and Hagar.

    The truth can be so dull sometimes. I still love the depiction of them with horns, I think it all depends on what/who you are working for.

    I still like my dinosaurs to drag their tails. I guess I'm just an ignorant savage! (With horns on his helmet)

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    Quote Originally Posted by visoutre View Post
    I wonder what other cliches are historically false, but dominate the portrayal in entertainment?
    Jesus wasn't a white guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visoutre View Post
    I was researching viking related stuff because I'm design a viking character and I found out that vikings never had horned helmets? Then who came up with the idea of giving vikings horned helmets and why would they do that?

    Now I don't know if I should go with a historically accurate design or follow the cliche so people will interpret the character as a viking. I wonder what other cliches are historically false, but dominate the portrayal in entertainment? Like did archers ever use flaming arrows or is that a lie too?

    So what do you do? Seek the historical truths or conform to false modern interpretations?
    Not lies as such, just errors that get perpetuated. It happens very easily. If memory serves there was a famous case around the 1920s in which an anthropologist did research on the traditional clothing of Native Americans. It turned out they got their style of dress from Hollywood, who got it who knows where.

    Whether you want your drawings historically accurate or not depends, I suppose, on their purpose. And illustration for a book on history will obviously be different from a fantasy graphic novel.

    For all these things, there are resources that will give you historically accurate information, but they can be difficult to get hold of. You might have to contact a university.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Jesus wasn't a white guy.
    Of course he was!









    See? Five minutes on Google provides ample proof that Jesus was an Aryan. The only remaining question is whether he was blond.

    We can prove in similar manner that Vikings wore horns on their helmets too... ;-)

    http://www.google.co.za/search?um=1&...0l0l0l0l0l0ll0

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    Medieval hoses were not really that form fitting, since they were woven, not knitted. They were the skinny jeans of the middle age.

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    Horns or not, the helmets and gear had certain design and style elements, that is what counts and the horns, well, feel free to beautify the design.

    All the armors, weapons and cloths you see in the movies and games today are mostly re-designs because a lot of the old original gear looks somewhat lame by today's standards.
    Unless you work on something historically correct you have artistic freedom.
    But you also should note that not everything was normed, there may even be viking helmets with horns attached as there were a lot of other very untypical and customized gear. Just google the lantern shield for example, how cool is that.

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    Yeah in this case I'm doing an entertainment design so it doesn't have to be 100% historically accurate. I was just curious what you guys thought because it was strange how one of the most iconic viking features might have been fake.

    That lantern shield is one of the coolest things I've heard of, thanks for sharing.

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    Vikings were primarily farmers in reality, how's that for unglamorous...

    And Jesus was Jewish.

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    Greeble

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    Quote Originally Posted by visoutre View Post
    who came up with the idea of giving vikings horned helmets and why would they do that?
    I forgot where I heard this, probably either school or on the History Channel, but the horns came about in operas. The viking characters in German operas were always portrayed wearing those helmets, and then next that image began showing up in book illustrations and paintings, then later on in movies. Sort of like with the Jesus pictures above, it's just art affecting peoples perceptions of reality.

    Last edited by biglu; July 18th, 2011 at 02:10 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Eater View Post
    Heh, I remember how disappointed I was when I found that out too. Having been brought up on Asterix and Hagar.
    Tut tut, Asterix is a Gaul!



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    ...and Paul Revere was eating popcorn at the Rex Drive-In when the British were coming...and so on...and so on...

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    Picture by Gerry Embleton.

    "the Danes, thanks to their habit of combing their hair every day, of bathing every Saturday and regularly changing their clothes, were able to undermine the virtue of married women and even seduce the daughters of nobles to be their mistresses."

    Historical inaccuracy annoys me.

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    Well, this has couple things, like about what the pyramids actually looked new and that marble statues were apparently actually painted:
    http://www.cracked.com/article_18627...correctly.html

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    Personally, I tend toward historical accuracy, whether I'm doing an entertainment design or historical.

    Interesting (if somewhat confused) historical basis, from Wikipedia article "Viking":

    The latter-day mythos created by national romantic ideas blended the Viking Age with aspects of the Nordic Bronze Age some 2,000 years earlier. Horned helmets from the Bronze Age were shown in petroglyphs and appeared in archaeological finds (see Bohuslän and Vikso helmets). They were probably used for ceremonial purposes.[57]

    Name:  Bronze_Age_Helmets_Nationalmuseet_Copenhagen.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjesta View Post
    Tut tut, Asterix is a Gaul!
    Come on Kjesta, I said grew up on Asterix!

    They (Asterix and Obelix) encountered vikings in Asterix and the Great Crossing as well as Asterix and the Normans.

    Edit: And there was the animated Asterix and the Vikings.

    Last edited by Star Eater; July 14th, 2011 at 06:04 PM.
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    ...especially if you like your nuts where they are...


    Jeff', the helmets you posted...the positioning and form of the horns remind me more of an "extension" that a long ponytail "mane" or something similar would be inserted into to make the person appear to be more impressive maybe...

    Last edited by Ilaekae; July 14th, 2011 at 10:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by s.ketch View Post
    Greeble

    Space ships wouldn't have all that crap hanging off them. I blame 2001 and Star Wars.


    That looks pretty greebled to me (of course, they're not technically greebles, as they all do something). 2001 had a reasonably accurate depiction of what a space ship might look like. Anyone who wants to make a hard sci-fi space ship should take a look at this: http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/.

    Last edited by Meloncov; July 14th, 2011 at 11:17 PM.
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    horned helms were mostly for ceremonial purposes, spanning not only the germanic areas but also ancient mesopotamia. horns = close connection with gods and godly power for some reason.

    http://quizlet.com/2816367/ancient-n...t-flash-cards/

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    Just because we don't have any horned viking helmets, that does not mean that there were no horned viking helmets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae View Post
    ...especially if you like your nuts where they are...


    Jeff', the helmets you posted...the positioning and form of the horns remind me more of an "extension" that a long ponytail "mane" or something similar would be inserted into to make the person appear to be more impressive maybe...
    Good call Ilaekae - I wouldn't be surprised at all if they didn't put dyed horse tail and such in the ends...even looks like there is a place to wrap binding around after the "flange".

    Cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Just because we don't have any horned viking helmets, that does not mean that there were no horned viking helmets.

    Epistemology.... We don't know what we don't know.
    So the fact that we don't have any Viking light sabres and laser pistols doesn't mean the Vikings didn't have them? Cool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Jesus wasn't a white guy.
    Of course not-- Jah Rastafari was an Ethiopian. . .




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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Eater View Post
    Come on Kjesta, I said grew up on Asterix!

    They (Asterix and Obelix) encountered vikings in Asterix and the Great Crossing as well as Asterix and the Normans.

    Edit: And there was the animated Asterix and the Vikings.
    Ah, alright. I kind of jumped the gun assuming you meant Asterix himself, but of course he met the Vikings. (I have to confess though that I'm not a big fan of the animated films... Francobelgian BDs are simply cooler as paper!)



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    Re: Horns (etc) on helmets:
    Surviving armor is far more likely to be ceremonial/ornamental than actual combat armor. If you're going to be in close combat, the last thing you want is things sticking off of it that could easily get caught or hooked by an enemy's weapons, especially on a helmet, where your vision could be fatally obscured if it were knocked askew. Remember that, except for nobles and commanders who could stay well back from the front lines, historical warriors placed a lot more stock in protection and efficiency than looking cool.


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    It was Wagner and his operas that popularised the idea of the vikings having horned helmets.

    As a legitimate viking, I can say that when I saw the cover of Medieval Total War: Viking invasion - I facepalmed.

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    If you want to see some alternative designs for vikings, check out the comic Northlanders.

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    Not as much as a mindfuck as first founding out that greek statues were actually painted (and looked kinda tacky).



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