Vikings Invade Higgins Armory Museum – July 12, 2009

Higgins Armory Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts

I just got information about a fun event that will be taking place at Higgins Armory Museum. The Vikings will invade with presentations, activities and crafts for the kids.
Here’s the details:

Brandish a Sword, Create a Shield During Day-Long Event

Brandishing swords, shields, and broadaxes, the most famous raiders of medieval Europe, the Vikings, invade the Higgins Armory Museum on Saturday, July 18. This modern-day Viking Invasion features workshops, demonstrations, lectures and arts and crafts about this fascinating group of explorers, warriors, and merchants who colonized much of Europe from the late eighth to the early eleventh century. Dr. William R. Short, an author and scholar on the arms and combat techniques of the Vikings, will demonstrate Viking battle techniques and afterwards sign copies of his new book, Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques. For a complete list of programs and times, visit or call 508/853-6015 for more information.

“People like learning about Vikings, particularly kids,” says Short, who has studied medieval Icelandic literature, primarily the Sagas of Icelanders, and regularly demonstrates Viking combat techniques at the Higgins. “Their stories are exciting and there’s a bit of a fantasy element. But what’s most surprising to audiences (who watch our combat demonstrations) is how intensely they fought in combat.”

Short’s book provides insight into Viking history and culture as well as the importance of weaponry to their society and the Vikings’ impact on Europe through trade and expeditions. Short and members of the Higgins Armory Sword Guild will demonstrate Viking warrior combat skills during Vikings in Arms!, at 12:45 and 2:45 pm in the Higgins’ Sword Guild training room. Other programs include:

Axe, Sword and Shield!
Workshop, $10 per person
1pm, 3pm
Learn the skills that made the Vikings the most feared warriors in Europe. This one-hour hands-on workshop features the combat skills and battle tactics of the Vikings. Participants handle a sword and shield, a spear, and the fearsome Viking axe. Workshop open to ages 14 and up, or age 10 if accompanied by a participating parent. Space limited. For inquiries and reservations, contact Rhonda Houle at [email protected] or 508/853-6015 x20.

Women in Viking Times
Lecture, Free
11:30 am – Noon
Viking women were the most respected women of their time. Dr. William Short puts down his weapons to discuss the feminine side of Viking life, how Viking families lived, and the role of women in Viking society.

Viking Warrior Presentation
Free, 2-2:30 pm
Dr. William Short discusses the culture, daily life, and military equipment of this legendary and fearsome society. Afterwards, Short signs copies of Viking Weapons and Combat Technique. This exciting new book explores the history of the arms, armor, and individual fighting strategies of medieval Europe’s most feared warriors. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call 508-853-6015.

Arts & Crafts
Throughout the day
Kids create rune necklaces and Viking shields ($5 fee). For children ages 4+.

About the Higgins
The Higgins Armory Museum is the only American museum dedicated solely to the art of arms and armor. The museum’s 5,000 artifacts center on the arms and armor of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including comparable pieces from the ancient period and from around the world. The Higgins Armory Museum is located at 100 Barber Avenue; 508/853-6015. Admission: $9, adults; $7, children ages 6-16; $8, seniors, age 60+; free, children 5 and under, and members.

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