Georgina (infernallysly) wrote in little_details,

Viking names + forearm armour/jewellery

Setting is a fanstasy-esque world, something of a culture mishmash but leaning towards Western Europe/Scandinavia c. 800-1000 AD. I'm in the early stages of writing anyway so liable to change.

First, I'm researching Viking names and have found a good deal of information, but one thing I can't find is whether they are class-determined. I can find some specific names that were definitely used by higher-ranking Vikings by looking at historical figures and names in sagas/eddas, but would thralls/freemen and free landowners have used the same general stock of names (assuming that the thralls were not from overseas)? I've looked through a fair few books about Vikings and searched on the internet for "viking names thralls" and "viking names rank" and close variations. I've found a lot of name lists and explanations of how given and family names work, but no answer to the above question.

The second question is regarding a piece of armour worn on the forearm, of the sort that Spartan soldiers and Greek/Germanic gods are often depicted wearing. Something similar to this, perhaps made of leather or more confined to the wrist side of the forearm:

I've found out from looking up information about plate armour that it's called a vambrace in that context, but I hadn't heard the word before and I can't help thinking there must be a more common term that I can't remember. (Maybe I just don't read enough fantasy books...) What word could I use to convey the right idea without sending readers scurrying to the dictionary? And might there be a different word for something like this that's worn more for decoration, as jewellery, than for function?

I should also note that due to the vagueness of the setting I am not particularly concerned with correlation to a particular time period for either of these questions. Thanks in advance for your help.
Tags: 800s, 900s, europe: scandinavia, history (misc), ~jewelry, ~vikings

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