Flyting: The Rap Battles Of Vikings

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Not only did vikings engage in flyting, Japanese, Inuit and Arabian cultures may have as well. Flyting is the name for a ritualistic, poetic insult exchange, and was mainly practiced between the 5th and 16th centuries. The word comes from the Old English word flītan, which means "quarrel" (which itself comes from the Old Norse word flyta meaning "provocation"). Similar to the modern "rap battle," the ancient flyting exchanges would often become provocative, and include "accusations of cowardice or sexual perversion."

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. The ancient Vikings engaged in rap battles called "flyting." 07:17

  2. Ancient cultures with "rap battle" traditions include the Japanese, Inuit, Arabians, and Scottish. 07:48

  3. The Norse tradition of flyting dates back to the 5th century. 07:58

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