Culture

Flyting: The Rap Battles Of Vikings

Excited for today's eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews today!

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."

Share the knowledge!

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

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement