More than Blood and Bling: Our Many Visions of the Vikings

What does a 21st century Viking look like? Anthony Devlin/PA The Vikings have an enduring appeal in the popular and academic consciousness. By Dr. Steven Ashby / 03.06.2014 Professor of Archaeology University of York The Vikings have arrived at the British Museum. This exhibition, the first of its kind for decades, is notable for its scale and ambition. That[…]

Ragnar Shaggy-Trousers and Eystein Foul-Fart: The Truth behind Viking Names

© MGM With Vikings on trend, it’s high time for a masterclass on the bizarre world of their names. By Keith Ruiter / 02.18.2016 PhD Candidate in Scandinavian Studies University of Aberdeen Vikings are pretty trendy of late. Marvel’s Thor films, for example, gave Viking mythology the Hollywood treatment and plonked its characters in contemporary America. There have been multiple Viking exhibitions, and[…]

Scots and Irish May Have Settled Iceland a Century before the Vikings

Too late lads, the Scots are already there. Oscar Wergeland Iceland was one of the last island groups on Earth to be settled by people.  By Dr. Kristján Ahronson / 05.23.2015 Lecturer in Archaeology Bangor University Remarkably similar carvings and simple cross sculptures mark special sites or places once sacred, spanning a zone stretching from the Irish[…]

Vikings didn’t Find Faroes First – They Were 500 Years Late

Mikladalur, Faroe Islands / Photo by Davide Gorla, Wikimedia Commons The Faroe Islands could have been inhabited 500 years earlier than was previously thought.      By (left-to-right) Josephine Lethbridge, Dr. Andrew Jennings, and Dr. Mike Church / 08.20.2013 Lethbridge: Interdisciplinary Editor, The Conversation Jennings: Post-doctoral Research Associate in the UHI Centre for Nordic Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands Church: Senior[…]

Alfred the Great May Not Have Been So Great

The Last Kingdom. BBC/Carnival/Des Wille New research suggests his military achievements might have been exaggerated. By Dr. Stuart Brookes / 03.17.2017 Senior Research Associate in Archaeology University College London The Last Kingdom – BBC’s historical drama set in the time of Alfred the Great’s war with the Vikings – has returned to our screens for a second[…]

The Art and Architecture of Early Medieval Europe

Torhalle Lorsch / Photo by Immanuel Giel, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 04.29.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Early Middle Ages 1.1 – Introduction The Early Middle Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire and ended in the early 11th century; its art encompasses vast and divergent forms of media.[…]

How to Recreate a Viking Funeral – Minus the Human Sacrifice

Viking funerals remain shrouded in mystery. StockCube Why an intrepid trio went to the Isle of Eigg armed with Viking shields and poetry torecreate a funeral ceremony from 1000 years ago.      By (left-to-right) Carlos Galan-Diaz, Dr. Frances Wilkins, and Dr. Shane McCleod / 03.20.2015 Galan-Diaz: Research Impact Officer, University of Glasgow Wilkins: Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, University of Aberdeen McCleod: Impact Research Fellow, University of Stirling When most people[…]

Vikings Struck Deep into the West of England – and May Have Stuck Around

There’s something in the water. Shutterstock The reach of the Vikings in England went further than we thought. By Dr. Derek Gore / 04.18.2016 Teaching Fellow of Archaeology University of Exeter It’s well chronicled that wave after wave of Vikings from Scandinavia terrorised western Europe for 250 years from the end of the eighth century AD and wreaked particular havoc across vast areas of[…]

What Medieval Sources Reveal about the True Nature of the Vikings

Image via Shutterstock Much of what the English know about the Vikings comes from the court of King Alfred – who didn’t like them much. By Dr. Clare Downham / 04.26.2017 Senior Lecturer in Irish Studies University of Liverpool We’ve seen it all in documentaries and dramas. The Viking Age begins as hordes of Vikings leap ashore from their long-ships, in a lightening raid against defenceless clerics and lay[…]

What Does the Word ‘Viking’ Really Mean?

Late Viking Age Swedish rune-stone commemorating a man called Víkingr. Swedish National Heritage Board, Photo Bengt A. Lundberg, CC BY What the Old Norse for Viking can tell us about the Scandinavian explorers. By Dr. Judith Jesch / 04.05.2017 Professor of Viking Studies University of Nottingham We all know about the Vikings. Those hairy warriors from Scandinavia who raided and pillaged,[…]

Viking Men Weren’t the Only Travelers

Mum’s gone to Iceland. Creatista/Shutterstock The traditional picture of Vikings is one of boatloads of hairy men pillaging their way along the coasts of Europe.  True to some extent, they and Norsewomen were also explorers and settlers. By Dr. Daniel Zadik / 12.16.2014 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Nottingham The traditional picture of Vikings is one[…]