Sharing the History of The Viking Age, one podcast at a time. We are covering the History of Scandinavia during the Viking Age. We're exploring Raiding, Trading and Settlement of Scandinavians abroad as well as the culture and society of the Norse homelands. Join us to learn more than you ever thought you wanted to know about the people, for better or worse, history knows as the Vikings.
MOKVII - I Honor with Words of Truth that Lady
In this episode we conclude the Mother of Kings series by exploring several stories of royal mothers in Old Norse literature. We then bring things to close, tracing Gunnhild's fall from power and her mysterious fate. For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out the website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/i-honor-with-words
23/08/2019 • 58 minutes 6 seconds
Mother of Kings Supplement - Maiden Kings
In this supplemental episode, we explore a complex and fascinating set of characters found in several Sagas - the Maiden Kings. For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/maiden-kings
11/06/2019 • 46 minutes 41 seconds
Mother of Kings VI - The Mother of Kings
In this episode, we follow Gunnhild konungamóðir as her sons ascend to the Norwegian throne and she finally acquires her famous title. We will then examine the significant authority which Gunnhild enjoyed at this time, as well as how Icelandic authors chose to depict her use of power. Along the way we'll discuss ambitious young Icelanders, hygienic giantesses and the complex portrayal of women, sex and power in the Sagas. For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/mother-of-kings/
10/06/2019 • 55 minutes 32 seconds
Mother of Kings V - I Lay This Curse on You
In this episode, we return to the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir, exploring her time in exile in Denmark and her son's eventual return to power in Norway. We then turn our attention to the broader topic of women, power and magic in the Sagas. Along the way we discuss goat-illusions, magical yarn and cat-skin gloves as we explore several fantastic tales of magically-inclined Saga women. For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/i-lay-this-curse Check out our collaboration on the Going Viking Podcast: https://going-viking.com/2019/04/02/who-was-crowned-the-ultimate-viking-in-march-madness/ Noah Tetzner's excellent new The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide: <a href= "https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Edda-Study-Guide-ebook/dp/B07
10/04/2019 • 1 hour 19 minutes 52 seconds
Mother of Kings IV - A Woman of Great Dignity
In this episode, we continue to discuss the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir, tracing her path from Norway to Northern England and finally Denmark as her status was rapidly transformed from Royal to Refugee and back again. Along the way we encounter and discuss shapeshifters, scorn poles, unruly noblemen and treacherous kings. To wrap things up, we explore the presence and influence of households headed by independent woman in the Norse world, studying the life of Auð the Deepminded and seeing what runestones have to tell us about powerful woman in the Viking Age. For an excellent exploration of Runes and Runestones, please checkout the Rune Cast: http://www.runforum.nordiska.uu.se/runecast/ For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/a-woman-of-great-dignity
28/02/2019 • 1 hour 2 minutes 25 seconds
Mother of Kings III - Cold are the Counsels of Women
In this episode, we continue our exploration Gunnhild konungamóðir's life and legend, discussing the power of her words and the speech of powerful women throughout Old Norse Literature. Whether goading their male relatives to violence, advocating peace and accommodation, or pr
12/02/2019 • 1 hour 6 seconds
Mother of Kings II - A Woman Small of Stature yet Great of Counsel
In this episode, we dive into the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir - Mother of Kings - exploring the various stories regarding her origins and early years. Along the way there will be magic, drinking and strange happenings in the North as we meet Danish kings, Saami sor
29/01/2019 • 47 minutes 42 seconds
Mother of Kings I - The Threshold
In this episode, we set off on a new mini-series exploring the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir - Mother of Kings - and other powerful women in Old Norse Literature. This first installment doesn't touch too much on Gunnhild herself, but instead sets up some background information. Specifically, today we focus on the way gender is described and depicted in Sagas and Law codes, exploring some fascinating prose and poetry along the way. I hope you enjoy. For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/the-threshold
15/01/2019 • 1 hour 19 minutes 49 seconds
Eastern Way IV - Gamla Uppsala
In this episode we are going to explore the rise of a major center of political, economic and religious life in the land of the Svear - the magnate's residence at Gamla Uppsala. Along the way, we'll discuss monumental burial mounds, systems of iron age land-rights and the deaths of many, many kings. I hope you enjoy. More information and a full list of sources used in this episode can be found on our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/gamla-uppsala/
09/11/2018 • 1 hour 1 minute 16 seconds
Eastern Way III - Catastrophe and Opportunity
The 6th Century was a period of unrest and reorganization throughout Scandinavia. In this episode we are going to explore the evidence we have for these dynamic years and what may have caused this unrest. Ultimately, we want to discover how this era may have led to the establishment of powerful ruling dynasties like those who constructed Gamla Uppsala. Along the way we'll talk about the sun going dark, explore the benefits of burying your wealth and the discuss the possible origins of a truly monstrous winter. For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, please visit our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/catastrophe-and-opportunity/
25/09/2018 • 1 hour 3 minutes
Eastern Way II - Gods and Kings
In this episode we explore the mythical history of the Svear, as it is related to us by the ever-entertaining Snorri Sturluson. Along the way we discuss Divine Kings, Deadly Vats of Meads and even a Half-Giant-Magical-Oxen-Son plough-team. Believe it or not, these fantastical, fictional tales lead us to some rather more concrete evidence about life and politics in the land of the Svear in the years leading up to the Viking Age. For more information, maps and a full list of sources used for this episode, visit our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/gods-and-kings/
11/09/2018 • 54 minutes 40 seconds
The Eastern Way I
In this episode we begin our exploration of the Baltic Sea region by examining two very different sources of evidence which point to early Viking activities in the Eastern Baltic. First we discuss a dramatic tale which has come down to us from the pen of everyone's favorite Icelandic author, Snorri Sturluson. This story centers around a certain Yngvarr, King of the Svear, and traces his dramatic demise at the hands of the Eistr. We then step out of the world of literature and into the dirt to explore a remarkable archeological find which was recently uncovered on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. We talk monumental graves, ancient ships, informative skeletons and even discuss how we really are what we eat. If you enjoyed this episode, you'll probably enjoy these other wonderful Viking Podcasts: Saga Thing <a href= "https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-history-of-vikings/id1
28/08/2018 • 55 minutes 30 seconds
COA16 - Snorri Sturluson, Big Farmers & the End of the Icelandic Free State
In this episode we conclude our series on Iceland by discussing the rapid changes which shook the Icelandic political system in the 1200s. We discuss the likely causes of these changes, explore the life and times of our good friend Snorri Sturluson and examine the impact that this time period may have had for our own understanding of Icelandic history. For more information and a full list of sources, checkout our website at: http://vikingagepodcast.com/snorri-sturluson
05/06/2018 • 46 minutes 29 seconds
COA15 - Poetry and Remembrance
In this episode, we explore poets and poetry in the Norse world, focusing particularly on the role they played in preserving history, myth and legend. Along the way we see what happens when you eat a fish's head, unlock the meaning of confounding Skaldic verses and hear what Snorri Sturluson had to say about poets and their role in preserving history. For more information and a full list of sources, see our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/poetry-and-remembrance/
15/05/2018 • 52 minutes 5 seconds
COA14b - Creating the Icelanders
In this episode - the second of two parts - we explore the continued Christianization of Iceland in the 1100s with a particular focus on the development of literate culture and the implications of this new culture on Icelandic Society. Today, we explore how the written laws, language and history of this period worked to create the idea of the Icelanders as a distinct and unique people. <div class= "public-DraftStyleDefault-block public-DraftStyleDefault-ltr"
01/05/2018 • 37 minutes 15 seconds
COA14a - Tithes they are a Changin'
In this episode - the first of two parts - we explore the continued Christianization of Iceland in the 1100s with a particular focus on the development of literate culture and the implications of this new culture on Icelandic Society. If you are jonesing for more Vikings goodness, you should check out the interview I gave on
24/04/2018 • 36 minutes 20 seconds
COA13 - The Christianization of Iceland
In this episode we are going to discuss the first hundred years or so of the Christianization process in Iceland. We will discuss Chieftains, Priests, Churches and the aspirations of one particularly ambitious Icelandic family. More information and a full list of sources can be found on our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/christianization-of-iceland
03/04/2018 • 52 minutes 52 seconds
COA12 - The Conversion of the Icelanders
In this episode we dive headfirst into an event still which profoundly colors and shapes our understanding of the Norse world today. That's right - it's time to discuss the Conversion of the Icelanders which took place at the Althing of 999 or 1000CE. More information and a full list of sources for this episode can be found at: https://vikingagepodcast.com/conversion-of-icelanders <div class="_2TO-components-SimpleRichTextEditor--paragraphElement" data-block="true" data-editor="5j
20/03/2018 • 53 minutes 8 seconds
COA11 - Christ Comes to Iceland
In this episode we explore the early history of Christianity in Iceland. Along the way we talk about kings, prophets, prominent Christian settlers, and missionary methods employed in the Early Middle Ages. Finally we will introduce Thangbrand - the mildly-homicidal missionary sent to Iceland by the Norwegian King Olaf Tryggvason. This week's recommended reading is Power and Conversion by Alexandra Sanmark. In this excellent book Professor Sanmark provides a detailed, readable and fascinating account of the conversion of Scandinavia. Even more interestingly, she also explores the similarities and differences between the Scandinavian conversions and those of Anglo Saxon England and Saxony. Plus - Professor Sanmark has provided a PDF of this excellent work for free online! For more information and a full list of sources please visit our website at:
06/03/2018 • 1 hour 2 minutes 47 seconds
COA10 - Law and Belief in Pagan Iceland
In this episode we conclude our discussion on Pagan practice in Iceland by exploring the close connections between the law and pagan beliefs. Along the way we talk about oath rings, the assemblies of the gods and a rather nasty conflict revolving around excrement. Our recommended reading for this week is Viking Law and Order by Alexandra Sanmark. In this readable and beautifully illustrated book, Professor Sanmark reviews the latest archeological evidence for þing-sites throughout Scandinavia. This book highlights the similarities and differences of these sites and provides an excellent guide to these important locations. You should pick it up. For more information and a full list of sources see our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/law-and-belief-in-pagan-iceland
13/02/2018 • 54 minutes 48 seconds
Looking Forward - We need your input!
I've been working away at future episodes for our Iceland series and I'm realizing that I need to start thinking about what we cover next on the podcast. To help with that choice, I want to get your input. In this not-episode episode I talk through some of the different options and it's up to you to vote for your favorite here:</s
05/02/2018 • 8 minutes 8 seconds
COA09 - Ritual and Sacrifice in Pagan Iceland
In this episode we explore what our sources have to tell us about sacrifice and ritual in Pagan Iceland. Along the way we discuss the method and purpose of sacrifice and the how this may have impacted Icelandic society. Our recommended reading for this week is A Piece of Horse Liver by Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson. A collection of essays concerning Myth, Ritual and Folklore this book includes some excellent and very readable breakdowns of the most important information we have about Pagan practice in Iceland. Highly recommended. For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/ritual-and-sacrifice-pagan-iceland
30/01/2018 • 50 minutes 57 seconds
COA08 - Bringing Thor to Iceland
In this episode we continue our exploration of Pagan Practice in Iceland by taking a look at religious roles and responsibilities held by some of the first Icelandic settlers and how these roles translated to their new home. Our recommended reading for this episode is the excellent The Viking Diaspora by Judith Jesch. This has been one of my major sources for the entire Children of Ash series and now seems like a good time to introduce it. An essential resource for information about the Icelandic Free State and the ongoing connections between the Norse colonies throughout the North Atlantic. For more information and a full list of sources check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/bringing-thor-to-iceland
16/01/2018 • 42 minutes 44 seconds
COA07 - Chieftains and Temples
In this episode we begin to explore Pagan practice in Iceland, focusing on the religious roles of the goðar. In this first episode we will be discussing: - The role played by the goðar in the conversion of Iceland. - A rune stone attesting to an early Danish goðar. - A remarkable cult building at Uppkåra in South Western Sweden. - The close ties between political and religious power in Viking Age Scandinavia. Recommended reading for this episode is Pre-Christian cult at aristocratic residences and settlement complexes in Southern Scandinavia in the 3rd – 10th centuries AD by Lars Jørgensen. It provides an excellent overview of major Scandinavian Central Places and possible cult activities which took place at them. There are also some fantastic illust
02/01/2018 • 39 minutes 52 seconds
COA06 - Icelandic Law and Culture II: The People of Eyri
In this episode we continue to explore the dynamics of power, violence and law in Viking Age Iceland. We will do so by discussing many of the conflicts found in Saga of the People of Eyri. Along the way we will cover: A curious young farmer who is mauled by a mysterious spirit. Some legally questionable handshake deals. The legal and social relationships which tied together goðar and free farmers. The limits of a goði's power and the consequences of exceeding them. A murder on a hay-stack. For more information, resources and a map please visit: http://vikingagepodcast.com/the-people-of-eyri I hope you enjoy.
29/11/2017 • 1 hour 6 minutes 27 seconds
COA05 - Icelandic Law and Culture I: Mord the Fiddle
In this episode we dive into the gritty details of Icelandic law, culture and politics by looking at the tale of Mord the Fiddle from Njal's Saga. Along the way we talk about marriage in the Viking Age, the definition of a hundred and the importance of moderation and compromise in Icelandic Politics. The "Recommended Reading" for this week is actually Recommended Listening. I cannot recommend enough the Epic 12-part breakdown of Njal's Saga done by the excellent Saga Thing Podcast. Check out their website or search for Saga Thing Podcast on your podcast player of choice. For more information and Works Cited for this episode check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/mord-the-fiddle
03/11/2017 • 55 minutes 6 seconds
VS04 - The Ghost of Thorolf Twist-Foot
In this Halloween special we tell one of the spookiest ghost stories we find in the Icelandic Sagas - the story of Thorolf Twist-Foot as told in the Saga of the People of Eyri. The Saga of the People of Eyri is fantastic. My favorite English translation can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RI9XZQ/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o03_?ie=UTF8&psc=1
25/10/2017 • 20 minutes 52 seconds
COA04 - The Icelandic Free State
In this episode we explore the offices and institutions which made up the Icelandic Free State. Through comprehensive legal codes, accepted traditions and customs and regular, predictable assembly the Icelanders were able to govern themselves for over three centuries without a king, head chieftain or any other executive authority to speak of. How did they do it? Well, that’s what we are going to talk about today. This week’s recommended reading is near and dear to my heart. Viking Age Iceland by Jesse Byock is the definitive single volume history of the Icelandic Free State in English. Moving topically, Professor Byock explores all aspects of life in Iceland during the Viking Age. For anyone interested in learning more about Iceland during this period this book is a must read. Plus, you can see first hand
18/10/2017 • 53 minutes 52 seconds
COA03 - Conflict and Things in Early Iceland
In this week's episode we explore the growing number of challenges faced by the Icelanders as the landnám period drew to a close in the 930s. We will then take a long look at the key components of the institution the Icelanders turned to in order to solve that problem - the thing. Along the way we will talk about beheadings over fish, witness a chieftain get given a bloody nose by a silver-wielding farmer and we will even examine the ever dodgy - if very helpful - writings of Cornelius Tacitus. This week's recommended reading is Debating the Thing in the North - a collection of papers edited by Alexandra Sanmark, Frode Iversen, Natascha Mehler and Sarah Semple. Covering a wide range of topics, including the origins of the thing
04/10/2017 • 52 minutes 27 seconds
COA02 - Taking Land in Iceland
In this week’s episode we explore the initial settlement of Iceland. We’ll talk about who settled the island, when they settled down and begin our discussion of the society they created. To kick us off we are going to explore this topic by example by exploring the settlement led by Unn the Deepminded - one of the most remarkable figures from the Viking Age. More details, works cited and recommended reading can be found on our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/taking-land-in-iceland/
20/09/2017 • 54 minutes 43 seconds
COA01 - The Discovery of Iceland
In this episode we will be exploring the initial discovery of Iceland by Norse Sailors in the mid-800s. First - we set the stage by discussing the literary and historical legacy of Iceland and discussing why it is so important to understand the culture of the island before using the amazing works which were written there in t
06/09/2017 • 45 minutes 2 seconds
The Children of Ash
We are back! This is simply a quick update episode to catch everyone back up to speed and set the stage for our next series of episodes. Those episodes are going to cover the Discovery, Settlement and Development of Iceland. This will all serve as part of our quest to understand why the Sagas, Myths and Legends of Pagan Scandina
06/09/2017 • 8 minutes
VS03 - The Story of Harald Finehair III
In this episode we conclude the story of Harald Finehair and we take a look at what life looked in Harald's Norway was like. Along the way we encounter more berserkar, polygamy and lots and lots of chieftain's fleeing Norway for the greener pastures of Iceland.
06/07/2017 • 46 minutes 48 seconds
VS02 - The Story of Harald Finehair II
In this episode we trace King Harald Finehair's rise to power as he conquers his way up the Eastern Edge of Norway and then back down the West Coast. Along that way the young, shaggy king will kill, negotiate and bully his way into the history books. Plus - this being the Viking Age Podcast - we also discuss some myths around the berserkir and Harald's administrative innovations! For those who want to learn more about the Berserkar - check out this excellent MA Thesis by Roderick Dale: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/28819/
21/06/2017 • 50 minutes 16 seconds
Viking Stories 01 - The Story of Harald Finehair I
Welcome to the first episode of our Viking Stories series. Today we will be explore the early life of Harald Finehair the first King of Norway. You can download a free PDF with additional information about the events discussed in this episodes here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz9Rd-bR8nwOSkZxeUpycG9fMlU For more information about this episode and others, visit us at: http://vikingagepodcast.com
07/06/2017 • 49 minutes 55 seconds
A Quick Update
It has been far too long since our last episode! In this short update we'll talk about why it has been so long and what is planned for the future.
06/06/2017 • 5 minutes 22 seconds
33 - A Journey Through Society: The Lay of Rig
In this episode we begin to explore the gritty details of Norse society in the Viking Age by reading the Eddic Poem Rigsthula. Along the way we will talk about cross-dressing, lumpy bread and generally introduce our discussion about Viking Age Society and how factors like gender, class and status could impact one's place within it.
03/05/2017 • 37 minutes 38 seconds
32 - Anniversary Q&A
In this episode we answer listener questions to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the podcast! Curious why Lee cares about the Viking Age? Want to know about Viking Age Textiles? Is there any truth to those damned horned helmets? All this and more will be revealed. For links to a bunch of useful stuff checkout the show notes here:
12/04/2017 • 55 minutes 56 seconds
31 - The Viking Soul
In this episode we get deep into the weeds and examine some intriguing clues as to what Pagan Scandinavians may have though about the soul. We talk about decorated helmets, battles with bears and women who are taller than the mountains. Along the way we will hopefully get a little closer to understanding the nature of the Viking worldview. This episode is a little different, but I hope you enjoy!
04/04/2017 • 50 minutes 57 seconds
30 - Fate in the Viking Age - Viking Worlds III
In this episode we talk about the role of fate in the minds of Viking Age Scandinavians. We will talk about Ragnarok, Individual Destiny and the dictators of fate themselves, the Norns. Then we'll conclude the episode by talking about the relationship between Fate, honor and reputation.
16/03/2017 • 44 minutes 49 seconds
29 - Denmark at the Dawn of the Viking Age - Viking Worlds II
In this episode we take a birds-eye view of the natural and human landscape of Denmark at the Dawn of the Viking Age. We'll talk about geography, settlement and set the stage for our future discussions about all the gritty details of life in the Viking Age.
02/03/2017 • 43 minutes 26 seconds
28 - Viking Worlds I - Myth and Midgard
In this episode we explore the importance of Myth within Viking Age Scandinavia. Specifically we talk about Pagan world views and how the stories we classify as Norse Mythology give us an insight into those views. We'll discuss our sources for these myths and then dive headfirst into the Norse creation myth.
23/02/2017 • 43 minutes 20 seconds
27 - Charlemagne and the Saxon Wars Pt 2 - Carolingian Viking Age V
In this episode we conclude our discussion about the reign of Charlemagne and his 30 year-long war against the Saxons. This time, we dive into the meat of the Saxon wars, talking about the various campaigns, rebellions and mass executions which marked this brutal conflict. Then, we turn our attention to how Charlemagne and the Franks ruled Saxony once it was conquered, with particular attention paid to how central religion was to the Carolingian ideology of rule. In many ways the Kingdom of the Franks resembled a theocracy, and we explore this in depth in this episode.
02/02/2017 • 50 minutes 11 seconds
26 - Charlemagne and the Saxon Wars Pt 1 - Carolingian Viking Age IV
In this episode we talk about the reign of Charlemagne and his three decade long war against the Saxons. We'll talk about the early years of Charlemagne's rule - and explore just why he decided to go to war against the Saxons. Along the way we talk about the pre-Christian life in Saxony and why conversion was such an important goal for the King of the Franks.
19/01/2017 • 47 minutes 40 seconds
25 - The Carolingians get a Crown - Carolingian Viking Age III
In this episode we will witness a Carolingian ruler, Pippin the Short, finally take his seat on the throne of the Frankish Kingdom. Before we get there, first we will take a look at the early career of Pippin and his brother Carloman, as they secure their grip on the Kingdom their father had left them. We'll see how, thanks perhaps to guilt and piety, Pippin was catapulted onto the top of the political ladder and why he decided to take the crown. Then we'll talk about the problems of being a usurper - coups are never easy and we'll see how Pippin was able to use the endorsement of the Pope to secure his position and leave the Kingdom of the Franks to his sons. There is a lot to cover, and with it, we move ever closer to returning to the stories the Northern Neighbors of the Franks.
12/01/2017 • 44 minutes
24 - The Rise of Charlie the Hammer - Carolingian Viking Age II
In this episode we will explore the decline of Merovingian power and the rise of the Carolingian dynasty. Specifically, we will see how a lack of strong Merovingian rulers in the 600s led to the unchecked rise of Aristocratic wealth and power - much of which was concentrated in the hands of the Mayor of the Palace. We will then see happened when the Carolingian dynasty got their hands on this high office - and specifically the remarkable career of the first Carolingian ruler - Charles Martel. For more, you can always see us online at: vikingagepodcast.com.
05/01/2017 • 1 hour
23 - Carolingian Viking Age I - The Rise of the Franks
In this episode we introduce the Carolingian Viking Age and then plot the rise of the Frankish Kingdoms to set the stage for rise of the Carolingian Empire. Along the way we will witness the Rise of Clovis, discuss the process of Ethnogenesis and take a look at the career of the infamous Merovingian Queen, Brunhild of Austrasia. For more information on the Fall of the Western Roman Empire: https://www.amazon.com/Inheritance-Rome-Illuminating-400-1000-Penguin/dp/0143117424/ref=sr_1_1
15/12/2016 • 1 hour 10 minutes 42 seconds
22 - The Heathens still at Duhblinn: Of Viking Longphorts
In this episode we explore the construction, function and purpose of the Viking Longphorts which were established in Eastern Ireland in 841 CE. These sites, Linn Duachaill in County Louth and Duhblinn, give us a fascinating view into the lives of early Vikingar in Ireland and allow us to see how their role changed after the establishment of permanent bases. Along the way we will see Irish Kings go to war with swords and bishops staffs and witness the importance of Horses to Viking warfare.
01/12/2016 • 36 minutes 3 seconds
21 - The Life and Legend of Turgeis
In this episode we talk about the Life and Legend of the infamous Viking Chieftain - Turgeis. From 838 to 845 CE we are told that Turgeis, a Chieftain from Norway ruled the Vikingar in Ireland. He led a royal fleet to ravage the North of Ireland. He and his forces usurped the Abbacy of Armagh and his Wife Ota is said to have performed Pagan rituals on the altar of Clonmacnoise. Turgeis has been the boogie-man of the Irish Viking Age ever since. But how much of this tale is actually the stuff of legend? Well, you'll just have to listen to the episode to find out.
17/11/2016 • 31 minutes 9 seconds
20 - Swords and Ships
In this episode we are going to explore the years following the great raid on Armagh in 832. Along the way we will talk about Irish kings burning monasteries, St. Brigid and her Abbey at Kildare and of course the great fleet of 120 ships which arrived in Eastern Ireland in 837 CE.
03/11/2016 • 37 minutes 8 seconds
19 - Armagh
In this week’s episode we explore the circumstances around the plundering of the great monastery of Armagh by Vikingar in 832 CE. In that year the monastery, which lies 30 miles from the coast, subjected to Viking raids three times in a single month. Things are clearly getting crazy in Ireland. Along the way we will explore the history of Armagh, we will bring ourselves up to speed on the native Irish political situation, and cover some of the more minor Viking raids and battles which took place in Ireland between 826 and 832. I hope you enjoy.
20/10/2016 • 41 minutes 36 seconds
18 - Into the Unknown: Silver and Status in the Viking Age
In this episode we are once again going to return to Western Norway, and explore what may have motivated young Norwegians to go a Viking. In the past we have established the material motivations behind going a Viking. Acquiring Gold and Silver allowed the leaders of expeditions to attract followers and cement political power. For the followers, such easily portable, durable wealth was extremely useful when conducting marriage negotiations. Today, we look at the less tangible impacts of going a Viking. Namely - the fame, prestige and increased status which came from returning home from a successful journey abroad. Along the way we will learn about Odin and Mead of Poetry, Explore poems from the Icelandic Sagas and even dip our toes into the depths of the Archeological Record. I hope you enjoy.
13/10/2016 • 49 minutes 30 seconds
17 - The Martyrdom of Blathmac
In this episode we are going to return to the roots of Vikingar activity by following a series of Viking raids on Irish monasteries which were conducted in the early 820s. This will lead us nicely to the main focus of today’s episode - the Martyrdom of the Irish Aristocrat turned Monk Blathmac. Along the way we will encounter saintly bones gilded in gold, possible monkish hunger strikes and the several trickily pronounced words. I hope you enjoy.
29/09/2016 • 28 minutes 41 seconds
16 - Law & Order: Viking Unit
If this episode we are going to look at captive taking and slavery in the Viking Age. Buckle your seat belts, this is going to be a dark one. Along the way we’ll mourn the death of King Aed of Tara, introduce the Abbasid Caliphate and tell the story of a monk named Findan. First though we’ll need to return to Ireland, and catch up on events there during the 8 years between 813 and 821 CE which saw a lull in Vikingar activity. Then we’ll then move forward and look at what happened when Vikingar finally returned, focusing on a new tactic which may only have been possible thanks to the fledgling Norse bases in Scotland. Namely: The taking of captives for ransom or slavery.
22/09/2016 • 36 minutes 27 seconds
15 - A Viking Kingdom in Scotland?
In today’s episode we try to answer a simple question: While some groups of Vikingar were busy raiding monasteries and fighting pitched battles in Ireland throughout the first half of the ninth century, what was going on to the North in Scotland? In other words, what did the early Viking Age look like in Scotland? The answer to this question is much more complex than it first seems, as we confront a lack of evidence and conflicting information. Along the way to answering this question we’ll meet the Picts, the Gaels of Dal Riata and explore what happened as Western Norwegians began to settle the North of Scotland.
15/09/2016 • 35 minutes 23 seconds
14 - The Viking Age Heats Up
This episode is packed full of Irish Viking Age goodness as we track the escalation of Viking activity in Ireland from 807 - 813. Along the way we explore what the Irish were up to while the Vikingar were busy raiding in the Scottish Hebrides, the first raids on the West Coast and a series of bloody skirmishes between Vikingar crews and Irish warbands.
08/09/2016 • 30 minutes 5 seconds
13 - My Big Fat Viking Wedding
In this episode we seeking an answer to a simple question: Why on Earth would a Norwegian Farmer join his local lord on a Viking Raid? In our explorations we will discuss Gold and Silver, Marriage Negotiations and old Icelandic Law Codes. We'll talk about Marriage today and Marriage in the Viking Age. Hopefully, by the end of this episode, we will come away with a better understanding of what motivated young Scandinavians in the Viking Age to drop everything and go Viking.
07/08/2016 • 36 minutes 34 seconds
12 - Iona
In this episode we see the Vikings shift their focus north, from Ireland to to the Inner Hebrides and a target which, from the perspective of the Vikings, must have been almost too good to be true. We are speaking of course about the great monastery of Iona. We'll explore the raids in 795 CE and 802 CE - and then the details and psychological and material impact of the brutal Viking Raid of 806 CE. Along the way we will also meet St. Columba and his journey from bad-boy churchman to missionary saint. It should be fun, why don't you give it a listen? As promised in the episode, here is a helpful map to help you keep things straight!
25/07/2016 • 28 minutes 58 seconds
11 - The Devastation of all the Islands of Britain
In this episode we are going to explore what happens when our favorite scruffy farmers-turned-part-time-sea-raiders collide headlong with Irish Society. Along the way we tke a look at the nature of our sources, a funny story about St. Patrick and the intricacies of a Cattle Raid. By the end of the episode you will also know the proper plural form of Vikingr.
18/07/2016 • 29 minutes 10 seconds
10 - Viking Age Ireland
In this episode we get the lay of the political, religious and social landscape of Viking Age Ireland. Now, while it might seem excessive to spend an entire episode on Ireland in a Podcast about Vikings, it is essential to understand the nature of Irish politics and culture prior to the arrival of Scandinavians. Spending time on this now will help us put Norse-Irish interaction into perspective, and help to explain the sometimes surprising role that Scandinavians were to play in Ireland over the coming centuries. Plus, this stuff is just plain interesting! So I hope you enjoy.
11/07/2016 • 26 minutes 25 seconds
9 - Politics and Power
In this episode we explore the politics of Western Norway at the Dawn of The Viking Age. Our aim is to discover the nature conflict, cooperation and competition between the chiefdoms and petty kingdoms of the area which would later become Norway. To do this we look at the nature of power as expressed by Western Norwegians themselves, in the form of Skaldic poetry. Along the way we look at battles, ravens and lavish gifts. We will explore a Viking Age battle field as well as a chieftain's longhouse. By the end of it, we will have a good idea why aristocratic Norwegians decided to go a Viking around 800 CE.
27/06/2016 • 31 minutes 19 seconds
8 - The North Way at the Dawn of the Viking Age (Part One)
In this episode we explore the history of landscape and peoples of Western Norway at the Dawn of the Viking Age. We will follow the coast of Norway on a journey with a Norwegian Chieftain, and discuss slaves, tenant farmers and petty Kings. Along the way we will determine whether or not overpopulation and lack of arable land were the determining factors behind the initial Viking Raids in the early 800s CE.
10/06/2016 • 34 minutes 2 seconds
7 - The Viking Age Begins
That’s right! We have made it to the Dawn of the Viking Age! In this episode we will explore the first Viking Raids on Western Europe - the killing of the King’s Reeve in Portland in Dorset, and the Notorious Sacking of the Monastery of Lindisfarne. We will talk about the bloody events themselves, the reactions of Western Europeans to the attacks, and set the stage for a discussion of the causes of these Viking Raids. I hope you are as excited as I am. Let’s do it!
27/05/2016 • 29 minutes 8 seconds
The Viking Age Dawns - A Few Announcements
New timeline, new release schedules and new logos - Oh My! Three short minutes - then back to the Viking Age!
27/05/2016 • 4 minutes 6 seconds
6 - The Iron Age
In this episode we are going to do a lightning-tour through the Scandinavian Iron Age - beginning around 500 BCE and ending around 800 CE with the first Viking Raids. This period, spanning over 1000 years, is chocked full of political, technological, economic and cultural change in the North. The goal of this episode is to provide a baseline understanding of the period which directly preceded the Viking Age, not for the test, but rather to give you a framework to work from when I start blabbering on about the Iron Age in later episodes.
17/05/2016 • 30 minutes 51 seconds
5 - A Song of Bronze and Politics
In this episode we are going to explore the Game of Chiefdoms in the Nordic Bronze Age. Specifically look at the growing social and economic stratification which is defining of this age. We will look at how such inequality in wealth and power can develop, how such power can be maintained once achieved and the consequences of this growing inequality on society at large.
10/05/2016 • 32 minutes 48 seconds
4 - Ard Times (Come Again No More)
In this episode we will becovering the period from about 3500 - 2800 BCE, when Agriculturereally took hold in Scandinavia. We will explore what settlementpatterns emerged, how agriculture was practiced and how thenewly-minted Scandinavian farmers formed a relationship with theland they cultivated.In the process we will learn about the impact of Polished FlintAxes and the Ard, take a tour of a Stone Age Farmhouse and becomeacquainted with the construction of Megalithic tombs which arestill visible today, almost 6000 years later.The farming life was hard duringthis period, and the goal of this episode is to both bring thatstark reality to life. While doing so we will also explore some ofthe ways in which early Farmers adapted to this life, and the waysin which created relationships with their own past as well as theland they worked.
03/05/2016 • 24 minutes 11 seconds
3 - From Foragers to Farmers
In this episode we explore the transition from Hunting and
Gathering to Agriculture in Scandinavia. Along the way we encounter
conflicting hypotheses, meager evidence and a story about Status
The Agricultural revolution has been called the most important
invention in Human history, so it feels only fair that we spend an
episode exploring the potential causes in Scandinavia.
26/04/2016 • 21 minutes 22 seconds
2 - Of Reindeer And (Fisher) Men
This is the first episode in a series about the history of Scandinavia before the Viking Age. We are starting
today with the arrival of the first Reindeer Hunters in Southern Scandinavia around 13,000 BCE and culminating in a few weeks with the Germanic Iron Age ending around 700CE.
This week we will explore the story of the first Scandinavians, and take a look at what their lives were like in the post-glacial landscape of the north. We'll follow them as they colonize the entire Western Coast of Scandinavia and successfully exploit the lands and seas they inhabited as sources of plentiful, varied food stuffs. Life as a Hunter Gatherer in Stone Age Scandinavia was pretty good, and this week will explore why.
In the process we will look at their settlement patterns, burial practices and heavy reliance upon the sea for both transport and sustinance. These themes will remain of the utmost importance to us well through the Viking Age, and we get to explore them at even this early date.
18/04/2016 • 22 minutes 39 seconds
1 - Welcome To The Viking Age
Thrilled to announce the first episode of the Viking Age Podcast! In this episode we do an extremely high-level survey of the themes of the Viking Age, including Raids, Settlement, Trading and Life in Scandinavia. We then trace where the podcast is going, and what the aim is. I hope you enjoy.