In the eleventh century there existed, within the great army of the Byzantine empire, a regiment composed mainly of soldiers from Scandinavia and the Nordic countries. This regiment was known as the Varangian Guard
As Season 4 of Vikings is readying to raid our TV screens, we will try and show how their writer Michael Hirst and his team of historical advisers do not limit their endeavour to Norse Mythology, royal genealogies and other sagas. Indeed they stray far away, deep into the recesses of time. As we say a long, long time ago …
Berserk for berserkir: Introducing Combat Trauma to the Compendium of Theories on the Norse Berserker
Excavating Past Population Structures by Surname-Based Sampling: The Genetic Legacy of the Vikings in Northwest England
The method of historical surname-based ascertainment promises to allow investigation of the influence of migration and drift over the last few centuries in changing the population structure of Britain and will have general utility in other regions where surnames are patrilineal and suitable historical records survive.
Apart from brief accounts of attacks on Lindisfarne and Donemutha in the 790s, there are almost no accounts of Viking attacks on Anglo-Saxon monasteries in contemporary sources. There are however many in twelfth century sources, most of them fictive or largely so. This article tries to explain why twelfth-century authors found it so important to invent stories of Viking brutality towards monks and nuns and what ideas and material they used to create their stories
In their quest for silver, the Vikings discovered and accessed valuable trade routes to Constantinople that led to an extensive trade exchange with the Arab world. Seizing upon the opportunity to enrich themselves, the Vikings came into contact with Arabic wealth and treasures through their raids, and soon realized the potential of a peaceful trade exchange.