The Vikings on the Continent in Myth and History

viking ship - photo by John Lillis / Flickr

This article examines the evidence for the Vikings’ supposed cruelty, cunning and remarkable height and investigates how true the stereotypes were.

Viking dragon’s head discovered in Sweden

dragons head - photo courtesy Stockholm University

Archaeologists from Sweden and Germany have discovered a little dragon’s head while digging in the port of the Viking town of Birka near Stockholm.

Vikings in the Prehistoric Landscape: Studies on Mainland Orkney

Orkney and Shetland Blaeu - Atlas of Scotland 1654

Norse colonists in Orkney contended not only with the islands’ existing occupants, but also with a foreign landscape filled with visible ancient monuments. This paper provides a brief synthesis of the results of research on the landscapes of Viking-Age and Late-Norse Orkney which explored the strategies undertaken by the Norse settlers to re-model their social identities in their adopted environment.

Scandinavian trade ‘triggered’ the Viking Age, researchers find

Ribe, Denmark in 1588

Archaeologists from the University of York have played a key role in Anglo-Danish research which has suggested the dawn of the Viking Age may have been much earlier – and less violent – than previously believed.

Midlands Viking Symposium to take place this week

lego vikings - photo by leg0fenris / Flickr

From burials in boats to the perceived magical properties of runic charms, members of the public are invited to come together at the University of Leicester to learn about the latest research developments in the world of Vikings during the annual Midlands Viking Symposium on Saturday 25 April.

How Well Do You Know the TV series Vikings?


Are you as big of a fan of Vikings as you think you are? Find out now!

The Viking women who disappeared

Ingeborg - Norse mythology - painting by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1831-1892)

Women played an important part in Viking Age society, and their role far exceeded that of mother and the ‘housewife’. Why, then, are they barely mentioned in the history books?

Which VIKINGS Character Are You?

vikings characters

Travel back to the time of shieldmaidens and Norse mythology to find out what role you’d play!

‘Given to the Ground’: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill, Weymouth

given to the ground viking age mass grave

This volume describes one of the most exciting and unexpected archaeological discoveries to have been made in Britain in recent years, that of a rare mass grave of executed Vikings on Ridgeway Hill, Dorset.

Small doors on the Viking age: The Anglo-Saxon coins in Norway project

King  Aethelred II Penny - Numisantica (

Dr Elina Screen here discusses her work on the ‘Anglo-Saxon Coins in Norway’ project – a collaboration between the British Academy’s Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles (SCBI) research project and the Norwegian partner museums.

Where would you find the Vikings

find the vikings

We created this short guide to explain all the lands that the Vikings came to – either to raid, trade or settle in – which stretched from Russia to North America.

Lessons from the Viking Lifestyle

Ingrid Galadriel Aune Nilsen

‘I am here to talk to you about my life as a Viking and how it has changed and shaped my personality and the way I view several aspects of today’s society, and how I started hunting for the authentic experience.’

BOOKS: Medieval Ireland


In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some great books on medieval Ireland!

Marking the spot of an old Viking ‘parliament’


The site of one of the earliest known Assemblies or ‘parliaments’ in the UK has been officially put on the map after years of work by a scientist from The University of Nottingham.

Danish Ferocity and Abandoned Monasteries: the Twelfth-century View

Lindisfarne ruins - created by  Thomas Girtin (1775–1802)

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.

Q&A: Michael Hirst, creator and writer of Vikings

vikings season 3 ragnar

The third season of Vikings is set to premiere tonight in the United States and Canada. The show, which follows the adventures of Ragnar Lodbrok and his family, has been averaging over three million viewers in North America.

Vikings: Brutal and Bloodthirsty or Just a Misunderstanding?

vikings_season 3

During its first two seasons, the popular History Channel series Vikings triggered a vigorous debate among scholars and amateur historians about the show’s authenticity—particularly the gore and violence. But separating truth from fiction, it turns out, is harder than it sounds.

Choosing Heaven: The Religion of the Vikings

Picture stone with snake motif from Martebo church.

The Viking-age gods stemmed from two races – Aesir and Vanir.

The Age of the Vikings

age of the vikings

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid but also to explore.

Popular Vikings: constructions of Viking identity in twentieth century Britain

Jorvik Viking Festival - photo by Alice / Flickr

Although the Viking Age ended nearly a millennium ago, today Viking images are everywhere, functioning as tourist attractions, marketing devices, role models, and sources of regional/national pride and identity.

Ceremonial Drinking in the Viking Age

A drinking scene on an image stone from Gotland, Swedish Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm.

Drinking ceremonies played a very important social role in Viking Age Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England.

War on the Waterways: Maritime Conflict in the Viking Age in the North Sea Region

viking ship

The ubiquitous Viking warship is perhaps the most high-profile symbol of early medieval Scandinavians.

Vikings’ homes would have been very polluted, researchers find

Viking House in Hedeby - photo by Kai-Erik

Danish researchers have found that the fires used for cooking and heat in Viking-era houses would have caused significant indoor air pollution.

What do we think of the Vikings and what did the Vikings think of Cleveland?

Vikings in Cleveland

The popular perception of Vikings is that they were pagan warriors, picking on the rich Christian settlements of the British Isles with impunity.

Vital Factors in the Success of the Vikings

911 Viking invasion of Normandy

Viking raids in Western Europe met with an easy success which is rather astonishing.

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