Vikings

Viking ship carrying Harold III of Norway against his half-brother Olaf II in 1030, c.1375.

Norse travellers reached every corner of the known world, but they were not tourists. The ‘racially pure’ Vikings of stereotype were, in fact, cultural chameleons adopting local habits, languages and religions. 

English resistance: miniature showing Edmund’s death, from  ‘The Lives of St Edmund and  St Fremund’, c.1450. (Bridgeman Images)

The cult of the quintessentially English saint was the product of the Vikings who defeated him.

Ragner’s reliquary: St Peter’s Church, Northampton.

The unlikely links between an obscure English saint and a Viking warrior.

Viking iron axes and lances found near London Bridge, 1920s. Ⓒ Museum of London/Bridgeman Images.

Viking sagas tell of conflict and heroic voyages but are prone to fantasy and exaggeration. How accurate are their scant accounts of the treatment of those injured in battle? Brian Burfield examines the elusive practice of Viking medicine.

Members of the Danish Viking Olayers of Fredrikssund rehearse for a pageant marking the 75th anniversary of the Borough of Ramsgate, Kent

We might applaud the tall, blond and ruggedly handsome Vikings of pop culture as being historically accurate, but authentic engagement with the past requires more than just convincing hair and make-up.

The Vikings are back with a vengeance, writes Jeffrey Richards

Tofta Church, one of the island's many iconic, well-preserved medieval churches.

Patricia Cleveland-Peck visits Gotland, the Baltic island where the Viking and medieval pasts are to be found round every corner.

Richard Hodges shows how new evidence is leading to a fresh understanding of the role of the Vikings in European history.

Alfred the Great was not the only one to be beset by Norseman – Simon Coupland and Janet Nelson re-interpret their impact on the mainland of 9th-century Europe.

Warriors but adaptors - the Vikings built on existing urban settlement to produce towns like York and Lincoln, prosperous and busy with domestic manufacture and international trade.