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.
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.
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.
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.