History

Egill Skallagrimsson

It is well known that the Viking sagas tell the stories of the most impressive Viking heroes, but are they all to be taken seriously? The saga of the infamous Viking poet and warrior Egill Skallagrimsson reads more like Monty Python’s Life of Brian than like the story of a true Viking hero. The saga…

History

Eric Bloodaxe

Eric Bloodaxe is one of the most famous Viking warriors, at least in the British Isles. Many Britons today trace their Viking ancestry through Eric Bloodaxe and his prodigy who settled in York. But Eric’s story seems far less noble than that of many other Viking warriors. He was expelled from kingship several times, usually…

History

Traditional Viking Art

While we tend to think of the Vikings as raiders and warriors, we should not forget that this was just one element of a sophisticated culture that also had music, science, religion, and, of course, visual art. Like most cultures, the Vikings created beautiful things out of many different materials. However, due to the inevitable…

History

Viking Kings

The Vikings were fearless warriors, but empires were not built by individual warriors. The Vikings had to form bands to conduct their raids and live in communities to protect what was theirs. That means that they had leaders. Viking rulers were more like chieftains than kings, though some of them styled themselves kings within their…

History

Viking Women

Anyone who has watched an episode of the History Channel’s epic show Vikings would be forgiven for thinking that all Viking women were Valkyrie warriors on par with their menfolk, that enjoyed significant power and freedom. But, while Viking women enjoyed more freedoms than their counterparts in other parts of Europe, they were far from…

History

10 Facts About Erik the Red

Erik Torvaldsson, better known as Erik the Red, was a famous Viking adventurer from Norway who, among other things, discovered the icy island of Greenland and led the first Viking settlement there. He also taught his children his adventurous ways and was the father of Leif Erikson, the Viking credited with reaching North America. Since…