How did the Vikings Treat the Elderly?

One would not be remiss for thinking that the elderly were few and far between during the Viking Age. Historical estimates for the average life expectancy in Dark Ages Europe are extremely low, something around 30 years, and so the issue of the elderly and how they were treated at the time has somewhat been…

What are the Icelandic Sagas?

The Icelandic Sagas are a large body of literature written during the medieval period about the history of Iceland and the families who lived there in the 9th, 10th, and 11th century.

Swedish Vikings: Who Were the Rus?

As I explained in my previous blog about the difference between the Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish Vikings, we know the most about the Danes because of the breadth of primary sources written about them by Frankish and English Chroniclers. Archeologically speaking, the Scandinavian culture of the time was distinct and fairly homogenous, although it diverged into…

The Vikings in Spain: A Brief History.

Ultimately, Spain experienced less of the brunt of the Viking Age than other areas such as Ireland, Britain, and France. But they did experience a fair share, and both the Christian kingdoms and Muslim territories in Iberia suffered terrible wounds from the raids.

The Raven Flag: Was it Really a Thing?

A common item paraded by reenactors all over the world is the Raven Flag (or Raven Banner), which is thought to have been a common part of Viking armies.

The City the Vikings Sacked Before Paris, and Why It Matters.

**Painting by Édouard Jolin, can be seen in the cathedral of Nantes. Depicts the murdering of bishop St Gohard by the Vikings in 843. The Vikings loved France. They loved it not because they wanted live there, but because it was full of undefended monasteries and churches filled with valuable treasure. Charlemagne’s Empire was the…

The Vikings: An English Teacher’s Worst Nightmare?

It is the question parents and teachers alike struggle to answer: why does English break all of its own rules? Children are seldom given satisfying answers. In fact, if modern public schools are any indication, most people simply do not know why English is such a mess because (surprise!) the Viking Age is either entirely…

What Really Started the Viking Age?

  Academics currently stand divided over the precise cause of the first raids by Scandinavians. The leading theory suggests that a combination of overpopulation and a reduction in food due to a brief climatic cooling period forced the Vikings to set sail for new lands. While this is no doubt a part of the broader…