Viking Age Podcast

Sharing the History of The Viking Age, one podcast at a time. We are covering the History of Scandinavia during the Viking Age. We're exploring Raiding, Trading and Settlement of Scandinavians abroad as well as the culture and society of the Norse homelands. Join us to learn more than you ever thought you wanted to know about the people, for better or worse, history knows as the Vikings.
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Viking Age Podcast




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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 15, 2016

In this episode we introduce the Carolingian Viking Age and then plot the rise of the Frankish Kingdoms to set the stage for rise of the Carolingian Empire.

Along the way we will witness the Rise of Clovis, discuss the process of Ethnogenesis and take a look at the career of the infamous Merovingian Queen, Brunhild of Austrasia. 

For more information on the Fall of the Western Roman Empire:

Dec 1, 2016

In this episode we explore the construction, function and purpose of the Viking Longphorts which were established in Eastern Ireland in 841 CE. 

These sites, Linn Duachaill in County Louth and Duhblinn, give us a fascinating view into the lives of early Vikingar in Ireland and allow us to see how their role changed after the establishment of permanent bases. 

Along the way we will see Irish Kings go to war with swords and bishops staffs and witness the importance of Horses to Viking warfare. 

Nov 17, 2016

In this episode we talk about the Life and Legend of the infamous Viking Chieftain - Turgeis.

From 838 to 845 CE we are told that Turgeis, a Chieftain from Norway ruled the Vikingar in Ireland. He led a royal fleet to ravage the North of Ireland. He and his forces usurped the Abbacy of Armagh and his Wife Ota is said to have performed Pagan rituals on the altar of Clonmacnoise. Turgeis has been the boogie-man of the Irish Viking Age ever since. 

But how much of this tale is actually the stuff of legend? Well, you'll just have to listen to the episode to find out. 

Nov 3, 2016

In this episode we are going to explore the years following the great raid on Armagh in 832. Along the way we will talk about Irish kings burning monasteries, St. Brigid and her Abbey at Kildare and of course the great fleet of 120 ships which arrived in Eastern Ireland in 837 CE. 

Oct 20, 2016

In this week’s episode we explore the circumstances around the plundering of the great monastery of Armagh by Vikingar in 832 CE. In that year the monastery, which lies 30 miles from the coast, subjected to Viking raids three times in a single month. Things are clearly getting crazy in Ireland.

Along the way we will explore the history of Armagh, we will bring ourselves up to speed on the native Irish political situation, and cover some of the more minor Viking raids and battles which took place in Ireland between 826 and 832. I hope you enjoy.

Oct 13, 2016

In this episode we are once again going to return to Western Norway, and explore what may have motivated young Norwegians to go a Viking.

In the past we have established the material motivations behind going a Viking. Acquiring Gold and Silver allowed the leaders of expeditions to attract followers and cement political power. For the followers, such easily portable, durable wealth was extremely useful when conducting marriage negotiations. 

Today, we look at the less tangible impacts of going a Viking. Namely - the fame, prestige and increased status which came from returning home from a successful journey abroad. 

Along the way we will learn about Odin and Mead of Poetry, Explore poems from the Icelandic Sagas and even dip our toes into the depths of the Archeological Record. I hope you enjoy. 


Sep 29, 2016

In this episode we are going to return to the roots of Vikingar activity by following a series of Viking raids on Irish monasteries which were conducted in the early 820s. This will lead us nicely to the main focus of today’s episode - the Martyrdom of the Irish Aristocrat turned Monk Blathmac.  

Along the way we will encounter saintly bones gilded in gold, possible monkish hunger strikes and the several trickily pronounced words. I hope you enjoy.

Sep 22, 2016

If this episode we are going to look at captive taking and slavery in the Viking Age. Buckle your seat belts, this is going to be a dark one. Along the way we’ll mourn the death of King Aed of Tara, introduce the Abbasid Caliphate and tell the story of a monk named Findan.

First though we’ll need to return to Ireland, and catch up on events there during the 8 years between 813 and 821 CE which saw a lull in Vikingar activity. Then we’ll then move forward and look at what happened when Vikingar finally returned, focusing on a new tactic which may only have been possible thanks to the fledgling Norse bases in Scotland. Namely: The taking of captives for ransom or slavery.

Sep 15, 2016

In today’s episode we try to answer a simple question: While some groups of Vikingar were busy raiding monasteries and fighting pitched battles in Ireland throughout the first half of the ninth century, what was going on to the North in Scotland? In other words, what did the early Viking Age look like in Scotland?

The answer to this question is much more complex than it first seems, as we confront a lack of evidence and conflicting information. Along the way to answering this question we’ll meet the Picts, the Gaels of Dal Riata and explore what happened as Western Norwegians began to settle the North of Scotland.

Sep 8, 2016

This episode is packed full of Irish Viking Age goodness as we track the escalation of Viking activity in Ireland from 807 - 813.

Along the way we explore what the Irish were up to while the Vikingar were busy raiding in the Scottish Hebrides, the first raids on the West Coast and a series of bloody skirmishes between Vikingar crews and Irish warbands.

Aug 7, 2016

In this episode we seeking an answer to a simple question: Why on Earth would a Norwegian Farmer join his local lord on a Viking Raid?

In our explorations we will discuss Gold and Silver, Marriage Negotiations and old Icelandic Law Codes. We'll talk about Marriage today and Marriage in the Viking Age. Hopefully, by the end of this episode, we will come away with a better understanding of what motivated young Scandinavians in the Viking Age to drop everything and go Viking.

Jul 25, 2016

In this episode we see the Vikings shift their focus north, from Ireland to to the Inner Hebrides and a target which, from the perspective of the Vikings, must have been almost too good to be true. We are speaking of course about the great monastery of Iona.

We'll explore the raids in 795 CE and 802 CE - and then the details and psychological and material impact of the brutal Viking Raid of 806 CE. Along the way we will also meet St. Columba and his journey from bad-boy churchman to missionary saint. It should be fun, why don't you give it a listen?

As promised in the episode, here is a helpful map to help you keep things straight!

Jul 18, 2016

In this episode we are going to explore what happens when our favorite scruffy farmers-turned-part-time-sea-raiders collide headlong with Irish Society.

Along the way we tke a look at the nature of our sources, a funny story about St. Patrick and the intricacies of a Cattle Raid. By the end of the episode you will also know the proper plural form of Vikingr.

Jul 11, 2016

In this episode we get the lay of the political, religious and social landscape of Viking Age Ireland. 

Now, while it might seem excessive to spend an entire episode on Ireland in a Podcast about Vikings, it is essential to understand the nature of Irish politics and culture prior to the arrival of Scandinavians. Spending time on this now will help us put Norse-Irish interaction into perspective, and help to explain the sometimes surprising role that Scandinavians were to play in Ireland over the coming centuries.

Plus, this stuff is just plain interesting! So I hope you enjoy.

Jun 27, 2016

In this episode we explore the politics of Western Norway at the Dawn of The Viking Age.


Our aim is to discover the nature conflict, cooperation and competition between the chiefdoms and petty kingdoms of the area which would later become Norway. To do this we look at the nature of power as expressed by Western Norwegians themselves, in the form of Skaldic poetry.


Along the way we look at battles, ravens and lavish gifts. We will explore a Viking Age battle field as well as a chieftain's longhouse.

By the end of it, we will have a good idea why aristocratic Norwegians decided to go a Viking around 800 CE.

Jun 10, 2016

In this episode we explore the history of landscape and peoples of Western Norway at the Dawn of the Viking Age. We will follow the coast of Norway on a  journey with a Norwegian Chieftain, and discuss slaves, tenant farmers and petty Kings.

Along the way we will determine whether or not overpopulation and lack of arable land were the determining factors behind the initial Viking Raids in the early 800s CE.

May 27, 2016

That’s right! We have made it to the Dawn of the Viking Age! In this episode we will explore the first Viking Raids on Western Europe - the killing of the King’s Reeve in Portland in Dorset, and the Notorious Sacking of the Monastery of Lindisfarne.

We will talk about the bloody events themselves, the reactions of Western Europeans to the attacks, and set the stage for a discussion of the causes of these Viking Raids. I hope you are as excited as I am. Let’s do it!

May 27, 2016

New timeline, new release schedules and new logos - Oh My! Three short minutes - then back to the Viking Age!

May 17, 2016

In this episode we are going to do a lightning-tour through the Scandinavian Iron Age - beginning around 500 BCE and ending around 800 CE with the first Viking Raids. This period, spanning over 1000 years, is chocked full of political, technological, economic and cultural change in the North.

The goal of this episode is to provide a baseline understanding of the period which directly preceded the Viking Age, not for the test, but rather to give you a framework to work from when I start blabbering on about the Iron Age in later episodes.

May 10, 2016

In this episode we are going to explore the Game of Chiefdoms in the Nordic Bronze Age. Specifically look at the growing social and economic stratification which is defining of this age. We will look at how such inequality in wealth and power can develop, how such power can be maintained once achieved and the consequences of this growing inequality on society at large. 

May 3, 2016

In this episode we will becovering the period from about 3500 - 2800 BCE, when Agriculturereally took hold in Scandinavia. We will explore what settlementpatterns emerged, how agriculture was practiced and how thenewly-minted Scandinavian farmers formed a relationship with theland they cultivated.

In the process we will learn about the impact of Polished FlintAxes and the Ard, take a tour of a Stone Age Farmhouse and becomeacquainted with the construction of Megalithic tombs which arestill visible today, almost 6000 years later.

The farming life was hard duringthis period, and the goal of this episode is to both bring thatstark reality to life. While doing so we will also explore some ofthe ways in which early Farmers adapted to this life, and the waysin which created relationships with their own past as well as theland they worked.

Apr 26, 2016

In this episode we explore the transition from Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture in Scandinavia. Along the way we encounter conflicting hypotheses, meager evidence and a story about Status and Reputation.

The Agricultural revolution has been called the most important invention in Human history, so it feels only fair that we spend an episode exploring the potential causes in Scandinavia.

Apr 18, 2016
This is the first episode in a series about the history of Scandinavia before the Viking Age. We are starting today with the arrival of the first Reindeer Hunters in Southern Scandinavia around 13,000 BCE and culminating in a few weeks with the Germanic Iron Age ending around 700CE. This week we will explore the story of the first Scandinavians, and take a look at what their lives were like in the post-glacial landscape of the north. We'll follow them as they colonize the entire Western Coast of Scandinavia and successfully exploit the lands and seas they inhabited as sources of plentiful, varied food stuffs. Life as a Hunter Gatherer in Stone Age Scandinavia was pretty good, and this week will explore why. In the process we will look at their settlement patterns, burial practices and heavy reliance upon the sea for both transport and sustinance. These themes will remain of the utmost importance to us well through the Viking Age, and we get to explore them at even this early date.
Apr 12, 2016

Thrilled to announce the first episode of the Viking Age Podcast! In this episode we do an extremely high-level survey of the themes of the Viking Age, including Raids, Settlement, Trading and Life in Scandinavia. We then trace where the podcast is going, and what the aim is. I hope you enjoy.