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.
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.
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.
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.