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The Vikings

Clearly the Vikings played an important role in Scottish history and so on this page we are making available information about them through a series of videos and additional texts as we come across them.

The Vikings: Documentary on the Life, Culture, and Legacy of Vikings
(Full Documentary).(3hr 54mn)

Who Were the Vikings?

 Episode 1
Neil Oliver heads for Scandinavia to reveal the truth behind the legend of the Vikings. In the first programme, Neil begins by discovering the mysterious world of the Vikings' prehistoric ancestors. The remains of weapon-filled war boats, long-haired Bronze Age farmers, and a Swedish site of a royal palace and gruesome pagan ritual conjure up an ancient past from which the Viking Age was to suddenly erupt. (Each episode is 1 hour in length)

Episode 2
Neil Oliver heads out from the Scandinavian homelands to Russia, Turkey and Ireland to trace the beginnings of a vast trading empire that handled Chinese silks as adeptly as Pictish slaves. Neil discovers a world of 'starry-eyed maidens' and Buddhist statues that are a world away from our British experience of axe-wielding warriors, although it turns out that there were quite a few of those as well.

Episode 3
Neil Oliver explores how the Viking Age finally ended, tracing the Norse voyages of discovery, the first Danish kings, and the Christian conversions that opened the door to European high society. He also uncovers the truth about England's King Canute - he was not an arrogant leader who thought he could hold back the waves, but the Viking ruler of an entire empire of the north and an early adopter of European standardisation.

The Viking Ships
Their design was elegant in its simplicity, a long open boat with a single square sail and a row of oars on each side. But decorated with fearsome prows and sternposts resembling dragons and filled with some of the most dreaded warriors of all time, theywere among the most important ships in history. THE VIKING LONGSHIPS traces the saga of exploration and conquest that marked the age of the Norsemen and their fabled ships. Visit world-famous museums in Oslo and Denmark for an up-close look at these ancient boats. Discover how the Vikings used their rugged ships to spread their influence as far away as the New World, and experience the terror of a Viking raid through dramatic re-enactments and period accounts. From the pages of legend to a short trip to sea aboard a modern reconstruction, this is the ultimate look at one of the most fabled vessels of all time. (46 mins)

History of Scandinavia (pdf)
From the Early Times of the Norsemen and Vikings to the Present Day
By The Rev. Paul C. Sinding of Copenhagen (1859)


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