Rank #1: 1 - Welcome To The Viking Age
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.
Apr 12 2016
Rank #2: 2 - Of Reindeer And (Fisher) Men
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 18 2016
Rank #3: Mother of Kings I - The Threshold
In this episode, we set off on a new mini-series exploring the life and legend of Gunnhild konungamóðir - Mother of Kings - and other powerful women in Old Norse Literature.
This first installment doesn't touch too much on Gunnhild herself, but instead sets up some background information. Specifically, today we focus on the way gender is described and depicted in Sagas and Law codes, exploring some fascinating prose and poetry along the way.
I hope you enjoy.
For more information and a full list of sources used in this episode, check out our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/the-threshold
Jan 15 2019
Rank #4: COA01 - The Discovery of Iceland
Sep 06 2017
Rank #5: Viking Stories 01 - The Story of Harald Finehair I
Welcome to the first episode of our Viking Stories series. Today we will be explore the early life of Harald Finehair the first King of Norway.
You can download a free PDF with additional information about the events discussed in this episodes here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz9Rd-bR8nwOSkZxeUpycG9fMlU
For more information about this episode and others, visit us at: http://vikingagepodcast.com
Jun 07 2017
Rank #6: 23 - Carolingian Viking Age I - The Rise of the Franks
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: https://www.amazon.com/Inheritance-Rome-Illuminating-400-1000-Penguin/dp/0143117424/ref=sr_1_1
Dec 15 2016
Rank #7: 3 - From Foragers to Farmers
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
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 26 2016
Rank #8: COA02 - Taking Land in Iceland
In this week’s episode we explore the initial settlement of Iceland. We’ll talk about who settled the island, when they settled down and begin our discussion of the society they created.
To kick us off we are going to explore this topic by example by exploring the settlement led by Unn the Deepminded - one of the most remarkable figures from the Viking Age.
More details, works cited and recommended reading can be found on our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/taking-land-in-iceland/
Sep 20 2017
Rank #9: 31 - The Viking Soul
In this episode we get deep into the weeds and examine some intriguing clues as to what Pagan Scandinavians may have though about the soul.
We talk about decorated helmets, battles with bears and women who are taller than the mountains. Along the way we will hopefully get a little closer to understanding the nature of the Viking worldview.
This episode is a little different, but I hope you enjoy!
Apr 04 2017
Rank #10: COA16 - Snorri Sturluson, Big Farmers & the End of the Icelandic Free State
In this episode we conclude our series on Iceland by discussing the rapid changes which shook the Icelandic political system in the 1200s.
We discuss the likely causes of these changes, explore the life and times of our good friend Snorri Sturluson and examine the impact that this time period may have had for our own understanding of Icelandic history.
For more information and a full list of sources, checkout our website at: http://vikingagepodcast.com/snorri-sturluson
Jun 05 2018
Rank #11: 28 - Viking Worlds I - Myth and Midgard
In this episode we explore the importance of Myth within Viking Age Scandinavia. Specifically we talk about Pagan world views and how the stories we classify as Norse Mythology give us an insight into those views. We'll discuss our sources for these myths and then dive headfirst into the Norse creation myth.
Feb 23 2017
Rank #12: COA07 - Chieftains and Temples
In this episode we begin to explore Pagan practice in Iceland, focusing on the religious roles of the goðar. In this first episode we will be discussing:
- The role played by the goðar in the conversion of Iceland. - A rune stone attesting to an early Danish goðar. - A remarkable cult building at Uppkåra in South Western Sweden. - The close ties between political and religious power in Viking Age Scandinavia.
Recommended reading for this episode is Pre-Christian cult at aristocratic residences and settlement complexes in Southern Scandinavia in the 3rd – 10th centuries AD by Lars Jørgensen. It provides an excellent overview of major Scandinavian Central Places and possible cult activities which took place at them. There are also some fantastic illustrations.
For more information and a full accounting of sources check out the website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/chieftains-and-temples
Jan 02 2018
Rank #13: COA09 - Ritual and Sacrifice in Pagan Iceland
In this episode we explore what our sources have to tell us about sacrifice and ritual in Pagan Iceland. Along the way we discuss the method and purpose of sacrifice and the how this may have impacted Icelandic society.
Our recommended reading for this week is A Piece of Horse Liver by Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson. A collection of essays concerning Myth, Ritual and Folklore this book includes some excellent and very readable breakdowns of the most important information we have about Pagan practice in Iceland. Highly recommended.
For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/ritual-and-sacrifice-pagan-iceland
Jan 30 2018
Rank #14: Eastern Way II - Gods and Kings
In this episode we explore the mythical history of the Svear, as it is related to us by the ever-entertaining Snorri Sturluson. Along the way we discuss Divine Kings, Deadly Vats of Meads and even a Half-Giant-Magical-Oxen-Son plough-team. Believe it or not, these fantastical, fictional tales lead us to some rather more concrete evidence about life and politics in the land of the Svear in the years leading up to the Viking Age.
For more information, maps and a full list of sources used for this episode, visit our website: https://vikingagepodcast.com/gods-and-kings/
Sep 11 2018
Rank #15: COA10 - Law and Belief in Pagan Iceland
In this episode we conclude our discussion on Pagan practice in Iceland by exploring the close connections between the law and pagan beliefs. Along the way we talk about oath rings, the assemblies of the gods and a rather nasty conflict revolving around excrement.
Our recommended reading for this week is Viking Law and Order by Alexandra Sanmark. In this readable and beautifully illustrated book, Professor Sanmark reviews the latest archeological evidence for þing-sites throughout Scandinavia. This book highlights the similarities and differences of these sites and provides an excellent guide to these important locations. You should pick it up.
For more information and a full list of sources see our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/law-and-belief-in-pagan-iceland
Feb 13 2018
Rank #16: The Eastern Way I
In this episode we begin our exploration of the Baltic Sea region by examining two very different sources of evidence which point to early Viking activities in the Eastern Baltic. First we discuss a dramatic tale which has come down to us from the pen of everyone's favorite Icelandic author, Snorri Sturluson. This story centers around a certain Yngvarr, King of the Svear, and traces his dramatic demise at the hands of the Eistr.
We then step out of the world of literature and into the dirt to explore a remarkable archeological find which was recently uncovered on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. We talk monumental graves, ancient ships, informative skeletons and even discuss how we really are what we eat.
If you enjoyed this episode, you'll probably enjoy these other wonderful Viking Podcasts:
For more information on this episode and a full list of sources check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/the-eastern-way
Aug 28 2018
Rank #17: 4 - Ard Times (Come Again No More)
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.
May 03 2016
Rank #18: COA08 - Bringing Thor to Iceland
In this episode we continue our exploration of Pagan Practice in Iceland by taking a look at religious roles and responsibilities held by some of the first Icelandic settlers and how these roles translated to their new home.
Our recommended reading for this episode is the excellent The Viking Diaspora by Judith Jesch. This has been one of my major sources for the entire Children of Ash series and now seems like a good time to introduce it. An essential resource for information about the Icelandic Free State and the ongoing connections between the Norse colonies throughout the North Atlantic.
For more information and a full list of sources check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/bringing-thor-to-iceland
Jan 16 2018
Rank #19: COA14b - Creating the Icelanders
May 01 2018
Rank #20: VS02 - The Story of Harald Finehair II
In this episode we trace King Harald Finehair's rise to power as he conquers his way up the Eastern Edge of Norway and then back down the West Coast. Along that way the young, shaggy king will kill, negotiate and bully his way into the history books. Plus - this being the Viking Age Podcast - we also discuss some myths around the berserkir and Harald's administrative innovations!
For those who want to learn more about the Berserkar - check out this excellent MA Thesis by Roderick Dale: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/28819/
Jun 21 2017