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Creation Date November 17th, 2019
Updated Date Updated November 27th, 2020
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  1. Today I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Elizabeth Ashman Rowe of Cambridge University about the life and legend of Ragnar Lothbrok. In this episode, we discuss historical sources for his life and how studying him can contribute to a greater understanding of the Viking Age. Referenced in Today’s Episode: (Vikings in the West: The Legend of Ragnarr Lodbrok and His Sons) (The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings ) Follow The History of Vikings on ( YouTube), ( Twitter), and ( Instagram). Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, suggestions or inquiries (Music: Danheim – Framganga)
  2. Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Icelandic Sagas. First written down in the 13th century, the sagas tell the stories of the Norse settlers of Iceland, who began to arrive on the island in the late 9th century. They contain some of the richest and most extraordinary writing of the Middle Ages, and often depict events known to have happened in the early years of Icelandic history, although there is much debate as to how much of their content is factual and how much imaginative. Full of heroes, feuds and outlaws, with a smattering of ghosts and trolls, the sagas inspired later writers including Sir Walter Scott, William Morris and WH Auden. With: Carolyne Larrington Fellow and Tutor in Medieval English Literature at St John's College, Oxford Elizabeth Ashman Rowe University Lecturer in Scandinavian History at the University of Cambridge Emily Lethbridge Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Árni Magnússon Manuscripts Institute in Reykjavík Producer: Thomas Morris.
  3. Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Volga Vikings. Between the 8th and the 10th centuries AD, fierce Scandinavian warriors raided and then settled large swathes of Europe, particularly Britain, Ireland and parts of northern France. These were the Vikings, and their story is well known today. Far fewer people realise that groups of Norsemen also travelled east.These Volga Vikings, also known as the Rus, crossed the Baltic into present-day Russia and the Ukraine and founded settlements there. They traded commodities including furs and slaves for Islamic silver, and penetrated so far east as to reach Baghdad. Their activities were documented by Arab scholars: one, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, recorded that the Volga Vikings he met were perfect physical specimens but also "the filthiest of God's creatures". Through trade and culture they brought West and East into regular contact; their story sheds light on both Scandinavian and early Islamic history.With:James MontgomeryProfessor of Classical Arabic at the University of CambridgeNeil PriceProfessor of Archaeology at the University of AberdeenElizabeth RoweLecturer in Scandinavian History of the Viking Age at Clare Hall, University of CambridgeProducer: Thomas Morris.
  4. Sarah and guest Ally Pitts (Russophiles Unite! Movie Podcast) discuss medieval gender roles, raiding and trading, and the mystery of how all those snakes made it to England in the TV show Vikings (Season 1). CW for rape/sexual assault, as well as for regular uncritical use of the term Anglo-Saxon - as a Mediterraneanist, I was not aware of the debates surrounding this term until after having recorded this episode. As listeners may guess, this episode was actually recorded before the 13th Warrior episode - hence my not knowing who Vladimir Kulich is, and my characterization of this as the first appropriate use of a Viking funeral.

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