VIKINGS: THE RISE AND FALL

An unstoppable force for more than 300 years saw the relentless and far-reaching growth of the Viking Empire.

Throughout history, Vikings waged war from the seas, notoriously ruthless and with their own set of rules. The Viking expansion was unprecedented in the veracity of its spread. Known for merciless bloodshed, the Norsemen became the most feared people in history. However, their story has always been told from a one-sided, Christian point of view and only now, after rigorous research through mythical sagas and bioarchaeological finds, can we uncover the truth about who the Vikings really were.

EPISODE 1: THE RISE: THE RAID ON LINDISFARNE

An attack on a small religious community on the holy island of Lindisfarne in AD 793 heralded the start of the Viking Age of conquest and expansion.

EPISODE 2: THE WEST: THE SIEGES OF PARIS

The siege of Paris of 845 was the culmination of a Viking invasion of West Francia. The Viking forces were led by the notorious Norse chieftain, Ragnar Lothbrok.

EPISODE 3: THE WEST: ICELAND, GREENLAND AND NEWFOUNDLAND

An exploration trip from Norway to the Faroe Islands leads the Vikings to Iceland where they begin their settlement and further exploration to Greenland and Newfoundland.

EPISODE 4: THE EAST: FROM DERBYSHIRE TO BAGHDAD

Bioarchaeology brings us new cutting edge forensic techniques that uncovers the epic story of the Vikings trading between Derbyshire and Baghdad.

EPISODE 5 – THE WEST: THE SIEGE OF YORK

The Siege of York occurred from 866 when the Great Heathen Army laid siege to the Northumbrian capital of York during the beginning of 300 years of Viking power in England.

EPISODE 6: THE FALL

From the 11th century the reign of the Vikings began its decline, their fight to the end and indelible mark was left from York to Constntinoble.

Contributors include:

Dr Torfi H. Tulinius (Professor of Medieval Studies, University of Iceland)
Dr Caitlin Ellis (Early Medieval History, Durham University)
Terry Gunnell (Professor of Folkloristics, University of Iceland)
Stefan Brink (Professor of Anglo Saxon/Norse, Cambridge University)
Dr David Petts (Ass Prof Dept Archaeology, Durham University)
Kim Hjardar (Author, “Vikings at War”)
Dr Christian Cooijimans (Vikings in Europe Uni of Liverpool)
Dr Simon Coupland (Frankish Realm Cambridge Uni)
Judith Desch (Professor of Viking Studies Uni of Nottingham)
Anders Winroth (Professor of Medieval History University of Oslo)
Jane Smiley (Pulitzer Winning Author “Greenlanders”)
Cat Jarman (Bioarchaaelogist & Author, “The River Kings”)
Þórir Jónsson Hraundal (Professor of Nordic Studies, (East) Uni of Iceland)
Jan Bill (Centre of Maritime Archaeology, Uni of Iceland)
Sverrir Jakobsson Professor of Medieval History, Uni of Iceland
Cecily Spall (Archaeologist, York)
Dr Soren Sindback (Archaeologist, Uni of Arhaus)

DURATION

6 x one hour

YEAR OF PRODUCTION

2021

Narrator

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

Executive Producers

Herbert L. Kloiber, Olivia Pahl, Daniel Sharp, Anna O’Malley

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