The Vikings almost need no introduction. An image is instantly conjured up of ferocious fighting men, rampaging through our green and pleasant land, plundering, wrecking and desecrating. This is not untrue by any means, but the lecture seeks to find out if there were any other aspects to the “long-haired tourists from Scandinavia”. A problem with studying Vikings is that contemporary writing about them is often hysterical, although they were also seen literally as the wrath of God.
In the end, there was a Scandinavian conquest of England before the Norman one, so who were these people, why did they come here and what did they hope to achieve. We can find out more about them through their invasion tactics, their trading and extraordinary sea-faring skills and through many artefacts that survive to this day.