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Welcome to the HistoryExtra Academy Vikings course

In this four-week short course, you'll discover everything you need to know about the Viking period, guided by Ryan Lavelle, Professor in Early Medieval History at the University of Winchester.

We've worked with Professor Lavelle to compile a host of podcasts, articles, quizzes and more that you can enjoy in your own time, including four video lectures by Professor Lavelle, each exploring a specific area of Viking history.

Simply scroll down the page to get started.

The HistoryExtra Academy is exclusive to members of HistoryExtra

Course syllabus

Week One: Viking Raids 

Week Two: Trading and Exploring 

Week Three: Everyday Life 

Week Four: Viking Kingdoms 

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Once you've completed the course learning, you can download your course completion certificate. Simply click on the link below...

About the expert

Ryan Lavelle is Professor in Early Medieval History at the University of Winchester, specialising in Anglo-Saxon and early medieval military and political history. His books include Alfred’s Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2010). He also served as historical consultant for the hit BBC series The Last Kingdom.

Week One – Viking Raids

Professor Ryan Lavelle: "The Viking Age was a time which changed medieval Europe, and indeed a good chunk of the rest of the world. The Vikings are best known as raiders bursting out of Scandinavia at the end of the eighth century AD, but there was much more to them than ship-loads of violence. You’ll find links to week one’s learning below, which addresses that most infamous of the ideas of the Viking Age – the terrifying idea of ships full of heathen warriors ready to descend upon unsuspecting coastal communities."

Week Two – Trading and Exploring

Professor Ryan Lavelle: "Having explored the topic of Viking raiders and what they were capable of, this week’s lecture and reading trace the more peaceable (though no less acquisitive) activities of Vikings, from the North Atlantic across to the edges of Asia. My video lecture provides you with a short introduction to travel and trade in the Viking Age, and this is followed by a selection of great articles, as well as a HistoryExtra podcast interview with archaeologist Cat Jarman, whose 2021 book River Kings followed the journey of a bead in the possession of a Viking who had been buried at Repton, Derbyshire – a remarkable way of following lines of contact and communication in the Viking world."