Learn more about Viking women, Viking longships, and the Viking-era discovery made on the monastic site of Lindisfarne in Northumbria, with the HistoryExtra podcast…


The global Vikings

Medieval historian Levi Roach describes how the Norse people travelled, raided and settled far beyond their Scandinavian homeland, even journeying across the Atlantic to America, in this podcast recorded in the spring of 2019.

Read Levi Roach's article on how the impact of Viking raiders and traders went far beyond Britain here

Vikings Season 6 arrives on Amazon Prime on 30 December: catch up on what’s happened so far
Alexander Ludwig as Bjorn Ironside, son Ragnar Lothbrok and king of Kattegat

Viking women

What was everyday life like for women in Norse society? Here, Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir, author of Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World, explores their daily life and explains the opportunities available to Norse women and the challenges they faced.

You can read more about Viking women here and find out about the various roles they played – as homemakers, adventurers and witnesses to war – here


On screen: Vikings and The Last Kingdom

In March 2018 we spoke to the acclaimed screenwriter and producer Michael Hirst about his work on the smash hit series Vikings and the secrets of creating a blockbuster history drama. He discusses Viking women, resurrecting dead languages, and why the show – which wasn’t expected to be a hit – has been so successful.

We also interviewed Bernard Cornwell about his books that inspired The Last Kingdom – and about his writing career more broadly.

To read more about the real medieval history behind Vikings, click here. Discover more about The Last Kingdom here


Viking Britain

We spoke to Thomas Williams of the British Museum about his book Viking Britain: An Exploration, which offers a fresh take on several centuries of Viking invasions and rule in Britain, in this podcast from 2017.


Dwarves in the Holocaust

How did the Vikings change the culture of the British Isles? Oxford historian Janina Ramirez explains in this podcast from 2013. She reveals how the Vikings profoundly affected the social, cultural, political and genetic make-up of the British Isles, and explains that relations between the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons weren’t only defined by violence. Also this episode, Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev relate the sad story of a group of dwarves during the Holocaust.


The motivations behind Viking raids and the life of Dr Johnson

What drove the Vikings to launch their seaborne attacks? Why did the Viking age begin when it did? Robert Ferguson investigates, in this podcast from 2009. Also in this episode, Peter Martin reviews the life and personality of Dr Johnson.

Click here to listen

Read Ferguson’s article about why the Vikings’ violent raids began


Secrets of Lindisfarne

Archaeologist David Petts and Lisa Wilkins of DigVentures discuss an extraordinary Viking-era discovery on the monastic site of Lindisfarne in Northumbria, in this podcast from February 2020. The conversation also covers the latest trends in archaeological excavations and the broader history of the island.

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Nazi spies and Viking ships

Historical novelist Giles Kristian recalls his adventures on the largest replica Viking longship built in modern times, in this podcast from 2013. Kristian, who has written a series of Viking novels, shares how it felt to row the longship and tells us how the experience shaped and influenced his research for his next historical novel.

Also in the episode, Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones tells the story of an unlikely German spy.


Viking sagas and royal pageants

Emily Lethbridge explores the Icelandic Viking sagas – and examines whether we can consider them to be ‘real’ history – in this podcast from 2012. Also this episode, Robert Blyth reviews royal pageants of the past.

Read more about the Vikings here