Why did the Vikings’ violent raids begin?

Robert Ferguson argues that the chief motivation behind the Vikings' brutal raids on the British Isles was the need to defend their culture in the face of a Christian onslaught...

Image of the Lindisfarne Stone from Holy Island, Northumbria. It shows seven warriors, possibly vikings. The Vikings’ first recorded raid on Lindisfarne took place in AD 793. (Photo by CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images)

This article was published in December 2009 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Want to read more?

Become a BBC History Magazine subscriber today to unlock all premium articles in The Library

Unlock now