Vikings

9:00pm Tuesday 25 September on BBC TWO

Continuing a new three part series for BBC Two, Vikings, historian Neil Oliver heads for Scandinavia to reveal the truth behind the legend of marauding Norsemen – the Vikings from their point of view.

In the third episode, Neil heads for the wild Atlantic to trace the great Viking voyages of discovery, from Norway to Shetland, and then to Iceland and beyond. Many Vikings remains are of warriors, but here he discovers the personal remains of ancient settlers – and a legacy of a very unusual diet, including rotten shark.

Back in the Viking homelands he discovers the beginning of the end of the Viking Age as Christianity came to Denmark, and a dynasty of Danish kings began to increase in power, including our own King Cnut, who began life as a Viking, but ended up a European statesman, buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Ep 3/3

9:00pm Tuesday 18 September on BBC TWO

In the second episode, Neil Oliver begins his investigation in Stockholm, Sweden; while the Norse Vikings were raiding Britain in the west, the Swedish Vikings were heading east and creating a vast trading empire.

Neil follows in the footsteps of the Swedish Vikings from their Scandinavian homelands to Russia and Turkey where they obtained silks and spices. In return they sold amber and furs as well as slaves. Discovering the other extreme of the trading network Neil heads for Ireland, and Dublin, a vast Viking slave market.

But there was an even greater prize – England. Neil follows the progress of the Great Heathen Army in its quest to take Anglo-Saxon England and how an eventual truce with Alfred the Great lead to York becoming a Danish trading capital with consequences that can be felt even today.

Ep 2/3

9:00pm Tuesday 11 September on BBC TWO

Historian Neil Oliver heads for Scandinavia to reveal the truth behind the legend of the marauding Norsemen – the Vikings – from their point of view.

Neil begins by exploring the remote world of the Vikings’ ancient ancestors, to discover how they came to be at all. From the wild Atlantic coast of Norway, to frozen islands in the glassy Baltic Sea and the fertile plains of Denmark, Neil will re-discover the prehistoric world from which the Vikings emerged.

Archaeologist Neil will examine the remains of weapon-filled war-boats, long-haired Bronze Age farmers and a Swedish site of a royal palace, complete with gruesome pagan rituals which conjure up the very lives of the people who inhabited a land that shaped the Viking Age.

Ep 1/3

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