The accepted history of the Vikings is of a band of blood-thirsty pirates raiding the peaceful monasteries of Christendom - and all of it is completely true. The Vikings took no prisoners, relished cruel retribution, and prided themselves as warriors. But their prowess in battle is only a small part of the story. The Vikings did not document their history themselves so we have had to discover it, and that discovery - of the Vikings from their point of view - reveals an extraordinary story of a people who, from the brink of destruction, in the course of 200 years reached around a quarter of the globe, and built an empire.
Neil Oliver explores how the Age of the Vikings finally ended, tracing the Norse voyages of discovery, the first Danish Kings, and the Christian conversions that opened the door to European high society. It turns out own King Canute was a Viking, but not an arrogant leader who thought he could hold back the waves, but ruler of an entire Empire of the North and an early adopter of European standardisation - the EU would have loved him.
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