Viking Age Podcast

Viking Age Podcast
By Lee Accomando
About this podcast
Sharing the History of The Viking Age, one podcast at a time.

We are covering the History of Scandinavia during the Viking Age. We're exploring Raiding, Trading and Settlement of Scandinavians abroad as well as the culture and society of the Norse homelands.

Join us to learn more than you ever thought you wanted to know about the people, for better or worse, history knows as the Vikings.
In this podcast

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Latest episodes
Feb. 13, 2018
In this episode we conclude our discussion on Pagan practice in Iceland by exploring the close connections between the law and pagan beliefs. Along the way we talk about oath rings, the assemblies of the gods and a rather nasty conflict revolving around excrement. Our recommended reading for this week is Viking Law and Order by Alexandra Sanmark. In this readable and beautifully illustrated book, Professor Sanmark reviews the latest archeological evidence for þing-sites throughout Scandinavia. This book highlights the similarities and differences of these sites and provides an excellent guide to these important locations. You should pick it up. For more information and a full list of sources see our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/law-and-belief-in-pagan-iceland
Feb. 5, 2018
I've been working away at future episodes for our Iceland series and I'm realizing that I need to start thinking about what we cover next on the podcast.   To help with that choice, I want to get your input. In this not-episode episode I talk through some of the different options and it's up to you to vote for your favorite here: https://strawpoll.com/gba22rcs
Jan. 30, 2018
In this episode we explore what our sources have to tell us about sacrifice and ritual in Pagan Iceland. Along the way we discuss the method and purpose of sacrifice and the how this may have impacted Icelandic society.  Our recommended reading for this week is A Piece of Horse Liver by Jón Hnefill Aðalsteinsson. A collection of essays concerning Myth, Ritual and Folklore this book includes some excellent and very readable breakdowns of the most important information we have about Pagan practice in Iceland. Highly recommended.  For more information and a full list of sources, check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/ritual-and-sacrifice-pagan-iceland
Jan. 16, 2018
In this episode we continue our exploration of Pagan Practice in Iceland by taking a look at religious roles and responsibilities held by some of the first Icelandic settlers and how these roles translated to their new home. Our recommended reading for this episode is the excellent The Viking Diaspora by Judith Jesch. This has been one of my major sources for the entire Children of Ash series and now seems like a good time to introduce it. An essential resource for information about the Icelandic Free State and the ongoing connections between the Norse colonies throughout the North Atlantic. For more information and a full list of sources check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/bringing-thor-to-iceland
Jan. 2, 2018
In this episode we begin to explore Pagan practice in Iceland, focusing on the religious roles of the goðar. In this first episode we will be discussing: - The role played by the goðar in the conversion of Iceland. - A rune stone attesting to an early Danish goðar. - A remarkable cult building at Uppkåra in South Western Sweden. - The close ties between political and religious power in Viking Age Scandinavia. Recommended reading for this episode is Pre-Christian cult at aristocratic residences and settlement complexes in Southern Scandinavia in the 3rd – 10th centuries AD by Lars Jørgensen. It provides an excellent overview of major Scandinavian Central Places and possible cult activities which took place at them. There are also some fantastic illustrations.  For more information and a full accounting of sources check out the website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/chieftains-and-temples
Nov. 29, 2017
In this episode we continue to explore the dynamics of power, violence and law in Viking Age Iceland. We will do so by discussing many of the conflicts found in Saga of the People of Eyri. Along the way we will cover: A curious young farmer who is mauled by a mysterious spirit. Some legally questionable handshake deals. The legal and social relationships which tied together goðar and free farmers. The limits of a goði's power and the consequences of exceeding them. A murder on a hay-stack. For more information, resources and a map please visit: http://vikingagepodcast.com/the-people-of-eyri I hope you enjoy.
Nov. 3, 2017
In this episode we dive into the gritty details of Icelandic law, culture and politics by looking at the tale of Mord the Fiddle from Njal's Saga. Along the way we talk about marriage in the Viking Age, the definition of a hundred and the importance of moderation and compromise in Icelandic Politics. The "Recommended Reading" for this week is actually Recommended Listening. I cannot recommend enough the Epic 12-part breakdown of Njal's Saga done by the excellent Saga Thing Podcast. Check out their website or search for Saga Thing Podcast on your podcast player of choice. For more information and Works Cited for this episode check out our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/mord-the-fiddle
Oct. 25, 2017
In this Halloween special we tell one of the spookiest ghost stories we find in the Icelandic Sagas - the story of Thorolf Twist-Foot as told in the Saga of the People of Eyri.  The Saga of the People of Eyri is fantastic. My favorite English translation can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RI9XZQ/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o03_?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Oct. 18, 2017
In this episode we explore the offices and institutions which made up the Icelandic Free State. Through comprehensive legal codes, accepted traditions and customs and regular, predictable assembly the Icelanders were able to govern themselves for over three centuries without a king, head chieftain or any other executive authority to speak of. How did they do it? Well, that’s what we are going to talk about today. This week’s recommended reading is near and dear to my heart. Viking Age Iceland by Jesse Byock is the definitive single volume history of the Icelandic Free State in English. Moving topically, Professor Byock explores all aspects of life in Iceland during the Viking Age. For anyone interested in learning more about Iceland during this period this book is a must read. Plus, you can see first hand just how often I have turned to Viking Age Iceland while researching these episodes. For more information and to see the works cited for this episode please visit: http://vikingagepodcast.com/icelandic-free-state
Oct. 4, 2017
In this week's episode we explore the growing number of challenges faced by the Icelanders as the landnám period drew to a close in the 930s. We will then take a long look at the key components of the institution the Icelanders turned to in order to solve that problem - the thing. Along the way we will talk about beheadings over fish, witness a chieftain get given a bloody nose by a silver-wielding farmer and we will even examine the ever dodgy - if very helpful - writings of Cornelius Tacitus. This week's recommended reading is Debating the Thing in the North - a collection of papers edited by Alexandra Sanmark, Frode Iversen, Natascha Mehler and Sarah Semple. Covering a wide range of topics, including the origins of the thing, its religious and cultural significance and even its spacial organization, this is a must read for those interested in the legal and political history of Scandinavia. And even better - it’s available for free online. For all of your Viking Drinking Horn Needs - please consider checking out https://www.thefroggyviking.com/. And you can use the promocode vikingage for 10% off!  Finally, for works cited and more information checkout our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/conflict-and-things-in-early-iceland