The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid but also to explore.
Yale University historian Anders Winroth dismantles the myths and captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage in a discussion of his new book, The Age of the Vikings. Winroth is the Frost Family Professor of History at Yale.