From Raiders to Rulers: The Vikings in Anglo-Saxon England

A ship, with tower and a serpent head.  Cotton Tiberius B. V, Part 1, f.40v

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Understanding the Scandinavian invasion

‘Never before has such a terror appeared in Britain as we have suffered from a pagan race, nor was it thought that such an inroad from the sea could be made’. So wrote the Anglo-Saxon scholar Alcuin, in response to the first major Viking raid on Lindisfarne.

From these notorious early attacks at the end of the 8th century to all out war in the time of Alfred; from the extortion of ‘Danegeld’ in the reign of Æthelstan to two decades of rule under Cnut, the Scandinavian impact on Anglo-Saxon culture and politics was enormous. In a wide-ranging overview, Eleanor Barraclough explores some of the truths behind the Vikings’ lurid reputation, and the evidence to be found in the rare documents on display in the British Library exhibition. She is joined by Richard Dance, who brings the language of the time to life.

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough is Associate Professor in Medieval History and Literature at Durham University and a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker. She is the author of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas

Richard Dance is Reader in Early English at the University of Cambridge and principal investigator of The Gersum Project, which explores the Scandinavian influence on English vocabulary.

Image: A ship, with tower and a serpent head, Cotton Tiberius B. V, Part 1, f.40v


Name: From Raiders to Rulers: The Vikings in Anglo-Saxon England
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Price: Full Price: £15.00
Member: £15.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Student: £10.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546