The Viking Millenium - Part One

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Photo by Viking Ship Museum

On June 8th of 793, Lindisfarne Abbey, located on a tidal -island on the north-east coast of England, was ravaged by hordes of heathen men. At the time a Northumbrian scholar wrote: "Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race. . . .The heathens poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies of saints in the temple of God, like dung in the streets."

The destruction of Lindisfarne, famous in the Western Christendom as a learning center for monks, and for its gospel, marked the beginning of the Viking Age.

For the next three centuries, these fierce Northmen exploited their skill as shipbuilders, and continued to invade and plunder European cities. They reached as far east as Constantinople, and Russia -- and around 1,000 A.D. they landed on the northern coast of Newfoundland.

In the year 2000, Newfoundland celebrated the millennial anniversary of its discovery, and the CBC program Ideas joined the jubilee with a three-part series on the Viking. This week on And The Winner Is..., we begin with part one of the series, called The Fury of the Northmen. Chris Brooks examines how Viking raids shaped medieval Europe -- and what drove Viking settlement across the Atlantic to Newfoundland.

The Viking Millenium series first aired on Ideas in 2000 and the next year it was recognized with the Bronze World Medal at The New York Festivals.

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Listen to part one of The Viking Millenium

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