Voyage of the Sea Stallion in Smithsonian

The July 2008 issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a cover story on last year's voyage of the Viking replica ship Sea Stallion. The ship is scheduled to return to Denmark this summer.

From the article:

Norsemen have been seen as intrepid seafarers and fierce warriors—a sort of Hell's Angels of the early Middle Ages—since a.d. 793, when they raided the rich island monastery at Lindisfarne off the northeastern coast of England. "The ravages of heathen men miserably destroyed God's church on Lindisfarne," according to the annals known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. In 845, the Viking raider and extortionist extraordinary Ragnar Lothbrok slipped up the Seine with 120 ships—an estimated 5,000 men—to Paris, where King Charles the Bald paid him 7,000 pounds of gold and silver to leave in peace. (A contemporary wrote that "never had [Ragnar] seen, he said, lands so fertile and so rich, nor ever a people so cowardly.")