Vikings attacked in self defense, says Norse scholar

The latest effort to revamp the reputations of the Norse come from Robert Ferguson in an article for the December 2009 issue of BBC History Magazine. Ferguson writes that Vikings raided in reaction to a threat to Denmark by Emperor Charlemagne.

Ferguson further believes that pressures on Norsefolk by the Carolingians to convert "to abandon their culture, political system, beliefs and everything, and make them part Christians and part of his empire" led to Viking raids.

A podcast interview with Ferguson, whose book The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings, was published in November, is also available to download.