Kinder, Gentler Vikings

Dr Andrew Heald, the Later Iron Age and Early Historic Curator at the National Museums of Scotland, tries to lay to rest myths about the cruelty of Vikings in an article for The Scotsman.

"Raping and pillaging. Longboats and horned helmets. Beards and ginger hair. Is that all there was to the Vikings?

Certainly the people who came from what is modern-day Scandinavia - Norway, Sweden and Denmark - and travelled to Scotland over 1200 years ago leaving their homes behind them, must have had more about them than a taste for beer and hunks of animal flesh. Yet this is the way many people today think of Vikings."