At the head of their pantheon of gods were Thor and Odin the Wise. A rare account of a Swedish pagan feast was described by a German cleric in the 11th century. By the end of the 10th century, all western and southern Europe had been converted to Christianity. Eventually, all of Scandinavia would follow suit, as the Viking kings declared Christianity the new official religion.
This program studies the Vikings within the context of medieval history, during which time Europe was still politically fragmented by the breakup of the Roman Empire. Experts from academia, including Sandhurst Military College, investigate topics such as the effect of Viking aggression on commerce in Christendom, the efforts of the Church to convert the Vikings in order to control them, the military value of the shallow-draft Viking longship, and the beauty of Viking art. In addition, Viking society is examined in depth, with a special focus on politics, culture, and religion. The role Vikings played in the development of European trade is also discussed.