08 March 2021

International Women's Day


For International Women's Day it is always useful to remind ourselves that, even in the Viking Age, women were approximately half of the population. There seems to persist an idea that both Vikings and everything that went on in the Viking Age were somehow entirely a masculine domain. Naturally, I have been trying to nuance this picture for at least thirty years (this year being the anniversary of my Women in the Viking Age (1991), still to my amazement in print after all this time. I suppose it is still useful to people though I hope my ideas have moved on a bit since then.

Although I haven't been publishing on this topic too much recently, I still often get asked to talk about it, or write in a popular context. So here are some links to what I have said or written about women and other female figures in the Viking Age during the last few years:

  • 'In Praise of Queen Astrid' 10-minute talk from the British Academy (March 2021)

[the image above is how the late nineteenth-century artist Christian Krohg envisaged Queen Astrid's speech at the Swedish assembly, public domain via Wikimedia Commons]

  • ‘Inghen Ruaidh, the Birka Grave and Viking warrior women’ podcast on Not What You Thought You Knew with Fern Riddell and guests (September 2020)

  • ‘Valkyries: Fierce women of war’ on BBC World Service, Forum with Bridget Kendall and guests (July 2020)


  • 'Viking women at home and at war', History Extra (March 2019)



For those particularly interested in shield-maidens, I do have an article forthcoming in the journal Viking