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Peter Sawyer


Hay Festival 2013, 

In this sumptuously illustrated lecture the historian asks: were the Vikings, as contemporary description had it, a ‘valiant, wrathful and purely pagan people’ who swept in from the sea to plunder and slaughter? Or, in the words of a Manx folksong, ‘ware-wolves keen in hungry quest’, who lived and died by the sea and the sword? Or were they unusually successful merchants, extortionists and pioneer explorers?