Neil Oliver goes beyond their bloody reputation to search for the truth about the Vikings - from Newfoundland to Moscow, Iceland to Istanbul.
The Vikings famously took no prisoners, relished cruel retribution, and prided themselves on their blood-thirsty skills as warriors. But their prowess in battle is only a small part of their story, which stretches from their Scandinavian origins to America in the west and as far as Baghdad in the east.
As the Vikings did not write their history, we have to discover it for ourselves, and that discovery, as Neil Oliver reveals, tells an extraordinary story of a people who, from the brink of destruction, reached a quarter of the way around the globe and built an empire that lasted nearly 200 years.
Drawing on the latest discoveries that have only recently come to light, Neil Oliver goes on the trail of the real Vikings. Where did they emerge from? How did they really live? And just what drove them to embark on such extraordinary voyages of discovery over 1000 years ago? VIKINGS will explore many of these questions for the first time in an epic story of one of the world's great empires of conquest.
Neil Oliver is a Scottish archaeologist, historian, broadcaster and writer who has become widely known as the presenter of BBC's flagship series A History of Scotland.
Before that, his distinctive style was much in evidence as the charismatic presenter of the award-winning multi-part documentary series Coast and the author of its tie-in book.
His archaeological training at Glasgow University was put to good use in BBC2's series Two Men in a Trench where he visited historic British battlefields and attempted to recreate the events of each battle. He co-wrote the two accompanying books. He has also presented the BBC series A History of Ancient Britain, Vikings, The Last Explorers and Sacred Wonders of Britain, as well as Coast Australia. He lives in Stirling with his wife and three children.
Find out more at www.neiloliver.com or follow him on Twitter @NEIL_OLIVER_