The Scandinavian History Podcast

A chronological journey through the history of Scandinavia. Geographically, we cover the five modern Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden and Finland—as well as a few other bits and pieces here and there where it’s relevant.

Episodes Date

After more than a century of Danes fighting to rule Norway, the crown of Denmark unexpectedly fell into the lap of a Norwegian teenager. But even though Magnus the Good was recognized as king of Denma...
October 15, 2021
In the late 10th century, a guy called Erik became the first king of Sweden. He started out ruling together with his brother, but he soon died. Erik’s orphaned nephew tried to usurp the throne, but th...
September 24, 2021
Olav Haraldsson was an ambitious man who wanted two things more than anything else: to be king of Norway and to Christianize the Norwegians. In life, he was a divisive character and was killed after a...
September 3, 2021
Sven Forkbeard established a vast empire, covering Denmark, England and (sometimes) Norway. Even though it fell apart when Sven died, his son Knut the Great eventually managed to reclaim his father’s ...
August 13, 2021
Olav Tryggvason was a zealous Christian, but it didn’t stop him from leading violent Viking raids. He became king of Norway thanks to impeccable timing and by spending copious amounts of silver that h...
July 23, 2021
When Harald Greycloak became king of Norway, Harald Bluetooth of Denmark expected his nephew to be thankful and obedient. After all, it was the Danish king who had paid for the three invasion fleets n...
July 2, 2021
Under Harald Bluetooth, Denmark became a powerful unified kingdom. But not powerful enough to take on the Germans. Harald strengthened the southern border defenses and erected the trelleborg fortresse...
June 11, 2021
Harald Fairhair used his many sons as local rulers in his name. This worked well as long as he was still alive, but when he died, many of his sons found it hard to accept that their brother Erik shoul...
May 21, 2021
Harald Fairhair gets the credit for uniting Norway under one crown. According to the legend, he did so because a woman he fancied made this her condition for marrying him. Not because he was a ruthles...
April 30, 2021
Various European rulers started to send missionaries to Scandinavia already before the violent Viking raids really became a thing. But it was slow going in the first century or so. Even though a handf...
April 9, 2021

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