In Our Time: History

BBC Radio 4製作的In Our Time: History

BBC Radio 4

Historical themes, events and key individuals from Akhenaten to Xenophon.

分类: 教育


Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Saga of the Earls of Orkney, as told in the 13th Century by an unknown Icelander. This was the story of arguably the most important, strategically, of all the islands in the British Viking world, when the Earls controlled Shetland, Orkney and Caithness from which they could raid the Irish and British coasts, from Dublin round to Lindisfarne. The Saga combines myth with history, bringing to life the places on those islands where Vikings met, drank, made treaties, told stories, became saints, plotted and fought.


Judith Jesch Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham

Jane Harrison Archaeologist and Research Associate at Oxford and Newcastle Universities


Alex Woolf Senior Lecturer in History at the University of St Andrews

Producer: Simon Tillotson

In Our Time is a BBC Studios Audio Production

Reading list:

Theodore M. Andersson, The Growth of Medieval Icelandic Sagas, 1180-1280, (Cornell University Press, 2012)

Margaret Clunies Ross, The Cambridge Introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic Saga (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Robert Cook (trans.), Njals Saga (Penguin, 2001)

Barbara E. Crawford, The Northern Earldoms: Orkney and Caithness from AD 870 to 1470 (John Donald Short Run Press, 2013)

Shami Ghosh, Kings’ Sagas and Norwegian History: Problems and Perspectives (Brill, 2011)

J. Graham-Campbell and C. E. Batey, Vikings in Scotland (Edinburgh University Press, 2002)

David Griffiths, J. Harrison and Michael Athanson, Beside the Ocean: Coastal Landscapes at the Bay of Skaill, Marwick, and Birsay Bay, Orkney: Archaeological Research 2003-18 (Oxbow Books, 2019)

Jane Harrison, Building Mounds: Orkney and the Vikings (Routledge, forthcoming)

Ármann Jakobsson and Sverrir Jakobsson (eds.), The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (Routledge, 2017)

Judith Jesch, The Viking Diaspora (Routledge, 2015)

Judith Jesch, ‘Earl Rögnvaldr of Orkney, a Poet of the Viking Diaspora’ (Journal of the North Atlantic, Special Volume 4, 2013)

Judith Jesch, The Poetry of Orkneyinga Saga (H.M. Chadwick Memorial Lectures, University of Cambridge, 2020)

Devra Kunin (trans.), A History of Norway and the Passion and Miracles of the Blessed Olafr (Viking Society for Northern Research, 2001)

Rory McTurk (ed.), A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004)

Tom Muir, Orkney in the Sagas (Orkney Islands Council, 2005)

Else Mundal (ed.), Dating the Sagas: Reviews and Revisions (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2013)

Heather O’Donoghue, Old Norse-Icelandic Literature: A Short Introduction, (John Wiley & Sons, 2004) Heather O'Donoghue and Eleanor Parker (eds.), The Cambridge History of Old Norse-Icelandic Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2024), especially 'Landscape and Material Culture' by Jane Harrison and ‘Diaspora Sagas’ by Judith Jesch

Richard Oram, Domination and Lordship, Scotland 1070-1230, (Edinburgh University Press, 2011)

Olwyn Owen (ed.), The World of Orkneyinga Saga: The Broad-cloth Viking Trip (Orkney Islands Council, 2006)

Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards (trans.), Orkneyinga Saga: The History of the Earls of Orkney (Penguin Classics, 1981)

Snorri Sturluson (trans. tr. Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes), Heimskringla, vol. I-III (Viking Society for Northern Research, 2011-2015)

William P. L. Thomson, The New History of Orkney (Birlinn Ltd, 2008)

Alex Woolf, From Pictland to Alba, 789-1070 (Edinburgh University Press, 2007), especially chapter 7


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