Dr Rowe on Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’ 9am Thursday, 11 November: Dr Elizabeth Rowe, lecturer in Scandinavian Medieval History, joins Melvyn Bragg and other guests to discuss the Volga Vikings. In the 8th century AD a group of Norsemen travelled through the land now known as Russia into Central Asia and founded settlements there. They penetrated so far east that their activities were documented by Arab scholars: one, Ahmed ibn Fadlan, recorded that the Volga Vikings were perfect physical specimens but also “the filthiest of God’s creatures”. Through trade and culture they brought West and East into regular contact for the first time; their story sheds light on both Scandinavian and early Islamic history.