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neiloliver

Within our Wyatt line it is Elizabeth Brooke, wife of Sir Thomas Wyatt the Poet, who gives us our best (?) ties to the Vikings. Historians keep trying to find good things to say about the Viking transition from farmers to marauders, but it’s futile. “Fearless” and “ambitious” only go so far.

They did not fear death; they only feared dishonor.

They were not influenced by Roman culture and laws. Their ships were beautifully built and breathtakingly capable, but their intent was on taking what they wanted, from the gold and silver of English churches to the Irish and English people they captured and sold as slaves.

Eventually they took land and settled in. When the host talks about York – remember that’s where our medieval Wyatts lived.

Neil Oliver, the archaeologist featured in these videos is clearly passionate about his – our – ancestors. He ate what they ate and slept as they slept. He travels to their windswept places. He talks about how they lived over the centuries, the great distances they traveled, how they adapted to varied places and why they ultimately gave up Thor, Odin and their pagan gods for the one Christian God.

These videos are about one hour each; enjoy. [Oliver is also impossibly dreamy with that hair and accent! Ladies, settle in with a glass of wine and enjoy.]

Presented by Neil Oliver
Archaeologist, historian, author and broadcaster
Bio: http://www.neiloliver.com/

Who Were the Vikings, Episode 1

“Neil Oliver heads for Scandinavia to reveal the truth behind the legend of the Vikings. In the first programme, Neil begins by discovering the mysterious world of the Vikings’ prehistoric ancestors. The remains of weapon-filled war boats, long-haired Bronze Age farmers, and a Swedish site of a royal palace and gruesome pagan ritual conjure up an ancient past from which the Viking Age was to suddenly erupt.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3Rynw3XR1Q

The Trading Empire, Episode 2

“Neil Oliver heads out from the Scandinavian homelands to Russia, Turkey and Ireland to trace the beginnings of a vast trading empire that handled Chinese silks as adeptly as Pictish slaves. Neil discovers a world of ‘starry-eyed maidens’ and Buddhist statues that are a world away from our British experience of axe-wielding warriors, although it turns out that there were quite a few of those as well.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKHgo8RzgG4

End of the Viking Age, Episode 3

“Neil Oliver explores how the Viking Age finally ended, tracing the Norse voyages of discovery, the first Danish kings, and the Christian conversions that opened the door to European high society. He also uncovers the truth about England’s King Canute – he was not an arrogant leader who thought he could hold back the waves, but the Viking ruler of an entire empire of the north and an early adopter of European standardisation.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSunpvXQMuI

When I was done watching, I happened across my family tree DNA. It’s just so exciting when science confirms what we’ve found through research. Our report shows our lineage “has its roots in northern France. Today it is found most frequently within Viking/Scandinavian populations in northwest Europe …”

It’s hard to explain why we’re so proud of our Viking ancestry; but we are.

 

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