Denmark's King Harald Bluetooth was among the first Scandinavian rulers to officially embrace Christianity in the early 10th century. Norway followed later that century while Sweden's conversion occurred gradually in the following century.
But contrary to the common narrative of Europe's military and religious conquest and colonisation of the region, what if rather than acting as passive recipients, Scandinavians converted to Christianity because it was in individual chieftains' political, economic, and cultural interests to do so?
In this episode of Gone Medieval, Dr. Eleanor Janega finds out more from Dr. Anders Winroth, author of The Conversion of Scandinavia: Vikings, Merchants and Missionaries in the Remaking of Northern Europe.
This episode was edited by Joseph Knight and produced by Rob Weinberg.
Enjoy unlimited access to award-winning original documentaries that are released weekly and AD-FREE podcasts. Get a subscription for £1 per month for 3 months with code MEDIEVAL - sign up here.
You can take part in our listener survey here.