We are all familiar with the fierce pagan warriors that burst out of Scandinavia during the eighth century, plundering, ravaging and shedding blood wherever they went. A lesser-known fact about these infamous pillagers is that the majority converted to Christianity in the centuries that followed. In England, children of the Vikings who had martyred the Christian king of East Anglia minted coins extolling his holiness. In Normandy the pagans became loyal supporters of the Catholic Church. In the east the former raiders founded the first Russian state and converted to Orthodox Christianity.
Martyn and Hannah Whittock suggest that the Vikings had as much impact as converts as they did as deadly marauders. So how and why did this radical transformation happen, and what is their legacy today?