Advance ticket sales have ended but tickets remain available at the door.
Profs and Pints DC presents: “The Vikings of Legend," with Jill Fitzgerald, associate professor of English at the United States Naval Academy and scholar of medieval literature including Viking myths and sagas.
Vikings are getting a lot of attention these days thanks to contemporary portrayals of them in popular movies and television shows such as The Northman, Vikings: Valhalla, and The Last Kingdom. But who were the Vikings, really?
Learn surprising things about the medieval world and the Vikings who lived and moved in it with the help of Dr. Jill Fitzgerald, who teaches courses on medieval languages and literature at the U.S. Naval Academy.
To enhance our understanding of Vikings she’ll discuss the stories of three famous ones passed down to us through medieval Icelandic sagas.
While Hollywood portrays Vikings as very social creatures, Grettir Ármundson existed as an infamous outlaw and eventually became exiled to the extreme fringe of the Arctic circle. To top off his tough reputation, he was said to have battled the undead.
Skarpheðinn Njálsson lived a violent and tragic life that coincided with the period that saw the first Viking conversions to Christianity and abandonments of their ancient pagan ways.
Egil Skallagrímsson was famed for being a terrifying berserker who served a powerful English king as protector and warrior. What he probably was best remembered for, however, was not his impressive resume of violence but his incredible poetic talents, which at least once saved his life.
To round out the talk, Professor Fitzgerald discuss an exciting Viking artifact—produced in Norway during Egil’s lifetime—that found its way to Annapolis in the 1950s and is currently housed at the Naval Academy. The oldest weapon in the Academy’s collections, its past was a mystery until now.
You’ll emerge from this talk with a better understanding of the medieval world, our sources of knowledge concerning Vikings, and how sagas and archaeology occasionally intertwine. (Advance tickets: $13.50. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Image: Part of a painting of Viking ships on the River Thames by 19th century artist Everhardus Koster.