All Vikings had slaves

In the clutches of the Vikings: ARTE documentary about the early slave trade

How did the prisoners experience the Viking slave trade? Information about this is provided by an ARTE documentary that retells the story of the Irish slave Findan.

In the clutches of the Vikings
Documentation • January 16, 2021 • 8:15 pm

Findan (Rickie O'Neill) looks for a long time at the ax that a fallen warrior dropped next to him. Then he courageously grabs the iron and courageously steps in to save his master (Dmitry Vinokurov) life. In gratitude, the slave trader loosens his chains and Findan can flee - away from the Vikings. Using film scenes like this one, the new documentary "In the Fangs of the Vikings" on ARTE tells the story of the Irish nobleman Findan, who was kept as a slave by the Vikings in the 9th century.

In fact, his life story is the only recorded account of a Viking slave that is considered authentic by historians. And it not only provides information about the life and work of a person who is later venerated as a Catholic saint, it also shows, for example, that Vikings in the early Middle Ages were not only robbers and conquerors, but above all also skilled slave traders. It was a profitable business for the Northmen, even beyond the country's borders. Dublin was one of the largest slave markets in Europe.

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In the Austrian documentary, director Stefan Ludwig uses the story of Findan and his sister Melkorka (Cat Williams) to analyze how slaves were treated in the past. Historians, Scandinavians and archaeologists have their say and tell in detail about relics that have been found and researched using the latest technologies. With a mix of movie scenes, expert interviews and computer-animated sketches, the documentation provides detailed, exciting insights into a dark chapter of the Nordic seafarers. The perfect historical foundation for fans of the globally acclaimed series "Vikings", which went into its final round on Amazon Prime Video at the end of 2020.

Source: teleschau - der mediendienst GmbH