A Tiny Island with BIG Viking Age History

Exploring the charm and significance of Gotland, Sweden


This time on the podcast we head east to Gotland, a small island off the coast of Sweden in the Baltic Sea. Our tour guide is author Octavia Randolph, a wonderfully charming person who has made Gotland her adopted home.

Did you know that Gotland is the site of the largest Viking silver hoard ever found? Or that so many Arabic silver dirham coins were buried there by Vikings that rabbits literally unearth them when digging their warrens? Or that it is where the majority of Viking Age picture stones are found? If you know anything about Viking expansion, none of this will surprise you for the eastward route they took from Scandinavia to Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Byzantine Empire was well traveled and passed straight through and around Gotland.

Octavia tells us a bit about the vast history of the place — people have been living there since prehistoric times — and what makes it so special. She also talks about what drew her to the history of the Viking Age, her book series The Circle of Ceridwen Saga, and the new tours she is leading to showcase her beloved island.

You’ll find an audio-only version of this interview here on our Substack and also Spotify and Apple Podcasts, but be forewarned! You’ll miss out on the beautiful photos she shared with us.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the chat and Octavia’s passion! If the conversation doesn’t make you want to visit Gotland, you’d better check and see if you have a pulse.

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