The History channel says it has set a U.S. air date for its new miniseries "Vikings," starring Travis Fimmel and Gabriel Byrne.

Co-starring Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick and George Blagden, the nine-part epic is to premiere March 3. It was created and written by Michael Hirst.

"The drama portrays the world of these Dark Age raiders, traders, explorers -- not from an outsider's view, but through the eyes of Viking society," the cable network said in a synopsis.

"While 'Vikings' is filled with conflict, warfare and bloodshed -- for these were extreme times -- it is a family saga at heart. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a curious, compelling man who is always looking to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer.

"A young farmer and family man, Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson, who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves."