Tim Severin (born 1940) is a British explorer, historian and writer. Severin is noted for his work in retracing the legendary journeys of historical figures. Severin was awarded both the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the Livingstone Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. He received the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for his 1982 book The Sinbad Voyage.
He was born Timothy Severin in Assam, India in 1940. Severin attended Tonbridge School and studied geography and history at Keble College, Oxford. In 1960 while a undergraduate student, Severin attempted with Stanley Johnson and Michael de Larrabeiti to retrace the route of Marco Polo by motorcycle. The attempt failed due to visa problems at the border of China.
Subsequently Severin recreated a number of voyages and journeys in order to determine how much of the legends are based on factual experience. To investigate the legend of Sinbad, Severin built a traditional Arab sailing vessel sewn with coconut twine and sailed from Oman to China. The journey, funded by the Sultan of Oman, is described in the book The Sinbad Voyage. His 1978 work The Brendan Voyage details his recreation of the voyage of an Irish monk sailing from Ireland to Newfoundland in a small leather currach.
Severin has also written historical fiction. The Viking Series, first published in 2005, concerns a young Viking adventurer who travels the world. In 2007 he published The Adventures of Hector Lynch series set in the late 17th century about a 17-year-old Corsair.