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Reveals how the Vikings saw themselves: portrayed in their own writings or in the reports of people who knew them closely. Using a series of translations from primary sources including runic inscriptions, literary works, rare historical accounts and eye-witness reports, this book brings the Viking world to life.
Following the fall of Rome, the sea is increasingly the stage upon which the human struggle of western civilization is played out. In a world of few roads and great disorder, the sea is the medium on which power is projected and wealth sought. Yet this confused period in the history of maritime warfare has rarely been studied – it is little known and even less understood. Charles Stanton uses an innovative and involving approach to describe this fascinating but neglected facet of European medieval history. He depicts the development of maritime warfare from the end of the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Renaissance, detailing the wars waged in the Mediterranean by the Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Crusaders, the Italian maritime republics, Angevins and Aragonese as well as those fought in northern waters by the Vikings, English, French and the Hanseatic League. This pioneering study will be compelling reading for everyone interested in medieval warfare and maritime history.
This history of the Nordic peoples in the period 750-1050 focuses on their homelands and colonies, demonstrating the fluidity and incoherence of the world in which they lived. Considers the Nordic peoples in Viking times without undue recourse to developmental theories. Guides readers through some of the scholarly controversies surrounding these peoples. Illustrated by reference to runic, poetic and archaeological evidence.
The Viking reputation is of bloodthirsty seafaring warriors, repeatedly plundering the British Isles and the North Atlantic throughout the early Middle Ages. Yet Vikings were also traders, settlers, and farmers, with a complex artistic and linguistic culture, whose expansion overseas led them to cross the Atlantic for the first time in European history. Highlighting the latest archaeological evidence, Julian Richards reveals the whole Viking world: their history, society and culture, and their expansion overseas for trade, colonization, and plunder. We also look at the Viking identity, through their artistic expression, rune stones, their ships, and their religion. The Viking story is also brought up to date, by examining their legacy from the medieval Icelandic sagas to 19th Century nationalism, Wagner, and the Nazis. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Enthralling, well-documented, and vivid account by a leading authority on the subject chronicles the activities of those bold sea raiders of the North who terrorized Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries.
CHBiographies
The Sagas of Icelanders are enduring stories from Viking-age Iceland filled with love and romance, battles and feuds, tragedy and comedy. Yet these tales are little read today, even by lovers of literature. The culture and history of the people depicted in the Sagas are often unfamiliar to the modern reader, though the audience for whom the tales were intended would have had an intimate understanding of the material. This text introduces the modern reader to the daily lives and material culture of the Vikings. Topics covered include religion, housing, social customs, the settlement of disputes, and the early history of Iceland. Issues of dispute among scholars, such as the nature of settlement and the division of land, are addressed in the text.
Photographs and text trace the journey of W. Hodding Carter and a crew of eleven sailors as they attempted to re-create the Vikings' voyage to North America one thousand years ago aboard a replica of a traditional Viking knarr.
This book provides a comprehensive work of reference for people interested in the vikings, including entries on the main historical figures involved in this dramatic period, important battles and treaties, significant archaeological finds, and key works and sources of information on the period. It also summarizes the impact the vikings had on the areas where they traveled and settled. There is a chronological table, detailed and annotated bibliographies for different themes and geographical locations, and an introduction discussing the major events and developments of the viking age.
In the ninth century, Vikings carried out raids on the Christian north and Muslim south of the Iberian peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal), going on to attack North Africa, southern Francia and Italy and perhaps sailing as far as Byzantium. A century later, Vikings killed a bishop of Santiago de Compostela and harried the coasts of al-Andalus. Most of the raids after this date were small in scale, but several heroes of the Old Norse sagas were said to have raided in the peninsula. These Vikings have been only a footnote to the history of the Viking Age. Many stories about their activities survive only in elaborate versions written centuries after the event, and in Arabic. This book reconsiders the Arabic material as part of a dossier that also includes Latin chronicles and charters as well as archaeological and place-name evidence. Arabic authors and their Latin contemporaries remembered Vikings in Iberia in surprisingly similar ways. How they did so sheds light on contemporary responses to Vikings throughout the medieval world.
From the chronicles of the History Channel's truly epic series, Vikings, comes a new saga of glory and plunder! Ragnar, Lagertha and their legendary kin sail once more for England and run straight into a shield wall of politics, intrigue, betrayal and, of course, axe-wielding, blood-spraying, sword-swinging combat!
A definitive history of six hundred years of Viking civilization traces the political, military, social, cultural, and religious history of the Viking world from Iceland to Lithuania.
This book, the first in our Companions to Medieval Studies series, is a brief introduction to the history, culture, and religion of the Viking Age and provides an essential foundation for study of the period. The companion begins by defining the Viking Age and explores topics such as Viking society and religion. Viking biographies provide students with information on important figures in Viking lore such as Harald Bluetooth, Eirik the Red, Leif Eiriksson, and Gudrid Thorbjarnardaughter, a female Viking traveler. A compelling chapter entitled "How Do We Know About the Vikings?" and a case study on the wandering monks of St. Philibert introduce students to the process of historical inquiry. The book concludes with a discussion of the impact of the Vikings and their legacy. Pedagogical resources include a detailed chronology, study questions, a glossary, 4 maps, and 14 images. Text boxes provide information on outsider perceptions of the Vikings, a detailed account of a Viking raid, and a description of a chieftain's dwelling in Arctic Norway. This study also benefits from a multi-disciplinary approach including insights and evidence from such diverse disciplines as archaeology, philology, religion, linguistics, and genetics.
At the height of their power in the ninth and tenth centuries, the Vikings seemed invincible – conquering, well-armed warriors whose ships were the ultimate in seafaring technology. From island bases near the deltas of major rivers, they used the waterways to scour the countryside, looting and burning towns, plundering merchant shipments, and stripping churches and monasteries of their gold, silver, and jeweled treasures. The Norsemen eventually penetrated all of England and Scotland, founded cities in Ireland, gained a powerful province in France, controlled Frisia and the modern Netherlands, and raided lands around Spain, passing into the Mediterranean to attack Italy and North Africa. They established the first Russian kingdom, challenged Constantinople, and provided a personal guard for the Byzantine emperor. They settled Iceland, where they developed Europe’s first republic, founded two colonies on Greenland, and explored parts of North America five centuries before Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. Then, like the abrupt end of a summer thunderstorm, their adventures ceased. Here is their dramatic story.
Provides brief descriptions of figures, places, and battles from Viking history, as well an introduction to Viking culture.
'What a superb book this is! Wise, well-informed, judicious and infinitely readable.' -Magnus Magnusson, Scotsman'an utterly splendid book, quite the most brilliantly written, balanced and explanative general work on the Vikings ever to appear in English or...in any language.' -Erik Wahlgren, Scandinavian Studies'A highly readable history.' -Oxford Time'no better book on the Vikings has ever been written, and it is one which every educated person with any interest in history should know about... Readers will be delighted to discover the eloquent and sparkling prose of a natural Welsh bard and storyteller who was one of the shining lights of University College, Cardiff. The man writes beautifully. There are not many history books one can pick up and start reading anywhere just for the sheer enjoyment of literary craftsmanship and even fewer as authoritative as this.' -Lloyds List 13/04/1994

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