A Brief History of the Vikings: The Last Pagans Or the First Modern Europeans?
Between the eighth and eleventh centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian homeland to trade and raid along the coasts of Europe. Their influence extended from Newfoundland to Baghdad, their battles were as far-flung as Africa and the Arctic. But were they great seafarers or desperate outcasts, noble heathens or oafish pirates, the last pagans or the first of the modern Europeans?
This concise study puts medieval chronicles, Norse sagas and Muslim accounts alongside more recent research into ritual magic, genetic profiling and climatology. It includes biographical sketches of some of the most famous Vikings, from Erik Bloodaxe to Saint Olaf, from King Canute to Leif the Lucky.
Extending beyond the traditional ?Viking age' of most books, A Brief History of the Vikings also places sudden Scandinavian population movements in a wider historical context. It presents a balanced appraisal of these infamous sea kings, explaining both their swift expansion and its supposed halt. Supposed because the Vikings never really went away. Instead, posits Clements, they became a part of who we are today.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - tlockney - LibraryThing
This really lives up to its name. Don't expect detailed information about the daily lives of any of the characters whose exploits are chronicled within. But for seeing the overall arch of the viking ... Read full review
Songs of the Valkyries
Fury of the Northmen
Great Heathen Hosts
11 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
Aethelred Alfred Anglo-Saxon Chronicles army arrived attack Baltic battle brother Byzantine Canute century Christian claimed coast Constantinople Crowbone Crowbone's Danes Danish daughter death Denmark Earl east Einar enemies England English Erik Bloodaxe Erik the Victorious Erik's Europe eventually fighting fleet fought gods Godwinson Greenland Greenlander Saga Greycloak Gunnhild Guthroth Hakon Halfdan Harald Bluetooth Harald Fairhair Harald the Ruthless Harthacanute heathen Heimskringla History Ibid Iceland Inuit Irish island Jaroslav killed king kingdom land later leader Leif Loki London Magnus Magnusson and Palsson Muslim myth Norse northern Northumbria Norway Norwegian Odin Olaf the Stout Olaf's Orkneys pagan perhaps plunder raiders raiding region river Road to Byzantium Roman ruler Russia sailed Saxons Scandinavia settlement settlers ships skalds Skraelings Snorri southern story supposedly Svein Forkbeard Svyatoslav Sweden Swedish Thor Thorkell Tostig trade Trondheim Varangians Viking Age Viking Road Vinland Sagas Vladimir war-band Wessex