The vikings: wolves of war
This concise and balanced history traces the 300-year saga of the pirates and warlords who poured out of Scandinavia between the eighth and eleventh centuries, terrorizing, conquering, and ultimately settling vast tracts of land throughout Europe. Undaunted by the might of the Arab caliphates and the Byzantine Empire, they founded Russia, originated the bloodline that came to rule France, and created a North Sea empire that included England. They also established settlements across the North Atlantic, notably in Iceland and Greenland, and their adventurous spirit and extraordinary seafaring skills led them to explore and briefly build colonies in North America. These were the Vikings, initially ferocious pagan warriors seeking land and booty under the banners of their gods, but eventually belligerent Christian kings commanding vast armies. Martin Arnold provides a lively and accessible account of the early medieval period that became known as the Viking Age. Drawing on rich literary and archaeological source material, the first half of the book focuses especially on Viking culture, religious beliefs, and battle tactics and weaponry. The second half ranges over the four main theaters of Viking activity the British Isles, Western Europe, the Slavic regions, and the North Atlantic settlements. Arnold vividly illustrates the two faces of the Vikings: on the one hand, savage, greedy, and implacable; on the other, adventurous, innovative, and artistic.
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CHAPTER ONE From Odin to Christ
CHAPTERTWO The Warriors Way
Greenland and North America
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Alfred Alfred's Anglo-Saxon Chronicles Annals Arab Athelstan attack battle Bjorn brother Bulgars burial Charles Charles the Simple Christian Cnut Constantinople Danes Danish death Denmark Derevlians died Dublin East Anglia Edda Edward Eirik the Red's emperor England English Europe Francia Frankish gods Greeks Greenland Guthrum Harald Hard-Ruler Hastein Helgi History Hjarrandi Horik hundred iEthelred island Ivar the Boneless Ivar's Jaroslav Khazars Kiev kingdom land legends Leif Eiriksson Leif's Loire Loki London longships Louis the Pious medieval Mercia monastery mound Norse paganism northern Northumbria Norway Norwegian Novgorod Odin Olaf Olaf's Old Norse Oleg Olga Ozur Pechenegs pounds of silver Primary Chronicle Ragnarssons raids Repton Reykjavik River Rollo royal sailed Scandinavian settlement settlers ships siege slave Slavs Snorri Snorri Sturluson sources Svyatoslav sword tenth century thousand took trade trans University Press Viking Age Viking army Viking fleet Viking leader Vinland warriors Wessex Wessex kings West York