The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings
Oxford University Press, 2001 - History - 298 pages
With settlements stretching across a vast expanse and with legends of their exploits extending even farther, the Vikings were the most far-flung and feared people of their time. Yet the archaeological and historical records are so scant that the true nature of Viking civilization remains shrouded in mystery.
In this richly illustrated volume, twelve leading scholars draw on the latest research and archaeological evidence to provide the clearest picture yet of this fabled people. Painting a fascinating portrait of the influences that the "Northmen" had on foreign lands, the contributors trace Viking excursions to the British Islands, Russia, Greenland, and the northern tip of Newfoundland, which the Vikings called "Vinlund." We meet the great Viking kings: from King Godfred, King of the Danes, who led campaigns against Charlemagne in Saxony, to King Harald Bluetooth, the first of the Christian rulers, who helped unify Scandinavia and introduced a modern infrastructure of bridges and roads. The volume also looks at the day-to-day social life of the Vikings, describing their almost religious reverence for boats and boat-building, and their deep bond with the sea that is still visible in the etymology of such English words as "anchor," "boat," "rudder," and "fishing," all of which can be traced back to Old Norse roots. But perhaps most importantly, the book goes a long way towards answering the age-old question of who these intriguing people were.
From sagas to shipbuilding, from funeral rites to the fur trade, this superb volume is an indispensable guide to the Viking world.
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Alfred Amlaib Anglo-Saxon annalist Annals archaeological evidence archbishop areas Baltic battle bishops Byzantine Charles the Bald chieftains Christian Chronicle church coast coins contemporary culture Danelaw Danes Danish Danish kings death defeated Denmark dirhams Dublin early East Anglia eleventh century England English Erik Ethelred Europe European Russia fleet Frankia Frankish Frankish empire Franks Frisia Godfred Greenland Harald Bluetooth Hedeby hoard Iceland Irish islands Isles Jutland Khazars Kiev killed kingdom Knut Knut's Ladoga land late ninth later leaders Loire Louis the Pious medieval metres monasteries myths Nordic Normandy northern Northmen Northumbria Norway Norwegian Olaf Haraldsson Olaf Tryggvason Old Norse Orkney Oseberg Oseberg ship pagan place-names plundered political raiders reign royal rulers sagas sailed Scandinavian settled settlement ships silver Skuldelev Slavs Snorri sources Sven Estridsson Sven Forkbeard Sweden tenth century tion tribute twelfth century VIKINCS Viking activity Viking Age Viking army Viking raids West Saxons