Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age

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Thames & Hudson, 2000 - History - 224 pages
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From the colorful accounts of early medieval chronicles to the heroic tales of nineteenth-century Romanticism, history has traditionally portrayed the Vikings as a race of bloodthirsty, marauding warriors. But in the late twentieth century, as archaeologists uncovered widespread evidence of peaceful Viking activity, a more balanced appreciation of the people from the North developed. The Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age does justice to both sides of the Vikings' story--the peaceful and the warlike. More than 400 copiously illustrated articles present every aspect of Viking society, including its history, laws, customs, industry, arts, literature, myths, religion, and folklore. Here one discovers not only how the Vikings successfully and brutally conquered vast areas of eastern and western Europe but also how they dressed, spent their leisure time, farmed and cooked, raised their children, used animals to heat their homes, and buried and celebrated their dead. Entries explain how they built ships that could carry them across the Atlantic Ocean, established trade routes to Constantinople and Baghdad, and eventually converted from paganism to Christianity. This comprehensive and invaluable book provides biographies of the leading personalities of the age, both the Vikings themselves and those who opposed them, while maps and entries on the Vikings' key cities, towns, and villages reflect the vast extent of their world. A historical introduction describes the origins of the Viking Age and explains why it ultimately came to an end, and a concise chronology serves as a useful overview of the period.

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About the author (2000)

Haywood is an Honorary Teaching Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Lancaster and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Great Britain.

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