The Viking-age Rune-stones: Custom and Commemoration in Early Medieval Scandinavia

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - History - 269 pages
'This book marks a big step forward in the study of commemorative runic inscriptions and late Viking-Age history. By assembling and analysing so much information from tenth- and eleventh-century rune stones the author has provided scholars with a wealth of readily accessible data for future research. By raising so many interesting questions she will also, as she hoped, have stimulated fellow workers to delve into that data.' -Saga-Book'Extremely detailed analysis... The Viking-Age Rune-Stones has many strengths. The result of years of painstaking work, it demonstrates an intimate knowledge of the late Viking-Age rune stone corpus and its background... The Viking-Age Rune-Stones has brought a wealth of important data to the attention of the scholarly community.' -Saga-Book'The secions on the patterns of social order and inheritance will make this book an indispensable example of runology applied to social history, a line of study with a future. It is worth buying for the careful tabulation of inscriptions and motifs alone.' -English Historical Review'This is a stimulating book, challenging accepted interpretations and suggesting new sources for Viking Age social history.' -R.I. Page, Times Higher Education Supplement'Thorough statistical coverage, backed up by a seventy page 'Catalogue'... her work puts the English-speaking reader for the frst time in possession of the basic information painstakingly recorded by Scandinavian scholars, as well as providing an entirely fresh and convincing explanation of the Viking Age corpus... Birgit Sawyer [has] offered models of patient and dispassionate research in potentially exciting and contested areas.' -Tom Shippey, Times Literary SupplementThis is the first historical study of the whole body of late Viking runic inscription stones in Scandinavia. The 2300 inscriptions which are more or less complete yield unexpected information on a wide range of topics, including the conversion of Scandinavia to Christianity, the growth of royal power, and, most important of all, the inheritance customs of the period.

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About the author (2000)

Birgit Sawyer is a Professor of History at Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Trondheim.

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