Cross and Scepter: The Rise of the Scandinavian Kingdoms from the Vikings to the Reformation

Cross and Scepter: The Rise of the Scandinavian Kingdoms from the Vikings to the Reformation

by Sverre Bagge
     
 

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"This book demonstrates the mastery Sverre Bagge has acquired through his immense and innovative work on state formation in Scandinavia. It will have enduring effects on future discussions because it is as peerless at describing and analyzing micro-processes as at integrating and comparing macro-processes from other parts of Europe."—Gerhard Althoff,

Overview

"This book demonstrates the mastery Sverre Bagge has acquired through his immense and innovative work on state formation in Scandinavia. It will have enduring effects on future discussions because it is as peerless at describing and analyzing micro-processes as at integrating and comparing macro-processes from other parts of Europe."—Gerhard Althoff, University of Münster

"A tour de force. Cross and Scepter is a short, readable, and deeply learned introduction to the political and constitutional history of Scandinavia, written by Scandinavia's foremost medieval historian. No one else but Bagge could have achieved this with such apparent ease."—Patrick Geary, author of The Myth of Nations: The Medieval Origins of Europe

"A masterful survey of Scandinavian history in the Middle Ages. Bagge's writing has focus and drive without unduly skating over important details. The scholarship is superb, as one would expect from the leading Scandinavian medieval historian of his generation."—Anders Winroth, author of The Conversion of Scandinavia: Vikings, Merchants, and Missionaries in the Remaking of Northern Europe

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/10/2014
Bagge (Kings, Politics, and the Right Order of the World in German Historiography), one of the world’s pre-eminent medieval historians, offers an introductory survey of early Scandinavian history that will be a welcome addition in the classroom. He traces this often misunderstood culture from the Vikings up to the Reformation. While those horn-helmeted ur-pirates make a few appearances, Bagge doesn’t spend too much time on overblown Viking tales: this is a book about the transition from tribe, war band, and clan, to kingdom, military, and state—about the slow but steady reawakening of Western civilization from the Dark Ages, only this time considered from a rare and somewhat misty perspective. As Bagge states in the introduction, it’s primarily a “kind of European history in miniature,” focusing on how the Scandinavian states gradually, if occasionally sluggishly, evolved along with the rest of the continent in culture, politics, and religion. Insightful, in-depth, and authoritative—though a bit of a slog at times—Bagge’s scholarly work will be of great use to those with interest in this oft-forgotten civilization. (May)
From the Publisher
"Bagge, one of the world's pre-eminent medieval historians, offers an introductory survey of early Scandinavian history that will be a welcome addition in the classroom. . . . Insightful, in-depth, and authoritative . . . Bagge's scholarly work will be of great use to those with interest in this oft-forgotten civilization."Publishers Weekly

"Using clear language and avoiding narrowly academic concerns, Cross and Scepter is accessible to a broad audience. It will be useful to specialists wanting a regional perspective, but it also offers an excellent general overview for anyone curious about medieval Scandinavia after the Viking age."—Danny Yee, Danny Reviews

"Bagge presents his research in this thought-provoking work, masterfully weaving together the complex formation of Scandinavian states in an informative yet entertaining fashion that takes readers through the beginning of state formation in the Viking Age to the Reformation and its effects on Scandinavia. . . . Although the work is concise, Bagge's ability to present a detailed, well-researched history makes this an enjoyable read for general readers and scholars alike."—Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691161501
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/06/2014
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Sverre Bagge is professor emeritus of medieval history at the University of Bergen in Norway. His books include Kings, Politics, and the Right Order of the World in German Historiography.

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