Cross and Scepter: The Rise of the Scandinavian Kingdoms from the Vikings to the Reformation by Sverre Bagge | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
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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Christianity and European-style monarchy—the cross and the scepter—were introduced to Scandinavia in the tenth century, a development that was to have profound implications for all of Europe. Cross and Scepter is a concise history of the Scandinavian kingdoms from the age of the Vikings to the Reformation, written by Scandinavia’s leading

Overview

Christianity and European-style monarchy—the cross and the scepter—were introduced to Scandinavia in the tenth century, a development that was to have profound implications for all of Europe. Cross and Scepter is a concise history of the Scandinavian kingdoms from the age of the Vikings to the Reformation, written by Scandinavia’s leading medieval historian. Sverre Bagge shows how the rise of the three kingdoms not only changed the face of Scandinavia, but also helped make the territorial state the standard political unit in Western Europe. He describes Scandinavia’s momentous conversion to Christianity and the creation of church and monarchy there, and traces how these events transformed Scandinavian law and justice, military and administrative organization, social structure, political culture, and the division of power among the king, aristocracy, and common people. Bagge sheds important new light on the reception of Christianity and European learning in Scandinavia, and on Scandinavian history writing, philosophy, political thought, and courtly culture. He looks at the reception of European impulses and their adaptation to Scandinavian conditions, and examines the relationship of the three kingdoms to each other and the rest of Europe, paying special attention to the inter-Scandinavian unions and their consequences for the concept of government and the division of power.

Cross and Scepter provides an essential introduction to Scandinavian medieval history for scholars and general readers alike, offering vital new insights into state formation and cultural change in 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:
9781400850105
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/06/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
281,458
File size:
4 MB

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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