Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Provides information on the daily lives, culture, history, and society of the Icelanders in a clear and well-structured fashion that invites and informs modern readers. The 13 chapters are concise, and clearly laid out sections allow readers to review specific themes or read the work as a whole. Using both literary and archeological sources, Short presents a detailed, succinct, and informative overview of Icelanders of the saga age as well as the sagas themselves. Readers are enticed into further exploration of Viking-age Iceland with the inclusion of detailed chapter notes and recommendations for further readings. This useful introduction to the Viking age is an essential companion to the medieval narratives.... The author's in-depth research makes this a compelling, informative addition to almost any collection dealing with the sagas or the Viking age. Highly recommended. General and academic collections, all levels."--Choice

"Riveting exploration...a solid addition."--Midwest Book Review

"Well-structured, easily understandable and practical...digs deep into a wide range of archeological and literary sources...presents readers with a realistic account of life in the saga age...excellent...thorough and accurate...interesting...especially helpful."--Iceland Review

"A warning to readers. You may find you need to hide your copy of this book...chapters on pretty much all aspects of daily life.... You don't need to be a specialist in anthropology or history to understand...illustrated with numerous black and white photographs of Iceland and Icelandic artifacts, drawings and maps...enjoyed it very much. You've got to hand it to McFarland as they publish some fascinating books."--Green Man Review

"Informative...Short has done an excellent job...most interesting...I unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone with even a shred of interest in the Viking era...faultless...tells a coherent story...this is a book stuffed full of interesting material for anyone interested in the sagas, the Viking age, the Icelandic Commonwealth, and early contact with the New World. Highly recommended."--Armed and Dangerous

"Comprehensive but accessible history.... All aspects of society are covered including laws, conflict, domestic work, agriculture, gender roles, trade and production. Blending literature, legal codes, chronicles and archaeology and embellishing them with pictures, many of which he took himself. Short's book is a perfect companion to the study of the Icelandic sagas."--Reference and Research Book News.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786447275
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Series: History/World
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 283
  • Sales rank: 718,534
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William R. Short is an independent scholar living in Southborough, Massachusetts. He regularly demonstrates and lectures on Viking-age topics in universities, museums, and other cultural institutions in North America and Iceland.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction 1

1 The Land 9

2 The Settlement 14

3 Government and Law 22

4 Social Structure and Gender 32

5 Feuds, Honor, and the Culture of Combat 40

6 Milestones in Life 58

7 Farm, Food Production, and Home Life 74

8 Manufacture and Trade 110

9 Transportation and Navigation 128

10 Art and Leisure 163

11 Religion, Myth, and Cult 186

12 Exploration and Settlement to the West 202

13 Iceland's Heritage 208

Glossary 215

Appendix. Sagas for Outlanders 223

Chapter Notes 227

Selected References 264

Index 267

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2013

    This book is an excellent source for anyone interested in Icelan

    This book is an excellent source for anyone interested in Icelandic vikings. Not only does this book explain how Iceland was founded and how their government worked, but it also explains everything about their daily lives. Everything is included: diet, shelter, weapons, marriage, trade, transportation, art, religion, and even social structure and gender roles. Everything about their culture is included in this one book, giving a well rounded view in a writing style that's easy to follow. Pictures and illustrations are even included to help give a better mental view of this society. It's good for anyone looking for a source on Icelandic viking life for writing or just for a good read.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    As someone who has previously only been slightly interested in Viking history this book has provided me with a basic knowledge base that has peaked my interest and showed me why Viking history is important to other subjects I am interested in such as medieval history and Arthurian legend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    Icelanders in the Viking Age is an absorbing look at the history of Vikings

    This book changes your ideas about Vikings. It is so well researched. The pictures are fantastic. If you want to know the true story of where the Vikings settled, their government, their culture, what they ate, food production, how they navigated to other countries and traded, combat techniques, games they played, and honor codes, then read this book. You will be surprised at how advanced the Vikings were. It is an amazing book.

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