The Vikings: Revised Edition / Edition 2

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Far from being just "wild, barbaric, ax-wielding pirates," the Vikings created complex social institutions, oversaw the coming of Christianity to Scandinavia, and made a major impact on European history through trade, travel, and far-flung colonization. This encyclopedic study brings together wide-ranging research on Viking art, burial customs, class divisions, jewelry, kingship, poetry, and family life, and, in this revised edition, recent discoveries. The result is a rich and compelling picture of an extraordinary civilization that flourished for three hundred years, well into the eleventh century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140252828
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 351,389
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Else Roesdahl is Professor in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Århus, Denmark, and Special Professor in Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham, England.
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Table of Contents

Picture Credits


The Allure of the Vikings


The Study of the Viking Age
Written sources – Place-names – Archaeological finds


Geography, Nature and Culture
Norway – Sweden – Denmark
The People
Dress – Jewellery – Houses and feasting
Language, Writing and Personal Names
Slaves – The free – Women, sexual roles and children – Rules of conduct
Kings and Kingdoms
Accession to the throne and personal power – Royal power – Political developments
Travel, Transport and Ships
Travel on land – Winter transport – Ships and sailing
Livelihood and Settlement
Denmark – Sweden and Norway – Ohthere from Halogaland
Exchange, Silver and Merchandise
Exchange of goods – Silver and coins – Goods
Trade and Towns
Hedeby – Birka – Kaupang – Other trading stations and towns
Fortifications, Weapons and Warfare
Ramparts, fortresses and sea-barriers – The Danevirke – Royal fortresses – Weapons and warfare
The Old and the New Religion
The old faith – Conversion – The introduction of Christianity
Art and Poetry
Decorative and pictorial art – Poetry


Background and Beginnings
The Mainland of Western Europe
Historical events – Archaeological evidence and the significance of the expeditions – Normandy
Scotland and the Isle of Man
The Vikings in Ireland – The excavations in Dublin
Exploitation, conquest and settlement – The Scandinavians in England – New expeditions and conquests – Cnut the Great and afterwards
Iceland, the Faroes, Greenland and America
The settlement of Iceland – The Faroes – Colonists in Greenland and travels to America
The Baltic Region, Russia, Byzantium and the Caliphate
Across the Baltic – Towards the glories of the East – The great riverways and the memorials


The World of the Vikings

Notcs on the Translation

1 Europe and neighbouring regions
2 Southern Scandinavia
3 Scandinavia and the Baltic region
4 Graffiti from the Oseberg ship, Norway
5 Rune-stone ornament from Tullstorp in Skane, Sweden
6 Principles of dendrochronology
7 Ornament from the Tjangvide stone, Gotland, Sweden
8 Small bronze and silver figures from Sweden
9 Reconstruction of male and female dress
10 Reconstruction of a town house from Hedeby, Germany
11 The runic alphabet: the fupark
12 Burial with master and slave from Stengade, Denmark
13 Rune-stone ornament from Ledberg, Sweden
14 Rune-stone ornament from Lund, Sweden
15 Jarlabanke's causeway in Taby, Sweden
16 Reconstruction of two warships from Skuldelev, Denmark
17 Reconstruction of two cargo ships from Skuldelev, Denmark,
18 Plan of Vorbasse village, Denmark
19 Scandinavian coins
20 Plan of the town of Hedeby and its surrounding
21 The Danevirke border wall
22 Plans of Danish royal fortresses: Trelleborg, Fyrkat and Aggersborg
23 Royal building works in tenth-century Denmark
24 Thor's fishing expedition depicted on the Altuna stone, Sweden
25 Male grave with grave-goods from Birka, Sweden
26 Plan of the Jelling monuments, Denmark
27 Rune stone from Froso, Sweden
28 Sigurd Fafnisbani, from runic monument at Ramsund, Sweden
29 Ornament of mount from Broa, Gotland, Sweden
30 Ornament on the Jelling cup, Denmark
31 Viking warrior on the Middleton cross, England
32 Western Europe
33 Frankish mount found in Denmark
34 Normandy
35 Scotland and the Isle of Man
36 The Kingdom of Man
37 Thorleif's cross, Isle of Man
38 Ireland
39 Reconstruction of a Dublin street
40 The movements of the Viking army in England 865–79
41 England
42 Scandinavian parish names in England
43 The North Atlantic region
44 Plan of buildings at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada
45 The Mervalla rune stone, Sweden
46 Viking pendants from Gnezdovo, Russia, and disc from Carwitz, Germany
47 Rune-stone ornament from Nora, Sweden

1 Satellite photograph of Scandinavia and the Baltic
2 The Oseberg ship during excavation, Norway
3 Household utensils from Oseberg, Norway
4 Head of helmeted Viking from Sigtuna, Sweden
5 Egg of a human intestinal parasite, from York
6 The Hon hoard, Norway
7 Iron extraction area at Mosstrand, Norway
8 Weapons from Norway
9 Birka, Sweden
10 Glasses from Birka graves
11 Burial mounds at Borre, Norway
12 Jelling rune stones, Denmark
13 Reconstruction of a Fyrkat house, Denmark
14 Trelleborg fortress, Denmark
15 Picture stone from Hammars in Larbro, Gotland, Sweden
16 Thor's hammer pendant from Bredsatra, Oland, Sweden
17 Cross pendant from Trondheim, Norway
18 Christ on the Jelling stone, Denmark
19 Borre style: mounts from Borre and Gokstad, Norway
20 Jelling style: cup and mounts from Jelling, Denmark
21 Mammen style: axe from Mammen, Denmark
22 Ringerike style: stone from St Paul's, London
23 Urnes style: portal from Urnes Church, Norway
24 Viking burial at Westness, Orkney
25 Hogback grave stones from Brompton, England
26 Cuerdale silver hoard, England
27 Manuscript drawing of King Cnut and Emma, England
28 Brattahlid in Greenland

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