The Vikings: A History
  • The Vikings: A History
  • The Vikings: A History

The Vikings: A History

3.7 20
by Robert Ferguson
     
 

"For those living outside Scandinavia, the Viking age effectively began in 793 with an attack on the monastery at Lindisfarne. As the Northumbrian cleric and scholar Alcuin put it: "We and our fathers have now lived in this fair land for nearly three hundred and fifty years, and never before has such an atrocity been seen in Britain as we have now suffered at

See more details below

Overview

"For those living outside Scandinavia, the Viking age effectively began in 793 with an attack on the monastery at Lindisfarne. As the Northumbrian cleric and scholar Alcuin put it: "We and our fathers have now lived in this fair land for nearly three hundred and fifty years, and never before has such an atrocity been seen in Britain as we have now suffered at the hands of a pagan people. Such a voyage was not thought possible. The church of St. Cuthbert is spattered with the blood of the priests of God, stripped of all its furnishings, exposed to the plundering of pagans - a place more sacred than any in Britain." The attack on Lindisfarne was a characteristically violent harbinger of what was in store for Britain and much of Europe from the Vikings for the next three hundred years, until the final destruction of the heathen temple to the Norse gods at Uppsala around 1090." Establishing the history of this largely illiterate people is notoriously tricky. Robert Ferguson is a sure guide across what he calls "the treacherous marches which divide legend from fact in Viking Age history." His long familiarity with the literary culture of Scandinavia - the eddas, the poetry of the skalds and the sagas - is combined with the latest archaeological discoveries and the evidence of picture stones, runes, ships and objects scattered all over northern Europe, to make the most convincing modern portrait of the Viking age in any language. The Vikings ranges from Scandinavia itself to Kievan Rus and Byzantium in the east to Iceland, Greenland and the North American settlements in the west. Beyond its geographical boundaries the book takes us on a journey to a misty region inhabited byHallfred the Troublesome Poet, Harald Bluetooth, Ragnar Hairy-Breeches, Ivar the Boneless and Eyvind the Plagiarist, in which literature, history and myth dissolve into one another.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670020799
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/25/2009
Pages:
450
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.51(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Maps

Introduction 1

1 The Oseberg Ship 9

2 The culture of northern Heathendom 20

3 The causes of the Viking Age 41

4 'The devastation of all the islands of Britain by the Heathens' 58

5 The Vikings in the Carolingian empire 83

6 Across the Baltic 108

7 The Danelaw I: Occupation 132

8 The settlement of Iceland 154

9 Rollo and the Norman colony 174

10 The master-builder: Harald Bluetooth and the Jelling Stone 196

11 The Danelaw II: Assimilation 216

12 When Allah met Odin 245

13 A piece of horse's liver: The pragmatic Christianity of Hakon The Good 263

14 Greenland and North America 280

15 Ragnarok in Iceland 298

16 St Brice, St Alphege and the Wolf: The fall of Anglo-Saxon England 325

17 The Viking saint 348

18 Heathendom's last bastion 364

Notes 383

Index 421

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >