The second edition of this popular reader has been revised and reorganized into fourteen chapters. Nearly twenty sources have been added, including material on children, games and entertainment, and runic inscriptions, as well as new readings on the martyrdom of Alfeah, the life of Saint Findan, and the martyrdom of Saint Edmund.
The reader can be paired for classroom use with its companion volume, The Vikings and Their Age, authored by Somerville and McDonald. Together, these books provide comprehensive coverage for a course on the Vikings. Additional resources, such as a detailed bibliography and instructions on reading skaldic poetry, can be found on the History Matters website (www.utphistorymatters.com).
The companion begins by defining the Viking Age and explores topics such as Viking society and religion. Viking biographies provide students with information on important figures in Viking lore such as Harald Bluetooth, Eirik the Red, Leif Eiriksson, and Gudrid Thorbjarnardaughter, a female Viking traveler. A compelling chapter entitled "How Do We Know About the Vikings?" and a case study on the wandering monks of St. Philibert introduce students to the process of historical inquiry. The book concludes with a discussion of the impact of the Vikings and their legacy.
Pedagogical resources include a detailed chronology, study questions, a glossary, 4 maps, and 14 images. Text boxes provide information on outsider perceptions of the Vikings, a detailed account of a Viking raid, and a description of a chieftain's dwelling in Arctic Norway. This study also benefits from a multi-disciplinary approach including insights and evidence from such diverse disciplines as archaeology, philology, religion, linguistics, and genetics.