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.
Angus A. Somerville is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Brock University.
R. Andrew McDonald is Professor in the Department of History at Brock University.
The book discusses 11 mistaken notions about the Vikings, with each fiction treated in its own chapter. Topics include whether the Vikings wore horned helmets, whether they were unhygienic, whether they had primitive weapons, whether they drank out of skull cups, and more. Each chapter examines how the misconception proliferated and discusses what we now believe to be the facts contradicting the fictions. Excerpts from primary source documents help readers to understand how the misconceptions came to be throughout history and provide evidence for the historical truths.
Rather than the movements of armies, this book concentrates on the movements of people and the shared heritage and culture that connected them. This on-going contact throughout half a millennium can be traced in the laws, literatures, material culture and even environment of the various regions of the Viking diaspora. Judith Jesch considers all of these connections, and highlights in detail significant forms of cultural contact including gender, beliefs and identities.
Beginning with an overview of Vikings and the Viking Age, the nature of the evidence available, and a full exploration of the concept of ‘diaspora’, the book then provides a detailed demonstration of the appropriateness of the term to the world peopled by Scandinavians. This book is the first to explain Scandinavian expansion using this model, and presents the Viking Age in a new and exciting way for students of Vikings and medieval history.
For the reader's convenience, the work is organized into chapters covering all aspects life: domestic, economic, intellectual, material, political, recreational, and religious. It includes a historical timeline of Viking history, complementary pictures, illustrations, and maps, and a bibliography.
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).