280 pages | 37 B/W Illus.
As the politico-economic exploits of vikings in and around the Frankish realm remain, to a considerable extent, obscured by the constraints of a fragmentary and biased corpus of (near)contemporary evidence, this volume approaches the available interdisciplinary data on a cumulative and conceptual level, allowing overall spatiotemporal patterns of viking activity to be detected and defined – and thereby challenging the notion that these movements were capricious, haphazard, and gratuitous in character.
Set against a backdrop of continuous commerce and knowledge exchange, this overarching survey demonstrates the existence of a relatively uniform, sequential framework of wealth extraction, encampment, and political engagement, within which Scandinavian fleets operated as adaptable, ambulant polities – or ‘hydrarchies’. By delineating and visualising this framework, a four-phased conceptual development model of hydrarchic conduct and consequence is established, whose validity is substantiated by its application to a number of distinct regional case studies. The parameters of this abstract model affirm that Scandinavian movements across Francia were the result of prudent and expedient decision-making processes, contingent on exchanged intelligence, cumulative experience, and the ongoing individual and collective need for socioeconomic subsistence and enrichment.
Monarchs and Hydrarchs will appeal to both students and specialists of the Viking Age, whilst serving as an equally valuable resource to those investigating early medieval Francia, Scandinavia, and the North Sea world as a whole.
I. Introduction; II. The Scandinavian Perspective; III. Carolingian Francia; IV. Earliest Franco-Scandinavian Contact (up to 814); V. Early Viking Encounters (up to 840); VI. Intensified Viking Activity (c. 840s-930s); VII. Conceptual Development Model; VIII. Concluding Remarks and Discussion
Vikings are a perennially popular topic across a broad audience spectrum, from the general public to academics at all levels but there are comparatively few dedicated book series for the publication of the steady flow of Viking-related archaeological texts. Routledge Archaeologies of the Viking World showcases the latest outputs of the profession's brightest scholars, including established names but particularly acting as an outlet for the new generation of early career researchers.
The archaeological investigations of the Viking world within the series have a direct focus on the Scandinavians but also on the zones of cultural interaction that characterised their broad diaspora. The editors have particular interests in the eastern Viking Age, from European Russia to the Asian Steppe, the Arab world and beyond to the Silk Road and the Far East. This region is significantly under-represented in new English-language publications, books on this theme will become a hallmark of the series alongside western studies.