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The Vikings provides a concise but comprehensive introduction to the complex world of the early medieval Scandinavians.
In the space of less than 300 years, from the mid-eighth to the mid-eleventh centuries CE, people from what are now Norway, Sweden and Denmark left their homelands in unprecedented numbers to travel across the Eurasian world. Over the last half-century, archaeology and its related disciplines have radically altered our understanding of this period, and beyond the stereotypical Viking raider. The Vikings explores why we now perceive them as a cosmopolitan mix of traders and warriors, craftsworkers and poets, explorers and settlers. It details how, over the course of the Viking Age, their small-scale rural, tribal societies gradually became urbanised monarchies firmly emplaced on the stage of literate, Christian Europe and in the process transformed the cultures of the North, created the modern Nordic nation states, and left a far-flung diaspora with legacies that still resonate today.
Written by leading experts in the period and exploring the society and economy, identity and world-views of the early medieval Scandinavian peoples, and their unique religious beliefs that are still of enduring interest a millennium later and, this book presents students with an unrivalled guide through this widely studied and fascinating subject, revealing the fundamental impacts of the Vikings in shaping the later course of European history.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Viking Variations, 1. The Vikings Begin, 2. Viking Lives and Landscapes, 3. Tradition And World-View, 4. The Viking Diaspora, 5. Church And State.
Neil Price is Distinguished Professor of Archaeology at Uppsala University, Sweden. A leading expert on the Viking Age, his fieldwork, teaching and research have taken him to more than forty countries. He specializes in Viking-Age ritual, religion, identity, and world-view, with a particular focus on mortuary behaviour, amongst many other topics. Neil’s books and other publications have appeared in twenty languages, and he is a frequent consultant and contributor to television and film.
Ben Raffield is Associate Professor of Archaeology at Uppsala University. He specialises in the study of the Viking Age, with a particular focus on conflict and violence; captivity, slavery, and social inequality; and cross-cultural interaction in Scandinavia and the wider early medieval world. He has published his work in a range of peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, and he is currently working on several book projects