The Vikings and Their Age
This book, the first in our Companions to Medieval Studies series, is a brief introduction to the history, culture, and religion of the Viking Age and provides an essential foundation for study of the period.
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.
- Series: Companions to Medieval Studies
- World Rights
- Page Count: 160 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
Reviews"The Vikings and Their Age, and its companion Reader, will be useful to those planning introductory courses on the Vikings. For the student, it conveys basic information on a good range of topics, concisely presented, and with an apparatus that eases its accessibility to absolute newcomers. Its attention to source criticism makes it a suitable introduction to historical methodologies for new historians, or to literature students who seek to arrive at a better understanding of the period as a whole."
Dale Kedwords, University of Southern Denmark
The Vikings and Their Age is a handy guide for navigating the vast and sometimes troubled seas of Viking Studies. It offers a concise and colorful introduction to the history, society, and culture of the Viking world, masterfully integrating documentary records, material evidence, and literary texts. Through its critical engagement with source materials, references to current scholarly issues, and presentation of select individuals, objects, and texts, the book is also a methodological guide to the study of the Viking Age. Whether approached as a stand-alone volume or as a companion to the authors' comprehensive The Viking Age: A Reader, it could serve equally as a helpful undergraduate textbook or as an engaging and informative jump-start for graduate students with an interdisciplinary interest in the Viking Age.
Lilla Kopar, The Catholic University of America
This is the first new textbook on the Vikings to come out in many years, and it is a fabulous addition to the field. When paired with The Viking Age: A Reader, the result is an integrated approach to the history, society, and culture of the Vikings. Basic apparatus like maps, a bibliography, chronology, and glossary are included, but there is far more to this teaching text than the basics. Throughout, and especially in the 'Questions for Reflection' section, major areas of disagreement among scholars are presented but left unanswered so that students can work out the evidence for themselves. The final chapter, 'A Case Study Exercise,' is a unique and exciting addition to teaching the Vikings.
Mary Valante, Appalachian State University
Author InformationAngus A. Somerville, now retired, formerly taught Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon at Brock University. Somerville was a contributor to the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary.
R. Andrew McDonald is Professor in the Department of History at Brock University.
Table of contentsList of Illustrations
List of Text Boxes
1. The Viking Age: An Overview
2. Society and Religion in the Viking Age
3. Viking Biographies
4. How Do We Know About the Vikings?
5. A Case Study Exercise: The Wandering Monks of Saint Philibert
Afterword: Viking Impacts and Legacies
Questions for Reflection
Subjects and Courses