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1. The Great Courses The Vikings
2. A History of the Vikings
3. Language And History in Viking
4. The Vikings: A Short History
5. The Vikings: Revised Edition
6. Viking Age Iceland (Penguin History)
7. The Oxford Illustrated History
8. The Story of Rolf and the Viking
9. Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques
10. The Vikings in History
11. The World of the Vikings
12. The Real Vikings : Craftsmen,
13. History News: The Viking News
14. Excavations on St Patrick's Isle,
15. From the Vikings to the Normans
16. Who Were the Vikings Internet-Linked
17. The Penguin Historical Atlas of
18. Chronicles of the Vikings: Records,
19. Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age
20. Barbarian Warriors: Saxons, Vikings,

1. The Great Courses The Vikings (Ancient & Medieval History, parts 1-2-3)
by Professor Kenneth W. Harl
Audio Cassette: Pages (2005)
-- used & new: US$64.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1598030671
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Parts one,two, and three. Each part contains six audio cassettes and course guidebook in a clamshell case. ... Read more

2. A History of the Vikings
by Gwyn Jones
Paperback: 552 Pages (2001-07-19)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$9.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192801341
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"An utterly splendid book, quite the most brilliantly written, balanced, and explanative general work on the Vikings ever to appear in English or in any language."-- Scandinavian Studies

The subject of this book is the Viking realms, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, their civilization and culture, and their many sided achievements at home and abroad.
A highly readable narrative follows the development of these Northern peoples--the Nordmenn--from their origins and the legendary pre-history to the military triumphs of Canute and the defeat of Harald Hardrádi at Stamford Bridge in 1066, which symbolically ended the Viking age.
The book recounts the Vikings' exploits in war, trade, and colonization: the assault on Western Christendom; the trading and military ventures to the Slav and Muslim worlds and to Byzantium; and the western voyages of discovery and settlement to Greenland, Iceland, and America.
Numerous photographs, maps, and drawings contribute to Gwyn Jones's rounded portrait of Viking civilization and vividly evoke the importance in their culture of religion, art, and seafaring. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another perspective of the Vikings
Good? Reasonable?, useful, but not as good as P.G. Foote and D.M. Wilson's The Viking Achievement. I would recommend owning a copy of Gwyn Jones History of the Vikings, but read it against the other book cited here and you will see what I mean. The Book reads almost like a narrative with lots of opinion by the author. He spends alot of time and paper refuting and discrediting common sources but not alot of time citing and referencing. Sometimes rather confusing to read and at the end I was not sure where the author was going. Still, I wanted this book for my collection and I am glad I own and have read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prompt, Efficient, and Reasonably Priced!
The book arrives promptly (actually earlier, much to my excitement, than I'd expected), in lovely condition, and for an unimaginably brilliant price. If you've been searching for a bit of literature regarding... whatever your interest, you'll definitely be more than happy with the order of this little treasure from this seller.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book is very thorough and I have to say...I cannot read more than 4 or 5 pages without taking a break because it's so much information!
Nevertheless, this is one of the best resources about vikings I've ever come across.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Researched, Well-Written Classic
This work represents the standard work on the history of the Viking Age and for good reason-- Professor Jones provides a detailed account of the Viking Age, the reasons for viking raids, the general character of life during the age, and so forth.He leaves very few areas uncovered.

The work is quite comprehensive and well detailed, but it may not be the right book if you are looking for light reading-- important works like this never are.If this is what you are looking for, "Everyday Live in the Viking Age" by Jaqueline Simpson may be closer to what you are looking for. Her work provides a better overview of life in the time period, a few broad outlines of history, and such which can make this work more accessible afterwards.

On the whole an impressive work and one that anyone studying the subject should not merely read but keep as a reference.

4-0 out of 5 stars Let's go a viking!!

How should one describe the Vikings? Adventurous? Savage? Intrepid?Viking history lasted under three hundred years, but, as this book demonstrates, their legacy is still felt to this day.While it can be a bit too academic at times, this book is the Bible of viking history.It covers their origin, culture, language, religion and even shipbuilding.It shows the Vikings were much more than brutal pirates.They were merchants, traders and perhaps most importantly, daring sailors.

They traveled everywhere from Persia and Central Asia to the shores of northern Canada.They created and maintained trade routes and founded cities that are still inhabited today throughout the UK and Ireland.They demonstrated both the great achievements man could make if daring enough, while also perpetrating the most depraved, even fiendish acts of barbarity.Perhaps it is this paradox that makes them so alluring.

If you are looking for fast-paced adventure history, I would not recommend this book.This book takes its time in explaining the Vikings from the origin of the Scandinavian people; how and why the took to the seas; how they shaped the societies they encountered; and what life was like for them.This is done with numerous references to historical writings, archaeology and conjecture.

In the end, the book is almost overwhelming in the information it provides.However, after digesting even half of it, you feel as if you will never need to read another book on the Vikings.For there is little this book does not cover.
... Read more

3. Language And History in Viking Age England: Linguistic Relations Between Speakers of Old Norse & Old English (Studies in the Early Middle Ages)
by Matthew Townend
 Paperback: 248 Pages (2005-06-01)
list price: US$38.00 -- used & new: US$31.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2503518419
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This is the first ever book-length study of the nature and significance of the linguistic contact between speakers of Old Norse and Old English in Viking Age England. It investigates in a wide-ranging and systematic fashion a foundational but under-considered factor in the history and culture of the Vikings in England. The subject is important for late Anglo-Saxon and Viking Age history; for language and literature in the late Anglo-Saxon period; and for the history and development of the English language. The work's primary focus is on Anglo-Norse language contact, with a particular emphasis on the question of possible mutual intelligibility between speakers of the two languages; but since language contact is an emphatically sociolinguistic phenomenon, the work's methodology combines linguistic, literary and historical approaches, and draws for its evidence on texts in Old English, Old Norse and Anglo-Latin, and other forms of linguistic and onomastic material. ... Read more

4. The Vikings: A Short History
by Martin Arnold
Paperback: 192 Pages (2008-04-01)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752445774
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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This concise history traces the 300-year saga of the pirates and warlords who poured out of Scandinavia between the eighth and eleventh centuries, terrorizing, conquering, and ultimately settling vast tracts of land throughout Europe. Undaunted by the might of the Arab caliphates and the Byzantine Empire, they founded Russia, originated the bloodline that came to rule France, and created a North Sea empire that included England. They also established settlements across the North Atlantic, notably in Iceland and Greenland, and their adventurous spirit and extraordinary seafaring skills led them to explore and briefly build colonies in North America. These were the Vikings, initially ferocious pagan warriors seeking land and booty under the banners of their gods, but eventually belligerent Christian kings commanding vast armies. Martin Arnold provides a lively and accessible account of the early medieval period that became known as the Viking Age. Drawing on rich literary and archaeological source material, Arnold vividly illustrates the two faces of the Vikings: on the one hand, savage, greedy, and implacable; on the other, adventurous, innovative, and artistic.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars If you own "The Vikings: Wolves of War" you already own this one ...
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me three times, beware of the same book with a slightly altered title by the same author. The problem with buying books sight unread is that sometimes you already own them in a different guise. This is the third book I've gotten from Amazon with that being the case. I am not happy, hence the "gave it a 1 star but wish I could give it a zero star" review. Buy this volume or "The Vikings: Wolves of War" version but not both.};>{> ... Read more

5. The Vikings: Revised Edition
by Else Roesdahl
Paperback: 368 Pages (1999-01-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140252827
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Far from being just 'wild, barbaric, axe-wielding pirates', the Vikings created complex social institutions, oversaw the coming of Christianity to Scandinavia and made a major impact on European history through trade, travel and far-flung consolidation. This encyclopedic study brings together the latest research on Viking art, burial customs, class divisions, jewellery, kingship, poetry and family life. The result is a rich and compelling picture of an extraordinary civilisation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Readable
I've reviewed a number of books on Vikings and their times and regard Else Roesdahl's as one of the best.It is both comprehensive and, although reasonably academic with references to abundant archaeologic, skaldic and historic information, it is also readable.

This book gives us important insights into the extend of Viking wanderings, adventures, conquests and land settlement and even gives us information as to why it all ended.Christianization, power consolidation in the various Scandinavian Kingdoms, improved defenses of various foes and just pure luck ended it all.Roesdahl gives 1066 A.D. as the most important terminal date in Viking history and surely she's correct.The defeat of the Norwegian Varangian king, Haraold Hardrada, by the English Saxon Harold on this date was surely deadening to 'Viking' ambitions.

Like the famous Lee's battle plan rolled around 3 cigars discovered by a Yankee sergeant immediately before the battle of Antietam, it is fascinating to speculate on the turn of Weird--Fate.Harold Hardrada was defeated and killed by Harold the Saxon at Stamford Bridge.A scant three days later, Harold the Saxon was defeated and killed by William the Bastard of Normandy at Hastings.Had the winds been a little different and had William the Bastard landed at Hastings before Harold Hardrada landed in the north of England.....

We could very well be living in a different world.England might have become an essentially Scandinavian nation.As it was, England and the British Isles fell under the Latinized influence of the Dano-Normans.Still, I think, the Viking impulse would have faded either way.If Harold Hardrada had conquered England and Scandinavia his centralized power would have discouraged truly Viking enterprises.

Perhaps Roesdahl should have emphasized a little more pointedly that 'Viking' wasn't synonymous with Scandinavians of the age.Probably few Scandinavians were actual world-shakers and Vikings and, almost certainly, there were non Scandinavians--Germans, English, Frisians, Irish--who certainly were Vikings.One of these--a German--was involved in the discovery of North America.To go so far, a man had to be a Viking.

3-0 out of 5 stars serious viking fans only
a freind of mine gave me this knoing i like vikings and all. it is a complicated read ad not very used to what i usually read. good for enformation tho!

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid and accessible work.
In this book, Else Roesdahl provides an overview of the history of the Viking age as well as a very detailed account of Viking life.This is one of the better books on the subject and I would highly recommend it.

Ms Roesdahl bases her work on literary and archeological sources.Some of the work may be somewhat dated (compared to recent studies of, for example, Norse women's dress) and fairly general, but the book as a whole seems very solid.I would further recommend the following books to people to be read for further information:

A History of the Vikings by Gwyn Jones (THE leading history of the Viking age).

Reading the Past: Runes by R. I. Page (a look at how Elder and Viking-age Runic alphabets were used).

Everyday Life in the Viking Age by Jacqueline Simpson (A work with a great deal of overlap to this one)


Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H. R. E. Davidson (A look at Viking-age religion).

However, the above works are more specialized than this current work.While they provide a great deal more depth in their areas, they lack some of the bigger picture.Thus I would recommend reading this book first and then looking into the above titles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice book!
I chose to buy this book because I wanted to learn more about this fascinating people. This book is well written and easy to read. There is another book called "A history of the vikings" by Gywn Jones that I do recommend only if you can read, like, 1,535 facts in one page. It is a good book but overwhelming on some readers. I'll go with this book by Else Roesdahl. Fantastic book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written, enjoyable to read
I really liked this book, As a Norwegian I have read and been learned in School of the Vikings, our heritage. I was still amazed over new information I did not know, and it inspired me to revisit many of the old sites with a new view of who they were.

Great book, a must read for people with interest in the Vikings ... Read more

6. Viking Age Iceland (Penguin History)
by Jesse L. Byock
Paperback: 432 Pages (2001-09-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$7.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140291156
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The popular image of the Viking Age is of warlords and marauding bands pillaging their way along the shores of Northern Europe. In this fascinating history, Jesse Byock shows that Norse society in Iceland was actually an independent one-almost a republican Free State, without warlords or kings. Combining history with anthropology and archaeology, this remarkable study serves as a valuable companion to the Icelandic sagas, exploring all aspects of Viking Age life: feasting, farming, the power of chieftains and the church, marriage, and the role of women. With masterful interpretations of the blood feuds and the sagas, Byock reveals how the law courts favored compromise over violence, and how the society grappled with proto-democratic tendencies. A work with broad social and historical implications for our modern institutions, Byock's history will alter long-held perceptions of the Viking Age. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Controlled Violence
Byock's study of Iceland during the Viking Age and the generations immediately following it, is not an exciting page turner, but is filled with information not easily available elsewahere.Nordic Iceland developed under extremely unusual circumstances.Unlike the subsequent discoveries of Greenland and North America, Iceland was uninhabitated.Usable land was scarce and was quickly filled with settlers.During the first centuries, civilization developed entirely without the presence of 'civis' [cities] and there weren't even any towns.The liveable parts of the island were subdivided entirely into farms.

Nevertheless there was was a society and that society was highly litigious--an alternative to lethal 'solutions'.This was also necessary because Scandinavians of the time were inclined to violence at the drop of a hat.Rules to direct these aggressive impulses into survivable channels were simply mandatory.It was also necessary because available land filled up quickly so there came to be an eternal jocking for land and postion inlimited territories.

Although legalistic to a fault, Icelandic law had little--and much--in common with present law.Might pretty much made Right and there was a continual scamble for allies--interested allies, to be certain--to 'back' your position at the local Thing or Althing.You won if you could back your opponent and his supporters down, although this sometimes involved bloodshed and killing.Still, this 'decision' didn't always stick.If you reckoned that you had more to gain by a killing than peaceful acquiesence...well...you killed and hoped you judged the consequences properly.If not, you stood to be 'Outlawed' which meant ANYONE could kill you on sight.Police and military weren't necessary.Most individuals were evidently happy to participate in a free kill.

Although not included in this book, there is an instructive tale in one of the Vinland Sagas--Sagas primarily about Icelanders.Our Scandinavians are sailing down the coast or a river in North America and chance on some 'skraelings' sleeping under an overturned canoe supported by timbers.Our Europeans quietly land on the bank and kill the native-americans because they were obviously 'Outlaws'A free kill.A kill to be taken advantage of.

As rough as Icelandic Law was by our standards, it worked.If you think about it, present legal systems are very much designed to shortcut the more direct satisfaction of a killing duel.Amazingly, when religious push-came-to-shove in 1000 A.D.--and despite the fact that most Icelanders were Pagan--they abided by a decision that ALL would convert to Christianity, in the interest of order.To be certain, many people must have 'converted' entirely tongue-in-cheek but they converted nonetheless and Iceland became a more-or-less Christian nation.I say 'more-or-less' because Pagan prists became Catholic Priests and our primary knowledge of ancient Scandinavian religion was written down--quite proudly--by Icelandic Catholic priests about 200 years following this mass conversion.

I also enjoyed discussions about the legal status of women and children.They were IMMUNE from killing violence and protected from family violence. Although women couldn't personally prosecute legal cases [probably to protect them], their status was similar to their fathers, brothers and husbands.There was something like sexual equality which was not unlike that followed over much of the northern world, although obviously not in the rest of the world.Our present laws fixing female equality must therefore derive from northern law and tradition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Important survey of Icelandic society
This study seems to have been written as a follow-up to Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power and covers much of the same territory.However, this is a somewhat different work as well. While "Medieval Iceland" focuses much more heavily on the legal sources, this book attempts to use the sagas to reconstruct social structures in the earlier centuries of republican Iceland.This book, along with the author's other works, should be in the library of anyone who seriously wants to learn more about the Viking-Age Norse cultures.

This book covers a wide range of topics, from the effects of human settlement on Iceland ecologically to the legal mechanisms that allowed blood feuds to play a stabilizing role on society.Along the way, he covers questions of how Icelandic society was stratified, the role of the chieftains/godhar, and the economics of the island.In an appendix he discusses the construction of turf buildings.

In terms of questions of the uses of the Sagas as sources for history, Byock discusses the problems of doing so and the changing debate among historians, covering a large number of viewpoints here.This section in particular is very helpful for those who may be trying to make up their minds as to whether the family sagas can be useful in the study of history.

The book is very detailed in what it covers and provides a compelling picture of early Iceland.Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The history of Iceland
I read this book prior to my trip to Iceland, and it really served to give me a good sense of the country, how it was settled, who settled it, and how the population grew over time. It also explained the desolation of the countryside --- when you travel from the airport to Reykjavik, the land is like much like on the moon --- treeless crags abound. The book explains how this came to be. In addition, the book gives a good background to the sagas and other adventures of the people of Iceland, and those who came to its shores.

Of course, this book will not explain Iceland's rise to financial success and despair in the early 21st century, but that is a tale for another time.

(review by Kendall Giles)

5-0 out of 5 stars simply the best introduction to the topic
this is a great book with an excellent price point that introduces all aspects on settlement Iceland. Most supporting evidence is found from the saga literature and archeology.

5-0 out of 5 stars Political Correctness In The Age Of Vikings
With the publication of this great work & similar tomes by other scholars, the Norse people of the early Middle Ages are finally getting their due. Instead of the marauding, pillaging hordes that traditional history has depicted them as for centuries, we are shown a more sympathetic view of their society & culture. The term "Viking" itself is a misnomer for the majority of these Norse people. A Viking was the name originally given to those men, predominately Norse, who preyed on defenseless ships, villages, and monasteries. It's interesting to note that it was contemporary foreigners, particularly Anglo-Saxon sources, who first labeled these men "Vikings". By the time that the great Icelandic Sagas were written several hundred years after the fact, the Norse authors were freely using the term. In retrospect, these men were seen as mighty warriors & great adventurers. To be called a Viking had evolved into a badge of honor to a culture that had gradually been assimilated into Christian European. Unfortunately in the process, these remarkable people & the society they had created became little more than villians & despoilers to the "civilized" world in which they existed.

Professor Byock seeks to renounce these false ideas & does a remarkable job of it. By using the Icelandic Sagas as his reference point, he ties in both the Norse contemporary stories with modern historical & anthropological research. These sagas, originally thought to be nothing more than a collection of Icelandic folktales, have now taken on a more scholarly role in understanding these people. While some of the characters, family connections, and incidents recorded might be questioned, the total picture of daily life, culture, values, and society are being proved accurate by modern analysis. Professor Byock provides this analysis within these pages.

Yes, we are treated to tales of mighty warriors fighting against great odds, but we are also witness to the legal maneuverings of the Thing courts. We see political connections being forged & broken as these men sought influence & power from the fellow Icelanders. By placing the human participants depicted in the sagas into his discussion of Viking Age Iceland, Professor Byock has given the reader a face & life that he or she can easily identify with. I applaud his efforts & success. If there is indeed such a thing as "Populist History", this book is an excellent example.

One needs only to thumb through the pages to appreciate the diverse amount of material covered. From "Resources & Subsistence" to "Aspects of Blood Feud", Professor Byock offers a well-researched & well-rounded view of Iceland and its people as a whole. The numerous maps included are of great help in understanding how geography affected & influenced life. The appendix depicting turf house construction was especially interesting & makes one appreciate how these people learned to live in harmony with the land & its sometimes harsh climate.

Professor Byock's writing style is very layman friendly but still detailed & authoritative enough to be referenced in serious research. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as purely escapist fare. Learning history is seldom this much fun or fascinating. I can not recommend it highly enough to either the casual reader of Norse/Viking material, lovers of the Icelandic Sagas who want to delve further into the factual basis of these stories, or the serious student. You will not be disappointed. ... Read more

7. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings (Oxford Illustrated Histories)
Paperback: 320 Pages (2001-09-20)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$15.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192854348
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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With settlements stretching across a vast expanse and with legends of their exploits extending even farther, the Vikings were the most far-flung and feared people of their time. Yet the archaeological and historical records are so scant that the true nature of Viking civilization remains shrouded in mystery.

In this richly illustrated volume, twelve leading scholars draw on the latest research and archaeological evidence to provide the clearest picture yet of this fabled people. Painting a fascinating portrait of the influences that the "Northmen" had on foreign lands, the contributors trace Viking excursions to the British Islands, Russia, Greenland, and the northern tip of Newfoundland, which the Vikings called "Vinlund." We meet the great Viking kings: from King Godfred, King of the Danes, who led campaigns against Charlemagne in Saxony, to King Harald Bluetooth, the first of the Christian rulers, who helped unify Scandinavia and introduced a modern infrastructure of bridges and roads. The volume also looks at the day-to-day social life of the Vikings, describing their almost religious reverence for boats and boat-building, and their deep bond with the sea that is still visible in the etymology of such English words as "anchor," "boat," "rudder," and "fishing," all of which can be traced back to Old Norse roots. But perhaps most importantly, the book goes a long way towards answering the age-old question of who these intriguing people were.

From sagas to shipbuilding, from funeral rites to the fur trade, this superb volume is an indispensable guide to the Viking world.Amazon.com Review
Everyone feared the Vikings during their three centuries of terror, which lastedroughly from the start of the 8th century to the end of the 11th century. They are bestremembered as cruel pagan raiders from the frigid north, but their vibrant warrior culture alsomanaged to transform the north Atlantic and much of Russia through trade and settlement. Theirseafaring exploits, passed down through the generations in a series of entertaining sagas, ledthem to Iceland, Greenland, and even North America (which they called "Vinland"). Theseaccomplishments are truly extraordinary, and reveal how a group of people often belittled ascruel brutes actually expanded the frontiers of human knowledge. Peter Sawyer has pulledtogether a group of accomplished scholars, including Janet L. Nelson and Simon Keynes, to contribute chapters to this attractive, full-colorvolume. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings contains the very latest information available about the Vikings and their oftenviolent--but always intriguing--ways. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars VIKING HISTORY
A very good analysis of Viking history.Fairly sloww reading and st times repetitive.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Nordic primer
A perfect reference is rare. This book is not a 100% perfect source of information on Nordic history, but its generally a good start for the uninitiated.

The primary value I found from this volume was a clarification of the literary sources, such as the Sagas, and how they relate to the study of Viking heritage. A considerable volume of Icelandic Sagas was actually found in the remains of a farm-house that was being demolished! Imagine what literature has already been lost forever, under similar circumstances. We will never know what we have lost. We have an idea of generally knowing what was lost, by what literary sources managed to be saved.

Here is an indication of Viking influence one-thousand years later:

If you have read some of the "history" written by stodgy, opinionated, British academics-types from the mid 19th century, you will see some laughable attempts by misguided nationalists to derisively dismis the Norse people as merely "rude, crude, pillaging barbarians". Such banter was rather common-place in Europe, with the nationalistic posturings of professors who overly-subscribed to glorified perceptions of their own nations' histories.

...But the truth, was far more complex!

The archeological findings of the last century, have shown us that the "crude barbarian" image of the Nordic people was quite inaccurate. The Sagas alone were already evidence enough.

DNA technology revealed something even more astounding. It turns out that, Britain has so much Nordic DNA in its population, they can almost be classified as a Nordic people themselves! The stodgy old professor didn't realize he was deriding an ancestor!

In our time, some fools naively and stupidly compare the Vikings to "Nazis". Absolutely ridiculous!
There is a reason for the vast spread of Nordic DNA in Europe. The Vikings, in their many settlements throughout Europe, ASSIMILATED with the indigenous people: mainly Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Finland, France, and Russia. I don't think "Nazis" would "condescend" to assimilate with anyone.

2-0 out of 5 stars Christian propaganda about the Vikings endures to this day.
'The Nazis adopted Viking imagary therefore the Vikings must be Nazis' - was the person who came up with that howler having a blonde moment at the time?

Apart from that gem, the Vikings:

- Interests' lay more in establishing trade routes rather than looting and pillaging cities.
- Had an intricate and surprisingly sophisticated civilization for their time.
- Were heathens (non-Christians) in a period of time in which the rest of Europe was largely Christianized.This was to change over time; some by peaceful adoption of the new religion, others by torture. Still, much of the negative history of the Norsemen was written by Christian scholars...
- Were strongly family-oriented, believing that their strength came from their heritage and the blood of their ancestors.
- Used an alphabet (called a "futhark") consisting of only 16 letters (a reduction of their ancestors' earlier alphabet of 24 letters.)

To this day, their influences can be felt in the language, arts, and literature of modern-day American culture.

Or are you more comfortable with the 'murderous barbarians' conclusion. If not, buy another book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Fair
This book falls below what I would expect from Oxford (at least the traditional Oxford of yester-year). The pictures are nice as well as a lot of the text. The main problem with this book is the chapter "The Vikings in History and Ledgend." The author of this essay insinuates that those who take pride in their Viking heritage are Nazis. This chapter is full of inappropriate partisan politics and hurts this book. It reads like propoganda straight out of a typical ADL hate tract.
One reader has obviously fallen for this line (see below).
There are far-better books on the Vikings out there. Go for Gwen Jones for a more balanced account.

5-0 out of 5 stars be real
if ya get all romantic thinking about the vikings, just remember that they were the nazis of their day, in terms of senseless destruction and inhumanity. ... Read more

8. The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow (Living History Library)
by Allen French
Paperback: 244 Pages (1995-06-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883937019
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Rolf, son of Hiarandi the Unlucky, is a character who exemplifies the effect of Christ's teachings upon the Icelandic people during their heroic age. The book is set in Iceland in the days when Christianity has come to the island though the old customs still linger. Hiarandi, at the urging of his wife, does an unprecedented thing: he lights a signal fire on a dangerous point of his land, thereby challenging the accepted custom which places lucrative salvage at higher value than the saving of life. However, the life that is saved that night causes his own death and the unjust outlawing of his son Rolf. Rolf's response to this injustice creates a suspenseful, thought-provoking tale difficult to put down. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story, prefectly told (not sure he was a Coalbiter)
This is one of my all time favorites.The subject matter and the style are based on the Icelandic sagas.French's execution in this book is just flawless.The story is tight and so satisfying, and the high, archaic style is consistent throughout.

This is by far my favorite of Allen French's books.I'll read it over and over again, to my self and to my family.I'll always be grateful to our firends who first recommended it.

And if you like this book, I recommend that you give R.A. Lafferty's "The Fall of Rome" a shot.

P.S. I have not found any evidence that French was a member of Tolkien's group of Coalbiters. According to Wikipedia (I know -- not the most reliable source in the world), French was an American who attended Harvard.If Mr. Borgquist has evidence to the contrary, I'd would love to know of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elisha Kim
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow is set in Christian Iceland, and the story is of a boy named Rolf. Rolf was the son of Hiarandi and lived in Cragness Hall, until his HIarandi's neigbors, who were envious of Cragness, outlawed Hiarandi unjustly. He freed Hiarandi's slaves, and stole them. When one slave was escaping, Hiarandi ran out of his boundaries as an outlaw and was killed. Rolf, trying to save his father, killed his neighbor's herdsman and was made outlaw. He sailed with his cousin to the Orkneys, and was enslaved by the men there...
How was Rolf freed, and how did he earn the Viking Bow? How did he get back to Iceland and avenge his father's death? Read this book to find out.

Elisha Kim

5-0 out of 5 stars Good story
Purchased for my son, he then encouraged me to read it.I'm glad I did.Its a good story with many lessons that can then be discussed with your child.If you're considering this book I give it a hearty child/parent recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful modern version of the Icelandic sagas
Rolf is the only son of Hiarandi the Unlucky. Most of his father's ill luck springs from the fact that he is compassionate and that his neighbor, Einar, covets his land and his spacious hall. The wicked Einar manages to get Hiarandi ensnared in legal difficulties and he is sentenced to spend a year within a bow-shot of his own hall. Not content, Einar sends his henchmen to trick Hiarandi into venturing beyond this perimeter where he will be fair game for slaughter. Hiarandi is killed, but in the process, young Rolf also kills one of Einar's henchmen. Now Rolf is made an outlaw and is forced to flee from Iceland until his sentence is complete. But Rolf will not be content until he can prove that his father was killed within a bowshot of his home--and thus make Einar subject to the law.

Rolf and the Viking Bow is a wonderful read. It is a story told in the style of the Icelandic sagas, even including some of the same characters, but the prose is completely approachable for a modern reader. The reading level is about age 12 and up, I'd say, but a precocious 10 year old could handle the content. The book is perfectly suited for parents to read along with their youngsters and there is plenty of fodder here for discussions about important subjects like justice, virtue, greed, the law, corruption, and loyalty.

This book has the look and feel of a "young adult" novel, but I must admit that I enjoyed it very much, even though I'm approaching 40. I read the edition published by Bethelehem Books and was impressed by the production values--it's definitely worth a couple extra dollars. I recommend it heartily to all.

5-0 out of 5 stars by an 11 year old boy!!!!!!!
This book was an amazing story. You will read this book again and again until you've memorized it. What happens is that Rolf a young viking boy is the best archer in the land. He lives a happy life until someone kills his father. He leaves his land to find someone who can out do him with the bow by three yards. I'm not telling you anymore about this story. Read this book and find out what happens. I'm sure you will have a blast reading Rolf and the Viking bow. ... Read more

9. Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques
by William R. Short
Hardcover: 232 Pages (2009-05-01)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$21.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594160767
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A History of the Arms, Armor, and Individual Fighting Strategies of Medieval Europe's Most Feared Warriors

A source of enduring fascination, the Vikings are the most famous raiders of medieval Europe. Despite the exciting and compelling descriptions in the Icelandic sagas and other contemporary accounts that have fueled this interest, we know comparatively little about Viking age arms and armor as compared to weapons from other historical periods. We know even less about how the weapons were used. While the sagas provide few specific combat details, the stories are invaluable. They were written by authors familiar with the use of weapons for an audience that, likewise, knew how to use them. Critically, the sagas describe how these weapons were wielded not by kings or gods, but by ordinary men, as part of their everyday lives. Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques provides an introduction to the arms and armor of the Vikings, the people who lived in Northern Europe during the Viking age, roughly the years 793-1066. Using a variety of available sources, including medieval martial arts treatises, and copiously illustrated with images of historical artifacts, battle sites, and demonstrations of modern replicas of Viking weapons, the author and his colleagues at Hurstwic (a Viking-age living history organization) and at the Higgins Armory Sword Guild have reconstructed the combat techniques of the Viking age and what is known about the defensive and offensive weapons of the time in general. Throughout, the author corrects some popular misconceptions about Viking warriors and warfare, such as the belief that their combat techniques were crude and blunt rather than sophisticated. In addition, the book provides an overview of Viking history and culture, focusing on the importance of weapons to the society as well as the Vikings' lasting impact on Europe through their expeditions of trade and exploration. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Speculation instead of Recreation
While this book provides a nice, brief overview of VIking society & arms & armor, it completely fails to deliver when it comes to Combat Techniques. Throughout the text, the author repeatedly points out there is little historical or archaeological evidence upon which to base a reconstruction of Viking martial arts. Likewise, there are no known primary printed manuals sources. Instead of sticking to the little that can be teaser out of sagas & surviving weapons of the period, the author speculates based on Medieval manuals that use different weapon types & post-date the Viking period by many hundreds of years. Statements by the author, such as, such & such technique from Talhoffer's manual of 1467, are well suited to this a certain Viking weapon, is in no way evidence that the Viking people used such techniques.

In short, this book might be of interest to those new to this field of study, as an overview of the weapons employed by Vikings, but it completely falls down when it comes to recreating any of the martial arts that might have been used by these people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This wonderful book fills the gap that has existed since the publication of Oakeshott's "The Archaeology of Weapons" and Davidson's "The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England."
Synergistically combining the physical and literary evidence of the past with modern reconstruction and interpretation, the text brings the sagas to life while giving us a deeper understanding of how the Viking thought about and may have used the weapons of the day. The profuse & diverse illustrations bring out many subtle details of the artifacts that are typically not found outside of obscure archaeological reports and add a deeper context to the mix. A welcome addition to the Viking literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent speculation on how Vikings might have used weapons
Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques is an excellent and innovative book written by a scientist who understandably approaches the subject with a scientific point of view.While the book is academic in nature, it's also very easy to read and digest.Short gives a good overview of Viking culture and the weapons they used.He then speculates how those weapons were used based on information drawn from a variety of resources, including the author's years of experience in Western Martial Arts and hands-on research with reproductions of Viking weapons.In fact, the author dedicates an entire chapter to describing his resources, which include archaeological finds, medieval and Renaissance combat documents, Icelandic sagas, art, and forensics.In other words, these are the puzzle pieces, and Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques is the picture the author created using those puzzle pieces.He also explains the limitations of his research on Viking combat techniques.The book is peppered with specific examples, illustrations, and photos that support his findings.For example, when Short mentions a specific passage from a saga, he clearly explains why he's using it as an example and how that passage ties into the subject matter at hand.One of Short's strengths is the level of detail he presents about Viking culture and how each detail gives insight to how, where, and why Vikings fought.This book is a treasure for a wide audience, from novices who want to learn about Vikings to expert practitioners of Western Martial Arts.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good in parts but misses the target.
This is a carefully written and well presented book. The layout and presentation is very clear and well done. There are many photographs in black and white which are clear and well used to supplement the text. As a single book on fighting with sword and shield the book stands up well. This is because it is based on medieval techniques from extant manuals. This is, however, the problem. The book has little to do with vikings. The extensive examples of technique are off the pages of medieval manuals and the author fails to demonstrate they are representative of the viking era. The many quotations come from Icelandic saga literature which is of 13th century date. This means the discussion is about medieval techniques represented in medieval accounts. It is not surprising there is a correlation. The pictures also are of Icelandic subjects in the main. What is not Icelandic is of Renaissance or Chinese in origin.Altogether this book could better be entitled 'Combat Technique in Medieval Iceland'.

1-0 out of 5 stars good for a laugh
I recently purchased this book.The best thing I can say about it is that it was good for a laugh.I have been doing Viking reenactment for eight years with steel weapons.By the looks of the shields, it's obvious they have never actually put any of their theories to the test.A few specifics should show the weakness of this book.
The description of shields creates shields that are heavy, this makes them really slow.On page 39, they show their recommended fighting stance.The reaction time with this stance (especially with those big, heavy shields) would be too slow to prevent someone getting inside those shields and killing you.
On page 41, he discusses fighting against a Dane Axe.He says, "Would a person be able to maintain a grip on the shield under the impact of a blow like this?Would bones break?What would be an appropriate follow-up attack?We hope that further research and experiments will answer some of these questions."Having been attacked at full strength from a Dane Axe, I can tell him the answers to these questions.Yes, you can maintain your grip, your bones don't break, the shock is absorbed by your elbow and the proper follow-up is to step in and kill him.His proper mode of research would be to ask someone who has actually fought against someone with a Dane Axe, not theorizing about it.
On page 93, he shows a lunge with a spear.On a purely theoretical level, this may look like a good attack.In real life, it's terrible.Such an attack has no control, making it extremely easy to parry.There is also no power in it.Rather than an attack to highlight, this is an attack to avoid.
This book shows the problems that are created when theories are not tested.
... Read more

10. The Vikings in History
by F. Donald Logan
Paperback: 224 Pages (2005-11-14)
list price: US$37.95 -- used & new: US$27.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0415327563
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Completely updated to include important primary research, archaeological findings and debates from the last decade, this third edition of F. Donald Logan's successful book examines the Vikings and their critical role in history.

The author uses archaeological, literary and historical evidence to analyze the Vikings' overseas expeditions and their transformation from raiders to settlers. Focusing on the period from 800–1050, it studies the Vikings across the world, from Denmark and Sweden right across to the British Isles, the North Atlantic and the New World.

This edition includes:

  • a new epilogue explaining the aims of the book
  • updated further reading sections
  • maps and photographs.

By taking this new archaeological and primary research into account, the author provides a vital text for history students and researchers of this fascinating people.

... Read more

11. The World of the Vikings
by Richard Hall
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2007-03-26)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$19.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500051445
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A vivid picture of the Vikings that draws on the latest discoveries and augments written evidence with fine archaeological detail.

Here is the complete story of the Vikings from their origins in Scandinavia during the early first millennium AD, through the incredible period of raiding, trading, and settling known as the Viking Age and the huge impact that the Vikings had on the course of European history, to the last surviving Viking settlements in fifteenth-century Greenland.

The book explores Viking life and culture in detail, from their costumes and appearance to their longhouses and towns, including Hedeby, York, and Dublin, and the extensive Viking pantheon. Viking warfare, targets, and tactics are analyzed, as are their weapons, crafts, and other artifacts—including their stunning pattern-welded swords, their helmets, and their hoards. The ship, the linchpin of the Viking world, is described and illustrated with numerous examples, among them Oseberg and Nydam. Box features complement the text, covering subjects as diverse as runes, navigation, silver hoards, and the sagas. 330 illustrations, 165 in color. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars World-Shakers
Not only did I find Hall's 'World of the Vikings' an excellent overview of a world long past but I was intrigued by the new archeologic information that he produced.The book is beautifully edited and organized with excellent photos and diagrams.It is also well written and, because I found it fascinating, I completed the book in three sittings.

This book is by no means a complete history of Viking times but it leaves the reader with a desire to delve more deeply into the subject.Still, the author hints at real mysteries.Why is it that such a small group of people decided to assault the Western World?Why is it that essentially rag-tag groups of warriors proved so successful in raiding/exploring/colonizing Russia, Byzantium, England, Normandy, Greenland, North America, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland and even Spain, Italy and North Africa?What did they have going for them?Yes, they had beautiful warships but the designs weren't inherently superior to those of German, Frisian and English manufacture.

The kingdoms of the British Isles and Continental Europe weren't nearly as centralized as they were in the later middle-ages but still...they were all militarily significant places and should have been able to have fended off all significant Viking attacks.

Were the Vikings--at least during the early years--more dedicated/fanatical than their opponents?I am aware that Viking motives, at least initially, are generally thought to be those of piracy but, is it possible/probable that the initial attacks on monasteries were acts of religious war?Somewhat improbably, the Scandinavians had maintained their pagan religion for two or three hundred years following the total Christianization of Western Europe.It may not be an accident that the initial Viking onslaughts followed hard on Charlemagne's forced conversion [and executions] of Saxons immediately to the South of the Jutland Peninsula.The fate of Christian monks taken by the Vikings is usually thought to be a simple function of Viking brutality...but...it is probably equally likely that the Vikings had a special hatred for these monks.

It is probably no accident that the steam went out of the Viking movement in almost direct proportion to the Christianization of the Northmen.The 'old religion' especially honored the man who fell in battle...Christianity, less so.

Ron Braithwaite author of novels--'Skull Rack' and 'Hummingbird God'--on the Spanish Conquest of Mexico

4-0 out of 5 stars A survey with a little something extra
There are many survey-type histories of the Viking world, stuffed with pretty pictures.What distinguishes Hall's "World of the Vikings" from the rest is his inclusion of information about relatively new finds, and his ability (in light of his experience with the dig in York) to write about them clearly and concisely for a lay audience.A fine book for the person just learning about the Vikings, and still useful for more knowledgeable persons because of the updated archaeological information.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read.
The books reads like a history book but very well written and gives a very good diversity of information. Covers migration paths and major trade cities. The illustrations are awesome and really complement the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book!
This book was exactly what I was looking for. I'm writing a screenplay on the Vikings and this was by far, the best resource for background information. I've read a lot of books, but this one was the best. I recommend that you buy this book first.

5-0 out of 5 stars The World of the Vikings
The World of the Vikings, Richard Hall, Thames&Hudson, is both a well researched work and one with "coffee table" appeal for its great illustrations. It is unusual to find this depth of scholarship combined with illustrations of this quality.

The author brings the Vikings to life again with clear descriptions of the evidence we have about them. You will conclude with the sense that you were there to see them, and you will have plenty of resources to further research any gaps you might feel. ... Read more

12. The Real Vikings : Craftsmen, Traders, and Fearsome Raiders
by Gilda Berger
Hardcover: 64 Pages (2003-10-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$9.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792251326
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most people think of Vikings as fierce and merciless, but is that the whole truth? This beautifully illustrated book now tells the rest of their story, revealing the full range of Viking life and culture. The Bergers present the Vikings’ notable accomplishments as skilled craftsmen, hard-working farmers, prosperous merchants, explorers of faraway lands—and as firm believers in personal independence and democracy. (And they didn’t even wear those funny horned hats!) Readers examine the magnificent sailing ships that enabled the Vikings to rule the seas for more than 300 years, and learn how they traveled throughout Europe, into Russia, to North America, and even to the Middle East, changing the face and civilizations of much of the world. A vivid look at exciting times—and a great resource for school reports! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Real Vikings : Craftsmen, Traders, and Fearsome Raiders
The companies service as well as the quality of the merchandise was every bit what was promised. If this quality is the standard for this book store, I will order again from this company.

5-0 out of 5 stars a good overview for interested kids
This book gives a balanced perspective on Vikings culture and living. It shows the influence on European art and nation building. I like the balance of pictures and text.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly researched, engagingly presented text
The collaborative effort of Melvin and Gilda Berger, The Real Vikings is an outstanding children's picture book that strives to answer the question of what the Vikings of legend and history were really like? There was a great deal more to the story of the Vikings than their legends of being fierce raiders. Most Vikings were farmers who stayed on the fields in Scandinavia, while others were accomplished explorers. Not all Viking used the seas to raid; some were merchants and traders, while others sought out new lands and navigation routes. Thoroughly researched, engagingly presented text, and filled from cover to cover with magnificent full-color illustrations, The Real Vikings is a very highly recommended addition to family, school, and community library World History collections for young readers. ... Read more

13. History News: The Viking News
by Rachel Wright
Paperback: 32 Pages (2001-06-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$89.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0763612928
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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At home or at school, these innovative titles make history come alive!

In VIKING NEWS, get to grips with Bjorn Bloodaxes's battle tips, discover why long ships are so devestating speedy, and uncover the mysteries of ancient runes! Now perfectly packaged for kid and teacher purchases, the books in this popular series present history in an affordable, kid-friendly format that's as accessible as the morning newspaper! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Done better elsewhere
Mildly amusing and educational, but falls short of the much funnier (and much more informative) "Viking Invader" by Paul Dowswell, a book with the same newspaper concept.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Children
Children in the fifth through eighth grades who are studying Vikings would find this book very entertaining.The readings are short, illustrations are plenty and colorful, and the "voice" is usually first person.

The author took great pains to present Viking history, social customs,and every day life in a manner with which children could readily identify. For instance, there are "newspaper ads" for common householdneeds that are written in "today's" format.News snippets arelinked together by general topics.

As a historian and former Norwegianachaeologist, I was delighted to see that historical accuracy was upheldwhen writing this book.

This book does not intended to make anyone ascholar, but for children first encountering the Vikings, the book cleverlyspoons much history into young brains.Furthermore, the newpaper formatmakes parental reading enjoyable.

This book belongs on any social studiesshelf.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but short stories
The Viking News is a good book to give to people who don't know anything, or know very little about the vikings, since each story is short, and with out much detail and besides that, it is fun to read. ... Read more

14. Excavations on St Patrick's Isle, Isle of Man, 1989-1992:: Prehistoric, Viking, Medieval And Later (Liverpool University Press - Centre for Manx Studies Monographs)
Hardcover: 480 Pages (2002-09-01)
list price: US$160.00 -- used & new: US$47.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0853233365
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The excavations on St Patrick’s Isle have been the subject of over forty published articles and numerous radio and television broadcasts. However, this text is the first to provide such a detailed and comprehensive report of this ambitious and fascinating project.
... Read more

15. From the Vikings to the Normans (Short Oxford History of the British Isles)
by Wendy Davies
Paperback: 296 Pages (2003-08-28)
list price: US$46.00 -- used & new: US$30.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0198700512
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This readable and authoritative volume covers the history of the British Isles from the Vikings to the Norman conquest. Seven chapters contributed by an international team of leading historians cover key themes of this period such as monarchies and other political structures, economic developments, the christianization of society, and relationships between Britain, Ireland, and the Mediterranean civilizations to the south. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars From the Vikings to the Normans
I was very happy with how quickly I received the book.I had ordered it for a class and I needed it soon.It came exactly as described.

3-0 out of 5 stars The sequel to 'After Rome'
From the Vikings to the Normans tracks the history of the British Isles from the ninth century up to and including the Norman invasion. Seven chapters contributed by different historians discuss in turn the role of kingship, the influence of the Viking invasions, economic aspects, the growth of the aristocracy, the progress of Christianity, the written languages, and lastly the transformations of the late 11th century. A useful chronology is presented at the end.

Readers should be warned that From the Vikings to the Normans is a socio-cultural history manual. It provides a description of life and society (or rather societies) in Britain in the period. If this is what you are looking for, you will find this book interesting as well as scrupulous in its treatment of historical material. What this book does not, or barely does offer is a narrative. The authors make it clear that they don't consider the sources abundant enough to support doing this. This is not about battles and kings and succession crises, or at least not in their detail.

The multiple-contributor format also makes the chapters unequal. I found the chapter on Christianity and religious reform difficult to follow, for lack of knowledge of the wider background, in particular medieval church history, since this was the period in which the Church of England became more involved in European affairs and ideas. The Norman invasion and its aftermath are treated quite succinctly for their impact on British history, and readers interested in that will need to look further afield. Overall, this is a useful work on the social and cultural history of the period, but it may disappoint readers more interested in political events. ... Read more

16. Who Were the Vikings Internet-Linked (Starting Point History)
by Jane Chisholm, Phil Roxbee, Struan Reid, Phil Roxbee Cox
Paperback: 32 Pages (2002-06)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$4.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 079450177X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This title aims to answer basic questions about the Vikings, for example, why they had horns on their helmets. It also looks at how, and what, we know about living in the past. The activities and questions are directed at the readers themselves to involve them in learning about the Viking Age. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction
A great deal of information delivered in the very readable way with great illustrations. Well worth your purchase!

5-0 out of 5 stars Vikings!
I bought this book as a companion to Yo, Vikings!. It is full of detailed illustrations and looks like it would be hours of educational entertainment.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Introduction to Who the Vikings Were
It was nearly impossible to find a book about Vikings that would appeal to a 4yo Viking enthusiast. "Who Were the Vikings" fit perfectly.There was enough text to be informative, and plenty of illustrations to keep a non-reader glued to the pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars History resource
I would definitely recommend this book.It is informative, without being too descriptive for young children.It was very interesting and children of both genders were entertained while using this book to learn.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining and Informative!
We thoroughly enjoyed this book during our unit study of the Vikings. I read the whole book aloud to my 8yo daughter and 5yo son over the course of several days. They found it fascinating and so did I.

It is written in such a way that it is *very* complete and encompasses a HUGE amount of information on the vikings, yet it is also still very accessible and quite enjoyable. The illustrations are magnificent [as always with Usborne books] and they really add to the book.

We learned a whole lot with this book [mom included!] and it is one we will re-read through the years and one we will refer to as a reference book as well.

I think anyone would enjoy this book and really get a lot out of it. ... Read more

17. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings (Hist Atlas)
by John Haywood
Paperback: 144 Pages (1995-09-01)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$10.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140513280
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Viking marauders in their longships burst through the defenses of 9th-century Europe, striking terror into the hearts of monks, peasants, and rulers. But the Vikings were more than seaborne terrorists. This atlas shows their development as traders and craftsmen, explorers, settlers, and mercenaries, and follows the routes of Viking merchants from Constantinople to the new world. Full color. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

2-0 out of 5 stars VIKING HISTORY
I have read better accounts of Viking history. However I would still recomend it for most readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beware the Vikings!
For anyone interested in Vikings, this is an excellent choice. Crammed full of maps, illustrations, pictures (both color and black and white), and information, you can't go wrong with this book. The author, John Haywood, has done an outstanding job detailing the lives of these amazing people and their culture, from the ordinary housewife, craftsmen and farmers to the maudering Vikings in their feared dragonships. A must for anyone insterested in the Vikings and the Dark Ages!

4-0 out of 5 stars viking historical atlas
It wasn't the fastest shipping I could have hoped for but it did get here within the allotted time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Illustrations, Analysis is hit-and-miss
First, the photos, illustrations, and maps in this book are excellent.

Secondly, the analysis is a little shoddy in places.While I understand that the author only has space for the "reader's digest" version of Viking History, there seem to be a few areas where his findings seem to be contrary to prevailing views.However, that isn't really likely to be of interest anyway to the serious student.This is, after all, a historical atlas.

I would recommend this book along with the following other books:

1)"The Vikings" by Else Roesdahl
2)"A History of the Vikings" by Gwyn Jones.

Both of those books are better at addressing a lot of the analysis than this book is, but then you don't buy an atlas for anything other than maps, right?


4-0 out of 5 stars Good basic overview of Viking era - good for teens
I did learn a few things from this book and, as a general introduction to the entire Viking era it does a good job. There are a few problems with it though. First, there are a few editorial mistakes (inlcuding, it appears to me, a missing illustration - the caption is included and a blank space where an image should be). Second, the maps are not always as interesting to look at as one would hope (although the written information is consistently interesting and enjoyable to read). As a reference book it is very useful and I am happy to have it on my bookshelf. I'm sure I will read it again. I feel bound to point out that I think it would be ideal for teenagers - especially if they are doing an assignment on the topic. ... Read more

18. Chronicles of the Vikings: Records, Memorials, and Myths
by R.I. Page
Paperback: 240 Pages (1995-08-09)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$28.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802071651
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The Vikings are not known for their literate legacy. Little of what they once inscribed in runes on wood, bone, and stone has survived. However these runic inscriptions are a valuable primary source of information on the Viking Age. They alow us to see the Vikings from their own point of view, unlike the records of prejudiced observers who saw the Vikings only as savage invaders. Chronicles of the Vikings attempts to show the Vikings through their own writings: runic inscriptions left behind, poems of their official skalds, literary works that entertained them, the few prose historical accounts that derive direct from Vikings, and eyewitness reports of how the northern peoples lived.

Chronicles of the Vikings defines the social values of the Viking Age, their heroic view of life which sometimes contrasts with their more prosaic way of looking at things. It looks at the problems they encountered in discovering, populating, and cultivating new lands, the difficulties of keeping law and order and the solutions they tried. We discover how they coped with famine and other natural disasters, traveland its perils, something of their popular culture, proverbs and aphorisms, and their sometimes irreverent approach to their gods and goddesses, the supernatural, magic and charms. Both at home and overseas, the Vikings live in this book.

To understand the primary sources it is essential to have some idea of how they came into being and how they were preserved. In his extensive introduction, R.I. Page discusses the problems involved in using writings of this sort and looks at the information that is preserved solely in these primary sources. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine introduction to Viking culture.
Dr. Page is among the foremost scholars to focus on the Viking era.This particular piece is mostly introductory, but is of value even to those with a deeper interest in the subject.For beginners, the book presents theVikings in their own words.Dr. Page has provided useful explication tothe texts he has chosen to help the novice understand the issues andbackground involved.The book's introduction, which contains a pricelesspiece on the difficulties of language and transliteration, will give a newappreciation of this kind of scholarship to those who have only dealt withthis material in translation.For the serious scholar comfortable withRunic writing and transliteration, Page's work in this volume stands as aguide to the art of teaching this difficult material.Page's work isaccessible--moreso to the novice, probably, than this review. This book isa welcome addition to any Viking scholar's library. ... Read more

19. Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age
by John Haywood
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2000-05)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500019827
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From the colorful accounts of early medieval chronicles to the heroic tales of nineteenth-century Romanticism, history has traditionally portrayed the Vikings as a race of bloodthirsty, marauding warriors. But in the late twentieth century, as archaeologists uncovered widespread evidence of peaceful Viking activity, a more balanced appreciation of the people from the North developed. The Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age does justice to both sides of the Vikings' story--the peaceful and the warlike. More than 400 copiously illustrated articles present every aspect of Viking society, including its history, laws, customs, industry, arts, literature, myths, religion, and folklore. Here one discovers not only how the Vikings successfully and brutally conquered vast areas of eastern and western Europe but also how they dressed, spent their leisure time, farmed and cooked, raised their children, used animals to heat their homes, and buried and celebrated their dead. Entries explain how they built ships that could carry them across the Atlantic Ocean, established trade routes to Constantinople and Baghdad, and eventually converted from paganism to Christianity. This comprehensive and invaluable book provides biographies of the leading personalities of the age, both the Vikings themselves and those who opposed them, while maps and entries on the Vikings' key cities, towns, and villages reflect the vast extent of their world. A historical introduction describes the origins of the Viking Age and explains why it ultimately came to an end, and a concise chronology serves as a useful overview of the period. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good reference, despite errors
Encyclopedia of the Viking Age, by John Haywood

I wish I had bought this book when it first came out. As a quick historical reference guide to the people, places and things of the Viking era this work is an invaluable asset. Being a thousand years or so removed from the period, I have, in the past, had no small amount of trouble keeping track of some of the individual players in the 300 year drama that was the Viking Age. This work contains most of the important historical personages and many of the mythological ones. Let's face it, keeping track of the numerous Olaf's, Erik's and Harold's, is a little daunting when you first begin studying the period. Haywood's book is very well organized and easy to use. The Subject Index and the Encyclopedia sections are very useful in finding, or not finding, as the case may be, what you are looking for. The Encyclopedia section is cross indexed quite well for following up a readers initial inquiry.

Now having said this, I agree 100% with the previous reviewer who was most annoyed by the rather sloppy Norse fonts, misuse/misspelling of several Scandinavian letters and the rather random Anglicization of some words and phrases but not others. I found this a tad annoying, but not critically so. I'd suggest that for future printings a re-edit and complete Anglicization of the text for the sake of consistency, if for no other reason.

Very sharp and clear black & white photos on nearly every page help lighten up the somewhat, but necessarily, dry history text's. While I understand the necessity for saving space and keeping costs down, the font size used throughout the book is, and I'm guessing here, around 8pt. Just a bit too small for comfortable reading. On the up side, the book is clearly printed, (except for a few of the Norse fonts), on good quality paper which helps offset the small type size.

The Chronology near the end of the book was fairly inclusive of the major events of the era. The next section, "Viking Kings and Rulers 700-1100", is quite detailed and useful.

The "Further Reading" section is one of the best I've ever run across. Not only is it very extensive, but it is also broken down by Primary and Secondary Sources. These sections are further broken down into several subsections that will make further specific reading and research by the reader much, much easer.

On the mythological side there are several errors. For example, in "The Ransom of Ottar", Odin & Thor were not held hostage by Hreidmar. It was Odin & Honir/Hoenir. Again, a tad annoying, but not critically so. This work is geared much more to the historical facts and figures of the era, not the mythological or religious side. There are many other excellent books out there that cover the myth and religious aspect of the period, (authors: Ellis-Davidson, Crossley-Holland, Andy Orchard, Rudolf Simek and R.I. Page, just to name a few).

All and all a must have guide for anyone who needs a quick, but detailed, reference to most of the historical aspects of the Viking era.

On a side note, I have deleted this review and resubmitted it with a 4 star rating instead of a 5. This was after comparing this work with Simmer's, "Dictionary of Northern Mythology", and Orchard's, "Dictionary of Norse Myth & Legend". I highly recommend all three works for anyone interested in digging deeper into the, "The Viking Age", they complement each other well.

In Frith,
Spence The Elder
"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc"
M. Addams

3-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly flawed but still worthwhile
I've read the whole of the section for A and just started on B (about 30pages) and there is a lot of good information in this book - both for those less knowledgeable and for those whose special interest this is but who could do with a quick reference work.There are also useful bibliographicalreferences and the black and white photographs are good.What is surprising though is the awful typography.This is important because firstly the fonts used for this book don't appear to have the very important Old Norse letter eth - ð - resulting in using eths from another font (which looks absolutely awful), and secondly, Scandinavian letters like ö and ä are used seemingly at random - sometimes words that should have them have them, and sometimes they don't.This is not a minor detail: it amounts essentially to misspelling important place names and the like.Whether this is the author's or the publisher's fault I don't know.Furthermore, anglicization of Scandinavian names and words is bad enough, but even worse when it is done inconsistently, as in this book - some names are given in Old Norse, others in their modern English"equivalents".Sloppy and strange. ... Read more

20. Barbarian Warriors: Saxons, Vikings, Normans (Brassey's History of Uniforms)
by Dan Shadrake, Susanna Shadrake
Hardcover: 144 Pages (1997-09)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$137.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1857532139
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The weapons and battlegear of legendary warriors of the Dark Ages. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great illustrated book
A book about Romano Brittish (or "arthurian warriors"), Saxons, Vikings ans Normans, during the Dark Ages.
This book is full illustrated, with reenactors pictures and outstanding drawings.
Dan shadrake is the first one who begun the romano-brittish and late roman reenactment in Europ.

5-0 out of 5 stars Warriors
Very comprehensive, very colourful, clear informative text which tells the reader the difference between what is speculation and what has been found. Good period range.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent discussion of the equipage of the groups
I found this book to be excellent.It included the late Roman Empire equipage that I had missed from the series' other book on the Romans, as well as the Scotti and Pict raiders, the Saxon invaders, the Vikings, and the Normans.The focus of the book is on how a re-enactor might recreate the arms, armors, and clothing of these groups and I, as one who likes to draw ancient soldiers, found it to be most useful. ... Read more

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