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A Brief History of the Vikings by Jonathan…

A Brief History of the Vikings (edition 2005)

by Jonathan Clements (Author)

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291356,948 (3.26)7
Title:A Brief History of the Vikings
Authors:Jonathan Clements (Author)
Info:Robinson Publishing (2005), Edition: UK ed., 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Brief History of the Vikings: The Last Pagans or the First Modern Europeans? by Jonathan Clements



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This really lives up to its name. Don't expect detailed information about the daily lives of any of the characters whose exploits are chronicled within. But for seeing the overall arch of the viking history and a good taste of their far-flung wanderings, you could do a lot worse than this book. Unfortunately, I think I probably walked away from this with less than I could have -- I listened to it in audiobook form, though I do have a copy on my Kindle. In the print and Kindle versions there are maps and family trees which doubtless add quite a bit of context and provide a good reference source as you get lost amongst the many Haralds and Olafs. I think a revisit will be in order at some point in the not too distant future. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
I wanted a broader picture of the Vikings than that which we tend to get in the UK. I had heard about the Volga Vikings on an 'In Our Time' episode a while ago and was intrigued by the idea of these northern adventurers meeting the cultural sophistication of the Byzantine and Abbasid courts. This book really gives the sense of the wide range of the Viking experience and counterbalances that very well with more detailed close up accounts of some of the individuals involved. A very enjoyable read. ( )
  Katemartin | Feb 14, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786715995, Paperback)

Between the eighth and eleventh centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian homeland to trade and raid along the coasts of Europe. Their influence extended from Newfoundland to Baghdad, their battles were as far-flung as Africa and the Arctic. But were they great seafarers or desperate outcasts, noble heathens or oafish pirates, the last pagans or the first of the modern Europeans? This concise study puts medieval chronicles, Norse sagas and Muslim accounts alongside more recent research into ritual magic, genetic profiling and climatology. It includes biographical sketches of some of the most famous Vikings, from Erik Bloodaxe to Saint Olaf, from King Canute to Leif the Lucky. Extending beyond the traditional ‘Viking age' of most books, A Brief History of the Vikings also places sudden Scandinavian population movements in a wider historical context. It presents a balanced appraisal of these infamous sea kings, explaining both their swift expansion and its supposed halt. Supposed because the Vikings never really went away. Instead, posits Clements, they became a part of who we are today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:23 -0400)

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