The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings

Book - 1997
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Baker & Taylor
Covers the different geographical areas of the Viking world, and traces the Viking story from the first raids on isolated coastal communities toward the end of the eighth century to the establishing of permanent settlements

Book News
This illustrated collection of 11 articles portrays Vikings as being both ferocious warriors and sagacious merchants. Topics of discussion include the Vikings' impact on England, Iceland, Greenland, Russia, and the Frankish and Danish Empires; the Viking reverence for ships and ship-building; Viking religion; and the ways in which Vikings have been portrayed throughout history. Includes 16 maps, 24 color plates, numerous black-and-white pictures, and a chronology. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

& Taylor

Twelve scholars draw on the latest research and archaeological evidence to produce a colorful, accurate portrait of the society, culture, religion, rulers, and voyages of the Vikings, complemented by more than one hundred illustrations and sixteen maps. UP.

Oxford University Press
With settlements stretching across a vast expanse--from Newfoundland in North America to Kiev in the heart of the Ukraine--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. Who were these seafaring warriors from the North? Were they, as their southern enemies claimed, "a wrathful, foreign, purely pagan people" who swept in from the sea to plunder and slaughter? Or were they remarkably successful merchants and explorers forced into war out of geographic necessity?
In The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings, 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, Iceland, Greenland, and the northern tip of Newfoundland, which the Vikings called "Vinlund." We also 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; to King Knut, who invaded England and proved a dangerous adversary to William the Conquerer. The volume also looks at the day-to-day social life of the Vikings, describing for instance their almost religious reverence for boats and boat-building, a deep bond with the sea that is still visible in the etymology to English words for "anchor," "boat," "rudder," "ship," and "fishing," all of which can be traced back to Old Norse roots. But perhaps most important, the book goes a long way towards answering the age-old question of who these people were. Were they, as their contemporaries asserted, just a motley assortment of savage pagans, to be reviled by the Church and society? The contributors show that the Vikings did indeed control the Northern Seas with the viciousness of pirates and that they pillaged Christian towns with relentless ferocity. And yet we also discover that they were shrewd traders whose dealings in fur in Russia and walrus tusks in Iceland were the envy of Europe.
Attractively illustrated with 24 color plates, 16 maps, and over a hundred black-and-white pictures, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings is a superb account of this rugged maritime culture. From sagas to shipbuilding, from funeral rites to the fur trade, this superb volume is an indispensable guide to the Viking world.

Publisher: Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1997
ISBN: 9780198205265
Branch Call Number: 948.02 OXF
Characteristics: xv, 298 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Sawyer, Peter


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Feb 28, 2011

Great pictures, yet the authors seem to have very little logic. Up, down, here there. The authors either didn't take time to plan out what they wrote because they wern't paid enough, or they just didn't care.


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