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The World's Greatest Civilizations: The History and Culture of the Vikings [Kindle Edition]

Charles River Editors
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 36 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Book Description

*Includes pictures of Viking boats, ruins, and historic depictions of Vikings.
*Analyzes the legends and mischaracterizations of the Vikings, separating fact from fiction.
*Discusses the everyday life, settlements, history, religion, and culture of the Vikings.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

Over the centuries, the West has become fascinated by the Vikings, one of the most mysterious and interesting European civilizations. In addition to being perceived as a remarkably unique culture among its European counterparts, what’s known and not known about the Vikings’ accomplishments has added an intriguing aura to the historical narrative. Were they fierce and fearsome warriors? Were they the first Europeans to visit North America? It seems some of the legends are true, and some are just that, legend.

The commonly used term, Viking, for the trading and raiding peoples of Scandinavia, may have originated from Viken (the large bay leading to Oslo), or it may have come from the Old Scandinavian words vikingr (sea warrior) or viking (expedition over the sea). The people from the north were known in western Europe at the time as Northmen or Danes, in England as Danes or pagans and in Ireland as Finngall for those of Norwegian origin and Dubgall for those from Denmark. In the east, in Russia and in the Byzantine Empire, the Scandinavians were called Vaeringar or Varyags (Varangians) or Rus', the latter perhaps derived from the name Roslagen, a province in Uppland in Sweden.

The ubiquitous picture of the Vikings as horn-helmeted, brutish, hairy giants that mercilessly marauded among the settlements of Northern Europe is based on a smattering of fact combined with an abundance of prejudicial historical writing by those who were on the receiving end of Viking depredations. At the same time, much of the popular picture of the Vikings is a result of the romantic imagination of novelists and artists. For example, there is neither historical nor archaeological evidence that the typically red haired, freckled Norsemen entered battle wearing a metal helmet decorated with horns. This headgear was an invention of the Swedish painter and illustrator Johan August Malmström (1829 - 1901) and his work was so widely disseminated in popular books that the image stuck. Today the imaginary Viking helmet is an almost mandatory costume accessory in productions of Wagner's opera Der Ring des Nibelungen, which is not about the Vikings at all. It seems the horned helmet evolved from an imaginary reinterpretation of genuine Viking images of a winged helmet that may have been worn by priests in Viking religious ceremonies.

However, the Vikings’ reputation for ferocious seaborne attacks along the coasts of Northern Europe is no exaggeration. It is true that the Norsemen, who traded extensively throughout Europe, often increased the profits obtained from their nautical ventures through plunder, acquiring precious metals and slaves. Of course, the Vikings were not the only ones participating in this kind of income generation; between the 8th and the 11th centuries, European tribes, clans, kingdoms and monastic communities were quite adept at fighting with each other for the purpose of obtaining booty. The Vikings were simply more consistently successful than their contemporaries and thus became suitable symbols for the iniquity of the times.

The World’s Greatest Civilizations: The History and Culture of the Vikings comprehensively covers the culture and history of the Vikings, discussing everything from their religion to their way of life, in an attempt to separate fact from fiction. Along with pictures of Viking art and ruins, as well as historic art depicting the Vikings, you will learn about the Vikings like you never have before, in no time at all.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1546 KB
  • Print Length: 36 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008O9JBFO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #473,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Born in Scotland it is not long before you realise that the Vikings had a lot to do with early culture in both Scotland and Ireland. With their superior sailing skills and warrior foundations, they presented a formidable force where ever they went seeking food and anything else they could get their hands onto truth being know. As an insight to these masterful warriors and what they achieved I recommend this ebook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for Viking fans. 2 Mar. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a present for my son who believes he is descended from Vikings as he has red hair and is wild. I think he enjoys the book but he is too busy invading countries and stealing their women to comment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short but informative 16 May 2013
By James S. Evidon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short but informative history of the Norse culture. Worth the price. For a fuller picture, buy The Long Ships; a fictional saga.
It's really very good.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World's Greatest Civilizations:The History of Vikings 24 Feb. 2013
By James G Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Concise, to the point a broad telling of how it was without a lot of bunk. Thoroughly enjoyed the reading and will lot for other books by this group
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, tells a history 16 Mar. 2013
By Kbear - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not one to like boring history books, however this one is written very well and shows an overview of the Vikings.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for... 18 Feb. 2013
By Janet Beasley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm am currently doing a study on vikings. During my research, I found this little gem, which has added to my "library" of wealth.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Over View 26 May 2013
By Paul Garrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a good over of Viking culture.
I did learn a few things and more than
that I was intertained. I wish it could have been longer, however that would have in tailed the Viking Age to be longer.
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