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The Vikings: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 8 Sep 2005
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About the Author
Julian Richards is Professor of Archaeology at the University of York, and co-director of the Centre for Medieval Studies. He specialises in the archaeology of Anglo-Saxon and Viking Age England, and has directed several excavations of Viking settlements, including the only Viking cremation cemetery in the British Isles. Previous publications include Viking Age England (Tempus, 2000).
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Top Customer Reviews
As far as the omissions are concerned, where is the chapter on the (mainly) Swedish Vikings' voyages and settlement in the east? There is almost no mention of this, yet Viking activity in the east is a core element of Viking history. Furthermore, runestones (and runic inscriptions in general) are virtually absent from the book, yet these largely represent the literature of period as produced by the Vikings themselves. The later medieval literature of Iceland which is concerned with the deeds of their Viking forebears gets some treatment (as far as Vikings in the *west* are concerned), but not as much as I would have liked. Viking art and Viking warfare are ignored in this book. The treatment of the Vikings' pre-Christian religion is short and sketchy. Nor is there a deal said about Viking seafaring. Or place-names.
On the plus side, there are readable and informative (but brief) discussions of the Vikings' explorations/settlements in the west - the Danelaw, the Scottish islands, Man, the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and "Vinland". The treatment of especially the last two is factual and sober. However, all these elements of the Viking world are considered primarily from the perspective of archaeology, and it sometimes goes into more detail than than one would like.
Overall, this is not a bad book for its size (and price). But I found Else Roesdahl's "The Vikings" a more balanced introduction to the Viking world.Read more ›
The first parts are succeeding in explaining the pre-raid era society organisation, customs, etc.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gives a good overview of Viking culture through archaeological sitesPublished 6 months ago by Steve Snowdon
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