1300 187 187
The Vikings : A Brief History Of The Last Pagans Or The First Modern Europeans? - Jonathan Clements

The Vikings

A Brief History Of The Last Pagans Or The First Modern Europeans?


Published: 15th September 2005
Ships: 5 to 9 business days
5 to 9 business days
RRP $14.99

eBook View Product

Published: 7th February 2013
Format: ePUB
RRP $16.49

'From the Fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord'.

Between the eighth and eleventh centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian homeland to trade, raid and invade along the coasts of Europe. Their influence and expeditions 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, and King Canute to Leif the Lucky.

It explains why the Danish king Harald Bluetooth lent his name to a twenty-first century wireless technology; which future saint laughed as she buried foreign ambassadors alive; why so many Icelandic settlers had Irish names; and, how the last Viking colony was destroyed by English raiders.

Extending beyond the traditional 'Viking age' of most books, A Brief History of the Vikings places sudden Scandinavian population movement 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, ultimately, the Vikings didn't disappear - they turned into us.

About the Author

Jonathan Clements is the author of Pirate King, Moon in the Pines and Confucius: A Biography. He lives in London and Jyvaskyla.


by PowerReviews
A Brief History of the Vikings

(based on 1 review)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 1 customer

Displaying review 1

Back to top


A complicated but a compelling yarn

By Roy

from Hunter valley NSW

About Me Casual Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Broad Appeal
  • Easy To Understand
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about A Brief History of the Vikings:

    To understand some of my Scandinaviian heritage has been really rewarding; putting it into context with the history of Britain was truly revealing - thoroughly enjoyable

    Comment on this review

    Introduction : Britannia Deserta : the Dark Agesp. 1
    Songs of Valkyries : myths and legends of Scandinaviap. 15
    Fury of the Northmen : from the first raids to Harald Bluetoothp. 48
    Great heathen hosts : highlands, islands, Ireland and Englandp. 66
    Brother shall fight brother : Harald Fairhair and sonsp. 81
    The road east : Vikings, Russians and Varangiansp. 98
    Advent of the white Christ : from Harald Greycloak to Olaf Crowbonep. 116
    Beyond the edge of the world : Iceland, Greenland and Vinlandp. 137
    London Bridge is falling down : from Svein Forkbeard to Olaf the Stoutp. 160
    The thunderbolt of the North : the life and legends of Harald the Ruthlessp. 186
    Children of Thor : one thousand years laterp. 214
    Rulers during the Viking agep. 230

    ISBN: 9781845290764
    ISBN-10: 1845290763
    Series: Brief History of
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 273
    Published: 15th September 2005
    Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.2  x 2.2
    Weight (kg): 0.248