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

A Brief History of: The Vikings

The Last Pagans Or The First Modern Europeans?

Paperback Published: 15th September 2005
ISBN: 9781845290764
Number Of Pages: 273

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'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

Dr Jonathan Clements is the author of many books on East Asian history, including biographies of emperors and empresses, statesmen and warriors, foreign visitors and outcast rebels. His works have been translated into over a dozen languages, including French, Spanish, Korean and Dutch. His biographies of the First Emperor and Empress Wu have both been translated into Chinese.

He has been a consultant and talking head on many TV programmes including New Secrets of the Terracotta Warriors (Channel 4), Koxinga: Sailing into History (National Geographic), China’s Jade Empire (Channel 4), and Ancient Black Ops: The 47 Ronin (UK Yesterday). In 2016, he became the presenter of Route Awakening (National Geographic), a series investigating the origins of several key Chinese cultural icons.

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: A Brief History of
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 273
Published: 15th September 2005
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.248
Edition Number: 1

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