A History of the Vikings

A History of the Vikings


By (author) Gwyn Jones

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  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 193mm x 30mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 19 July 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192801341
  • ISBN 13: 9780192801340
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: numerous halftones, line drawings and maps
  • Sales rank: 18,538

Product description

'An utterly splendid book, quite the most brilliantly written, balanced, and explanative general work on the Vikings ever to appear in English or in any language.' Scandinavian Studies The subject of this book is the Viking realms, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, their civilization and culture, and their many sided achievements at home and abroad. A highly readable narrative follows the development of these Northern peoples - the Nordmenn - from their origins and the legendary pre-history to the military triumphs of Canute and the defeat of Harald Hardradi at Stamford Bridge in 1066, which symbolically ended the Viking age. The book recounts the Vikings' exploits in war, trade, and colonization: the assault on Western Christendom; the trading and military ventures to the Slav and Muslim worlds and to Byzantium; and the western voyages of discovery and settlement to Greenland, Iceland, and America. Numerous photographs, maps, and drawings contribute to Gwyn Jones's rounded portrait of Viking civilization and vividly evoke the importance in their culture of religion, art, and seafaring.

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Author information

Gwyn Jones is Emeritus Professor of English Language and Literature, University College, Cardiff

Review quote

What a superb book this is! Wise, well-informed, judicious and infinitely readable. Magnus Magnusson, Scotsman an utterly splendid book, quite the most brilliantly written, balanced and explanative general work on the Vikings ever to appear in English or...in any language. Erik Wahlgren, Scandinavian Studies A highly readable history. Oxford Time no better book on the Vikings has ever been written, and it is one which every educated person with any interest in history should know about ... Readers will be delighted to discover the eloquent and sparkling prose of a natural Welsh bard and storyteller who was one of the shining lights of University College, Cardiff. The man writes beautifully. There are not many history books one can pick up and start reading anywhere just for the sheer enjoyment of literary craftsmanship and even fewer as authoritative as this. Lloyds List 13/04/1994

Table of contents

PART 1 - THE NORTHERN PEOPLES TO AD 700 ; 1. From Beginnings to the Age of Migrations ; 2. The Legendary History of the Swedes and the Danes ; 1. THE SCANDINAVIAN COMMUNITY, I: DIVERSITY AND UNITY ; 2. The Historical Traditions of Norway to 950 ; 3. Denmark to the Death of Gorm the Old ; 4. Denmark and Norway from the Accession of Harald Bluetooth to the Death of Olaf Tryggvason ; PART 3 - THE VIKING MOVEMENT OVERSEAS ; 1. The Scandinavian Community, II: Aspects of Society ; 2. Causes of the Viking Movement Overseas ; 3. The Movement South and South-West to 954: the British Isles, the Frankish Empire, the Mediterranean ; 4. The Movement East: The Baltic Lands, Russia, Byzantium ; 5. The Movement West: Iceland, Greenland, America ; PART 4 - THE VIKING AGE ENDS ; 1. The Scandinavian Community III: Culture and Image ; 2. Svein Forkbeard, Saint Olaf, Knut the Great ; 3. The Viking Kingdoms to the Death of Harald Hardradi, 1066