Historical Atlas of the Viking World

Historical Atlas of the Viking World

by Angus Konstam


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About AD 800, mysterious long-ships made their first appearance along the North Sea coast of Britain. From Shetland to the Thames, these raiding ships appeared out of the sea mists, carrying warriors so fierce that no one could stand against them. By the middle of the 9th century, these raiders began to establish settlements, and the raids continued, from Norse bases in Orkney, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. The raiders eventually became rulers, creating Scandinavian colonies in Normandy, England, and Ireland. Around the same time, a few Viking explorers ventured across the Atlantic to America, while others sailed south to Africa, into the Mediterranean, and through the European river systems deep into Russia. This book chronicles their achievements, drawing on archaeological evidence as well as the rich source of Norse Sagas and mythology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816050680
Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Series: Historical Atlas Series
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 9.54(w) x 11.58(h) x 0.73(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

ANGUS KONSTAM has written over a dozen books on piracy, shipwrecks, and exploration for the Atlas series. He has made a lifelong study of maritime history and archaeology, and the history of early European development. He is a museum professional with experience in both Britain and the United States, and holds degrees in history and archaeology.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1The Scandinavian Homeland8
The Lands10
Scandinavian Prehistory12
Pre-Viking Scandinavia14
Kingship in Early Scandinavia16
The Viking Family18
The Structure of Viking Society20
The Viking Rural Economy22
Merchants and Craftsmen24
Chapter 2Viking Religious Belief26
A Family of Gods28
Asgard, Valhalla, Yggdrasil30
Ragnarok: End of the World32
Burial and the Afterlife34
Mythology and Poetry36
The Coming of Christianity38
The Scandinavian Church40
Chapter 3Viking Ships42
A Perfect Raider44
The Scandinavian Trader46
Gokstad, Oseberg, and Thune48
The Skuldelev Ships50
Building a Longship52
Sailing the Longships54
Medieval Developments56
Chapter 4The Sea Raiders58
The Coming of the Vikings60
Raids on Lindisfarne and Iona62
Attacks on Ireland64
The Great Danish Raids66
Extracting Danegeld68
The Danelaw70
Crisis for the Franks72
To the Gates of Paris74
Plunder of the Western World76
From Raiders to Rulers78
Chapter 5Viking Art and Literature80
The Runemasters82
Viking Stone Sculpture84
Viking Skalds86
The Icelandic Sagas88
The Royal Sagas90
Viking Art and Ornamentation92
Early Viking Art94
High Viking Art96
Late Viking Art98
Chapter 6Exploring the Northern Seas100
The Impetus for Exploration102
Land of Fire and Ice104
Erik the Red106
Leif Eriksson108
Viking Settlement in America110
To the Middle Sea112
Chapter 7Viking Warriors114
The Viking Way of War116
The Berserkir Phenomenon118
Viking Arms and Armor120
Viking Battle Tactics122
The Viking Army124
Battles in Poem and Saga126
Battles at Sea128
Viking Fortifications130
Chapter 8A Scandinavian Empire132
The North Sea Axis134
The Earls of Orkney136
Viking Scotland138
The Norse-Irish140
The Isle of Man142
Olaf Tryggvasson144
York and Dublin146
AEthelred the Unready148
King Cnut150
The Normans152
Harald Hardrada154
1066: Year of Viking Destiny156
Chapter 9Rivers to the East158
From Iceland to the Caspian Sea160
The Rivers of Russia162
Building a New State: The Rus164
Birka and Kaupang166
Hedeby: Viking World Marketplace168
Viking Settlements in Russia170
Viking Industry172
The Silver Trade174
The Byzantine Connection176
Chapter 10Last of the Vikings178
Twilight of the Sea Raider180
Post-Viking Scandinavia182
The Vikings' Mercantile Successors184
Vikings in Popular Culture186
The Viking Legacy189
AppendixViking and Anglo-Saxon Kings190

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