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Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

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4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  201 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Replete with color photographs, drawings, and maps of Viking sites, artifacts, and landscapes, this book celebrates and explores the Viking saga from the combined perspectives of history, archaeology, oral tradition, literature, and natural science. The book's contributors chart the spread of marauders and traders in Europe as well as the expansion of farmers and explorers ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 17th 2000 by Smithsonian Institution Press (first published April 15th 2000)
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Gina Conkle
Dec 20, 2012 Gina Conkle rated it it was amazing
Excellent all-around information on the Norse. The book gives a more complete picture of Norse culture as artisans, farmers, keepers of homes, etc.

I see similarites to the Romans regarding smaller tools and implements for daily life. In the basement of the Museum of Scotland, you'll find all kinds items from daily military life of the Romans. Then, reading this book, I saw similar, small tools the Norse used. We get caught up in Hollywood's version of the Norse: big, dirty brutes who maraud the
...more
Courtney
Feb 22, 2010 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Very impressive scholarship, as far as I know the definitive group of essays on the Viking exploration westward into eastern Canada. Really interesting as a history of a somewhat mysterious people - the Norse Greenlanders disappeared from both North America and more strangely, Greenland - and, for me, as an example of how history is compiled and written from archaeology, oral tradition, scientific analysis of natural phenomenon, surviving literature, and cultural comparisons. Some of the ...more
John
Sep 16, 2015 John rated it it was amazing
Outstanding publication and anyone who rates it less than a 4 is just being an asinum. Now I am acting like a drunk guy in a bar. Anyway, it has a fair amount of nice visuals: charts, graphs, illustrations, maps. But its also fairly academic, striking a good balance between the needs of the scholar and the every day reader. I got this book before the marvelous encyclopedic tools of the internet had yet begun to flourish. It is a large book chock full of Vikingalia, encyclopedic in format. One of ...more
Sarah Schanze
Jan 25, 2015 Sarah Schanze rated it it was amazing
I'm gonna mark this as read though I haven't read it cover to cover. As I started reading I realized it was divided into articles more than chapters, which lends itself to reading just bits when I need to or want to, rather than building from one chapter to the next. Still full of great information and especially photos and images. I'm very image-focused so that helps me a lot when it comes to imagining life in the past.
David R.
A mighty collection of essays on all manner of topics pertinent to the Norse hegemony in the north Atlantic ca. 800-1450 A.D. Topically speaking, it's rich fare. However, the content is the product of scholars and regrettably lumbers along in the archetypically turgid manner of the academy. As with any body of essays written by a large number of contributors, there's also a high degree of overlap and redundancy.
Autumn
Feb 24, 2011 Autumn rated it really liked it
I'm not that much into Vikng history. The reason that I checked the book out of the library was because I liked the cover photograph.

I read some of the text and throughly enjoyed the photographs, drawings, and maps.

It was an interesting book, but I do not have the patience to read it cover to cover. It is a huge book with much detailed information.
Lillian Carl
A collection of essays and illustrations originally published in connection with an exhibition at the Smithsonian. There are wonderful bits on maps and archaeology and popular culture, such as the image of the Viking horned helmet which actually has nothing to do with real Vikings. (We all remember the Boromir of the Bakshi LotR wearing a horned helmet!)
Timi
Jul 27, 2016 Timi rated it it was amazing
Educational and entertaining at the same time. Practically everything you want to know about the Vikings, with great photos and illustrations. Preface by Hillary Rodham Clinton. My favorite reference book about the Vikings, and that says a lot, because I have read quite a few...
Muspell
A lot of interesting articles about the Vikings in general, and especially what happened to them in Greenland and North America. Loads of good pictures.
Volsung
Big, informative, and beautiful -- the detailed maps and photos alone are worth the price of admission, but the book is teeming with scholarship also.
Thomas Vree
Jul 15, 2012 Thomas Vree rated it it was amazing
I think the best book I've as yet found on the topic. Covers virtually all aspects from the minute details of everyday life to the grand sweep of world geo-politics.
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