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Viking Empires is a definitive new history of five hundred years of Viking civilization and the first study of the global implications of the expansion, integration, and reorientation of the Viking World. From the first contact in the 790s, the book traces the political, military, social, cultural and religious history of the Viking Age from Iceland to Lithuania. The ...more
Hardcover, 462 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Cambridge University Press
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I must admit to a severe disappointment. The book makes a bold claim to definitiveness, which it fails to live up to. It's CUP, so I expect at the very least tight editing and rock-solid referencing. It's clunkily written by academics who have no feel for prose. Its focus, despite the title, is narrow - virtually no appreciation of the archaeology - coins, for example, which are revolutionising our understanding of the period. It also suffers from having been published before major ...more
Very detailed history of the western Viking expansions. Lots of information on Scandinavia during the pre-Viking era and how the Romans helped unleash the northmen on England. Also loved the chapters on Viking boats. Sadly no focus on their eastern expansions and their founding of Russia but the authors explain that from the very beginning so it's not unexpected.
Quite nice, however it's really anglocentric and abandons a lot of Norse related information, giving the impression the Vikings were focused in (and on) the West mainly. There is a lot of false information in that book, thankfully corrected in Polish edition by professor Leszek Słupecki. It's good to know it's contents but it's quite far from being a reliable source.