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A Dark History: Vikings

(A Dark History Series)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Marauders or explorers? Raiders or traders? We think we know who the Vikings were, but do we? A thousand years after their demise, traces of Viking civilization can be found as far apart as North America and the Middle East. They traded walruses with Inuits and sold slaves in Constantinople. They discovered America, settled in Newfoundland, and fought battles in Central As ...more
Hardcover, 222 pages
Published 2013 by Metro Books
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3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  105 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015

Hubby picked this one up for me for my birthday this year, knowing my absolute love of the TV show "Vikings". This was good. It's a coffee table book, 11x14, with lots of pictures and etchings and artist renderings of what they believe Vikings, settlements, and clothing looked like.

Some of the topics I found fascinating were:

Their origins - the people we know as 'the Vikings" first came into written history around 793 AD with the raid at Lindisfarne Island

Word Fame - their culture valued word-fa
Brock Nicholson
Feb 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
So badly written I quit after the first fifty pages or so. Awkward phrasing and grammatical errors around. I find it hard to take scholarly claims seriously when the writing is on par with an unedited blog post.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it
A very interesting general introduction, with generally up-to-date information on items like the navigational sunstone, and admirable restraint when dealing with areas of uncertainty (like the Viking influence in Russia). Among the things I learned:

- The business end of a sword is the "long edge" or "true edge"
- There's a weapon called the sax, not quite a sword but more than a knife
- The range of a Viking bow was 656 feet!
- Lanavaettir - land-spirits!
- Two different kinds of duels to solve lega
James Kemp
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, norse, owned
A Dark History: Vikings is a really good introduction for grown ups interested in Vikings. It's fairly modern and has lots of illustrations to bring the text to life. Way more informative than the stuff your kids might read, but also easily accessible compared to some of the more academic histories.

What I enjoyed about it was that there was a mix of social and cultural history along with the usual timelines. It also gave me a sense of 'Viking' being a product of lazy thinking in the same way th
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent, interesting, and informative read about the Vikings. It is filled with photos, diagrams, maps, and illustrations. It took me a few weeks to finished it, but it was interested. I learned a lot about the Vikings. The way they live, there artifacts, the duels, etc. Very interesting if you like history.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a gift, this was my very attractive informational reading choice - the best overall book on the Vikings that I've found. Yet, "what we know about the Vikings comes from many sources, none of them completely reliable." It's remarkable "dark" [so-called as the subtitle] European history from ca. 790 to 1066. the author seems true when writing "History has forgotten or distorted much of what the Vikings were and did." I surmise that the forces which prompted the raiding, migration, settlements a ...more
Michael Brown
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Another general overlook at the region and the people who became the Vikings. Always some redundant info and some new interpretation of old data. Nice book with good maps, pictures and info. Started reading 3 months ago and read a chapter or two at a time. Was the filler between other books. Since I wargame the Viking era a lot these types of books always help with bits of info for the games.
Mike Kriesel
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be elementary with no added value, that is for a history buffs who have read a book or two on the history of the Norsemen. This book is a good starter on basic history of "Vikings", it can prepare a reader for some of the more in-depth historical books that are available.
Keith Haan
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent, interesting read about the Vikings. It is filled with photos and illustrations. There is just enough detail to make it interesting without the tedious listing of facts that sometimes fills histories.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fictional
A very informative book, with lots of pictures, diagrams, maps, etc. It was just very dry reading that was difficult to muddle my way through. I really thought it'd be better since I am interested in Vikings and what their lives were, but alas, it was not to be.
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Hailing from northeast England, Martin J Dougherty is a professional writer specialising in military history. He has been at times a games designer, an engineer, a self-protection instructor, a teacher and a defence analyst. Martin has published a range of books covering topics as diverse as self-protection, medieval warfare and space flight, and has addressed international conferences on anti-shi ...more

Other books in the series

A Dark History Series (10 books)
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  • A Dark History: Celts
  • Dark History of the Roman Emperors: From Julius Caesar to the Fall of Rome
  • A Dark History: The Kings and Queens of Europe
  • Dark History of The Bible
  • A Dark History: The Popes
  • Dark History of Hollywood: A Century of Greed, Corruption and Scandal behind the Movies (Dark Histories)
  • Dark History: Catholic Church: Schisms, Wars, Inquisitions, Witch Hunts, Scandals, Corruption
  • American Presidents: A Dark History