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Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  19 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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Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very well done and edited book about Vikings. A bit more school book like, but if you want a deep search that cover the subject from top to bottom, this one does a very good job. Maybe not the best book for newcomers, everything is easily explain and they will understand, but the quantity of infos might be a bit overwhelming. I would recommend it to amateurs, that without being expert, have a solid base on the Vikings culture and history and want to go a bit deeper.
Ned Ludd
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A treasure chest of northern medieval history and a stunning account of the tenacious human spirit.
Feb 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Very well researched and written. Learned a lot of cool stuff.
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Marking as finished, even though I only finished the parts that interested me (pre-1000 AD). Some of the sections could have done with a bit more proofreading or editing – I have spent good 30 minutes trying to decipher one sentence in which, most probably, the comma has been wrongly placed. Or not. I had to brainstorm one paragraph with someone else, then cross-reference it to figure out what it was supposed to mean. And so on, which isn't exactly helpful when doing research.

The book is beautif
Jun 29, 2014 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
Mike Violano
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A most comprehensive collection of articles and essays on the Viking Millennium project and the exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Scholarly texts, photos of tools, art and artifacts, and abundant illustrations and maps educate and entertain the reader on the journeys, culture, leaders and history of the Vikings.
In the late 700s, Viking raiders and traders explored Europe and the Mediterranean. Most of the book focuses on the North Atlantic settlements in Iceland,
Owen Youngman
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Published with a scientific exhibit that hit these shores in the year 2000 — 1,000 years after Leif Eriksson hit Newfoundland — a great compendium of archeological and other research that explains it all to you. To the extent possible.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for an analysis of the Norse in the North Atlantic especially regarding primary sources with sagas and archaeological finds
Feb 22, 2010 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 scholar ...more
Sarah Schanze
Mar 17, 2010 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. ...more
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. ...more
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!)
Jul 27, 2016 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...
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.
Big, informative, and beautiful -- the detailed maps and photos alone are worth the price of admission, but the book is teeming with scholarship also.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good visual guide to the Vikings and their westward expansion.
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I need to own this book .
Ihsan Zahoor
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full History!
Thomas Vree
Jul 15, 2012 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. ...more
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William W. Fitzhugh is Curator of North American Archaeology and Director, Arctic Studies Center, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution.

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