Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Vikings: A Very Short Introduction” as Want to Read:
The Vikings: A Very Short Introduction
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Vikings: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #137)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  189 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

The Viking reputation is one of bloodthirsty seafaring warriors, repeatedly plundering the British Isles and the North Atlantic throughout the early Middle Ages. Yet Vikings were also traders, settlers, and farmers, with a complex artistic and linguistic culture, whose expansion overseas led them to cross the Atlantic for the first time in European history. Highlighting th

...more
Paperback, 162 pages
Published November 3rd 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 11th 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Vikings, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Vikings

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Kadri
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very informative with great further reading section. The book gives an introduction to who were vikings, were they lived, explored and raided and how the idea of vikings became prominent in 19th century. Very interesting.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Vikings: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #137), Julian D. Richards

The Viking reputation is one of bloodthirsty seafaring warriors, repeatedly plundering the British Isles and the North Atlantic throughout the early Middle Ages. Yet Vikings were also traders, settlers, and farmers, with a complex artistic and linguistic culture, whose expansion overseas led them to cross the Atlantic for the first time in European history
Sleepless
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Dammit, I really wanted to love this book. I really did. I think there's a picture in my head of what Vikings were like but I'm not actually interested in making that picture accurate. I don't care about the dates and the people, I'm here for the society and the culture.

This book was simply boring. I finished it because I couldn't bear the thought of another unfinished book. You'd think its length would mean it would only have the interesting parts but I found myself skimming through pages abou
...more
Monica Willyard
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading and learning about this often misunderstood culture. This book is written by a professor who has been involved with many archaeological digs. I believe I would enjoy being a student in one of his classes. He has brought a Culture II life in this book, giving flesh and bone to eight people who are mostly shown in movies as on thinking, barbaric monsters Who delight only in rape, plunder, and battle. As is often the case, reality is much more interesting and unusual than fiction.
Marieca Wegener
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent informative introduction to The Vikings. Julian D Richards is an expert filling you with confidence about his sources and the information he presents. For such a small book I feel I learnt a great deal on a subject I am already familiar with. Richards’ style is highly readable and the book is well structured. Like all the ‘Short Introductions’ this book fits perfectly in a handbag or a pocket, great for snatching a few moments to read.
Powerofthehero
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good introduction to who vikings were, where they came, where they went and what they did. +3 points on knowledge about vikings.
Greg
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Contrary to pop culture depictions, there is no recorded evidence that viking longboats were adorned with dragon heads. And the iconic horned helmets were popularized in 19th century theater productions, despite having no historical foundation. These are two of the more interesting facts I learned in this very short introduction.

Julian Richards is meticulous in his research and findings. However, to achieve this he strays from a historical narrative style and relies heavily on descriptions of ar
...more
Helena Heald
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I love this series as far as it does what it says on the tin - it's a short introduction. The result is a very dense, somewhat dry in places introduction to a history of a people over a few hundred years and a huge geographical reach. A few more maps or diagrams would be useful, but otherwise this left me wanting to read more, particularly about the Viking settlements on Greenland. This gets 3/5 since although it was interesting, since for the most part it wasn't the most compelling and the lack ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this book with a bookmark in the middle, probably indicating that I'd read a substantial portion of it years ago, but I still started back at the beginning because I had little to no recollection of that. While this does broadly cover the history and settlement patterns of the Vikings, I'd hoped to get more of Viking culture and tradition out of it, so it was a bit of a mismatch between expectations and reality. Still, it was an interesting survey, and I particularly liked the 'Reinventi ...more
Maaz
Jan 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who love history
Shelves: history, books-i-own
a useful informative book and a good introduction if you don't know nothing, or a little bit about the Vikings

It will begin step by step, make you go back in time to learn the history of the Scandinavian countries, the Norms, and how the Vikings came to rise in the 8th century, a quick review of their "glorious" yet "notorious" leaders.

Though, the book is kind of boring a little bit, I suppose its history but yet history can be exciting, I enjoyed the bits about describing the Vikings and their
...more
Nat the WolfGirl
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Every single AVSI book is supposed to give the reader unfamiliar with the topic at hand a good insight. This book however is truly only of interest for those who are actually interested in who the vikings really were, and does not expect a mythic picture of all the rumors, tales, sagas and ideas of vikings going around. But that is the purpose of all AVSI
I find it very interesting, but a bit long-winded know and then.
Linda
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
A very short introduction indeed, but also a pretty dry one. It was a bit of a slog in places - the author focuses on what we KNOW about the vikings, instead of the stereotypes, meaning most is about archaeological evidence. Interesting, but also pretty dry, and not everything was equally as interesting.

Still, a good introduction, and since it's pretty short it's also a nice jumping off point for further research.
Ronsank
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
It gives a short introductory account of 9th to 10th century Scandinavia , which is recently regarded as " the Viking age". The book shows how this Viking conception is comparatively new and politically motivated in nature. It also deals with the archeological findings of Viking age burial sites and items which scattered throughout Northern Europe and North Artics as well as in North America.
Callum
Oct 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
How do you make The Vikings boring?
Paul
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love this series, the books are exactly what they purport to be. A *very* short introduction which serves as a jumping off point for further reading. This one has a friendly, witty tone to boot.
Adam Farah
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
good
Nicola
Mar 23, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history, non-fiction
£1 in waterstones with a slightly bent cover. I thought it would be an ideal read as a prelude to seeing the British Museum exhibition.
Mike Dagle
rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2014
Daniel
rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2015
Jane
rated it liked it
Mar 26, 2013
Markella
rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2017
Olga
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2015
Brighthalo
rated it really liked it
Dec 20, 2017
Steve Carroll
rated it it was ok
Apr 03, 2015
Stacie
rated it liked it
Jan 09, 2011
Stefan
rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2016
Rose
rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2015
Nik
rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2018
Maureen
rated it it was ok
Jan 31, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction
  • Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction
  • Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction
  • Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction
  • Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction
  • Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
  • Medieval Britain: A Very Short Introduction
  • Stuart Britain: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
  • Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction
  • Roman Britain: A Very Short Introduction
  • Modern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction
  • Augustine: A Very Short Introduction
  • Photography: A Very Short Introduction
  • Kafka: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction
  • The History of Time: A Very Short Introduction

Other Books in the Series

Very Short Introductions (1 - 10 of 518 books)
  • A Very Short Introduction to Everything
  • Classics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Music: A Very Short Introduction
  • Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction
  • Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction
  • Psychology: A Very Short Introduction
  • Islam: A Very Short Introduction
  • Politics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Theology: A Very Short Introduction

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
    $9.74 $2.99
  • The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99
  • No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
    $10.49 $2.99
  • Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Castles of Steel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life
    $9.74 $1.99
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
    $3.99 $1.99