John Carter McKnight's Reviews > Viking Age Iceland

Viking Age Iceland by Jesse L. Byock
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's review
Dec 30, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: academic

Readable and fun. While breaking from traditional scholarly methods and interpretations, Byock still comes across as a bit old-school. He misses one major point: in several chapters on wealth, he completely overlooks the anti-trade values (not at all uncommon in subsistence-farming societies with strong honor codes) that made wealth acquisition problematic.

Miller's _Bloodtaking and Oathmaking_ covers much the same ground, including specific incidents drawn from the sagas: while less of a casual read, Miller is more insightful, and more contemporary in his methods, freed from the pull of traditional scholarship Byock apparently still felt.
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