Kings and Vikings: Scandinavia and Europe, A.D. 700-1100

Kings and Vikings: Scandinavia and Europe, A.D. 700-1100

Kings and Vikings: Scandinavia and Europe, A.D. 700-1100

Kings and Vikings: Scandinavia and Europe, A.D. 700-1100

Excerpt

Many books on the Vikings have been published recently and some apology or explanation ought perhaps to be offered for adding to their number. This book is, in effect, a sequel to my Age of the Vikings, first published in 1962. That title was somewhat misleading for it was not a general study of the Vikings but rather an attempt to question some of the assumptions made about them. It was, however, my ambition to write a general survey and this seems a good time to attempt such a work of synthesis. In the past twenty years there have been many important advances in Viking studies, as the recent exhibitions in London, Copenhagen and elsewhere have made clear. In the next twenty years there will certainly be many new developments that will make this account of the Age of the Vikings obsolete. It is, indeed, my hope that this book will stimulate discussions that will contribute to its own obsolescence.

This book could not have been written without the help generously given by many people and institutions. Among the latter I thank the University of Leeds and the British Academy for grants towards travel costs. Particular thanks are due to members of staff in the university libraries of Leeds and Gothenburg. I am also indebted to many people and institutions for the gift of publications that would otherwise have been very difficult to obtain, and for help in obtaining the illustrations used here.

Many friends and colleagues have spent time, often a great deal, showing me excavation sites and the material from them, answering questions and discussing problems; in particular, in the British Isles, Peter Addyman, Ian Crawford, David Gaunt, Richard Hall, Rory McTurk, Christopher Morris, Donnchadh Ó Corráin and Breandán Ó Ríordáin; in Germany, Kurt Schietzel and Ingrid Ulbricht; in the Netherlands, Jan Besteman, J. A. Trimpe Burger, W. A. van Es and H. H.van Regteren Altena; in Normandy, Lucien Musset; in Iceland, Kristján Eldjárn and Thór Magnússon; in Denmark, Mogens Bencard,

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