Drawing on a wide range of original primary sources, and tracing the astonishing development of the Viking age from the first foreign raids to the rise and fall of Viking empires, this comprehensive reader is essential to an understanding of Viking history.The diversity of the Viking world is mirrored by the range and variety of the primary documents chosen for inclusion. Chroniclers record European horror in the face of the Viking onslaught. An Arab diplomat gives a gripping account of an encounter with Norsemen in Russia. Great warriors and kings of the period are heralded in Skaldic poetry. With unusual power, saga literature narrates the lives of Norse women and men at home and abroad.The reader includes new translations of all of the Norse material. Brief introductions contextualize the translations and all unfamiliar terms are explained in the body of the text, making this an extremely readable and user-friendly introduction to the Viking age.
Angus A. Somerville is an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Brock University. R. Andrew McDonald is an associate professor in the Department of History and director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Brock University.