The Age of the Vikings
The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships to explore. The Age of the Vikings tells the full story of this exciting period in history. Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage. He not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. The Age of the Vikings sheds new light on the complex society, culture, and legacy of these legendary seafarers.
The Prose Edda
Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, The Prose Edda is the source of most of what we know of Norse mythology. Its tales are peopled by giants, dwarves, and elves, superhuman heroes and indomitable warrior queens. Its gods live with the tragic knowledge of their own impending destruction in the cataclysmic battle of Ragnarok. Its time scale spans the eons from the world’s creation to its violent end. This robust new translation captures the magisterial sweep and startling psychological complexity of the Old Icelandic original.
The Poetic Edda
After the terrible conflagration of Ragnarok, the earth rises serenely again from the ocean, and life is renewed. The Poetic Edda begins with The Seeress’s Prophecy which recounts the creation of the world, and looks forward to its destruction and rebirth. In this great collection of Norse-Icelandic mythological and heroic poetry, the exploits of gods and humans are related. The one-eyed Odin, red-bearded Thor, Loki the trickster, the lovely goddesses and the giants who are their enemies walk beside the heroic Helgi, Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer, Brynhild the shield-maiden, and the implacable Gudrun. New in this revised translation are the quest-poem The Lay of Svipdag and The Wakingof Angantyr, in which a girl faces down her dead father to retrieve his sword.
The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide
Journey to the mythic worlds of the medieval Norse and discover the timeless legends that still live within us.
The Poetic Edda comprises a mythology of gods and their human heroes who are driven by honor, lust, and wisdom, always seeking power and always settling a new dispute. The Edda begins with resourceful creator-gods crafting the universe out of a giant’s corpse and a powerful seeress imparting details about the inevitable chaos of Ragnarok. This is followed by Odin’s words of wisdom and a plethora of other poems describing the High One’s never-ending quest for knowledge. The adventures of Thor and the god’s unsavory encounter with Loki ensue, leading up to the death of Baldr and the first signs of Ragnarok. Poems about Helgi, Sigurth, and other members of the powerful Volsung family, comprise an excessive amount of blood feuds. The slaying of Fafnir and the ownership of the dragon’s hoard creates an entirely new story amidst growing envy and constant betrayal.
The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide, is an exceptional guide to the myths and legends of the medieval Norse.
Women in the Viking Age
This is the first book-length study in English to investigate what women did in the Viking age, both at home in Scandinavia and in the Viking colonies from Greenland to Russia. Evidence for their lives is fragmentary, but Judith Jesch assembles the clues provided by archaeology, runic inscriptions, place names and personal names, foreign historical records and Old Norse literature and mythology. These sources illuminate different aspects of women’s lives in the Viking age, on the farms and in the trading centres of Scandinavia, abroad on Viking expeditions, and as settlers in places such as Iceland and the British Isles. Women in the Viking Age explores anunfamiliar aspect of medieval history and offers a new perspective on Viking society, very different from the traditional picture of a violent and male-dominated world.
The Saga of Grettir the Strong
Composed at the end of the fourteenth century by an unknown author, The Saga of Grettir the Strong is one of the last great Icelandic sagas. It relates the tale of Grettir, an eleventh-century warrior struggling to hold on to the values of a heroic age becoming eclipsed by Christianity and a more pastoral lifestyle. Unable to settle into a community of farmers, Grettir becomes the aggressive scourge of both honest men and evil monsters – until, following a battle with the sinister ghost Glam, he is cursed to endure a life of tortured loneliness away from civilisation, fighting giants, trolls and berserks. A mesmerising combination of pagan ideals and Christian faith, this is a profoundly moving conclusion to the Golden Age of the saga writing.
The Sagas of Icelanders
A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world’s greatest literary treasures–as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare. Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured further west–to Greenland and, ultimately, the coast of North America itself.
The ten Sagas and seven shorter tales in this volume include the celebrated “Vinland Sagas,” which recount Leif Eiriksson’s pioneering voyage to the New World and contain the oldest descriptions of the North American continent.
The Vinland Sagas
Consisting of The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red’s Saga, they chronicle the adventures of Eirik the Red and his son, Leif Eirikson, who explored North America 500 years before Columbus. Famous for being the first-ever descriptions of North America, and written down in the early thirteenth century, they recount the Icelandic settlement of Greenland by Eirik the Red, the chance discovery by seafaring adventurers of a mysterious new land, and Eirik’s son Leif the Lucky’s perilous voyages to explore it.
Written in the thirteenth century, Njal’s Saga is a story that explores perennial human problems-from failed marriages to divided loyalties, from the law’s inability to curb human passions to the terrible consequences when decent men and women are swept up in a tide of violence beyond their control. It is populated by memorable and complex characters like Gunnar of Hlidarendi, a powerful warrior with an aversion to killing, and the not-so-villainous Mord Valgardsson. Full of dreams, strange prophecies, violent power struggles, and fragile peace agreements, Njal’s Saga tells the compelling story of a fifty-year blood feud that, despite its distance from us in time and place, is driven by passions familiar to us all.
The Saga of the Volsungs
From the translator of the bestselling Poetic Edda (Hackett, 2015) comes a gripping new rendering of two of the greatest sagas of Old Norse literature. Together the two sagas recount the story of seven generations of a single legendary heroic family and comprise our best source of traditional lore about its members—including, among others, the dragon-slayer Sigurd, Brynhild the Valkyrie, and the Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok. Available in audio format too.
The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok
Although based on historical persons from the 9th century, Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons are the subjects of compelling legends dating from the Viking era. Warriors, raiders, and rulers, Ragnar and his sons inspired unknown writers to set down their stories over seven centuries ago. This volume presents new and original translations of the three major Old Norse texts that tell Ragnar’s story: the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, the Tale of Ragnar’s Sons, and the Sögubrot. Ragnar’s death song, the Krákumál, and a Latin fragment called the List of Swedish Kings, complete the story. Extensive notes and commentary are provided, helping the reader to enter the world of these timeless stories of Viking adventure.
Pocket Museum: Vikings
An informative introduction to Viking history that also provides an impressive collection of artifacts and new insights on the Norse people.
The culture of the Viking world speaks of both violence and of beauty. This extensively illustrated volume brings together nearly 200 carefully chosen artifacts that reflect the art and daily life of Viking-Age Europe and the North Atlantic. It includes both iconic items and finds from recent excavations, providing a visual guide to the early-medieval Scandinavian world.
Highlights include Norway’s famous ship burials, the only complete example of a Viking helmet, and the treasures looted from the monasteries of Britain, Ireland, and continental Europe. Equally important are the less familiar fragments of everyday life: a brooch, a woolen sock, even a loaf of bread. The juxtaposition of the outstanding and the everyday makes this volume unique in its field. Featuring sumptuous close-up photographs to best showcase its comprehensive collection of exquisite artifacts, Pocket Museum: Vikings is an informative introduction for newcomers to Viking history that also provides new insights for those familiar with the subject.
Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga
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 throughout the North Atlantic and into the New World. They show that Norse contacts with Native American groups were more extensive than has previously been believed, but that the outnumbered Europeans never established more than temporary settlements in North America.
The Viking Coloring Book
What do you think of when you think of the Vikings? Fierce warriors? Sailors of magnificent dragon-prowed ships who terrorized North-Western Europe? Do you think of darkened halls thick with smoke and song?
Like all people those researchers now consider to be Viking were much more complex than the modern world sees them as. This coloring book is meant to show that. It is designed to provide scenes of the beauty of the early medieval world the Vikings inhabited. It is in this context that Viking cultures developed. You will find artifacts and animals, plants and landscapes within these pages to explore. Species that held some use to the Vikings, such as those that provided fur in particular have been focused on. Reconstructed scenes are inspired by the diverse world experienced in the north. There are no horned helmets here. The real Vikings were much more practical than that.