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The Vikings were born out of an age of hardship. Tales of their earliest raids come to us from the 790s, during the early European Middle Ages. This was a period of dangerous iciness as the thousand-year climate cycle dipped to the coldest our world had experienced in 7,000 years. No doubt, the punishing cold for these people of Northern Europe helped to dispel any complacency they may have felt during the warmer, mid-Holocene epoch. Death was sitting on their doorstep, and the weak and timid would have died from the change in climate. Only the strong and cunning would survive.
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By Ralph A Attanasia on 09-14-17
Utter Trash.Avoid this title.
This is NOT a Norse mythology reference book.
Let's start off by saying that this book didn't really get into Norse mythology until a few chapters in. It starts by outlining some Scandinavian, Viking age history. This, in itself, isn't a problem. The problem is that the author is a conspiracy kook. The author posits that stories of dragons are inspired by the "more plausible" idea of ancient airships. It is suggested that stories of the severed talking head of a god actually refer to an ancient computer, misinterpreted by foolish barbarians, and that stories of dwarves are really describing technologically advanced Atlanteans. Furthermore, the author consistently uses the book as a platform to push an agenda denying the severity/reality of the threat of climate change (which just doesn't have anything to do with Norse mythology).
I cannot stress enough, this book is not a reliable reference source. Clayton cites nosources for some of his more outrageous claims. If you're looking for Viking era history, listen to the Great Courses. If you want Norse Mythology, give Neil Gaiman's book a shot. Avoid this title.
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