This concise and balanced history traces the 300-year saga of the pirates and warlords who poured out of Scandinavia between the eighth and 11th centuries, terrorizing, conquering, and ultimately settling vast tracts of land throughout Europe. Undaunted by the might of the Arab caliphates and the Byzantine Empire, they founded Russia, originated the bloodline that came to rule France, and created a North Sea empire that included England. They also established settlements across the North Atlantic, notably in Iceland and Greenland, and their adventurous spirit and extraordinary seafaring skills led them to explore and briefly build colonies in North America. These were the Vikings, initially ferocious pagan warriors seeking land and booty under the banners of their gods, but eventually belligerent Christian kings commanding vast armies.
Martin Arnold provides a lively and accessible account of the early medieval period that became known as the Viking Age. Arnold vividly illustrates the two faces of the Vikings: on the one hand, savage, greedy, and implacable; on the other, adventurous, innovative, and artistic.
"The Vikings: Wolves of War will provide readers with an accessible and learned account of the Viking Age, distilling current scholarship on the subject into an enjoyable and stimulating narrative." (Phil Cardew)
"A remarkable and up-to-date survey of the Viking Age, covering both Viking history and culture.... The book is authoritative yet written in an accessible and highly readable narrative style. " (History In Review)
"The most accessible and up-to-date account currently available of the Viking phenomenon." (Thomas Shippey)
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