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The Scandinavians from the Vendel Period to the Tenth Century

Using the evidence of archaeology, poetry, legal texts and annals, this volume investigates the social, economic and symbolic structures of early Scandinavia at the time of the Viking expansion. The contributors provide an outline ethnography, covering dwellings and settlements, kinship and social relations, law, political structures and external relations, rural and urban economies, and the ideology of warfare. The topics are discussed through case-studies from the contributors' recent research, illustrating the changing scholarly interpretations of this formative period in Scandinavian history. By addressing these key research questions, the contributions trace the background to and the impact of urbanisation and Christianisation, and the development of royal power, which stimulated the transition from the Viking age to the medieval period in Scandinavia. This book brings together for the first time in English a wealth of current Scandinavian archaeological, historical and cultural research. Judith Jesch is Reader in Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham. The contributors are: Lena Holmquist Olausson, Bente Magnus, E. Vestergaard, Birgit Arrhenius, Stefan Brink, Lise Bender Jorgensen, Svend Nielsen, Frands Herschend, Niels Lund, David N. Dumville, Judith Jesch, and Dennis H. Green.
Product Details

Table of Contents

LENA HOLMQUIST OLAUSSON Archaeological Research Lab., Stockholm Location and Distribution of Settlements in the Proto-town of Birka in Lake Malaren BENTE MAGNUS Stockholm Museum Dwellings and Settlements, Structure and Characteristics E. VESTERGAARD Danish Institute, Arhus Kinship and Marriage: The Family, its Relationships and its Renewal in Early Scandinavian Epics BIRGIT ARRHENIUS Archaeological Research Lab., Stockholm Kinship and Social Relations in the Early Medieval Period in Svealand Elucidated by DNA STEFAN BRINK Uppsala University Law and Legal Customs in Viking-Age Scandinavia LISE BENDER JORGENSEN Inst. Of Archaeology, Trondheim Rural Economy: Ecology, Hunting, Pastoralism, Agricultural and Nutritional Aspects SVEND NIELSEN National Museum, Copenhagen The Urban Economy: South Scandinavia during the Second Half of the First Millennium AD FRANDS HERSCHEND Uppsala University Political Structures in the Sixth to Tenth Century NIELS LUND University of Copenhagen Harald Bluetooth: A Saint Very Nearly Made by Adam of Bremen DAVID N. DUMVILLE Girton College, Cambridge Vikings in the British Isles: A Question of Sources JUDITH JESCH University of Nottingham Eagles, Ravens and Wolves: Beasts of Battle, Symbols of Victory and Death DENNIS H GREEN Trinity College, Cambridge The 'Ludwigslied' and the Battle of Saucourt

About the Author

JUDITH JESCH is Reader in Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham.


Illuminating and revealing.... Along with the rest of the series this is a welcome addition to the library shelf, and a book to which reference will regularly be made. SAGA-BOOK

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