In the ninth and tenth centuries, the Vikings created an unrivalled cultural network that spanned four continents. Adventurers, farmers, traders, conquerors and sailors, the Vikings were both peaceful and fierce, fighting or bargaining their way through as far as Constantinople in the East, North America and Greenland in the North, the British Isles in the West as well as into the Mediterranean. Throughout their existence, the Vikings encountered a remarkable diversity of peoples and inhabited an expansive and changing world. This beautifully illustrated book explores the core period of the Viking Age from a global perspective, examining how the Vikings drew influences from Christian Europe and the Islamic World and how they created a lasting historical impact on our world today. Highlighting an extraordinary range of objects and featuring new discoveries by archaeologists and metal-detector users, the cultural connections between Europe, Byzantium and the Middle East are explored in absorbing detail. Vikings: life and legend is published to complement a major exhibition developed jointly by the British Museum, the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen and the Museum for Prehistory and Early History, Berlin.
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Gareth Williams is Curator of Early Medieval Coins at the British Museum.
Peter Pentz is a Curator of Danish Prehistory at the National Museum of Denmark.
Matthias Wemhoff is Director of the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.Review:
"The book and the exhibition are visually stunning. . . . and the section on 'Belief and Ritual' is fascinating."―Tom Shippey, London Review of Books
"Much more than simply a lavish catalog to accompany the exhibition of the same name organized by the National Museum of Denmark, the British Museum, and the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin... this attractive, well-produced volume addresses a comprehensive array of subjects relevant to understanding the material and thought worlds of the Viking Age in northern Europe (roughly AD 750-1150)."―Stephen Mitchell, Speculum (October 2015)
"A beautiful, accessible book, with strong interpretive narration that will be enjoyed by Viking enthusiasts, medievalists, artists interested in material culture, and newcomers to the subject."―Library Journal (starred review)
"A rich and engaging work that offers insights about the worlds of the Viking Age, for both scholars and general readers, Vikings is a joy and a surprise to read. . . . Williams, Pentz and Wemhoff (as well as their museum staffs and other authors in text) are to be congratulated for putting together such a gorgeous and substantive work about the age of the Vikings. I am already imagining ways to use it in my World and Western history survey courses."―Thomas J. Rushford, Itinerario
"The color photos provide a wonderfully close look at Viking artifacts but also move this exhibit catalog beyond the museum, with lush depictions of countrysides, archival photos of archaeological digs, and art from the era. Enthusiasts and amateurs alike will engage with this modern and cross-cultural take on the Viking age."―Booklist
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