By P H Sawyer
Viking Age York and the North, ed. R A Hall (CBA Research Report No 27, 1978)
Introduction: The sources for the history of Northumbria in the two centuries between the Viking and Norman Conquests are not voluminous and most are only preserved in later, often incomplete, copies. Some other parts of England are far better provided with contemporary material, and in Northumbria itself there is a striking contrast between the documentary poverty of this period and the rich literary remains of the age of Bede or the magnificent collections of 12th and 13th century charters preserved in the archives of post-Conquest religious houses. There is, nevertheless, a great variety of source material for Viking Northumbria, far too great to be surveyed in one paper, and it is fortunate that the archaeological and numismatic evidence can safely be left to others at this conference, making it possible to limit this contribution to written sources and linguistic evidence.