BOOKS: Medieval Ireland


In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some great books on medieval Ireland!

Marking the spot of an old Viking ‘parliament’


The site of one of the earliest known Assemblies or ‘parliaments’ in the UK has been officially put on the map after years of work by a scientist from The University of Nottingham.

Danish Ferocity and Abandoned Monasteries: the Twelfth-century View

Lindisfarne ruins - created by  Thomas Girtin (1775–1802)

This article tries to explain why twelfth-century authors found it so important to invent stories of Viking brutality towards monks and nuns and what ideas and material they used to create their stories.

Q&A: Michael Hirst, creator and writer of Vikings

vikings season 3 ragnar

The third season of Vikings is set to premiere tonight in the United States and Canada. The show, which follows the adventures of Ragnar Lodbrok and his family, has been averaging over three million viewers in North America.

Vikings: Brutal and Bloodthirsty or Just a Misunderstanding?

vikings_season 3

During its first two seasons, the popular History Channel series Vikings triggered a vigorous debate among scholars and amateur historians about the show’s authenticity—particularly the gore and violence. But separating truth from fiction, it turns out, is harder than it sounds.

Choosing Heaven: The Religion of the Vikings

Picture stone with snake motif from Martebo church.

The Viking-age gods stemmed from two races – Aesir and Vanir.

The Age of the Vikings

age of the vikings

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid but also to explore.

Popular Vikings: constructions of Viking identity in twentieth century Britain

Jorvik Viking Festival - photo by Alice / Flickr

Although the Viking Age ended nearly a millennium ago, today Viking images are everywhere, functioning as tourist attractions, marketing devices, role models, and sources of regional/national pride and identity.

Ceremonial Drinking in the Viking Age

A drinking scene on an image stone from Gotland, Swedish Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm.

Drinking ceremonies played a very important social role in Viking Age Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England.

War on the Waterways: Maritime Conflict in the Viking Age in the North Sea Region

viking ship

The ubiquitous Viking warship is perhaps the most high-profile symbol of early medieval Scandinavians.

Vikings’ homes would have been very polluted, researchers find

Viking House in Hedeby - photo by Kai-Erik

Danish researchers have found that the fires used for cooking and heat in Viking-era houses would have caused significant indoor air pollution.

What do we think of the Vikings and what did the Vikings think of Cleveland?

Vikings in Cleveland

The popular perception of Vikings is that they were pagan warriors, picking on the rich Christian settlements of the British Isles with impunity.

Vital Factors in the Success of the Vikings

911 Viking invasion of Normandy

Viking raids in Western Europe met with an easy success which is rather astonishing.

Winter, snow and cold in the life of the Westviking

winter iceland

The main purpose of this paper is to examine how the Westviking were influenced by winter, snow and cold in their day-to-day life as they were making progress in the West.

Vikings in Manitoba?

Vikings in Manitoba

Manitoba bound? Not likely!

Spanish Vikings: Searching for the Norse presence in Iberia

16th century map of Iberia

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films – however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

Bad Heritage: The Vikings in North America

Vikings in Newfoundland - photo by Douglas Sprott / Flickr

I’ll propose that few times are more Immemorial than the medieval, which I think helps explain why the North American Norse have been promoted so heavily. It’s not just their priority among European arrivals; it’s that they’re medieval arrivals.

Change in Northern Winds: A Modern Review of the Viking Siege of Paris 845

viking shields by Hans Splinter

Paris has been besieged many times throughout history, yet the Siege of Paris by the Vikings in 845 remains a significant episode in this larger chronology.

Viking Hall discovered in Sweden

Using ground-penetrating radar. Photo: Martin Rundkvist. /Stockholm University

A Viking feasting hall measuring about 47.5 metres in length has been identified near Vadstena in central Sweden.

Thousand-year-old crucible provides more evidence of the Vikings in Canada’s Arctic

Baffin Island - photo by Mike Beauregard / Flickr

Although it was found about fifty years ago, archaeologists have just determined that a small stone container discovered on Baffin Island in Canada’s Arctic region was actually part of metallurgical equipment used by the Vikings around the year 1000 A.D.

The Viking (1928): ‘where Norse maids wear rather short skirts and cute winged metal helmets’

viking 1928

For its corny helmet and scantily clad damsels in distress with matching horns or wings, it asks the right question humanity has been asking from the beginning.

Norsemen And Vikings: The Culture That Inspired Decades Of Fear

Viking Axe - photo by Vladimir V. Burov / Flickr

Thoughts of these monstrous men link themselves with words such as bloodlust, raids, and conqueror. Which leaves one to ponder why these men have come to be forever linked with such carnage, surely they must have had some redeeming qualities?

Vikings Red with Blood and Dead: White Martyrs and the Conquest of the American Frontier

Kensington stone  Flikr

In 1898, a Swedish American immigrant unearthed a mysterious stone from a Minnesota farm field.

The Viking Language of the Highlands and Islands: Reconstructing the Norn Language from Old Norse

Viking carving

The Orkney and Shetland islands of Scotland were at one time colonized by Vikings and belonged firmly within the field of Scandinavian cultural influence. During this time the people of these archipelagos spoke a unique language known as Norn which evolved from the Old Norse language.

The Orkney Islands in the Viking Age

orkney islands

How and when did Orkney become such a key player in the relations between Norway and Scotland? Were the Earls of Orkney a barrier to war between the nations?

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