Download A Brief History of the Vikings by Jonathan Clements PDF

By Jonathan Clements

'From the Fury of the Northmen carry us, O Lord'. among the 8th and 11th centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian native land to alternate, raid and invade alongside the coasts of Europe. Their impression and expeditions prolonged from Newfoundland to Baghdad, their battles have been as far-flung as Africa and the Arctic. yet have been they nice seafarers or determined outcasts, noble heathens or oafish pirates, the final pagans or the 1st of the trendy Europeans? This concise examine places medieval chronicles, Norse sagas and Muslim debts along newer study into ritual magic, genetic profiling and climatology. It comprises biographical sketches of a few of the main recognized Vikings, from Erik Bloodaxe to Saint Olaf, and King Canute to Leif the fortunate. It explains why the Danish king Harald Bluetooth lent his identify to a twenty-first century instant know-how; which destiny saint laughed as she buried international ambassadors alive; why such a lot of Icelandic settlers had Irish names; and, how the final Viking colony used to be destroyed via English raiders. Extending past the normal 'Viking age' of such a lot books, "A short historical past of the Vikings" locations unexpected Scandinavian inhabitants move in a much wider historic context. It provides a balanced appraisal of those notorious sea kings, explaining either their quick enlargement and its meant halt. intended simply because, finally, the Vikings didn't disappear: they changed into us.

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Royal estates, however, were more than sources of financial gain or places to sleep, they had a political nature too. The great royal Carolingian villas of Aachen, Compiègne, Frankfurt, Herstal, Ingelheim, Nijmegen, Paderborn, Quierzy and Thionville were effectively centres of government. Here charters were witnessed, ambassadors met, great assemblies and even church synods convened, laws enacted. The concentration of estates along the Rhine and between the Meuse and Moselle reflects the homeland of the Carolingian family.

At the Synod of Aachen of 817, Abbot Benedict of Aniane and the emperor, Louis the Pious, gave formal legislative backing to the Carolingian dynasty’s previous promotion of the Benedictine Rule. However, despite Benedict of Aniane’s encouragement of the use of a ‘pure’ version of the text of the Rule, he also tried to impose a customary with usages in liturgy and practice which often supplemented and surpassed the first Benedict’s provisions. Dunn Byzantine Missions among the Slavs The beginnings of this work are closely associated with the brothers Constantine and Methodius, the ‘Apostles of the Slavs’.

Byzantium reacted by creating a theme in the Crimea centred on Cherson (833). This did not prevent a Russian attack nearly taking Constantinople by surprise (860). Other Russian attacks followed in 907 and 941, but Byzantium countered by offering the Russians valuable trading concessions. The Russians also had to contend with the Petcheneks, the dominant power on the steppes. Byzantium cultivated them—they could cut the Russian trade route down the Dnieper from Kiev, and they also threatened the Bulgarians across the Danube.

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