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The VikingsThe Vikings

Wolves of War

Martin Arnold

Narrated by Todd Curless

Approximately 4.5 hours

Unabridged


Downloadable edition:

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Book published by Rowman & Littlefield


This concise and balanced history traces the 300-year saga of the pirates and warlords who poured out of Scandinavia between the eighth and eleventh centuries, terrorizing, conquering, and ultimately settling vast tracts of land throughout Europe. Undaunted by the might of the Arab caliphates and the Byzantine Empire, they founded Russia, originated the bloodline that came to rule France, and created a North Sea empire that included England. They also established settlements across the North Atlantic, notably in Iceland and Greenland, and their adventurous spirit and extraordinary seafaring skills led them to explore and briefly build colonies in North America. These were the Vikings, initially ferocious pagan warriors seeking land and booty under the banners of their gods, but eventually belligerent Christian kings commanding vast armies.

Martin Arnold provides a lively and accessible account of the early medieval period that became known as the Viking Age. Drawing on rich literary and archaeological source material, the first half of the book focuses especially on Viking culture, religious beliefs, and battle tactics and weaponry. The second half ranges over the four main theaters of Viking activity—the British Isles, Western Europe, the Slavic regions, and the North Atlantic settlements. Arnold vividly illustrates the two faces of the Vikings: on the one hand, savage, greedy, and implacable; on the other, adventurous, innovative, and artistic.

Martin Arnold is senior lecturer in early medieval literature at the University of Hull.

REVIEWS:

The Vikings: Wolves of War will provide readers with an accessible and learned account of the Viking Age, distilling current scholarship on the subject into an enjoyable and stimulating narrative.”

—Phil Cardew, London South Bank University

“A remarkable and up-to-date survey of the Viking Age, covering both Viking history and culture.... The book is authoritative yet written in an accessible and highly readable narrative style. Within the pages of this gripping account, Arnold presents an overview of the Vikings, detailing not only their savagery and bloody rituals, but also their artistic and innovative sides.... The Vikings not only serves as an excellent primer on the Viking Age, but it is also a ripping good read! Arnold's narrative style is lively and engrossing, and you can easily forget that you are reading a history book and not a novel.”

History In Review

“The testimonials on the back cover of this book accurately assert that The Vikings: Wolves of War is an accessible and enjoyable narrative description of the Viking Age.....Brief chapters and wide narrative strokes ensure that this work is fast-paced and exciting, and Arnold's engaging tone will certainly capture and sustain readers who are unfamiliar with the subject.....This book is a welcome addition to the 'Critical Issues in History' series....Supplemented by other notable Viking histories...this book would provide first-year university students or general readers with a stimulating introduction to the Viking Age.”

Journal Of The Australian Early Medival Association

“This slim volume provides a useful overview....The book is written in a lively style that will appeal to students.”

Journal Of English and Germanic Philology

“The most accessible and up-to-date account currently available of the Viking phenomenon, The Vikings links literary, historical, and archaeological sources to provide a balanced view of the 'fury of the Northmen,' neither glamorizing nor apologetic. Martin Arnold's book is the ideal introduction for students and general readers.”

—Thomas Shippey, Saint Louis University





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University Press Audiobooks
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