For a period of about 300 years, c. 750- 1050 CE, Vikings came to instill dread in their victims and hold sway over far-flung territories under the auspices of Thor's hammer and Odin's spear. Who were the Vikings and why do they capture our imagination? This course explores this question and examines the impact of Viking expansion in Europe as raiders, traders, conquerors, and settlers. Through the examination of written as well as archaeological sources pertaining to the lives and beliefs of medieval Scandinavians, students gain insight not only into the functioning of daily life in Norse society, but will also have a comprehensive understanding of fundamental Norse social institutions (religious, political, economic, literary, etc.). Attention is paid not only to the chronology of events but also to the consideration of Norse values and beliefs, cultural practices and societal structures. 3 credits.
- Teacher: Sean Lawing