The Viking Age, beginning with the raid on Lindisfarne in 793 AD and lasting roughly until the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, represents a time of ingenuity and a fearless journey into the mists of the unknown. Yet, that depends on what story a given source tells us, for others regard this period as a time of great violence and darkness. Still, it remains a contested period between the forces of savagery and of innovative exploration. The reputation of the Vikings has captivated the imaginations of thousands, and yet they still remain shrouded in the mists to which they had set their sails. But perhaps the most enlightening aspect of the Viking Age is how Scandinavia gradually integrated itself into the larger medieval world.
Currently, this page holds links to the various lessons of a Viking History Crash Course that have been featured on this website’s mother-blog. They are considered to be ‘informal’ because they have been written by an undergraduate student, have not undergone peer-review, and do not make use of substantial sources. Rather, they generally use a single classroom experience complemented with various books, articles, and other reliable sources. Nonetheless, they are not cohesive undertakings of their respective topics, but rather introductions to greater areas for study. Keep this in mind while enjoying the content!
[This series is currently ongoing…]
FIRST HALF: Culture and Society.
Lessons 1-20 (30 posts)
- The Vikings and Their Era
- The Norse Homeland
- Kickstarting the Viking Age (revision coming soon; old version here)
- Lesson 4 – Introduction to Norse Mythology: Our Sources
- Lesson 5 – Introduction to Norse Mythology: The Story of Creation and the Worlds
- Lesson 6a – Introduction to Norse Mythology: The Major Gods and Races (Part 1)
- Lesson 6b – Introduction to Norse Mythology: The Major Gods and Races (Part 2)
- Lesson 6c – Introduction to Norse Mythology: The Major Gods and Races (Part 3)
- Lesson 7 – Viking Spirituality
- Lesson 8 – Runes
- Lesson 9a – Literature and the Sagas, Part I: The Nature of Our Sources
- Lesson 9b – Literature and the Sagas, Part II: Snorri Sturluson and the Edda
- Lesson 9c – Literature and the Sagas, Part III: The Skalds and Their Poetry
- Lesson 9d – Literature and the Sagas, Part IV: Kingly and Heroic Saga Literature
- Lesson 9e – Literature and the Sagas, Part V: The Icelandic Sagas and Saga Style
Society and Law Segment
- Lesson 10 – Viking Age Society
- Lesson 11 – Law in the Viking Age
- Lesson 12 – Blood, Feud, and Honor
- Lesson 13a – Women in the Viking Age, Part 1: Overview and Social Roles
- Lesson 13b – Women in the Viking Age, Part 2: In the Eyes of the Law
- Lesson 13c – Women in the Viking Age, Part 3: Were Women “Vikings?”
- Lesson 14a – Viking Ships and Seafaring, Part 1: Development, Construction, and Navigation
- Lesson 14b – Viking Ships and Seafaring, Part 2: Primary Examples
Native Settlement and Trade Segment
- Lesson 15a – The Settlements at Home, Part 1: The Longhouse and the Village
- Lesson 15b – The Settlements at Home, Part 2: The Development of Early Towns
- Lesson 16 – Viking Money: Commerce, Coins, and Cuerdale
Art and Weaponry Segment
- Lesson 17 – Viking Crafts
- Lesson 18 – Viking Art: Decorating Useful Objects
- Lesson 19 – Viking Weaponry
- Lesson 20 – Viking Warfare
SECOND HALF: Raids, Settlements, and Kings.
Lessons 21-34 (32 posts)
Viking Raids Segment
- Lesson 21 – An Overview of Vikings Abroad
- Lesson 22a – Vikings in France, Part 1: Messy Politics.
- Lesson 22b – Vikings in France, Part 2: Rollo and Normandy.
- Lesson 22c – Vikings in France, Part 3: Brittany. (Scheduled for after course ‘completion’)
- Lesson 23a – Vikings in England, Part 1: Early Attacks.
- Lesson 23b – Vikings in England, Part 2: The ‘Great Army’ and King Alfred.
- Lesson 23c – Vikings in England, Part 3: The Danelaw and King Æthelred the Unready.
- Lesson 23d – Vikings in England, Part 4: Conquering England – Knútr and Hastings.
- Lesson 24a – Vikings in Ireland, Part 1: “Tribal, Rural, Hierarchal, and Familiar.”
- Lesson 24b – Vikings in Ireland, Part 2: Arrival and Initial Impact.
- Lesson 24c – Vikings in Ireland, Part 3: Dublin, Conflict, and Integration.
- Lesson 24d – Vikings in Ireland, Part 4: Fighting for Kingship: Brian Boru.
- Lesson 25a – Vikings in Scotland, Part 1: Picts and the Arrival of the Dál Riata.
- Lesson 25b – Vikings in Scotland, Part 2: The Power of Orkney.
- Lesson 26 – Vikings in Wales.
- Lesson 27a – Vikings in the East, Part 1: The Rús and the Slavs.
- Lesson 27b – Vikings in the East, Part 2: Novgorod and Kiev.
- Lesson 27c – Vikings in the East, Part 3: Byzantium.
- Lesson 28 – Vikings in the Mediterranean.
Viking Settlement Segment
- Lesson 29a – Iceland, part 1: The Age of Settlements.
- Lesson 29b – Iceland, part 2: Historians.
- Lesson 29c – Iceland, part 3: The Commonwealth.
- Lesson 29d – Iceland, part 4: Christianity.
- Lesson 29e – Iceland, part 5: The Age of the Sturlungs.
- Lesson 30 – The Faroe Islands.
- Lesson 31 – Greenland and Vinland.
Kings and Christ Segment
- Lesson 32a – Christianization, part 1: The Kings of a New Order.
- Lesson 32b – Christianization, part 2: The Early Scandinavian Church.
- Lesson 33a – The Major Kings of the Viking Age, part 1: King Harald Fair-hair.
- Lesson 33b – The Major Kings of the Viking Age, part 2: King Harald Bluetooth.
- Lesson 33c – The Major Kings of the Viking Age, part 3: King Harald Hardrada.
- Lesson 34 – The Viking Legacy.