Non-Fiction Books

The following non-fiction books are excellent general readers about the Viking Age – beyond the basics which can be found on the Internet (see History and Useful Links sections, for selection of links).

The Vikings, by Else Roesdahl (1998)

Considered one of the prime books on Viking history, from one of the leading Danish authorities on the Viking Age.

Dark Age Naval Power, by John Haywood (1999)

With the sub-title: “Frankisk and Anglo-Saxon Seafaring Activity” – this book will change the way you view the Viking Age. The Viking Age was not a “sudden explosion from Scandinavia” nor driven by a “sudden breakthrough in ship-building technology”, but rather a natural evolution of events in northern Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

While the title may lead to the assumption that the book is a long review of one ship discovery and excavation after another, then this is far from reality. The book looks at the history of the Franks and Anglo-Saxons (and also touchs on the Chauvi, Jutes, Frisians), and in that light explores the role and impact of seafaring.

A History of the Vikings, by Gwyn Jones (2001)

Absolutely worth the read, if you are interested in getting deeper into the Viking Age. This book is a general reader on the Viking Age, however does dive into specifics as well.

The Hammer and The Cross, by Robert Ferguson (2010)

While making the tour around all the regions the Vikings reached and impacted, then this book does an excellent job of explaining how culture, belief and religion played a role in the Viking Age.

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