Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Viking Experience is now available on Amazon

The Viking Experience  
The Viking Experience is a general history of the Vikings by Dr Marjolein Stern and yours truly, and I am excited that it is now available through Amazon. Far be it from me to praise this book overmuch but I am really quite pleased with how it turned out. It is in full colour with plenty of illustrations and comes in a slipcase with removable inserts illustrating important documents of the time. Rather than blather on about it, I shall let the publisher's blurb speak for me:

'From the remote and unforgiving landscape of northern Europe, the Vikings voyaged to far-flung areas of the world with extraordinary consequences. The Viking Experience examines the origins, explorations and settlements of these seafaring people, exploring their impact on the world as colonizers, craftsmen, traders and state-makers. This highly illustrated book provides a revealing portrait of the Vikings’ incredible legacy with a collection of facsimiles and translations of rare documents, including:
  • Drawings and photographs from archaeological dig sites
  • An extract from the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, describing a Viking raid on Lindisfarne
  • The Skálholt map that marks Norse discoveries in the western Atlantic
  • A page from the Stockholm Codex Aureus, an illuminated manuscript that was looted by the Vikings
  • The Vinland map showing Norse exploration of America as an example of recreated Viking history'

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Existential Berserker: A search for meaning

For want of anything else to post at the moment, I thought I should publicise my new post on the Nottingham University English Language and Applied Linguistics blog. This short discussion of what Old Norse berserkr actually meant to the medieval saga authors might provide some food for thought for rules writers and Viking army enthusiasts.

One of the cornerstones of my thesis is that there is a significant gulf between the modern English meaning of 'berserker' and the medieval meaning of Old Norse berserkr, despite their semantic relationship, and that this gulf has led to misinterpretations of who and what they were. Obviously this has an effect on how they are depicted in wargames armies too and I hope to go into that in a future post.