The Viking Phenomenon (HIH1501)
From the 780s to the 1080s writers in Europe recorded attacks by aggressors from Scandinavia: the Vikings. Although a millennium has passed, the image of these groups as bloodthirsty, pagan warriors is immediately familiar to modern audiences. This module explores the relationship between the stereotype and the reality of Viking activity and culture. In the first seminars of the module we will examine popular perceptions of the Vikings and trace the development of these ideas back from modern to medieval sources. The following seminars will then investigate the complex reality of the historical Vikings through the analysis of contemporary textual and material evidence. This module asks not only who the Vikings were, but why they still have such a significant cultural presence today.