Late in the tenth century, the Norse Vikings embarked on a voyage of no return. Leaving Iceland first for Greenland, from there they sailed onwards to North America, setting foot on its shores five hundred years before Columbus' first journeys of discovery. But by about AD 1500 their settlements were abandoned and the Norse Greenlanders and their explorations of the New World receded into the realms of myth. What happened between these momentous events? How did the Vikings really live - and die - and why have so many myths and legends grown up around this mysterious people of the sea?Eirik the Red. The Davis Strait. The Vinland Map. The very names conjure up an atmosphere of ice and romance and there is much that it is evocative and romantic about the story of the Norse people - explorers who broke through existing frontiers in hostile and difficult conditions. Yet for this very reason the Viking story has often been distorted, even to the present day. Sweeping aside the myths and misinterpretations in this authoritative new history of the greatest Viking adventurers, Kirsten A. Seaver brilliantly demonstrates that the truth is every bit as compelling as fiction and offers a uniquely complete portrait of the Viking experience. Honest sailors or ruthless pirates? Market traders or epic poets? Questing explorers or committed home-makers? The Vikings led varied and complex lives, both at home and through their extensive trade networks abroad. Drawing on her deep knowledge of the culture and history of the region as well as the most up to date evidence from archaeology, medieval history and the evocative Sagas, Seaver weaves together a compelling and authoritative history. Alongside their spectacular achievements and discoveries, she also vividly evokes the last Vikings' daily lives and explains why their apparent departure in 1500 was not quite such a dramatic schism in the historical record as is often assumed. This vivid history of a people living at the fringes of the known world offers an illuminating entree into the world of the Norse Greenlanders which will captivate all who have ever wondered about the fate of the Vikings and will stand as the definitive work for years to come.
Last Vikings, The
The Epic Story of the Great Norse Voyagers