Post-classical history

The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings

The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings

In AD 793 Norse warriors struck the English isle of Lindisfarne and laid waste to it. Wave after wave of Norse ‘sea-wolves’ followed in search of plunder, land, or a glorious death in battle. Much of the British Isles fell before their swords, and the continental capitals of Paris and Aachen were sacked in turn. Turning east, they swept down the uncharted rivers of central Europe, captured Kiev and clashed with mighty Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

But there is more to the Viking story than brute force. They were makers of law - the term itself comes from an Old Norse word - and they introduced a novel form of trial by jury to England. They were also sophisticated merchants and explorers who settled Iceland, founded Dublin, and established a trading network that stretched from Baghdad to the coast of North America.

In The Sea Wolves, Lars Brownworth brings to life this extraordinary Norse world of epic poets, heroes, and travellers through the stories of the great Viking figures. Among others, Leif the Lucky who discovered a new world, Ragnar Lodbrok the scourge of France, Eric Bloodaxe who ruled in York, and the crafty Harald Hardrada illuminate the saga of the Viking age - a time which “has passed away, and grown dark under the cover of night”.

A Who’s Who of the Viking World

Places

On Romans, Holy Romans, and Byzantines - MAPS

INTRODUCTION

The Hammer of the North

Prologue: The Viking Dawn

Part One: THE RAIDERS

Chapter 1. The Vikings at Home

Chapter 2. Charlemagne's Tears

Chapter 3. Ragnar Lothbrok

Chapter 4. Thorgils the Devil

Chapter 5. The Great Heathen Army

Chapter 6. England under Siege

Chapter 7. The Last King of England

Chapter 8. A Viking Kingdom in the Irish Sea

Chapter 9. The Battle of Clontarf

Chapter 10. Rollo the Walker

Part Two: THE EXPLORERS

Chapter 11. Vikings on the Riviera

Chapter 12. The Frontier Republic

Chapter 13. The Western Isles

Chapter 14. Vinland

Part Three: THE TRADERS

Chapter 15. Rurik the Rus

Chapter 16. Miklagård

Chapter 17. The Pull of Byzantium

Chapter 18. From Rus to Russian

Part Four: THE TRADERS

Chapter 19. Viking Kings

Chapter 20. Harald Bluetooth

Chapter 21. The Lure of English Silver

Chapter 22. The Emperor of the North

Chapter 23. The End of an Age

EPLILOGUE

The Viking Legacy

BIBLIOGRAPHY

NOTES