The History of the Vikings: From the Baltic to Byzantium

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The History of the Vikings: From the Baltic to Byzantium

  • Gettysburg College
24 Lectures (8 CDs)
Audio CD Set:

Regular Price: $199.95

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Regular Price: $199.95

Special Price $39.95

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Regular Price: $199.95

Special Price $39.95

Availability: In stock.

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Audio Sample:

“Scandinavian scavengers,” warlike pirates, raiders, and invaders—the Vikings have lately surfaced from the depths of maritime history to become some of mainstream America’s most adored ruffians.

For medievalist Christopher R. Fee, Ph.D., the recent craze for all-things Viking—largely due to the success of The History Channel’s Vikings series and Marvel Comics’ Thor character—is a mixed blessing. The spike in popular fascination often occasions the need to separate the wheat from the chaff: fact from fiction, history from myth, literature from legend.

The History of the Vikings: From the Baltic to Byzantium endeavors to right the ship by offering you a scholarly and thorough-going overview of Viking history, geography, literature, religion, and culture.

Named one of the 300 Best Professors in America by the Princeton Review in 2012, Prof. Chris Fee leads this series with canny and personable teaching. As you plumb the depths of his impressive knowledge, you’ll explore such famous incidents as the raid on the monastery at Lindisfarne in 739 and the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066, as well as lesser-known curiosities, like:

  • The etymology of the term “Viking,”

  • The fact that Vikings known as Varangians made up the personal bodyguard of the Byzantine Emperor, and

  • The origins of the state that we now think of as Russia.

From runic inscriptions to heroic sagas, pagan belief to Danelaw, you’ll ponder the Vikings’ lasting significance as you immerse yourself in the seen and unseen record of their fascinating civilization.

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Topic Titles
Topic Titles

Section I—The Birth of the Viking Age

  1. Why Study the Vikings? Medieval Marauders for a Modern Audience

  2. Who were the Vikings? Life in Early Scandinavia

  3. How to Go i viking: The Birth of the Longship and the Movement across the North Atlantic

Section II—The Length and Breadth of the Viking World

  1. The Coming of the Vikings: The British Isles as Norse Stepping-Stones

  2. The Vikings in Britain up to the Establishment of the Danelaw

  3. Danegeld, the Vikings in France, and the Founding of Normandy

  4. Establishing Trade Routes in the East: The Rus, Kiev, and the Road to Byzantium

  5. Postcards from the Edge of the Viking World: Norse Settlements in Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland

  6. Vikings in the Big City: The Norse Bodyguard of the Byzantine Emperor

Section III—The Gods of the Vikings

  1. Introducing the Gods of the North: Viking Creation Myths

  2. Interpreting the Gods of the North: The Viking Pantheon

  3. It All Ends in Doom: The Norse Twilight of the Gods

Section IV—The Sagas of the Vikings

  1. Wrestling with Monsters: The Norse Hero and the Troll

  2. Diving into Trouble: The Norse Hero and in the Water-Hag’s Cave

  3. Playing with Fire: The Norse Hero and the Dragon

  4. Converting the Vikings: Pagan and Christian in Njal’s Saga

  5. Magic, Miracles, and Murder in The Saga of the Earls of Orkney

  6. The Great Icelandic Anti-Heroes: Egil Skallagrimsson and Grettir Amundarson

  7. The Twilight of the Viking Age and King Harald’s Saga


Section V— Discovering Viking Treasures

  1. Archaeology and the Vikings: Stones and Bones and Ship Burials

  2. Reading Viking Writing: Solving the Riddle of Runes

Section VI—The Afterlife of the Viking World

  1. Speaking Viking: The Danelaw and Its Impact upon the English Language

  2. Legally Viking: The Lasting Impact of Norse Law and Government

  3. Forever Viking: Contemporary Representations of the Vikings

About Your Presenter

Christopher R. Fee is an expert on medieval literature. He is currently Professor of English and the Chair of the English department at Gettysburg College, where he served as the Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities from 2008 to 2011. Named one of the 300 best professors in America by the Princeton Review, Dr. Fee has received a variety of honors, grants, and fellowships for his teaching and research.

Dr. Fee has written numerous articles and given presentations and lectures around the world. His books include Gods, Heroes, and Kings: The Battle for Mythic Britain; Mythology in the Middle Ages: Heroic Tales of Monsters, Magic, and Might; The Goddess: Myths of the Great Mother; and Arthur: God & Hero in Avalon. Fee is also editor of the Encyclopedia of American Myth, Legend, and Folklore and the Encyclopedia of Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories in American History. Prof. Fee earned his Ph.D. in English Language at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he was a postgraduate tutor in topics including Old English, Old Norse, and historical linguistics. He is also a freque...

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