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HI1025: VIKINGS! (2014-2015)

Last modified: 16 Jun 2014 10:31


Course Overview

This course introduces students to a period of warfare and pillage, political turmoil and social transformation, but also economic expansion and cultural innovation. In 795 Viking raiders mercilessly attacked the Christian monastic community on Iona in the Scottish western isles. From then on their activities extended from Denmark, Norway and Sweden out to Continental Europe, North America, Russia, and the Mediterranean Basin. Over time they became transformed from heathen raiders into Christianized settlers. In Iceland they created a republic which has remained Scandinavian in culture; elsewhere, for instance Britain, Ireland, and Russia, they adopted and modified the host culture. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor David Dumville

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

This course analyses the so-called "Viking Age". It invites students to critically consider whether the concept of the "Viking" can be usefully applied in order to to understand the history of Europe and beyond in the period c. 800-1200.
This was a period of warfare and pillage, political turmoil and social transformation, but also economic expansion and cultural innovation. In 795 raiders attacked the Christian monastic community on Iona in the Scottish western isles. Their activities extended from Denmark, Norway and Sweden out to Continental Europe, North America, Russia, and the Mediterranean Basin. Over time they accepted Christian beliefs and gradually integrated into European society. In Iceland they created a republic which has remained Scandinavian in culture; elsewhere, for instance Britain, Ireland, and Russia, they adopted and modified the host culture. By the twelfth century, Christian national kingdoms had been created in Scandinavia. "Viking" cultures became fully integrated into the wider project of European Christianization, including active involvement in the Crusades. The Viking Age had come to an end.
The course will introduce students to a broad range of methods and approaches to primary sources, from archaeological remains and rune-stones to ships and bridges, and from legal texts and chronicles to praise-poetry and sagas. Scandinavian expansionism will be presented in the wider political context of Dark-Age Europe, rooted in the late-antique breakdown of Roman rule and the accompanying ‘barbarian’ incursions. Alongside the political developments students will be introduced to key aspects of so-called "Viking-Age" culture and society, which in turn helped shape the politics of the period. These include religions old and new, the relationship between law and blood-feud, the transition from oral to textual modes of commemoration and learning, the development of new maritime technologies, and the roles of women in society.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

None.

Contact Teaching Time

Sorry, we don't have that information available.

Teaching Breakdown


Assessment

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (50%); 2000 word essay (40%) and tutorial participation (10%).
Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment

Chairing discussions, individual classroom presentations, individual essay return.

Feedback

The students are offered the possibility of one-to one essay return with written comments, advice on improvements and if necessary information about learnings support; Class meetings, Mixed tutor and peer assessment by students.

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