Scandinavian History in the Viking Age: a Select Bibliography

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  • Scandinavian History in the Viking Age

    A Select Bibliography

    Martin Syrett

    3rd edition, revised by Haki Antonsson and Jonathan Grove

    Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic University of Cambridge




    Telephone: (01223) 335079


    Further information on this series will be found on the website of the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic

    ISSN 1475-8520 1 Simon Keynes, Anglo-Saxon England: a Bibliographical Handbook for Students of Anglo-Saxon History, 5th ed. (2004) ISBN 0 9532172 8 0 2 Martin Syrett, Scandinavian History in the Viking Age: a Select Bibliography, 3rd ed., revised by Haki Antonsson and Jonathan Grove (2004) ISBN 0 9532172 9 9 3 Paul Russell, A Bibliography of Medieval Welsh Literature, 2nd ed., (2004) ISBN 0 9532697 3 6 4 Martin Syrett, The Vikings in England: the Evidence of Runic Inscriptions (2002) ISBN 0 9532697 4 4 5 Simon Keynes, An Atlas of Attestations in Anglo-Saxon Charters, c. 670 1066, I: Tables (2002) ISBN 0 9532697 6 0 6 Rebecca Rushforth, An Atlas of Saints in Anglo-Saxon Calendars (2002) ISBN 0 9532697 7 9

    Further volumes are in preparation

    Cover The Jelling beast from the larger runestone at Jelling in Jutland, on which king Harald bluetooth proclaimed his sovereignty over Denmark and Norway as well as observing that he made the Danes Christian. Variously interpreted as a symbol of either pagan mythology or royal authority, the art-work reflects the Mammen style and is possibly to be dated to the 960s.




    Martin Syrett

    3rd edition, revised by Haki Antonsson and Jonathan Grove

    Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic University of Cambridge


  • PREFACE This bibliography has been put together for the guidance of students studying the paper Scandinavian history in the Viking age in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge. Its model and inspiration was the bibliography of the history of Anglo-Saxon England compiled by Professor Simon Keynes, and like its predecessor this bibliography also makes no claim to be anything other than an informal and ephemeral document, in this case providing a bibliographical guide to the sources of, and major themes in, Viking history.

    Since the bibliography is intended primarily for the use of students, it includes translations as well as editions of primary written sources, and the emphasis is heavily upon secondary literature in English. When items in languages other than English are listed, the presence of any English summary is indicated by (E.s.). The bibliography accordingly makes no effort to be exhaustive in any respect, and overall concentrates extensively on more modern research; readers are nevertheless encouraged to delve more deeply through the use of bibliographies included in the items cited here.

    One final word of warning centres on the terms employed in this bibliography. Scandinavia is here defined as a cultural rather than geographical area, encompassing Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Faroe, and Iceland; moreover, even within those limits Scandinavian refers to the culture of the Germanic-speaking elements rather than the indigenous Lappish or Sami populations. In chronological terms Viking age is employed to refer roughly to a period from around 750 to around 1050; the period before 750 has been called Iron age, the period after 1050 mediaeval. These parameters are for pure convenience only, even though it is appreciated that they are an uneasy mixture of English and Scandinavian, or archaeological and conventional historical, conceptions that can rightly be criticised as too rigid, misleading, or simply wrong. 1 October 2001 Martin Syrett

    Scandinavian History in the Viking Age: a Select Bibliography was first issued in October 2001. Notification of any errors and suggestions for possible improvements are most welcome, and should be directed to Mr Jonathan Grove, Department of ASNC, Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP.

    Note for the Cambridge reader The vast majority of references in this bibliography are (or soon will be) available for consultation in the libraries of the University of Cambridge, and to some extent preference has been given to the inclusion of such items at the expense of others which are not held in those libraries. The bulk of them are naturally only accessible in the University Library, but a fair range of material is also to be located in the libraries of various departments, such as the Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic section of the English Faculty Library, the Seeley Library of the Faculty of History, and the Haddon Library of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology; references to holding libraries and classmarks will generally be found in square brackets following individual items, with preference given to the University Library. Students are encouraged to help build up the holdings of their college libraries and may well want to purchase some of the more general items in section (A) themselves.

    THE DEPARTMENT OF ANGLO-SAXON, NORSE, AND CELTIC Information on the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, University of Cambridge, including a guide to the ASNC Tripos, is available on the Departments website.

    ISSN 1475-8520 ISBN 0 9532172 9 9



    Table of Contents Textbooks, reference works, and written sources A Textbooks and reference works 1 B Written sources I Anthologies and series 6 II Non-Scandinavian sources 7 III West Norse prose historiography 21 IV Old Norse verse 36 V East Norse historiography 45 VI Documentary sources 49 VII Other disciplines 55 Political and social history C Scandinavia 60 D Denmark 72 E Norway 78 F Sweden 82 The Viking expansion G Iceland 87 H Faroe, Greenland, and North America 91 I Western Europe 94 J The East 104 Religion K Paganism 107 L Christianity 114 Archaeology M Material culture 124 N Trade and towns 135 O Collections of papers 148 P List of abbreviations 150

    Of the Germanic islands Scandinavia is the greatest, but there is nothing great in it beyond itself

    Dicuil, Liber de mensura orbis terrae VII:18 (anno 825)

  • Scandinavian History in the Viking Age


    A. TEXTBOOKS AND REFERENCE WORKS Most of the major serial works on Viking-age and mediaeval Scandinavia have been produced in an uneasy mixture of the vernacular Scandinavian languages and are now tending to look somewhat outdated. This applies, for example, to the volumes of the Nordisk kultur series, which nevertheless in some cases remain the most significant guides to various aspects of Scandinavian culture, e.g. (B900-01). A profoundly useful guide to virtually anything anyone could conceivably wish to know on the subject is provided by the Kulturhistorisk leksikon for nordisk middelalder fra vikingetid til reformationstid (A70), although with an inevitable drift towards the mediaeval period; for a more recent, although rather less copious, encyclopaedia see (A73).

    General textbooks Due to popular interest in the subject there is a vast array of general handbooks available on the Vikings, most of which say much the same thing and concentrate extensively on Viking activity abroad rather than Scandinavia. The rise to prominence of archaeology as the most significant discipline in the field means that many of the most useful and more recent contributions are well illustrated; (A14) and (A21) can be particularly recommended as accessible and informative guides. For a faster-paced rollercoaster of a ride through Viking history (A12) has a lot going for it. The Vikings [A1] T.D. Kendrick, A history of the Vikings (1930; repr. 1968) [UL 592:12.c.95.10] [A2] H. Arbman, The Vikings, Ancient peoples and places 21 (1961) [UL 592:12.d.95.1] [A3] J. Brndsted, The Vikings (1965; repr. 1976) [UL 9592.d.29, S592.d.97.4] [A4] E. Oxenstierna, The Norsemen (1966) [UL 592:12.b.95.2] [A5] P. Sawyer, The age of the Vikings (1962), 2nd edn (1971) [UL 1st edn 592:12.c.95.7, 2nd edn 592:12.c.95.17]; the classic and provocative re-assessment of Viking activity in the West [A6] P. Brent, The Viking saga (1975) [UL 592:12.b.95.4] [A7] D.M. Wilson, The Vikings and their origins (1970), 2nd edn (1980) [UL 1st edn 592:12.c.95.16, 2nd edn 592:12.b.95.5] [A8] D.M. Wilson, (ed.), The northern world: the history and heritage of northern Europe, AD 400-1100 (1980) [UL 9530.b.203] [A9] J. Graham-Campbell and D. Kidd, The Vikings (1980) [UL 592:12.b.95.6], with accompanying catalogue guide: J. Graham-Campbell, Viking artefacts: a select catalogue (1980) [UL S592.b.98.1] [A10] P. Sawyer, Kings and Vikings: Scandinavia and Europe AD 700-1100 (1982) [UL 592:12.c.95.32] [A11] F.D. Logan, The Vikings in history (1983) [UL 592:12.c.95.37]; heavy emphasis on the Viking expansion [A12] G. Jones, A history of the Vikings (1969), 2nd edn (1984) [UL 1st edn 592:12.c.95.12; 2nd edn 592:12.d.95.5, pbk 1994.7.205; 1997 repr. 9001.b.4736]; a rattling good yarn, which inspires interest and scepticism in equal measure [A13] J. Graham-Campbell et al., The Viking world (1980), 2nd edn (1989) [UL 1st edn 9530.b.204, 2nd edn 1993.11.3192] [A14] E. Roesdahl, The Vikings (1991) [UL 592:12.c.95.46] [A15] T. Deary, The vicious Vikings, Horrible histories (1994); only for students with serious application [A16] E. Christiansen, The Norsemen in the Viking Age (2002) [UL 592:12.c.20