The period between the end of the eighth century CE and the middle of the eleventh is often called the “Viking Age” because this is the period in which Scandinavian people expanded their contacts with the outside world through trade, raiding, exploration, and colonization.
This volume presents a version of Ragnar’s saga compiled from different modern sources, along with information providing additional historical and documentary context, followed by a discussion of some aspects of modern appropriations and representations of ancient Norse culture.
The first section of the book provides a historical context for Ragnar’s saga through an exploration of daily life in ninth-century Scandinavia and of contemporary Viking culture and history.
The text of the saga itself forms the second part of the book, along with notes giving further information about how this version of the saga is presented and about elements within the story that might not be familiar to modern readers.
The third section of the book deals with representations of ancient Norse cultures in modern popular media.
Within this book, you’ll find the following the Viking Sagas and topics covered:
I received this book as an offer from Captivating History.com. I reviewed, because for me, Viking and Celtic mythology makes for some interesting reading. Add in the popular television series, “Vikings” and you’ve got a recipe for success.
This is not your typical history book, although there are many citations to back up this author’s references. The style of writing is clear and concise, and easy to understand. There are detailed descriptions of Viking culture, many gleaned from recent archaeological evidence.
I found the “shield maiden,” research to be most interesting. This female Viking, who lived and died around the year 900, was first excavated from a farm in Solør, Norway, in 1900. Recent discoveries reveal that she was a woman, overturning the centuries-old assumption that Viking warriors were only men.
The author deciphers many of the myths surrounding the television series, “The Vikings.” There was a man named Ragnar in the ancient texts who could have been the character in the series. The series has done a decent job in my estimation of showing Viking culture. Even more interesting to me was how many of the Norse myths found their way into the show. Read the ancient myths included in the book. The Norse were superb storytellers.
I also found the connection to a magic sword and the slaying of a dragon from the ancient Norse myths could have been the basis for the King Arthur myths. This is only my speculation and not collaborated with research. I think these older myths found their way into Celtic society repurposed to fit the needs of the time.
As a poet, the information relating to the Norse and Icelandic Skalds, (poets) caught my attention. Skalds were the poets of the Vikings, and poetry and storytelling were the most-prized art forms in Norse culture. Poetry was a gift from Odin, the Allfather chief god of the Vikings, and just being a skald with the ability to speak in rhyme also was a way to distinguish themselves as having a connection to Odin.
If you love Norse mythology and want to find out the factual truth behind the “Vikings” television series, this book will shed some light on the truth of the matter. It was a fabulous read!
*I follow the Amazon Rating System*
Matt Clayton is a best-selling author who is particularly known for his excellent take on mythology. Two of his best-selling books are Greek Mythology: A Captivating Guide to the Ancient Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters and Norse Mythology: A Captivating Guide to Norse Folklore Including Fairy Tales, Legends, Sagas and Myths of the Norse Gods and Heroes.
As an author, Matt’s mission is to unveil the captivating stories from the ancient world. So far, he has done a phenomenal job in terms of giving the readers what they want. When Matt is not wearing the author’s hat, he is either reading, eating, sleeping or working on projects related to his brand Captivating History. You can check out his Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMNMpSc81hvn5OC26yj-5Jw
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