Vikings, a Global Saga
University of Stirling
Area of Study
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits1
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units2
Hours & Credits
Vikings, in the popular imagination, are commonly perceived as horn-helmeted, blood-thirsty pirates who killed and pillaged their way across Europe in the Middle Ages with their blood-stained axes. In reality, Vikings did much more than that. They changed the existing early-medieval political order for good; they contributed a great deal to the international trade, economy and urbanisation of different parts of Europe; and they explored and settled the uncharted territories of the North Atlantic, specifically the Scottish Isles, Iceland, Greenland, and as far as ‘Vinland’ (parts of Newfoundland), becoming the first Europeans to reach and temporarily settle in the North American continent; and they were perhaps the most engaging story-tellers of their time. By the time the Norse settled down and ceased raiding in the second half of the eleventh century, they had fundamentally altered the political, religious, economic and military history of much of the known world. This course will attempt to separate fact from fiction by critically reading and analysing primary source documents alongside archaeological, linguistic and place-name evidence, and thereby uncover the real history that lies behind the well-known stories of the Viking World. In addition, you will be introduced to the major historiographical debates related to the Viking Age. In particular, the module will address the place of the Vikings in medieval Scottish history.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
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Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
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Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.