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The Viking Age in Northern Europe and along the Eastern Routes

The aim of the course is to provide a basic survey of the Scandinavian Viking Age (c. 750 - 1100 AD) and its outward expansion, based on archaeology, literary sources and history of religion. Political, economic, religious and other cultural aspects of the period will be discussed, as well as later conceptions of the Vikings and how those conceptions have been put to use in different contexts. The course includes expert lectures, an informed guidance of the Viking exhibition of the Historical Museum, and a full-day excursion to Viking Age sites.

  • Course structure

    The course runs half-time and is taught as an evening class in English. 

    Teaching format

    The teaching is in the form of lectures, a museum visit, and a one day excursion. The format of the teaching may be changed.

    Teaching spring semester 2022

    Teaching takes place on campus, in the museum and in the field. If necessitated by the current pandemic this may be subject to changes.


    The methods of examination are: Obligatory attendance, individual assignments to be completed, and a take-home exam to be graded.


    Associate professor Nanouschka Myrberg Burström 

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    The Viking Age in Northern Europe and along the Eastern Routes (ARA101)

    Course literature (mandatory)

    Androshchuk, Fedir. 2013. Vikings in the East (ISBN 978-91-554-8815-4) (buy in our department, 150 SEK, 272 pp).

    Androshchuk, Fedir, Shepard, Jonathan & White, Monica (Eds.). 2016. Byzantium and the Viking World. Chapters 4–7, pp. 91–186 (95 pp.). The required chapters are uploaded to Athena.

    Brink, Stefan & Price, Neil (Eds.). 2008. The Viking World (ISBN 0415333156). Chapters 35–39, pp. 470 – 549 (80 pp.). Also as e-book in the SUB, and as paperback 2011.

    Graham-Campbell, James. 2013. Viking Art. (ISBN 978-0500204191, 208 pp).

    Hall, Richard. 2012. Exploring the world of the Vikings (ISBN 9780500290514, 140 pp).

    Haywood, John. 1995. The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings (ISBN 0140513280, 144 pp).

    Roesdahl, Else. 2016. The Vikings (third ed.) (ISBN 9780141984766, 384 pp).

    Further reading (recommended)


    All useful for looking up concepts or deep-diving into specific topics; plenty of illustrations.

    Brink, Stefan & Price, Neil. 2008. The Viking World. (remaining chapters).

    Christiansen, Eric. 2006. The Norsemen in the Viking Age.

    Forte, Angelo, Oram, Richard & Pedersen, Frederik. 2005. Viking Empires.

    Hadley, Dawn. 2007. The Vikings in England.

    Haywood, John. 2000. Encyclopedia of the Viking Age.

    Jansson, Sven B.F. 1987. Runes in Sweden.

    Jesch, Judith. 2001. Women in the Viking Age.

    Jesch, Judith. 2015. The Viking Diaspora.

    Jones, Gwyn. 2001. A History of the Vikings.

    Magnus, Bente. 1998. Birka.

    Sawyer, Peter. 2001. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings.

    Williams, Gareth. 2014. The Viking Ship.

    Primary sources

    2 Some key texts:

    Smiley, Jane (Ed.). 2005. The Sagas of Icelanders (in particular The Vinland Sagas and Saga of the People of Laxardal).

    Larrington, Carolyne (Ed.). 2014. The Poetic Edda.

    Snorri Sturlason,. 2006. The Prose Edda (Penguin Classics, Ed. Jesse Byock).

    Montgomery, J. 2000. Ibn Fadlan and the Rusiyyah. Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 3:1–25. (Alternatively it is available with a useful introduction as a Penguin Classics book)

    Journal articles

    A few particularly interesting and readable papers for students who want to explore relevant recent research. All are online via SUB or as open access:

    Andrén, A. 2013. The significance of places: The Christianization of Scandinavia from a spatial point of view. World Archaeology 45(1): 27–45.

    Croix, S. 2015. The Vikings, victims of their own success? A selective view on Viking research and its dissemination. Danish Journal of Archaeology 4(1): 82–96.

    Harrison, J. 2013. Building Mounds. Longhouses, Coastal Mounds and Cultural Connections: Norway and the Northern Isles, c. AD 800-1200. Medieval Archaeology 57(1): 35–60.

    Kershaw, J. & Røyrvik, E.C. 2016. The ‘People of the British Isles’ project and Viking settlement in England. Antiquity 90(354): 1670-80.

    Price, N. 2010. Passing into poetry: Viking-Age mortuary drama and the origins of Norse mythology. Medieval Archaeology 54: 123–56.

  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course director
    Study councellor