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Vikings [Hardcover]

Neil Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Dec 4 2012
The Vikings famously took no prisoners, relished cruel retribution and prided themselves on their bloodthirsty skills as warriors. But their prowess in battle is only a small part of their extraordinary story. For over two hundred years between the end of the eighth century and the middle of the eleventh, these Scandinavian tribes became the greatest adventurers the world had yet seen. Perhaps the greatest there will ever be. Their restless voyaging in elegant timber long ships would grant them a territory stretching from Iceland in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south, from Newfoundland in the west to Constantinople and the Caspian Sea in the east. They were warriors and mercenaries of international renown, even the bodyguards of choice of the Byzantine emperors; they were colonisers, builders and engineers who helped shape the destinies of almost every land they touched. The way modern Europe looks and sounds today is due in no small part to Scandinavian men and women who turned their backs on their homelands and set sail for distant horizons. Drawing on the latest archaeological and scientific discoveries, Neil Oliver goes on the trail of the real Vikings. Where did this mysterious people emerge from? How did they really live? And just what drove them to embark on such extraordinary voyages of discovery over a thousand years ago? Vikings reveals the surprising answers to these questions, in the epic story of one of history's greatest empires of conquest.

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Looks beyond the cliched impressions of hairy raiders to exhaustively explore their less well-documented maritime and agricultural innovations. LONELY PLANET TRAVELLER this wonderful book is completely worth the effort THE LADY Neil Oliver brings alive another area of British history CATHOLIC HERALD

About the Author

Neil Oliver is a Scottish archaeologist, historian, broadcaster and writer. He is perhaps best known as the charismatic presenter of the award-winning documentary series COAST, as well his two critically acclaimed landmark BBC history series, A HISTORY OF SCOTLAND and A HISTORY OF ANCIENT BRITAIN. He lives in Stirling with his wife and three children. http://www.neiloliver.com/ https://twitter.com/NEIL_OLIVER_ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Neil-Oliver

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Vikings Dec 27 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent companion to the BBC series. Neil Oliver has the ability to bring the past to life. I only wish I could have had him as a professor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a surprise! Aug. 5 2014
By jules pilgrim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't like Neil Oliver on TV. I find his manner of presenting really annoying with far too much emphasis on him, however he really can write well. This is a really engaging book with an amazing capacity to bring the Viking world and its characters to life. This is the book that Oliver's TV series should have been, without distractions of shots of him walking here and there or flicking his hair out of his face all the time you really get to see what an excellent historian he is. Archaeology, history ,myth and legend are combined to reveal the Vikings for who they were. Oliver doesn't subscribe to the theory that just because they produced great art the Vikings have been misunderstood and were really just talented pagans misreported by monks with their own agenda. The Vikings are revealed as brutal raiders, canny traders, daring explorers AND brilliant artists who were doing it tough as farmers in the difficult environment of their homeland. Oliver presents a fascinating, balanced picture of Viking achievements, blunders, politics and culture, a mixed and colourful tapestry that is very readable and beautifully researched. The Viking influence reverberates even today, and not just in Scandinavia, Oliver takes a look at this too
This book definitely deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone with even a passing interest in this turbulent period.
4.0 out of 5 stars About Vikings and why their history fascinates the author Sept. 10 2014
By ElenaDelfina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are scholars, this book does not add anything new. Of course, because it is educational. In Italy, we have a word that means: a book or paper or TV programme that someone creates summarizing the state of the art of a scientific (or historic or other) issue, aiming to inform people who were completely uninformed about it, using plain and pleasant prose.
If you like this kind of books, this one if for you. About Vikings and why their history fascinates Neil...
5.0 out of 5 stars excellant! April 29 2014
By William V. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Neil Oliver gives fresh insight on the subject,even if you have several other books on Norse history,you should add Vikings to your library.Be sure to check out the documentary as well!
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