Vikings, The Hardcover – Jun 29 2017
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�Anyone interested in finding out more about these real-life raiders will enjoy everything Oliver reveals.� ---Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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 as his two critically acclaimed landmark BBC history series, A History of Scotland and A History of Ancient Britain. He lives in Scotland. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Unfortunately, some of his claims are difficult to check and he has a tendency to write from the standpoint of an authority on his subject, archaeology, such that it is difficult to discern where his unique ideas differ from the consensus, and consequently, how contentious his claims might be (as for example that Muhammad's people worshipped the same God as the Christians and Jews (which is severely misleading at best in my opinion considering the polytheistic nature of pre-Islamic Arabia and the Quraysh to which tribe he belonged)), pp.71-2.
In summary, Vikings left Scandinavia as traders and raiders in all directions, they acted more as traders where distances to rich pickings were longer (the East even to Byzantine and Arabian lands) while engaging in more direct raiding and pillaging in the West of Europe where rich pickings were more accessible, and slaving was big business in all areas. It makes for disturbing reading at times, when one reflects upon the human propensity for violence and skulduggery without strong centralized powers to put down opportunists (which the Vikings were in spades).
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