Lifelong Learning Seminar: The World of the Vikings


Viking Seminar Logo


“The World of the Vikings”

Lifelong Learning Seminar

Presented by Marv Slind

March 2016

Session 1 (March 2): Viking society and culture

I. Introduction to the Age of the Vikings

A. Popular Conceptions of the Vikings

B. The Coming of the Viking Age

II. The Viking Age (ca. 780 – 1070 CE)

A. Viking Society and Culture

B. Daily Life

Session 2 (March 9): Viking religion, art, and literature

III. Nordic Mythology and Pagan Religion

A.  Sources

B. The World of the Nordic Gods

                1.  Aesir

                2.  Vanir

IV. Art and Ornament

A. Major Artistic Styles

B. Rune Stones

V.  Literature

A.  Viking Age Poetry

                1.  Eddaic

                2.  Scaldic

B.  Runic Inscriptions

C. Sagas and Oral Tradition

Session 3 (March 16): Viking ships and maritime technology; Expansion into Eastern and Western Europe

VI. Maritime Technology

A.  Development of Ships

B.  Sailing technology

C. Warfare and Weapons

VII. Viking Expansion

A. Russia

B. Germany and France

C. England

D. Ireland

Session 4 (March 23): Westward Expansion – the North Atlantic and North America

VII. Viking Expansion - Continued

E. The North Atlantic

                A. Iceland

                B. Greenland

F. Vinland: The Viking Presence in North America

Suggestions for Further Reading:

Gwyn Jones, The Vikings 

Else Roesdahl, The Vikings 

Peter Sawyer, Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings 

Robert Ferguson, The Vikings: A History

Anders Winroth, The Age of the Vikings 

H.R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe