By Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough
Within the death days of the 8th century, the Vikings erupted onto the overseas degree with brutal raids and slaughter. The medieval Norsemen can be most sensible remembered as monk murderers and village pillagers, yet this can be faraway from the entire tale. through the center a long time, long-ships transported furry northern voyagers in every single place, the place they not just raided but additionally traded, explored and settled new lands, encountered unexpected races, and launched into pilgrimages and crusades.
The Norsemen travelled to all corners of the medieval international and past; north to the wastelands of arctic Scandinavia, south to the politically turbulent heartlands of medieval Christendom, west around the wild seas to Greenland and the fringes of the North American continent, and east down the Russian waterways buying and selling silver, skins, and slaves. Beyond the Northlands explores this global throughout the tales that the Vikings advised approximately themselves of their sagas.
But the depiction of the Viking global within the previous Norse-Icelandic sagas is going some distance past historic proof. What emerges from those stories is a mix of realism and fable, quasi-historical adventures and unique wonder-tales that rocket a ways past the horizon of fact. at the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons and outlandish tribes jostle for place with explorers, investors, and kings.
To discover the sagas and the area that produced them, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough now takes her personal journey in the course of the dramatic landscapes that they describe. alongside the best way, she illuminates the wealthy yet usually complicated saga bills with a number of different facts: archaeological reveals, rune-stones, medieval international maps, encyclopedic manuscripts, and texts from as distant as Byzantium and Baghdad. As her trip around the outdated Norse global exhibits, by means of situating the sagas opposed to the disclosing heritage of this different facts, we will start no less than to appreciate simply how the area was once skilled, remembered, and imagined by means of this special tradition from the outermost fringe of Europe such a lot of centuries ago.