By Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough
Within the demise days of the 8th century, the Vikings erupted onto the foreign level with brutal raids and slaughter. The medieval Norsemen will be top remembered as monk murderers and village pillagers, yet this is often faraway from the full tale. during the center a long time, long-ships transported furry northern voyagers everywhere, the place they not just raided but additionally traded, explored and settled new lands, encountered strange races, and launched into pilgrimages and crusades.
The Norsemen travelled to all corners of the medieval global 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 international during 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 a ways past old evidence. What emerges from those stories is a mix of realism and myth, quasi-historical adventures and unique wonder-tales that rocket some distance 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 way in which, she illuminates the wealthy yet frequently complicated saga debts with a variety of different proof: archaeological unearths, rune-stones, medieval international maps, encyclopedic manuscripts, and texts from as distant as Byzantium and Baghdad. As her trip around the previous Norse international exhibits, via situating the sagas opposed to the unveiling history of this different proof, we will start at the least to appreciate simply how the realm was once skilled, remembered, and imagined via this certain tradition from the outermost fringe of Europe such a lot of centuries ago.