History

Here you will (eventually) find a brief guide to what happened during our period, designed as an introduction for freshers and so on. Feel free to contribute articles on the topics suggested, or any other subject that you find interesting. This page lists suggested topics for new articles.

General History

Society & Culture

People

Language & Literature

For those who are interested, there is a lot of information available on Old English (OE) and Old Norse (ON). These two mutually-comprehensible Germanic languages were spoken during our period, and we're lucky enough to have a surprsingly large corpus of contemporary written material surviving. Our pages provide an overview of online and written sources to get you going.

  • Old English AKA Anglo-Saxon or Englisc. This page contains an introduction to the language and a long list of links to Anglo-Saxon texts (originals and translations), manuscripts and language-learning resources including courses, podcasts and videos.
  • Old Norse. This page contains links to materials for learning Old Norse and to English translations of some of the Viking sagas.
  • The Runic alphabet
  • Books and bookbinding

The Arts

For more articles on Anglo-Saxon language and culture, visit the website of Ða Engliscan Gesiþas.

Museums

Here are a couple of links to museums that exhibit some original Anglo-Saxon or Viking items. Most of these do not focus primarily on the Early Medieval period, but they are still well worth a visit:

  • Ashmolean Museum (offsite) in Oxford not only features the famous Alfred Jewel and the Abingdon Sword, but in the upper gallery there is a very extensive section about Anglo-Saxons which includes lots of coins, buckets and some enormous shield bosses. Also, we helped them do a Saxon Sagas family day in Feb 2007.
  • The British Museum (offsite) in London offers a large variety of collections including Sutton Hoo. Prepare to spend some time in there. Their website also has information on upcoming events and exhibitions. See also their online tour of Anglo-Saxon artefacts. (offsite)
  • Gamla Uppsala Museum. (offsite) This is an excellent museum, housing tonnes of objects excavated from the burial mounds at Old Uppsala. They often have living history displays during the summer months.
  • The Swedish Museum of National Antiquities (Historiska Museet) (offsite) in Stockholm has a fantastic Viking collection, lots of beautiful Dark Age gold in the Gold Room and even a cast of the Piraeus Lion. They often have interactive living history displays.
  • Reading Museum (offsite) displays a reconstruction of the Bayeux Tapestry (offsite) which beautifully depicts the story of the Norman Conquest
  • The Royal Armouries (offsite) in Leeds offers a wonderful combination of collections, exhibitions and educational entertainment. Watch out for the medieval sword fighing.
  • The Yorkshire Museum & Gardens in York have the Coppergate Helm and the Gilling sword - two absolute must-see items.

Reconstructed Settlements

  • Foteviken Museum & Viking Reserve (offsite) Near Malmö, Sweden.
  • Jorvic Viking Centre (offsite) in York is more of a time travel experience than a museum. They have reconstructed the Viking City of Jorvic for you to see, hear and smell! Best seen in combination with the Jorvik Viking Festival.
  • West Stow Anglo-Saxon Settlement (offsite) is not really a museum but a reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon village found here. The site is actually about the Friends of West Stowe, but it contains all the relevant information on the settlement.
  • Murton Park (offsite) has a reconstructed Danelaw village, where we first went in Easter 2007 and which is our second home, Hauksby.

Archaeology

Miscellaneous History Links

  • British History Online A digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the mediaeval and modern history of the British Isles
  • Fortified England is a website with info about all fortified historical sites in England. Hence the name. It's very good! Has lots of information on hillforts and so on. (Currently being re-built - if you can't see much info at the moment, do check back as it will appear).
  • Viking Age Travels A multimedia presentation from the Swedish national heritage board. Aimed at kids but still pretty cool!
  • Viking heritage tourism: Authenticity and Commodification Research article: Annals of Tourism Research (2001) vol. 28 pp565-580 (subscription required to view full text)
  • Viking Society for Northern Research: Web Publications The Society is making virtually all its publications from 1895 to the present freely available on this website. Essays on a vast range of topics, plus translations of sagas.

Reenactment and History

These articles are not necessarily about Dark Age reenactment, but may be of general interest.

Webrings

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