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.
- Project Woruldhord Free online educational resources for the teaching and study of the Anglo-Saxons and Old English (offsite)
- Britannia's Original Sources & Texts (offsite)
- Episodes of BBC Radio 4's In Our Time dealing with Alfred and the Battle of Edington, Athelstan, The Norman Yoke and The Carolingian Renaissance (all offsite).
- The Viking Society for Northern Research has made digital versions of all of its publications available online, covering a wide range of topics.
- The University of Nottingham's Centre for the Study of the Viking Age has an excellent page of links to online resources detailing Old Norse material culture, society and language.
- BBC Radio 3's The Essay produced thirty 15-minute radio broadcasts on notable Anglo-Saxons in a series called Anglo-Saxon Portraits (offsite)
Society & Culture
- Migrations, settlements & cultural exchange
- The Rus: The Rus Khaganate, Rurik and Kievan Rus
- Is it necessary to assume an apartheid-like social structure in Early Anglo-Saxon England? (offsite). See also this reply (offiste).
- On the Trail of Viking Women: an article from British Archaeology about Viking women in England (offsite)
- The Role of Women
- The Spindle Half: Women in Anglo-Saxon England
- Women in Norse societies
- Lothene: Women as Warriors (offsite) is a summary of available evidence for Saxon or Viking warrior women (nb this is rather biased and a lot of context is lacking, e.g. finding a weapon in a grave does not automatically mean that the person buried was a warrior).
- The Class System
- The Legal System
- Anglo-Saxon Charters (offsite). Database of Anglo-Saxon charters, with original Latin/Englisc texts.
- Alfred's Nuns
- Benedictine Men & Women of Courage: Roots and History A really interesting book (pdf) on the Dark Age and Mediaeval Church and the Benedictine order. By Sister Ann Kessler, O.S.B. (offsite)
- St Hild of Whitby: an episode of BBC Radio 4's In Our Time (offsite)
- The Norse Gods: an episode of BBC Radio 4's In Our Time (offsite)
- Anglo-Saxon Penitentials: A Database (offsite) Ever wondered how many nights you should fast if you commit adultery, accidentally eat carrion or put your daughter in the oven to cure a fever? Find the answers here!
- War and warriors
- Aelfric's Colloquy on the Occupations (pdf of a translation by Ann E Watkins) gives some interesting insights into what people did in their everyday lives in the late Anglo-Saxon period (offsite).
- Disease and medicine
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
- Visual arts
- 8th-10th Century carvings at The Priory Church (originally a Saxon monastery), Breedon on the Hill, Leicestershire (offsite).
- 11th Century church paintings at Houghton-on-the-Hill, (nr. South Pickenham) Norfolk (offsite).
- The Corpus of Anglo Saxon Stone Sculpture (offsite).
- The Making of the Lindisfarne Gospels from Midgard Living History (offsite).
- From Attila to Charlemagne Arts of the Early Medieval Period in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (offsite) has some lovely pictures and is free to download.
For more articles on Anglo-Saxon language and culture, visit the website of Ða Engliscan Gesiþas.
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.
- Foteviken Museum & Viking Reserve (offsite) Near Malmö, Sweden.
- Bede's World (offsite) has a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon farm with wattle and daub buildings, historic rare breed animals and thenti dye plants. The museum itself includes the largest surviving collection of Saxon stained glass and monk outfits to try on.
- 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.
- Murton Park (offsite) has a reconstructed Danelaw village, where we first went in Easter 2007 and which is our second home, Hauksby.
- 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.
- Archaeological Resource Guide for Europe
- The Archaeology Data Service has a searchable online library of archaeological articles
- BUBL LINK Catalogue of Internet Resources: Ancient history and archaeology of the British Isles
- Drakt.org's photos of and links to info on Viking museum pieces
- English Heritage Archaeological Monographs has pdf copies of out-of-print titles. Favourites include Yeavering (pagan temple converted to assembly theatre, royal halls etc), Mucking (biggest Anglo-Saxon settlement yet excavated) and Swallowcliffe Down (bed burial furnished with lots of shiny grave goods).
- The Staffordshire Hoard is one of the most exciting and certainly the shiniest find since Sutton Hoo. Lots of photos and some information about conserving it.
- Viking Archaeology Blog Searchable blog of news reports featuring Viking period archaeology
- York Archaeological Trust includes lots of photos and a list of their publications. If you want detailed information about Yorvik and Coppergate finds, this is place to look.
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.
- Crossing the rubicon: fact or fiction in Roman re-enactment by Grahame Appleby (Public Archaeology 2005, vol 4 pp257-265)
- A Framework for Assessing Military Dress Authenticity in Civil War Reenacting by Michael D Strauss (Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 2001, vol 19 pp145-157)