Heirs of the Vikings
Title Details

19th April 2018

276 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

1 b/w. 2 line. Illustrations

Imprint: York Medieval Press

Heirs of the Vikings

History and Identity in Normandy and England, c.950-c.1015

by Katherine Cross

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Examination of texts concerning the vikings reveals much about their origin myth and legend.
Viking settlers and their descendants inhabited both England and Normandy in the tenth century, but narratives discussing their origins diverged significantly. This comparative study explores the depictions of Scandinavia and theevents of the Viking Age in genealogies, origin myths, hagiographies, and charters from the two regions. Analysis of this literary evidence reveals the strategic use of Scandinavian identity by Norman and Anglo-Saxon elites. Countering interpretations which see claims of Viking identity as expressions of contact with Scandinavia, the comparison demonstrates the local, political significance of these claims. In doing so, the book reveals the earliest origins of familiar legends which at once demonize and romanticize the Vikings - and which have their roots in both Anglo-Saxon and Norman traditions.

Dr KATHERINE CROSS is a historian of the early Middle Ages at the BritishMuseum and Wolfson College, University of Oxford.
Introduction: The Problem of a Viking Identity
Genealogy: Building a Viking Age Dynasty
Origin Myths: A People for a Dynasty
Hagiography I: Ruin and Restoration
Hagiography II: Saintly Patronage
Charter Narratives: Normans, Northumbrians and Northmen
Conclusion: Viking Age Narratives and Ethnic Identities
Appendix 1: The Date of Fulbert's Vita Romani
Appendix 2: The Dates of the Latin Vita Prima Sancti Neoti and the Old English Life of St Neot
Bibliography
"Solid and well-researched." ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
"This book provides a nuanced reading of how tenth- and eleventh-century societies understood the impact of Viking settlement in England and Normandy and is a must-read for any student of identity and history-writing in these contexts." FRENCH HISTORY
"A stimulating read for anyone interested in the Viking period and its aftermath, as well as medieval identity and ethnicity more specifically. [It is] highly relevant in today's political climate." MEDIEVAL ARCHAEOLOGY
"[A]n innovative, well-written, and researched book that opens up several lines of enquiry for future research. . . . Cross has done a great service in challenging some stereotypes about viking identity and presenting new insights on the influence of elites on the per-ceptions of ethnicity in the later Viking Age." JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY
"Katherine Cross has provided a useful and compelling assessment of efforts by the English and Norman elite to engage with the viking past of their respective regions and ruling dynasties, utilizing their ability to influence cultural production to help shape the identities of those dynasties and of those living under their rule." Craig Lyons, Comitatus

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Title Details

19th April 2018

276 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

1 b/w. 2 line. Illustrations

Imprint: York Medieval Press