HIST 388: Topics in European History

HIST 388-001: Viking Middle Ages
(Fall 2021)

12:00 PM to 01:15 PM MW

Planetary Hall (formerly Science & Tech I) 120

Section Information for Fall 2021

The Viking Age — roughly AD750 to 1050 — saw an unprecedented expansion of the Scandinavian peoples into the wider medieval world. As traders and raiders, explorers and colonists, they ranged from eastern North America to the Asian steppe, from Dublin to Baghdad, among (and against) Byzantines and Carolingians, Northumbrians and Umayyads, from the wind-swept Shetlands to the sun-washed streets of Seville. Viking activity in all these contexts and locations shaped and transformed (and sometimes swept away) key features of the political and religious landscape of much of early medieval Europe. Our task in this class is to set all this Viking activity in context and evaluate how we place the Viking Age in the wider history of the Middle Ages. Through a close reading of primary sources, we will take on a range of key topics in Viking studies to include: saga literature and its difficulties, Viking Age archaeology, patterns of Viking raiding and settlement, the Volga Vikings, Vikings in North America, and the different ways the memory and idea of the Vikings have been used and misused in subsequent popular culture. Requirements include a midterm and final essay, an archaeological site report, and participation in class discussion.  

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Study of historical topics or periods of special interest. Notes: Topics announced in advance. May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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